Categories
Capitalism Socialism Truth

Facts Don’t Care About Socialism’s Feelings: Mississippi More Prosperous Than Europe

Rod Thomson

There are a lot of ways to dice numbers, particularly economic numbers. But almost any way you cut it, America is far wealthier, more productive, more prosperous and more consumptive than Europe or almost anywhere else on earth.

In fact, according to an apples to apples comparison by the American Enterprise Institute, most Europeans, including wealthier Western Europeans, would have a higher living standard if they were living in Mississippi — America’s poorest state. This goes for Sweden, Denmark and Belgium — mentioned because the growing cadre of Americans extolling socialism like using them as examples.

Pretty sure they don’t like using Mississippi as an example.

In a chart put together by Mark Perry, a scholar at AEI and professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan, the GDP per capita of America’s 50 states in 2014 — based on the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis — is compared to the GDP per capita of countries in Europe and Asia on a Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) basis.

The PPP, according to the World Bank, is “Gross Domestic Product (GDP) converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates. An international dollar has the same purchasing power over GDP as the U.S. dollar has in the United States.”

Using this measurement makes the comparisons more accurate in real life by adjusting for the differences in prices in each country. So the United Kingdom’s unadjusted GDP per capita was $45,729 in 2014, but because prices for goods are higher on average than in the U.S., for everything from food and clothing to energy and transportation, the adjustment lowers per capita GDP in the U.K. to below $40,000. Conversely, prices in South Korea are generally lower than in the U.S., which means that its GDP per capita goes from below $28,000 on an unadjusted basis to above $34,000 on a PPP basis.

So, apples to apples.

AEI’s Perry writes: “Most European countries (including Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Belgium) if they joined the US, would rank among the poorest one-third of US states on a per-capita GDP basis, and the UK, France, Japan and New Zealand would all rank among America’s very poorest states, below No. 47 West Virginia, and not too far above No. 50 Mississippi. Countries like Italy, S. Korea, Spain, Portugal and Greece would each rank below Mississippi as the poorest states in the country.”

Here is the chart:

The chart above demonstrates clearly that the U.S. average per capita GDP of $54,629 is higher than European nations. The big difference? America’s robust capitalism compared to Europes’ burdensome socialism.

More data making this very same point comes via the consumption side as opposed to the production side.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, showing “average individual consumption” for various member nations, creates a baseline average of 100 — again to make apples and apples comparisons.

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So the averaged score for all OECD nations is 100. The score among its European member nations is 96. But the U.S. score is 147 — clearly indicating that Americans are far more prosperous than Europeans and other First World countries.

This OECD data is two years older, but as you can see this is just a long-term truth. By both production and consumption measurements, the U.S. is far stronger than Europe.

All of this should make the point clearly that for the United States to continue to prosper — and carry other nations along in our wake — we must reject the burgeoning socialism that is revealing itself.

A few examples to complement the data.

Hong Kong and Singapore were small, poor Asian locales at the end of World War II. But both instituted free markets, limited government, robust capitalism, and a rule of law supporting those. Doing so, the pair have becoming two of the richest locations on the planet. Their citizens are thriving and prosperous.

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Conversely, Cuba and Venezuela were at one point growing economies. Cuba was a thriving little island, albeit with divided wealth, that for generations now has been locked in poverty under the boot of Communist dictators where there is almost no wealth left at all. Venezuela has immense oil reserves and was building some economic momentum. But they turned to socialism and the people are now literally starving, eating stray animals to stay alive.

These four examples are the extremes, but they solidly back the hard data.

Our European friends would be much better off if they had not travelled down the social democrat road, as their economies continue to fall behind the United States’ economy, and their people’s standard of living stagnates or declines.

Free stuff from the government is not free. It brings a big, costly government that restricts rights and prosperity. We would be foolish to emulate the socialistic parts of Europe.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


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Categories
Capitalism Economics Media

Teen Vogue Assails Capitalism, Rakes In Profits; Writers Clueless

Rod Thomson

Some ironies are almost too forehead slapping to even begin writing about. Nevertheless, we persisted.

Teen Vogue is a nicely profitable enterprise aimed at teenage girls — and probably those who want to still be seen as teenage girls — by writing stories about the newest and best products that are “in” for teen girls. Cool products. Hip products. Make you beautiful products. And some politics and a load-bearing wall of celebrity gossip.

Then they sell ads for products, including those they write about, along with the normal bevy of online ads, and make money through those advertisements.

They know their market, they understand the demand, and they meet that demand with a supply of content written by their staff, and advertisements sold by their ad department and others who want to reach their readers. This is just about as classic a case of capitalism at work as you see — and see thousands of times daily.

Every part of Teen Vogue magazine oozes capitalism and the glories therein.

Meanwhile, at the insane irony desk of the magazine, Teen Vogue published an article in April trashing capitalism and saying there are better forms of economics, such as — you guessed it! — socialism.

Then, two days ago, the Teen Vogue Twitter desk — presumably people being recompensed in return for providing social media services, so still an irony-free zone — decided to resurrect this powerful piece of economic thinking by tweeting it out again with this fact-free pitch:

Can’t #endpoverty without ending capitalism!

Yes, of course, this is a wildly far-left magazine. For instance, headline today: “Kanye West Is What Internalized Racism and Misogyny Looks Like.” Sure, he looks just like the racism of the Jim Crow South and misogyny of Islamic radical nations where women cannot be seen in public and their husbands can beat and rape them at will. That’s Kanye!

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It’s all part and parcel with the indoctrination into leftism going on at American universities outside of the STEM fields — which is almost undoubtedly where Teen Vogue gets their writers.

It’s also worth noting that as the magazine shifted to heavily online, it also shifted to add a heavy dose of politics to its teen fashion staple. ‘Tis too much to dissect the entirety of nonsense in this article. But a few points are worth making. Author Kim Kelly explains capitalists this way:

Individual capitalists are typically wealthy people who have a large amount of capital (money or other financial assets) invested in business, and who benefit from the system of capitalism by making increased profits and thereby adding to their wealth.

That is just the worst understanding of capitalists. The vast majority start with nothing or almost nothing, work very long hours and, sometimes, are successful with their businesses. Some go into debt or re-mortgage the house to start a business.

Teen Vogue is headquartered in New York, one of the capitalist wonders of the world. I wonder if the author stopped at the bagel stand on the sidewalk for breakfast, or maybe the little deli for lunch. Those are capitalists, like the little place that does her hair. Pretty sure they didn’t launch the bagel cart or any of the others with a “large amount of capital.”

Next sentence:

A capitalist nation is dominated by the free market, which is an economic system in which both prices and production are dictated by corporations and private companies in competition with one another…

Well, she managed to write something even less informed in that very next sentence. Prices and production are not dictated by corporations and private companies — they are dictated by the demand for product and the competition combined with consumer willingness to determine the price and production levels. It’s almost like she doesn’t really know what the words “free market” mean.

There’s 1,800 more words of this ignorance, but I won’t torture you with them.

In addition to the fact that Teen Vogue — including its fairly ignorant writers and social media people — are directly participating in capitalism, they are literally inundated with the joys, comforts, benefits and luxuries that have been created by capitalism.

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One can’t help but wonder if they are even aware of it.

They live in housing built by capitalists who were supplied with all of the necessary materials by a train of capitalism including wood, cement, nails, glass, etc. Presumably they have furniture, also brought to them by capitalists. They checked their smart phones when they got up and used them all day — smart phones provided to them through capitalism. They drove to work or rode public transit to work or rode a bike to work all through capitalism. (Yes, public transit: who built the trains and buses, who supplied all the materials to do that, who transported them, etc.? Capitalists!)

Their place of work, built by capitalists. Their computers? Made by capitalists. The clothes and shoes they’re wearing? Made by capitalists. The food they’re eating? Provided by capitalist farmers through dozens of middle capitalists to capitalist restaurateurs. Wearing glasses? Capitalists. Taking an ibuprofen for a headache? Capitalists. Going on vacation? So many capitalists will make that happen for you!

Their historically comfortable, luxurious lives are entirely thanks to capitalism thriving on a foundation of individual liberties — both of which their socialism would do away with. (See: Venezuela, Cuba, Soviet Union, Vietnam, North Korea and so on.)

And then there is the obvious fact that the Tweet itself is antithetical to all the data we have. Capitalism has brought literally billions of people out of poverty in the past 50 years.

The number of people living in extreme poverty worldwide declined by an astonishing 80 percent from 1970 to 2006, at the same time that capitalism and free enterprise were taking off in countries around the world that had not wholly participated before. This is measured by the number of people living on a dollar a day or less, which fell from 26.8 percent of the world’s population in 1970 to 5.4 percent in 2006.

The writers over at Teen Vogue may not much care for this sort of factual data. But here’s some more anyway.

Global poverty by the same measurement captured 94 percent of the world’s population in 1820. But with industrialization (capitalism) and globalization of markets, and now the rapid technological advances (capitalism) that share has plummeted to 17 percent. In the shorter timeframe, that global poverty rate was still 53 percent in 1981, meaning the fall to 17 percent now is “the most rapid reduction in poverty in world history,” according to Oxford University’s Martin Roeser, the source of this data.

The Daily Wire has more data points here. Suffice to say, the tweet and article are demonstrably wrong.

It’s just sort of head-smacking that the editorial content providers cannot see the enormity of benefits that have accrued to them because of capitalism. Unfortunately, it appears according to polling that their readers cannot either.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


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Categories
Capitalism Socialism Truth

How Socialism Rots The Soul, The Culture And The Country

Rod Thomson

Socialism, newly obfuscated by some as Democratic Socialism, is all the rage on the American left again, making yet another comeback after universal global failures during the past century of attempts.

The fact that so many young people are warm to it is nothing more than an indictment of our public and post-secondary education system. If they were aware of what socialism really is, and the fatally failed experiments of the Soviet Union, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Cuba, Venezuela, Angola and so on — with death tolls topping 100 million in the 20th century — they would probably not be so warm to it. But they are not, because they are poorly educated but well indoctrinated.

Socialism has not failed in all those places because it was done wrong, or bad people were running it, or some other marginal excuse. Socialism is in itself a defiance of human nature, of economic laws and of the natural desire to live purposeful lives. It also ends up depriving real and effective charities of the fuel they need — fuel that capitalism provides in abundance.

Giving, helping others, being charitable is part of what makes for decent human beings. And importantly to this discussion, it is central to practicing the Christian faith. The teachings of Christ and of the apostles always go straight to the heart of man, to willing sacrifice for others, to caring and providing for needs of the less fortunate. Christian organizations, churches and charities provide the vast amount of charity in the world today. The Catholic Church operates more than 10,000 orphanages, 5,000 hospitals and some 16,000 other health clinics, plus thousands of schools in Third World countries. And that’s just part of Christianity, and aside from what individual Christians do outside of organized structures.

And virtually all of it is fueled by capitalism. Socialist countries provide very little aid to those in need around the world and even in their country, because they don’t generate much capital. Very high welfare, high-tax capitalist countries, such as we find in Western Europe, provide more than socialist countries, but still nothing like relatively lower tax capitalist countries such as the United States, which is the worldwide monster in giving — per capita and by GDP.

Just a cursory look at charitable contributions by country show the overwhelming truth of this.

According to the Charities Aid Foundation, and measured as a percentage of GDP combined with percent of citizens who donate, the United States is the top giver followed by New Zealand, Canada, the U.K., South Korea, Singapore, India, Russia, Italy and the Netherlands. The commonality here is that all of these are capitalist countries (with an asterisk next to Russia for having capitalistic markets as a base but also offering restricted freedoms in its oligarchic setup) and all are either majority Christian or have a strong Christian heritage. (Again, bit of an asterisk for Russia as it was official atheist for more than half of the 20th century. But today, more than 50% of the population identifies as Christian.)

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It is worth noting that the United States donates at almost twice the rate of the second country on the list — again, as a percentage of GDP, not raw numbers — and that high rate is on, by far, the largest economy in the world. Bottom line: the capitalistic country with the strong Christian influence and freest peoples is the runaway winner in global charity, helping people in need.

Socialist countries don’t even make an entrance on the list.

So the fuel for charitable giving around the world — from famine to earthquakes to tsunamis to war refugees — comes almost entirely from capitalist countries, not socialist countries.

But there is an even more important detriment to socialism as a concept: It destroys the inner person.

Socialism operates under the rubric “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” That was from Karl Marx, the father of socialism, writing to the Social Democratic Workers’ Party of Germany. Social Democrat — for the record, the very term being used today by the American political left most represented in soon-to-be U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“From each” of course means the government taking money from some, while “to each” means the government giving it others. This is not a voluntary transaction, such as charitable giving is in the United States.

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Socialism in the end teaches — indirectly but via immutable human nature — that you don’t have to work hard, you don’t have to take responsibility for your own actions and you sure don’t have to help others.

Let’s take each one.

Hard work. Immutable human nature makes clear that if I work hard and it will be taken from me and given to someone who is not working hard, then I will most definitely not work harder. And neither will the other guy. The economy rising from that dynamic will be terrible. This, of course, has been the result in every socialist experiment as our natures trumped the dreamy-eyed Marxian concept.

Taking responsibility. Socialism allows that part of our nature that wants to blame others and never take personal responsibility for our own actions to thrive. Regardless of my crummy personal choices, I will always be bailed out according to my need. The greater my irresponsibility, the greater will be my need. Naturally enough, this breeds more irresponsibility.

Charitable giving. If I live in a socialist country, then I inherently have zero responsibility to help my neighbor, to give to those in need, to lend a helping hand, because Marx told us that would be done by taking from those who had more money — “ability” was his word, but you can’t take and give ability, so he is really talking about money.

These three characteristics of socialism are destructive to the soul. Socialism takes away the self-discipline of hard work, the self-worth of personal responsibility and the joyful rewards of being able to help others in need. The government does it all by force.

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On the flip side, a capitalistic society — which really must go hand in hand with personal freedoms and choices to really create vibrant markets — reinforces all three of those good characteristics in people, providing purpose and self-worth; nurturing the soul. Plus, the charitable transfers are voluntary. If a capitalist country takes some amount of money from the earners to redistribute, that does not make it socialist or change the underlying nature of the capitalism. It merely creates welfare.

Combining both points here, that free capitalist countries are by far the biggest givers to those in need and that capitalist countries reinforce strong character traits in people, it’s clear that if the American left really wants to help the poor, they should be running from socialism and urging the formation of capitalistic markets and free peoples.

U2 lead singer Bono has learned this reality through his experience with charitable organizations. Bono used to meet with government leaders and call on them to provide more spending on foreign aid. No longer, he now realizes: “Aid is just a stopgap. Commerce, entrepreneurial capitalism take more people out of poverty.”

Yes, while nourishing the soul.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


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Categories
Capitalism Democrats Government Media Politics Truth

Media Ignorance on Capitalism Hurts Low-Wage American Workers

Rod Thomson

For whatever reason — ignorance, socialist-leaning worldview or laziness — basic economics of free market capitalism seems all but impossible for most of the mainstream media to grasp. And that is a shame. It means they fall for the emotional appeal of fellow Democrats and others who lack an understanding of capitalism, which ultimately ends up hurting low-wage American workers the most — purportedly the people they are trying to help.

Let’s walk through this. Because it becomes blindingly obvious this is exactly what happens. It’s just that consumers of the legacy media may never understand — and alas, they’re unlikely to read this article.

First, the basics on capitalism. At its most foundational, capitalism functions on supply and demand and the ability of a company to make a profit meeting the demand, and the person creating the demand to have multiple supply options to create competition.

Simple, right?

Let’s say I need a pair of shoes. Bob sells shoes. The shoes cost him $20 to make. With all of his overhead — building, electricity, employees, benefits, etc. — he needs to sell each pair of shoes for $35 to break even. He puts the shoes on display for sale at $40, to make a $5 profit. I go to Bob’s store in my tattered shoes and decide if I am willing to pay $40. If so, we’ve created a market and a transaction. Bob makes $5 profit and I get my shoes for $40. Everyone is satisfied.

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At each step in the shoe-production process, and the building where Bob displays them and pays for electricity, there are more markets of demand and supply happening, creating a broader economy. Now let’s say Bob gets greedy — like many liberals tell us corporations are — and tries to sell his shoes for $60 to make a $25 profit. I may go to a different shoe store to find something more affordable. Enough people do this, and Bob is forced eventually to lower his price. This is the role of competition in capitalism, with hundreds of shoe stores vying for my purchase and that of thousands of other consumers.

These capitalism concepts of supply, demand, profit and competition seems to elude most media reports, allowing people like Sen. Bernie Sanders to claim corporations are evil, gouge employees and make outrageous profits. If you are making $9 per hour and working for a company making billions of dollars in profits without any media explanation of the fuller context, this is very enticing to believe.

But it is also largely and demonstrably untrue.

Obviously corporations are not evil. They are legal entities made up of people with vested interests in those entities earning a profit so they can stay in business. Corporations generally pay their employees through the same forces of supply and demand, but for workers not products. They don’t gouge, they make decisions based on their employee needs and their profit needs. This is obviously rational, albeit a little hard to objectively quantify.

What is not hard to quantify is that corporations make outrageous profits. Liberal politicians such as Sanders, and many in the media, always use the anecdote corporation that just made a huge profit, rather than actual data points.

The average corporation’s profit margin is about 7 percent, according to a New York University Stern database. Grocery stores and retailers make much less, about 2.5 percent profit. And your local liberal’s favorite evil corporation, Walmart, squeezes out a paltry 2.1 percent profit. Walmart’s profit margin is less than one-third of what it pays in taxes.

Yet a 2013 Reason-Rupe Poll found that the average American guessed the typical corporate American profit to be 36 percent — more than four times reality. How did Americans get such a wildly inaccurate impression?

The media.

The socialist-leaning, capitalist-ignorant, liberal-sympathetic mainstream media swallowing the nonsense of Sanders and many other Democrats and reiterating it as fair, objective news. This is surprisingly common as media bias and distortion consistently leads media consumers to have opinions that are embarrassingly divorced from reality. For instance, according to a 2011 Gallup poll, Americans estimated that 25 percent of the people in America were homosexual. In 2015, it was 23 percent. The actual number is about 3-5%. 

The corporate profits disconnect is a combination of economic ignorance and liberal agenda. The gay disconnect is pure propaganda by the media and Hollywood.

But while the gay agenda has its share of downsides, the economic ignorance and agenda has done material damage to the working poor in America — by the very people claiming to be watching out for the working poor in America. And it would do a lot more if it could.

Let’s take the minimum wage as an example. Compassionate liberals and their media allies constantly strut around such nonsense as seriously intoning that a family cannot live on the minimum wage. Well, no duh! None were ever supposed to. (And FYI, the vast majority of minimum wage workers are young people still living at home and second incomes.)

Let’s look at what happens when the government passes a law to dramatically raise the minimum wage to, say, $15, which has been all the liberal protester/union rage the past few years. And because they have many workers near minimum wage, let’s force that on Walmart.

If Walmart, with a profit margin of 2.1 percent, has to increase the majority of its employees’ pay by 50 to 100 percent, how will they be forced to respond? Remember, the company needs to meet demands while making a profit. Grade school capitalism. It has four options, which it may combine:

1) It can raise prices. Since all of its competitors will be facing a similar problem because of liberal government action, this will almost assuredly happen for some portion of the cost offset. So the price of everything from bread and milk to shoes and shirts will rise — maybe a lot. Who shops at Walmart the most? Low-income workers, including likely everyone trying to support a family on minimum wage. See the problem? If so, you’re ahead of liberals and the media.

2) Cut the number of workers, particularly full-time workers with benefits. Add more part-time workers and employ the use of technology to replace low-skill workers. Who does this hurt? Right. The very people liberals say they want to help.

3) Cut hours. Walmart is open 24 hours, 365 days per year right now. It’s particularly convenient for people working strange hours — which are most often lower-wage workers. If Walmart reduces the number of open hours to 12 or even eight, which would be one shift, that would save money in many areas, including by cutting employees substantially. Who would be hurt? You guessed it!

4) Close the least profitable stores and keep open the most profitable. Closing large numbers of Walmart stores clearly impacts Walmart consumers, the lower end working class.

The ignorant will say, “Walmart makes billions of dollars! It can pay its workers more!” But remember, their margin is only 2.1 percent. The billions comes from scale. Walmart stores just in the United States employ 1.4 million employees. Without some or all of the four adjustments above, Walmart could dole out only about a $3.50-per-hour raise before it erased all of its profits and began losing money.

And no company can do that for long.

But liberals and socialists like Sanders can’t advocate for higher costs, fewer options and reduced employment for low-skill workers. That would be political insanity. Yet that is exactly what would result from a minimum wage hike. It’s also what results from high taxes and too much regulation. But you don’t know any of this if you rely on mainstream media sources such as the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, the networks or your local news and media outlets.

The final, real-life proof in the pudding is that the GOP tax reform package President Trump recently signed has triggered an avalanche of employee bonuses, reinvestments in domestic production, tens of thousands of new hires and, ironically, several companies choosing to voluntarily increase their own minimum wage to between $12 and $15 per hour.

None of this is because of government fiat and control, but because government go out of the way.

Hopefully, it is getting harder and harder for the media to obfuscate that reality.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.


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Categories
Capitalism Natural Disasters Truth

There’s a Reason Americans are Amazing in Disasters

Rod Thomson

The United States continues to prove why it is simply the best nation in the world by virtually every measurement.

The latest example is the extraordinary resilience of Americans in Texas and Florida after devastating hurricanes within weeks of each other. After the Houston region’s long deluge and record flooding from Hurricane Harvey, that area’s rebound is underway and history suggests it will be stronger than ever.

We are long-term Floridians, but have never seen a hurricane that caused damage essentially through the entire state. From Miami up the Atlantic Ocean to Jacksonville and Tallahassee down the Gulf of Mexico to Naples and the Keys and all points in between, the state was crushed by Hurricane Irma’s direct hit and long path up the peninsula.

A few jaw-dropping numbers:

  • Peak wind gusts: 142 mph in Naples, 120 mph on Marco Island, 111 mph on Big Pine Key, 99 mph at Miami International Airport, 94 mph at Key West and 92 mph up at Cape Canaveral. That shows the breadth of the wind damage. But storm surge from Miami to Jacksonville turned downtown Jax eerily similar to Houston.
  • The 15 million Floridians who lost power from the hurricane is three out of every four residents of the nation’s third largest state, plus another million in Georgia and South Carolina. That is more than twice the previous record. The Irma number is the equivalent of the fifth largest state in the Union losing 100 percent of power. Yet by the third day after the storm, the number was under 3 million.
  • Initial damage estimates are more than $100 billion, but that will undoubtedly rise.
  • With all this destruction, there are 19 dead so far in Florida. (Five more in Georgia and South Carolina.) That total may yet rise as Florida’s heat and humidity remain in summer mode and can be lethal, particularly for elderly people.

When we consider the size and scope of this monstrous hurricane — 16 million without power in three states, and wind speeds more than 100 mph over vast swaths, the broad range of surge inundation and the amount of destruction and damage — there are 19 dead. Every death is a tragic loss, but that is an almost miraculously low number.

Granted, Florida has had more experience than any state with deadly hurricanes. But the planning and preparation by state and local governments — one of the few times you will hear us giving props to government, but it is due in this case — really has minimized the loss of life. But so has American helping American — before, during and after.

Virtually all power is expected to be restored within 10 days of most of the state losing it. That also is astonishing. That goes to preparation, but also the support of surrounding states’ power companies. Florida sent large crews to Houston as did other states and now states are sending large numbers to Florida. More than 20,000 Florida Power & Light trucks alone are working to restore power, not including the other utilities in the state.

 

So…why is America so good at dealing with disasters?

Is there another nation in the world that could be hit with back-to-back record natural catastrophes and sustain such minimal loss of life and have the two separate regions back on their feet so rapidly?

I doubt it.

In fact, when other nations endure natural disasters, the United States is often one of the first on the scene and frequently offers the most help — more often than not through private charities, which are already handling the lion’s share of the need in Texas and Florida.

It’s important to understand why this is the case. It’s not a result of geography or stealing from others or dumb luck.

There’s a foundation in place undergirding this ability that exists at the base of no other country in the history of the world: The United States is a country built on an idea — not geography, not ethnicity, not through conquering other nations — but an idea.

And the idea is this: There is a supreme God and all people are created equal in His eyes and all are meant to be free. The rights of each man and woman are from God and are protected through the longest-standing Constitution in the world by limiting the scope of distant rulers in government. This is fundamental.

So religion, specifically Christianity and the rightly called Judeo-Christian ethic, are at the core and upon which is built the foundational rights of every citizen and a hardened vault of protection of those rights. Government’s existence is to protect those individual rights, including property and the exercise of capitalism in free markets. The wealth created by this system of individual liberty and reasonably unfettered capitalism is the primary reason we can afford the preparations and responses to such natural disasters.

From that foundational idea is the amazingly successful Republic that is still plowing forward. Let’s not forget our origins and foundations, or one day we will be unable to secure such safety in natural disasters — let alone man-made ones.

(Editor’s Note: For those interested, we rejoice that the Florida writers for The Revolutionary Act all survived Hurricane Irma with minimal damage.)

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.