Anyone who has listened to talk radio for any amount of time in the last twenty years probably knows who Rush Limbaugh is, and even if you have not, you probably have some idea of who he is.
People vary greatly in their overall impressions of Mr. Limbaugh, but one thing is for certain. The number of folks who he has not made some impression on is dwindling by the day.
Limbaugh is above all politically conservative, and he seeks to further the agenda of political conservatism in the United States. In this post, I am going to focus exclusively on how conservative principles apply in regard to economics and what some of the primary differences are when compared to the current administrations' economic philosophy which is generally referred to as liberal, progressive, or "big government".
Some of the primary concerns of the left/liberal leaning in the United States is the belief that wealth naturally flows toward those who have wealth already in a free market system unless the government steps in to make "adjustments" in regards to the economic playing field. This sounds on the surface to at least be plausible. They also believe that it is not fair for the wealthy to have such a large piece of the "economic pie" compared to the hard working people who are struggling. The wealthy have such a big piece of pie that we all must divide what remains. Or so they would have us believe.
However, conservative principles, which strongly hold to a much more "hands off" approach to the free market, do not hold to this view. Ironically, Limbaugh himself is a perfect example of this….no, not his speeches from his show, but Limbaugh's life itself serves as a great illustration of free market principles at work.
When Limbaugh began his talk career, talk radio was almost non-existent. Since then, there have been massive changes to the prominence of an entire band of frequency on your radio (AM) and a new phenomenon of FM talk stations has emerged in most major cities. Many, many nationally known radio personalities have been given opportunities to have careers that they otherwise would not have even had the opportunity to have without Limbaugh blazing the trail. Also, whether you agree with their viewpoints or not, I think most would have to agree that talk radio on the whole has made the general population more engaged in the issues of the day than any time in recent times. The spin-off from Limbaugh's success illustrates perhaps the most important fact of free markets kept primarily free(I say primarily free because of obvious roles for government like enforcing contract laws and protecting its citizens from any harm from commercial interests outside their control). The most important fact is that looking at an economy as an economic pie is only accurate when you have control from a central government doling out slices that originate from someone in the private sector generating the pie itself. A wiser way to manage an economy is to see that when individual initiative, creativity, and risk are allowed to flourish, we all become bakers of entirely new pies that simply did not exist prior to our own personal endeavors. The moral to this story is, "Be a baker, not a taker." J