Thursday, June 4, 2009

Another Note of Warning

Another email that I received with more sober warnings for us.

Why I Organized Utah's First Tea Party on March 6, 2009.

14 years ago the world was an exciting place--the Berlin Wall had fallen; Russia was imploding; and her satellite countries were throwing off the bonds of long, dark years of political and economic oppression. My brother and I found ourselves looking at a relic of the Cold War--an old fighter airplane made at a factory in Poland that was desperate for work. My brother turned to me and said, “These guys could make an aluminum-bodied Cobra!” Captivated by this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I packed my bags and left BYU and my dreams of medical school behind. I landed in Poland, with a toy model of a 1965 Ford Cobra, a Polish-English dictionary, and a new dream.

There, I wandered through an enormous aircraft factory which produced 3 MiG's/day at the height of the Cold War. Times were tough and where 60,000 men and women once worked, only 24,000 remained. Day after day I walked past somber lathe and mill operators who stood motionless behind a thousand silent machines--waiting for someone, anyone, to give them work. The lights were turned off--because the Polish government could no longer afford to keep them on, even in their own defense industries.

I saw the worry of an uncertain future etched across the countenances of those craftsmen--whose faces were worn with far more years than they had passed on this earth. In time, my mother joined me on trips to Poland--only to be routinely mistaken as my wife. What a startling condemnation of the trials of life women in Poland endured under socialist rule.

We were at the factory in Poland the day over 20,000 of those remaining 24,000 men and women were turned out into the cold--in a city of 100,000. We watched as displaced workers haltingly mounted their bikes and wearily pedaled home--only to be greeted by anxious families and haunting memories of the not-distant-enough specter of food rationing. The bailouts were bankrupt. The once thunderous skies over the “People's Aircraft Factory” were still.

Under these conditions, workers at the factory regularly stuffed their pockets with anything they dared. When you inevitably saw them stealing, they would simply laugh, point to the sign on the door, and exclaim, "People's Aircraft Factory; I'm 'People' too." Even today, doctors are routinely bribed to treat the simplest of conditions or to “certify” a worker is sick so they can defraud their employers and the government of social benefits. Bureaucrats endlessly blackmail companies with threats of lengthy audits in exchange for hefty bribes. Socialism breeds an egalitarian society of misery by debasing everyone to the lowest common denominator--criminal.

To get out of their hole, the Poles booted Socialism and set up a Special Economic Zone at that old MiG factory. They slashed taxes and offered land and buildings for sale. We bought some buildings, we bought some silent machinery, we bought some land; but, most importantly, we hired some of those anxious men and women.

Republicans and Democrats, like the Roman Senate of old, promise bread and circuses as they loot the productive by taxing our children without representation. The recent bailouts and spending bills--polluted by the toxic brew of arrogance and lard--extinguish hope and change our economic freedom for a pot of porridge. Personal responsibility is humiliated in exchange for the pompous promise the government will pay our defaulted mortgages and fill our empty gas tanks. I utterly reject these arguments. I have seen the disease of wealth destruction--masquerading as wealth redistribution--metastasize into trickle-down despair. Private investment pried open doors governments had long shielded from the sanitizing light of day and triumphed where untold billions in bailouts had long been lavished on the rat-hole of squander. As we created jobs in Poland and Utah, a factory of war was beaten into plowshares.

Why did I organize Utah's first Tea Party? My brother and I have navigated the ashes of socialism for 14 years at our factory in Poland. We know the predictable consequences of callous governmental control--along with its cruel effects on every day workers and their families. When I read about the nascent Tea Parties on I resolved to leave my dream of building cars behind to stand against the madness--long before “right-wing billionaires and Fox News” were interested. I have seen the end of the dark road of socialism. I do not want my children to grow up in a society which tatters the moral fabric of the soul into the impoverished rags of a beggar--or to labor in a world where the only profitable investment is a campaign contribution.

Will our children struggle from a hole with the odious chains of financial bondage Congress yokes upon them, or will our children be free to dream as I did with my brother? How much longer can Congress borrow money before we too are forced to turn out the lights? Who then will walk into our own darkened factories? What dreams will they bring?

The first thing you do when you find yourself in a hole is quit digging. Mr. Obama--put down that shovel.

David Kirkham, President
Kirkham Motorsports
Utah Tea Party Organizer

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