This week's quote of the week comes from Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch on the pages of the WSJ.
Americans have watched, with a growing sense of alarm and alienation, as first a Republican administration and then its Democratic successor have flouted public opinion by bailing out banks, nationalizing the auto industry, expanding war in Central Asia, throwing yet more good money after bad to keep housing prices artificially high, and prosecuting a drug war that no one outside the federal government pretends is comprehensible, let alone winnable. It is easy to look upon this well-worn rut of political affairs and despair.Gillespie and Welch argue persuasively that the two parties have provided a continuity in increasing the size of government. The article goes on to argue that the Republican/Democrat duopoly, while stable, is not inevitable. In business, many seemingly stable duopolies have collapsed after years of stability. In an article near and dear to the hearts of SLOBs who have attended beer summits, there is reference to the way that craft beers are eating into the market share of Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors.
The need for independent thinking from the likes of the Tea Party is also called out.
The future—even the present—belongs not to the central re-election committee but to the decentralized single-issue swarm. Wherever both parties have colluded in erecting a roadblock to the desires of American voters, there are citizen groups creating angry and effective coalitions to confront the status quo.
The decentralized and effectively leaderless Tea Party is the most potent example of this permanent non-governing minority. The movement has focused like a laser beam on what all but a few Washington politicians won't dare to touch: actually cutting spending and debt. Whether the group will be able to maintain its emphasis on stanching the nation's flow of red ink while avoiding divisive social issues is an open question.
Without a doubt, the ability of the Tea Party to maintain focus on actually reducing the size of government spending and taxing is key to our success. Even though I have concerns over social issues those must be put on hold to attack the financial problems that could turn our country into Greece if we don't take action.
Here is some video of Nick Gillespie discussing the situation.
A little more about craft beer sales.
Small and independent craft brewers saw volume increase 11 percent and retail sales dollars increase 12 percent over 2009, representing a growth of over 1 million barrels (31 gallons per U.S. barrel), equal to more than 14 million new craft cases.
This while overall beer sales are actually down.