An audacious and desperately needed primer on how America’s Ruling Class have upended the Constitution and taken over our country—and how we must unite to regain control of our liberty.
A Ruling Class have emerged in America against the hopes and designs of our Founding Fathers. Over the last hundred years, they have rejected the Constitution and expanded their own power, slowly at first and now rapidly. These people believe their actions are justified because they think they are smarter than the rest of us—so smart they can run our lives better than we can.
But for all the power and resources at their command, they have failed. Miserably. Society has become increasingly unequal, even as we’re promised “equality.” Our government finances are out of control, our basic infrastructure is broken, and education is unaffordable and mediocre. And yet the Ruling Class think the solution is for us to grant them ever more control.
We can stop this—but to do so we must unite. In Conspiracies of the Ruling Class, Lawrence Lindsey lays out his plan for how we can use common sense to change the way our country is run. Finally, here is the truth from a Washington insider about how to reawaken the spirit upon which America was founded, with liberty for every person to pursue his or her own dreams.
|Publisher:||Simon & Schuster|
|Product dimensions:||6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Lawrence B. Lindsey’s career has spanned government, business, and academia. He served three presidents: Ronald Reagan, as senior staff economist for tax policy at the Council of Economic Advisors; George H.W. Bush, as Special Assistant for Domestic Economic Policy; and George W. Bush, as Director of the National Economic Council. He was a professor at Harvard from 1985 to 1989, governor of the Federal Reserve from 1991 to 1997, managing director of the consulting group Economic Strategies from 1997 to 2001, and has been CEO of The Lindsey Group, a global consulting firm, since 2003. He is the author of Conspiracies of the Ruling Class.
Read an Excerpt
Conspiracies of the Ruling Class
The American public is angry. They feel the government has become too intrusive, that government has positioned itself as a true “nanny state” and has tried to make itself the source of everything people need, from food, to housing, to health care, to education, to happiness. They feel that government is taking more and more—more resources, more freedom, and more power—and has strayed from how it can best serve them. Public services are misplaced and ineffective. The country is in retreat in the world arena. Those in power seem to see government as a vehicle for themselves: an opportunity to make a personal mark in history and not as a means of helping Americans lead better lives and pursue their dreams.
The public is right to feel this way. We have been badly governed, particularly in the last quarter century, and the trend is one that is spiraling downward at an accelerating rate. This government has been expanding exponentially and has become bloated, unaccountable, out of touch, and replete with fraud, waste, and abuse.
My father used to tell me that when I pointed a finger at someone else, I was pointing three fingers back at me. So let me be up front as I point a finger at what I call the Ruling Class. I was part of the government that hasn’t governed well. I served in policy positions in the White House under three presidents. I was a governor of the US Federal Reserve. I was even a professor at Harvard University, which often functions as a government in waiting. So it’s hard for me to pretend that I am some powerless victim who has no responsibility for what’s happened.
I did serve in government. And while I like to think that most of what I did there was well intentioned and produced some good results, I also saw plenty of things that weren’t going as they should. I recognize that I was part of the problem.
I’ve also interspersed my three stints of government service with one stint in academia—reflecting on that service—and two in business: as managing director of one company and as the CEO of my own firm. Seeing it from the outside as well as the inside has given me a perspective on government that most people don’t have—as well as new ideas for finding solutions.
When I was in government, it sure didn’t seem like I was part of a Ruling Class. Most of the people I worked with—in both parties—viewed themselves as serving in government for only part of their lives and certainly not as their life’s work. When one views oneself that way, you’re hardly thinking the way a ruler would, and you certainly don’t think of yourself as part of a permanent Ruling Class. We were there to get the job done and move on.
But there was always a core group of people who saw things differently: the experts in bureaucratic politics. They took pleasure in winning battles, not in creating a plan that would lead to an effective and efficient outcome. Saddest of all, they came to see themselves as “naturals” eminently qualified to be in charge: people who were good at fighting and winning political battles and beating enemies into submission. Serving in government was not the means to an end to create a better country but an end in itself. The purpose of their government service was to accumulate personal power and to exercise that power over others. They didn’t have a noble cause, even though they always acted as though they did, but a hidden need to wield power and maintain control of their little domain.
You can tell who they are just from watching TV. They enjoy ridiculing their opponents. They tell you how smart they are whenever possible. Some of them like to belittle other people, setting them up as straw men just to knock them down. I will leave it to you to figure out what this says about them psychologically. Sometimes their personality is so Ruling Class that you don’t even need to watch with the sound on to tell who they are. Just watch their body language: the way they hold their head, or the thrust of their jaw. They just know they are superior to you, though they may try to hide it by telling you how they are there to help you, as if you needed their help to run your own life.
I never took these people too seriously until they stopped being content with their own tiny fiefdoms and started turning their attention to the nation and people like me. Back in July 2012, President Barack Obama said, “If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that.” Well, I did build a business. Senator Elizabeth Warren said, “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own—nobody.” Really? And back in October 2014, as she was unofficially kicking off her presidential campaign, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton said, “Don’t let anybody tell you it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs.” Who did, then, the government? Personally, I’ve hired the people who work for me, and my efforts created those jobs, not the government.
This is not an isolated attitude, but quite widespread among those who now run Washington. These are politicians, appointees, and bureaucrats who had spent their lives ensconced in government or at institutions such as Harvard waiting for their chance to assume a position of political power. This is a class of like-minded people with similar backgrounds and résumés with a classic ruler’s attitude: “You couldn’t accomplish that on your own. You needed me to do the hard work because I am smarter and better educated than you.”
It seemed to me like such an alien way for a real leader to act. If you were leading an organization, would you belittle the people in your organization who were the most successful? Wouldn’t it make more sense to thank and congratulate them for a job well done, to encourage them to do even more in the future, and to empower them to achieve more success? It would seem to be even more important in the case of a country with an economy that wasn’t doing so well. A real leader would be a cheerleader for accomplishment, not denigrate it.
So I began to think of these people as what they are: the Ruling Class. They view their jobs not as leaders, who encourage the rest of us to make the most of our talents, but as people who are superior—as though they are the shepherds and we the sheep. They ridicule the successful and do everything they can to make the population dependent on them.
Conspiracies of the Ruling Class is the story of how I came to understand the behavior of people with this mind-set. First, we will examine the historical roots of the Ruling Class. Our Founding Fathers knew all about them; they rebelled against their tyranny and set up a government designed to make it hard for a Ruling Class to assume control. But after a hundred years of trying, it seems that the Ruling Class have finally achieved their goals. We might still have the power to dislodge them, but with the way things are going, we might not have it for long.
Second, we examine the results of the efforts of the Ruling Class; the fruit of their labor. If they really were as superior as they think they are, we should live in a trouble-free country. The power and resources at their disposal are enormous and, if well deployed, should produce a quality result. But that is not the way it is. Because they are rulers and not real leaders, they squander the power and wealth the country gives them, and when they fail, they come back and ask for more.
Finally, we consider how we can break their grip on power. This will not be an easy task. It will require a single-minded focus on restoring liberty and trimming the power the Ruling Class have amassed. There is a clear majority that supports the values upon which this country was founded, but they must be activated and united. Assuming we can prevail at the ballot box, there are structural changes we can make to get America back on track. Mainly, these changes involve undoing some of the many policies and positions the Ruling Class created to facilitate their hold on power.
We believe that we need to rekindle the vision of liberty that was the impetus for our founding in 1776. America is a cause, and not just a country. We need to be a beacon of hope and a model for the right way to govern in the twenty-first century.
Table of Contents
Part 1 The Greatest Threat to Liberty
1 A History of Ruling in the Absence of Liberty 3
2 Liberty: The Real Meaning of 1776 14
3 Locking Down Liberty with a Constitution 32
4 The Ruling Class Rethink and Rebrand 41
5 The Progressive Superiority Complex 57
6 The Progressive Attack on the Constitution 68
Part 2 Mismanagement of Government by a Self-interested Ruling Class
7 The Ruling Class Have Failed in Reducing Inequality 95
8 The Ruling Class Have Mismanaged America's Finances 106
9 The Ruling Class Have Earned an F in Education 119
10 America's Infrastructure Is Crumbling Under the Ruling Class 130
11 The Threat of the Second Amendment to the Ruling Class 140
12 The Ruling Class and Your Property-Or Theirs? 148
Part 3 Securing Our Liberty Once Again
13 The Pro-Liberty Majority 161
14 Policy: Philosophically Populist, Operationally Libertarian 174
15 Cementing the Restoration of Liberty and Democracy 188
16 Reforming the Fed: The Right Way to Take Back Control of Our Money 212
17 America Is a Cause, Not Just a Country 234