Sarah Palin On Sputnik vs. Spudnut, And A Look Forward To The Future

Above: Governor Sarah Palin meets with Russia’s Ambassador To The United States, Sergy Kislyak

By Gary P Jackson

If our readers checked out coverage of Sarah Palin’s interview with Greta Van Susteren and her follow up posting on Facebook, you know that (A) she has been ripping Obama’s pep rally for even MORE Big Government boondoggles [otherwise known as the SOTU speech] to shreds, and (B) she likes potato flour donuts!

We find it delightful that Sarah was able to use a donut shop with a cool name [and an excellent play on Obama’s Sputnik reference] to illustrate the difference between the American Spirit, American Exceptionalism, and the ability to make one’s dreams become reality in a free society vs the crippling effect of Big Government intervention, and central planning.

Sarah elaborates on Sputnik and Spudnut further:

Please read this article by the Hoover Institution’s Research Fellow Peter Schweizer. Schweizer, who has written extensively on the subject of the decline and fall of the Soviet Union, offers a Washington Post writer an important refresher on the real history of Sputnik, since many critics are engaged in misreporting:

Palin’s other point is that Sputnik was the sort of government bureaucratic program that got the Soviet Union in trouble; it’s an example of what eventually did them in. Citing Wikipedia (what journalistic ingenuity!), Stromberg argues that actually the Soviet Union didn’t have a debt problem until some “thirty years after” Sputnik. Perhaps instead of relying on Wikipedia, Stromberg might have consulted Robert Gates’ book From the Shadows which chronicles, in part, his career as a Soviet analyst at the CIA. (Just in case they are unaware at the Post, this is the same Robert Gates who is now the Secretary of Defense.) On page 173, he accurately points out that the CIA knew early on of the “Soviet economic crisis. From the late 1950s, CIA had clearly described the chronic weaknesses as well as the formidable military power of the Soviet Union.”

Read the whole thing here.

Now, in a recent interview I mentioned analogies that could relate to solutions to our economic challenges, including the difference between a communist government’s “Sputnik” and the private sector’s “Spudnut.” The analogies I mentioned obviously aren’t comparable in size, but highlight a clear difference in economic focus: big government command and control economies vs. America’s small businesses.

If you’re near Richland, WA, you should stop by The Spudnut Shop, where you’ll find an all-American success story of a family owned small business that for over 60 years has been serving up a product that people want to buy. Businesses like this coffee shop don’t receive big government bailouts. They produce something with their own ingenuity and hard work. And here we see the former communist Soviet Union’s advancement (before its government debt-ridden demise) vs. America’s small businesses that are the backbone of our economy.

We’d be well off if we had a greater appreciation for the free market ingenuity of ordinary American entrepreneurs, both great and small – whether they make high-tech gadgets or potato donuts. And this goes for all our small business owners – whether they run a family farm, a commercial salmon fishing business, an auto shop, a print shop, a consulting firm, a restaurant, you name it. Our government should show them more respect by not punishing their success and limiting their ability to hire more people by over-taxing and over-reaching into their businesses. Don’t stifle their growth with burdensome regulations like Obamacare and cap-and-tax. Government should be on their side, not in their way.

I believe and trust in the strength of America’s private sector. But I sometimes fear that the current administration in Washington distrusts or discounts the individuals who have built this country; hence their belief that only a distant bureaucratic elite in D.C. can make decisions for our small businesses that will provide American opportunity. This administration’s thinking is wrong. We don’t need a command and control economy that “invests” our money in their half-baked ideas. We need freedom, reward for hard work, and a re-invigorated sense of personal responsibility and work ethic, especially among our young people.

We need to be as motivated and optimistic as our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, many of whom started out with nothing but a dream as they built a life for themselves by the sweat of their brow. They didn’t ask for bailouts. They didn’t expect anything from anyone. They wanted the freedom and opportunity to work hard and prosper by their own merits. If at first they failed, they took their lumps, dusted themselves off, got back up, and tried again until they succeeded. They didn’t retreat. They built this country and they passed on to us more prosperity and opportunity than has ever been bestowed on any generation in human history. We must not squander that inheritance. Let’s get back to their common sense values.

~ Sarah Palin

This is spot on advice. America does need to look back at how our parents and grand-parents handled tough times. Not only making it through them, but coming out stronger, tougher, and more successful, as well.

I feel blessed in many ways. My parents were born in the early 1900s, as WWI was just getting cranked up, and I wasn’t born until much later, when they were in their mid-40s. I had the benefit of parents who lived through two world wars and the Great Depression. They both had a strong work ethic, and a no-nonsense approach to things. I didn’t get to spend as much time with them as most of my peers did their parents, as both passed on early in my life, but the couple of decades I did get to spend with them were essential.

America is in as tough a spot as it has ever been in, but common sense, AND history teach us that government is NOT the answer to our many problems. As Ronald Reagan often said: “Government is not the answer to our problems, government IS the problem.” He was right. Almost every problem we have can be traced back to something government did. Some well meant but misguided program, draconian regulation, or just plain old stupidity.

We need to do everything we can to get government out of our way, off our backs, and helping, not hurting.

We need to get back to First Principles, and our Founding Fathers’ vision for the Republic. One where the cities and states control their destinies, and the federal government stays out of the way, doing what it should do, protecting the nation from it’s enemies, foreign and domestic, while the engine of democracy does it’s thing.

Capitalism works, and works well, but only when government doesn’t meddle. Doesn’t try and pick winners and losers.

Not every business will succeed. Even Spudnuts, which was once a nationwide franchise, fell on hard times, but they survive today as a smaller group of independent owners, and carry on a brand that has been around since 1946. They did this by learning from mistakes, doing what had to be done to survive, and good old fashioned hard work. And, making a good product, as well. Not by government handouts.

Democrats introduced the concept of “too big to fail.” This is a dangerous idea. Also a strange idea coming from people who believe in the THEORY of evolution as fact.

Part of evolution in business, as in the animal kingdom, is survival of the fittest. Just like some species of animals, plants, and what have you, fail, so do some businesses. It’s a natural thing. A healthy thing. We learn more from failure than success. Also getting struggling businesses, that can’t be turned around, liquidated, helps strengthen the market as a whole. Works the same way in the plant and animal world as well.

Government “investment” in failing businesses and “concepts” only continues to prop up the walking dead, and wastes billion, if not trillions of dollars on things that will never be.

The entire “green economy” would collapse tomorrow if the hundreds of billions of tax payer dollars stopped propping them up. But the “wise men” in Washington [and some “good old boys” on the take] have decided they are smarter than the markets, and have thrown common sense to the wind, literally, pushing an agenda few want, and one that cannot survive in the free market.

The “green economy” has failed the “survival of the fittest” test. It’s failed to “evolve” into a viable business. We’ve been funding “green” for almost a century. Time to let it sink or swim on it’s own, and stop throwing good money [that we don’t have] after bad.

The same goes for other failed ideas. Time to just let go. 

We must be smarter. We must tell the federal government to cease and desist. It’s well past time to stop the Soviet style central planning of our economy, and our lives. It has been a miserable failure. It has put us over $14 trillion in debt. That’s basically 100 percent of the nation’s yearly gross domestic product! [GDP] It’s beyond simply unsustainable, it’s a serious national security risk. The very nation could collapse under the weight of the debt. Simply cease to exist.

Washington wants to GROW the debt more and control even MORE of our lives from the central office in D.C.

This is unacceptable. The great American Experiment has always thrived when government was held at bay, and hard working American were left alone to do their thing. It’s time to DEMAND this be the case once again, and take solid steps to make sure it is ALWAYS the case moving forward.

Sarah Palin is the nation’s only top leader who is making this case for the American people. She gets it. This is why we must get behind her efforts to bring REAL CHANGE to America.

BTW, Sarah has visited The Spudnut Shop in Richland, WA and the Tri-City Herald reports on local reactions to this story and has a photo gallery of her visit. You can check that out here.

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Filed under In The News, Politics, sarah palin

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