No more control

posted at 8:45 am on September 16, 2010 by Doctor Zero

Even as the Tea Party grows in strength from another round of anti-establishment primaries, the Administration is serving weak tea in Washington.  What to do about the moribund economy?  Perhaps some more “stimulus” spending?  Some more subsidies for politically agreeable businesses?  Maybe the Democrats could leave the Bush tax cuts in place for the lower income brackets… or would that “deprive” Washington of too much money?

Let me make this simple for the confused herds of policy wonks stumbling around the nation’s capital, trying to figure out why a disappointing populace won’t create jobs and shovel more revenue into the Treasury.  I think the message thundering towards the establishment this November can be summed up in three simple, powerful words:

No more control.

Political control is what’s killing us.  It is expressed in hundreds of ways: high tax rates with carefully tailored exceptions, massive bailouts, laws rigged to favor government-controlled industries, restrictions on resource development, and a vast poppy field of subsidies and penalties.  The Democrats have added thousands of pages of fabulously expensive legislation since Obama took office.  Two messages echo through those pages: Obey and be rewarded.  Resist and be punished.

This is not appropriate behavior for a government that was meant to live in awe of the people’s boundless freedom, and work carefully with limited powers to accomplish its sworn duties.  Even the most apolitical citizen can now see that it’s also disastrous behavior.

Who are the President and his congressional allies, to lecture us on what products to buy, or investments to make?  Who are they to demand even more of our wealth to fund their next round of grand designs?  Their failure is obvious and complete.  I don’t believe any group of brilliant central planners can legislate prosperity… but if such a group exists, it sure as hell isn’t this bunch.

It’s not surprising that command economies are weak.  Business is a thing to be pursued and won.  Control is a thing to be feared and avoided.  A pile of stimulus dollars, dangled on the end of a string, is not a revenue stream.  All the “infrastructure” nonsense sounds good to a community organizer – communities need roads and trains, right?  It’s all temporary, though.  Prosperity is about careers, not paychecks.  It flows from the development of opportunities, not the collection of rewards.  What few opportunities the government can truly create depend on the continued exercise of power to maintain.  Redistribution is inherently destructive, for it relies on the use of compulsive force… and that force itself consumes a sizable chunk of the wealth it redistributes.  All those bureaucrats have got to be paid, and these days, they are paid very well indeed.

Economic strength comes from innovation, which is produced by intense pressure.  Businesses seek creative ways to increase their revenue, and transcend the burden of their expenses.  The super-State feels no such pressures, so it does not innovate.  It believes it can siphon limitless revenue from its subjects, and defer the cost of its failures forever… so it spends extravagantly, and continues wasteful programs until the voters force it to stop, by holding sharpened ballots to its throat.  Only rarely can the voters muster that level of pressure.

No group of people can ever force itself to prosper.  Substituting the limited vision of a few, for the innovation and risk-taking of many, will always impose a steep price.  We speak approvingly of “thinking outside the box.”  Washington makes boxes.

The devilish thing about control is that it blames all of its failures on its absence.  The “stimulus” didn’t work because it was too small.  The flabby and useless ObamaCare program just needs a few thousand more regulations to achieve perfection.  Now that the State controls our health care, it owns our bodies, and the First Lady would like to have a word with us about our diet.  The free market withers beneath the strain of its freedom, but politicians assure us they can chain it down and cure its ailments with a hundred more surgeries.

Listening to the President who bankrupted a generation prattle about all the wonderful things he could do with another $50 billion reminds us that his blind ideology will never consider a solution that makes the government less powerful.  Even his idea of tax cuts are targeted to preferred constituencies, or awarded only in exchange for compliance with a political agenda… in other words, more control.

There are no warranties on the “gifts” of the State, no escape clauses from unsatisfactory contracts, no way to opt out of unwanted programs, and absolutely no refunds.

We should not be interested in studying any more official lists of fellow citizens we’re supposed to envy and hate.  We don’t need any more lectures from millionaire politicians on the heartless greed of people who work their tails off for six figures.  We don’t want a government that insists it can’t make do with a penny less to sell us reduced expectations for a threadbare future.  Every economic forecast from the Obama Administration sounds like a letter of resignation we shouldn’t have to wait until 2012 to accept.

Here’s the deal, Democrats: you don’t get any more billions to spend.  You don’t get to pick the next group of winners and losers in the free market.  You don’t get to decide who “deserves” a tax cut.  You don’t get to hand us the invoice for this bloated government and tell us we need to figure out a way to pay for it.  You don’t get to blame deficits on the people who haven’t surrendered enough of their livelihood to you.  You do not get to insist every piece of this government’s sprawling machinery is indispensible, while every slice of our lives is negotiable.

We own our lives.  We own the State.  The future is ours to discover.  The solutions that will forever evade the political class are already humming through our eager minds.  To be controlled is to spend eternity at each other’s throats, for free people must accept their own inferiority before they can accept domination… and they will always prefer to be told someone else is inferior, and deserves domination.  The control of a free society requires strategic infusions of sin and condemnation.  It also calls for controlling the information free people use to make their decisions, transforming the command economy into an endless con job.  The State survives by managing expectations, while free people compete to exceed them.

No more lies.  No more poison.  No more imperial judgments.  No more despair.  No more control.

Cross-posted at

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Let me get the crayons out.

That’s my line. Go find your own.

Sarah Palin = genius.

A political genius? Sure starting to look that way.

Barack Obama = opposite of Sarah Palin in every way


Barack Obama = NOT genius

Anyone who does not give Obama his due in the intellect department underestimates him at their own peril. He is obviously a highly intelligent man, however I object strenuously to what end he employs his intellect.

Ok ?

Isn’t it time for recess? Or are you still way too busy?

gh on September 16, 2010 at 12:10 PM

turfmann on September 16, 2010 at 12:44 PM

The October November surprise? America to Obama: You’re not the boss of us.

We’re your boss.

Speakup on September 16, 2010 at 12:48 PM

You do not get to insist every piece of this government’s sprawling machinery is indispensible, while every slice of our lives is negotiable.

Once again, you have said what needs to be said. And done so in a wonderful manner.

Powerful piece.

ButterflyDragon on September 16, 2010 at 12:53 PM

turfmann on September 16, 2010 at 12:44 PM

Your line included the word ‘crayons’.

The post you are replying to was not addressed to you.

Isn’t it time for recess?

Sure let’s play.

gh on September 16, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Thx Doc!

gh… not so much…

Khun Joe on September 16, 2010 at 1:10 PM

The devilish thing about control is that it blames all of its failures on its absence. The “stimulus” didn’t work because it was too small. The flabby and useless ObamaCare program just needs a few thousand more regulations to achieve perfection. Now that the State controls our health care, it owns our bodies, and the First Lady would like to have a word with us about our diet. The free market withers beneath the strain of its freedom, but politicians assure us they can chain it down and cure its ailments with a hundred more surgeries.

Doc, you ARE good.

BTW…have you spoken to Sarah Palin yet about a job? ;)

tencole on September 16, 2010 at 1:14 PM

No more lies. No more poison. No more imperial judgments. No more despair. No more control.

No more impertinence, from the left to the right!

Schadenfreude on September 16, 2010 at 1:20 PM

The left really doesn’t want America on her knees. It is more a matter of the perception of the nature of America. The right sees America as a generally hardworking, smart, strong faithful people who want to make the world better for themselves and their families. The left sees the American people as a strong, lazy dumb beast that needs to be tamed – domesticated really – to be productive and create what they need to run the farm.

WashingtonsWake on September 16, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Mass manipulation wouldn’t be possible without people organized into a mass, and the means of delivering messages to them through mass media. Our democracy today is mass democracy, something almost infinitely removed from the original Greek idea, of democracy on the direct, personal scale.

Yet, mass manipulation can disintegrate in an “Oz moment” — named from the famous movie, when a curtain is pulled by the dog, Toto, and the Wizard appears at work, on his console of levers, wheels, and gizmos, exposed as a well-meaning fake. (It is a sublime movie.)

Last week, I was writing in qualified praise of the U.S. tea parties, with their “back to Kansas” agenda. In articles to come, God willing, I want to wrestle with what I believe to be our greatest political challenge: how to dismantle our morally and fiscally bankrupt “mass democracy” — or “bobblehead democracy,” if you will. And, how to return to the kind in which the citizen himself participates in decisions directly and personally.

Schadenfreude on September 16, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Sorry, entire section, above, s/b in quotes.

Schadenfreude on September 16, 2010 at 2:28 PM

Doc, I am SOOOOO glad you are on our “side”! Great work, as usual – I hope a certain lady from up North utilizes your skills over the next few years…..

TeresainFortWorth on September 16, 2010 at 2:35 PM

And the message to the GOP this year can be summed up in just two words:


VekTor on September 16, 2010 at 5:51 PM

Absolutely spot-on. Brilliant piece Doctor. Thanks.

realitycheck on September 16, 2010 at 6:59 PM

Sometimes we need someone to put into words that which we think and feel. It’s why people like to listen to Rush, Hannity and Glenn Beck; it’s not that they tell us what to think; instead, they clarify for us that which we are already thinking. They are the megaphone that we lack to trumpet our thoughts.

Dr. Zero has clarified that which we, on the conservative/libertarian side have been feeling in our gut, but have been unable to voice in print ourselves. That’s why so many of us agree with it. Someone has put into words what we want to say.

It’s not always necessary to have debate; after a while, debate (especially just for the sake of argument and debate itself) becomes tiresome. You need to hear someone spell out for you once more what you believe. That’s why churches have “statements of belief,” instead of forums where their members can argue with each other. It helps like-minded people come together and feel stronger.

gh seems to be more impressed with his own brilliance, and wants the rest of us to acknowledge it.

theotherone on September 16, 2010 at 10:17 PM

It flows from the development of opportunities, not the collection of rewards. 

Yea, that pretty much sums it up.

hoakie on September 17, 2010 at 12:18 AM

Going Galt is a good description of one phenomenon I see. A modest number of businesses, so far, have gone out of business because it become no longer worth the time, expense, paperwork, and taxed away rewards the owner(s) had worked for.

Going Galt killed the Soviet Union before it was established. They never did manage to get much more out of whole state run farms than the farmers got out of the little plots the state allowed the farmers to have. “Why should I bust my butt off to get the same ‘stuff’ as the taxi drivers who put their cab up on blocks, run the engine, put it in gear, and rack up their ‘miles’ while standing around gossiping with their fellow taxi drivers?”

This is something built into the animal part of humans. Even animals understand “fair”. I face that with the three cats here. If I give on a treat and the others are around I face hell if I don’t give them a treat, too. I trained them to expect a treat if they would let me pet them. (They’re “wild” captures moved inside.) So now if one allows me to pet it I get really reproachful looks if I ignore the treat part, especially “Princess” the one who’s still very shy. We should expect some artificial declarations of “fair” to replace what’s built in? There’s a colloquial expression for that concept with the initials BS.

We have too much government and it is WAY too intrusive. That has to be ended or we’re never going to produce anything here in the US ever again. And we’ll bankrupt ourselves within a very few years.

We The People, me and maybe you, have been complaining “get the expletive government out of my hair”. Government should have been trimmed gradually 30 years ago. Government growth should have been stopped 60 years ago. Now government must go on a crash diet that is REALLY going to hurt. If it does not we are really going to hurt very badly very soon now.


herself on September 17, 2010 at 4:18 AM

Excellent, excellent piece!

PersonFromPorlock on September 17, 2010 at 7:15 AM