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Conservatives, Rejoice! Robert Welch’s Predictions Were Dead Wrong in 1974

Written by Gary North on February 24, 2014

Are things getting better? Are things getting worse? This question still divides the American Right.

On the moral front, things are getting worse. On the economic front, things are getting better. It is true that median family income, adjusted for price inflation, slowed dramatically, beginning around 1974. But in the crucial areas of information and communication, things are getting magnificently better. The NSA is more of a threat to our privacy, but it is still limited by bureaucratic inertia. It can find more needles in haystacks, and faster, but it rarely does anything when it finds them. What Ludwig von Mises wrote about bureaucratic management in 1944 is still true. So is Parkinson’s law.

Let’s go back 40 years: 1974. In that year, Robert Welch, the founder and head of the John Birch Society, gave an exclusive speech to the national JBS council. It was filmed. You can find copies of this speech all over the Internet.

In his speech, he made 10 predictions. It is worth reviewing these predictions. It gives a sense of the pessimism that prevailed in American conservatism . . . and still does.

Every site that provides the video says the same thing. First, he made these predictions in 1958. But there is no proof offered that he did so. Second, every site says how accurate these predictions were. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find a speech of 10 predictions that was more wrong.

Here is the list.


1. Greatly expanded government spending for every conceivable means of getting rid of ever larger sums of American money as wastefully as possible.

2. Higher and then much higher taxes.

3. An increasingly unbalanced budget despite the higher taxes.

4. Wild inflation of our currency.

5. Government controls of prices, wages and materials supposedly to combat inflation.

6. Greatly increased socialistic controls over every operation of our economy and every activity of our daily lives. This is to be accompanied naturally and automatically by a correspondingly huge increase in the size of our bureaucracy and the cost and reach of our domestic government.

7. Far more centralization of power in Washington and the practical elimination of our state lines. There is a many faceted drive at work to have our state lines to mean no more within our nation as our county lines do now within the states.

8. The steady advance of federal aid to and control over our educational system leading to complete federalization of our public education.

9. A constant hammering into the American consciousness of the horror of modern warfare. The beauties and the absolute necessities of peace, peace always on communist terms of course.

10. The constant willingness of the American people to allow the steps of appeasement by our government that amount to a piecemeal surrender of the rest of the free world and the United States itself.

Now let’s go through each of them.

(For the rest of my article, click the link.)

Continue Reading on www.garynorth.com

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15 thoughts on “Conservatives, Rejoice! Robert Welch’s Predictions Were Dead Wrong in 1974

  1. So, after 40 years, Robert Welch’s specific predictions were not spot on. Big deal! It is still unfortunate that his overriding theme – that government and politicians pose a threat to freedom and prosperity – was not more widely accepted.

  2. WHAAAT??? Apparently you were hibernating or something during the Carter Administration which began just three short years after this speech. Did you sleep through the gas shortages and the government regulation of who could buy the highly inflated gasoline based on the day of the week? Did the 20% interest being paid on certificates of deposit escape your notice? How about the 20+% mortgage rates? Did you miss the government handing over resources like the Panama Canal? Everything this man predicted took place in those next few years. I could give specific examples but you apparently lived through them, so why are you discounting them? You jump right to the Reagan administration from Nixon. Much of the damage done during the Carter years has only been mitigated, not repaired, even by Reagan. And as far as taxes are concerned, there are now dozens of ways taxes have been imposed — federal income taxes are not the only ones. Just look at utility taxes and other excise taxes as an example. We may not be living every aspect of this man's predictions at this moment, his predictions happened and we are still living with the fallout.

  3. Welcome to The MSA. The Marxist State of America.

  4. I listened to Robert Welsh's speech from 1971 and Ron Paul's speech in 2009, they couldn't be closer! It's almost as though Ron Paul read the same speech ! They were both on target, too bad so few people paid attention little attention to either!

  5. WhiteFalcon says:

    It looks to me like his predictions were pretty accurate right down the line. Maybe one is a little off base at the moment, but over all he hit it pretty solid. These things were not hard to predict, unfortunately, and if we don't get things turned around, it is going to get much worse, and likely there will be blood in the streets, and I mean real blood. I hope that never happens, but it is a definate possibility the way things are going at present.

  6. I guess me and GK are the only ones that actually read the article. Everyone else click the "continue reading" link under the article. Detailed reasons are given as to why the list is inaccurate. The underlying message however, as GK said, is very relevant.

  7. For #6, please note the EPA. I have a friend who built a new manufacturing plant, deliberately keeping it under the size that the EPA says it can control. They came in anyway, and added 10s of thousands of $ to the cost. Please note the drought in California, and the elimination of lead-smelting plants in the USA.

  8. he was only off to date, give it time he will eventually be proven correct on all points

  9. Black Sheep says:

    Too bad he didn't mention…..
    1. The national debt
    2. Unfunded liabilities
    3. The shocking derivative bubble
    4. The FED printing money to achieve solvency

  10. Another Libertarian says:

    What happened to Gary North and what has this guy done with him? This article reads like talking points from Karl Rove and the failed Republican Establishment than it does a missive from the TEA Party Economist.

    So to be clear, the Taxed Enough Already Party thinks that taxes are fine, and that we just need to stay the course and elect Republicans?

    Hard to believe.

  11. Well, Mr. Welch's predictions were certainly pointing in the right direction. It was only pushback that stopped it from going further. Because our 'representatives' haven't been listening to the people the "Tea Party" was born. I think this article is just saying that it's not as bad as he predicted. Human nature is that most people who obtain power want more of it and we need to check ourselves and those we vote in to govern. Our system is set up to put checks and balances in place and we're seeing an administration and a president who ignores that system. This kind of stuff will never end – which is why we have to keep people in check and get people of positions of power who will not be responsible to the people and the oath they took to honor the constitution.

  12. Stuart shepherd says:

    Yeah, Mr. North!! You're usually fantastic in terms of clear-headedness and I'm sure that the facts, as you state them in this article are essentially correct. However, I agree with not only Mr. wordwiz54 but other commentators as well. Also, specifically, take a look at #4 about inflation of the currency. You used the cpi as a measure that this was overstated when you yourself have stated (and it is widely known to be true) that the cpi is "fixed." It is propaganda, misleading, disinformation. It measures only certain categories of consumer goods and is manipulated to maintain governmental talking points about the health of the economy and "growth" and the rest of the line of complete horse manure that flows out of them every time they open their mouths. No, the predictions, whether made in 1958 or 1974, are much more ACCURATE than inaccurate and you'd have to be a fool to think otherwise- especially as someone who's been alive during those past 40 years as you and I have been and are old enough to see the changes in our society and the world.

  13. Stuart Shepherd says:

    I'd vote for "probability" or "likely" (blood in the streets). It will begin the day (this year or next) that the dollar hits the skids along with the market, gets dropped as the world currency) and goods and services (including food!) cease to be delivered temporarily until martial law is initiated and a communist regime takes over.

  14. Shavis Irons says:

    This is a test by North. The article was actually written by Reid, Frank and Pelosi. Seriously, Gary is yanking our chain!

  15. Another Libertarian says:

    What are aggregate wages as a percentage of GDP?