Of Conservatives and “public problems”

posted at 6:31 pm on August 18, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

Mike Konczal has a brief essay in the Washington Post this weekend which has been getting some play, largely because of the “historical analysis” nature of it, I’m sure. Titled, “Conservatives don’t get that some problems are public, and it’s hurting them,” the author seeks to helpfully offer advice to poor, misguided Right leaners on what America needs. It’s actually worth a read, since it deals with “inequality” (all the rage this year) and it starts with William F. Buckley and his early dismantling of Keynesian economics in general and Paul Samuelson in specific.

Most of the history lesson deals with the perceived flaws in essential conservative fiscal doctrine, specifically with the difference between public and private issues in a free market economy.

But what really upset [Buckley] was the idea that the economy was now a public issue. As Buckley emphasizes in his own paraphrase of Samuelson, “economics has become a matter of public policy, not individual action…Let us bear in mind that unemployment is a public problem” (italics in original) because “the individual firm, the individual himself, is powerless to cope with the complexities in times of stress.”

All of these problems could be addressed, it seems, if only conservatives could grasp the wisdom of President Obama, who succinctly explains why economic inequality is at the heart of the problem.

Meanwhile, for liberals, inequality is a public problem. As President Obama said in his Osawatomie, Kansas speech, “this kind of inequality – a level that we haven’t seen since the Great Depression – hurts us all.”

How? President Obama gives a couple of targeted reasons. Huge inequality can make us more vulnerable to economic instability, and a weak middle class makes stronger recoveries and innovations less likely to happen. Huge inequalities can “distort our democracy,” making it harder for government to answer the needs of the people. These supplement other arguments like inequality can cause severe deprivation, stigmatizing, unacceptable forms of domination and block equality of opportunity.

This argument is really at the heart of many of the issues we wrestle with today, and clearly it’s going to remain a talking point for the Left well into the future. But what exactly does “inequality” mean? Was there some golden age in the past which all historians somehow managed to miss where everyone wound up with exactly the same results in the game of life? The era of the great steel and energy barons was far less “equal” in terms of economic results. And that pales in comparison to both the early pioneer days and feudal times in Europe. The truth of the matter is that America in the 21st century has a safety net (which opponents claim that people such as Tim Carney are trying to destroy) that supplies more protection from falling through the cracks than was previously seen in the history of the species.

But the real argument being put forward here is that it is inherently unfair that some people do extremely well in a competitive world and others do not. That’s the part that is the true sin in the eyes of the author. The fact that some are excessively successful while many others have less and some are on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder is a symptom of some deeper flaw in humanity, and only government can step in to set things to rights. You see, unfettered capitalism leads to problems for at least a portion of the population.

Oddly enough, that last statement is correct. But at the opposite end of the spectrum we find governmental theories such as communism and a society of equals. And every time humanity has attempted that particular experiment it also fails spectacularly. Just as with capitalism, a certain percentage of the population will always seek to rise to positions of maximum power and attainment. But in communism, they simply do it under the auspices of the government, with the most successful being those who rule the system of equals, being a bit “more equal than others.”

So if unfettered capitalism leads to problems, so too does unfettered government. The question, at the end of the day, is who will do the fettering. And fiscal conservatism has no more trust of the government in that role than socialists have in the charity of wealthy capitalists. We, as a species, have yet to invent any perfect form of governance, and it’s never as simple as Mr. Konczal would have it.


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Life is full of problems. Deal with them or off yourself.

OldEnglish on August 18, 2013 at 6:39 PM

‘Nutrition is not a private matter!’

- Hitler Youth slogan

Resist We Much on August 18, 2013 at 6:40 PM

So suck of mother government whipping out her left teat for everyone to suckle…

OmahaConservative on August 18, 2013 at 6:43 PM

So suck SICK of mother government whipping out her left teat for everyone to suckle…

OmahaConservative on August 18, 2013 at 6:43 PM

OmahaConservative on August 18, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Some of us go to the woods & fields hunting rabbits and such and come home with a bag limit.

Some come home empty.

Does making my bag limit smaller help the empty bag?

wolly4321 on August 18, 2013 at 6:44 PM

But in communism, they simply do it under the auspices of the government, with the most successful being those who rule the system of equals, being a bit “more equal than others.”

Now updated with more ‘public problem-solving!’

How Photographs Of Markets Revealed The Grimness Of Soviet Life (Photo Essay)

I would say it’s ‘Great taste!,’ but, in the Soviet Union with its chronic shortages, ‘Less filling!’ is more appropriate.

Resist We Much on August 18, 2013 at 6:44 PM

As President Obama said in his Osawatomie, Kansas speech, “this kind of inequality – a level that we haven’t seen since the Great Depression – hurts us all.”

Yeah, you and the Mooche have never had it so bad …

ShainS on August 18, 2013 at 6:47 PM

I’d use free markets rather than the term, capitalism, because I, like Rick Santorum (whom Konczal quotes dismissively) am careful about language. Why do we cede the floor to the Left when it comes to language? “Middle class” is a term Marx and Engels used to describe the petit bourgeouis who required liquidation at the hands of the proletariat, leading to the deaths of over 100 million people over about a quarter of the globe. The Left does not have the higher moral ground when it comes to economics than the rapacious capitalist Righties do.

SmallishBees on August 18, 2013 at 6:48 PM

Sometime the bears eat the bunnies.

John the Libertarian on August 18, 2013 at 6:53 PM

And there’s another well-known argument. The suggestion is that you lessen the chance of radical revolt by alleviating the worst aspects of poverty.

Of course, if we could alleviate poverty for its own sake, nearly all of us would sign on to that. But it’s not that simple. Many policies designed to fight poverty may depress everyone’s boat. And paying out massive entitlements indiscriminately is not a recipe for helping anyone, as the economic consequences are grave. Consider targeted entitlements, and a targeted & more effective but leaner safety net designed to, hopefully, uplift people out of poverty.

anotherJoe on August 18, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Rwm- excellent. I saw some of it first hand. Back around 92.

wolly4321 on August 18, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Liberals say “the personal is political”.

No it’s not. The personal is personal. The political is political. Get out of my life.

Paul-Cincy on August 18, 2013 at 6:57 PM

As President Obama said in his Osawatomie, Kansas speech, “this kind of inequality – a level that we haven’t seen since the Great Depression – hurts us all.”

Obama’s Neo-Nationalism

Resist We Much on August 18, 2013 at 6:58 PM

Thanks, wolly.

Resist We Much on August 18, 2013 at 6:59 PM

But in communism, they simply do it under the auspices of the government, with the most successful being those who rule the system of equals, being a bit more equal than others.

ReWrite™ engaged for accuracy. The Communist nomenklatura lived far, far better than the narod they controlled, and indeed the spread between the two is greater than the capitalist elites and “losers”.

Steve Eggleston on August 18, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Guess the strikethrough doesn’t quite work on quotes. In case you missed the ReWrite™, I moved the quotes to “bit”.

Steve Eggleston on August 18, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Sometimes the bunny gets thrown in the briars.

wolly4321 on August 18, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Resist We Much on August 18, 2013 at 6:44 PM

I swear I didn’t see that before I posted; otherwise I would have just said, “See Sophie’s pics.”

Steve Eggleston on August 18, 2013 at 7:04 PM

I’d use free markets rather than the term, capitalism, because I, like Rick Santorum (whom Konczal quotes dismissively) am careful about language. Why do we cede the floor to the Left when it comes to language? “Middle class” is a term Marx and Engels used to describe the petit bourgeouis who required liquidation at the hands of the proletariat, leading to the deaths of over 100 million people over about a quarter of the globe. The Left does not have the higher moral ground when it comes to economics than the rapacious capitalist Righties do.

SmallishBees on August 18, 2013 at 6:48 PM

Adam Smith used the term capitalism a century before Marx. It is by no means a ‘dirty word’. Beware the ramblings of the uneducated left wing propagandists.

Freddy on August 18, 2013 at 7:07 PM

So if unfettered capitalism leads to problems, so too does unfettered government.

Unfettered capitalism turned America from nothing to the world’s most powerful nation, and before it turned Britain from a regional power in Europe to the most powerful nation on earth.

Conversely unfettered government always ends in the death camp, the gulag or the laogai.

18-1 on August 18, 2013 at 7:08 PM

ReWrite™ engaged for accuracy. The Communist nomenklatura lived far, far better than the narod they controlled, and indeed the spread between the two is greater than the capitalist elites and “losers”.

Steve Eggleston on August 18, 2013 at 7:00 PM

As evidenced in today’s China…

Like The USSR Did, China Has A “Dacha Class,” Too!

I swear I didn’t see that before I posted; otherwise I would have just said, “See Sophie’s pics.”

Steve Eggleston on August 18, 2013 at 7:04 PM

No problem.

Resist We Much on August 18, 2013 at 7:09 PM

Resist We Much on August 18, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Thank you for the photo essay, but I must take exception to the notes on milk delivery. When I were a wippersnapper, milk was delivered to one’s doorstep via horse and cart, complete with large churns, and was dolled out with a one-pint ladle.

Later, same horse and cart, but metal crates and glass bottles.

Later still, still glass bottles in metal crates, but horse and cart gone – replaced by an electric, open-sided van (the hum of the darned thing was maddening in the early morning).

OldEnglish on August 18, 2013 at 7:09 PM

The Russians tried to put on a lavish spread. Couple orange slices, small bread, some sort of bologna. No running water on the 8th floor. 7 flights of steps with a 5 gal bucket to flush the commode .

Vodka and dried fish. Poverty the likes of which was new to me. 12 year old prostitutes. Beggars. Thieves.

Changed my worldview with a quickness.

wolly4321 on August 18, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Seen this blasphemy? -Bono: Capitalism Takes More People Out of Poverty Than Aid

slickwillie2001 on August 18, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Related reading – Monty explores why there is no saving for the future.

Steve Eggleston on August 18, 2013 at 7:14 PM

Breaking bread with a stranger was a big deal.

wolly4321 on August 18, 2013 at 7:14 PM

Oh, and another point.

While your average liberal peon is concerned about “income inequality” that is certainly not true of the leftwing leadership.

Most liberals get into government to earn their fortune, and in the Obama years this particular business has been very, very good.

18-1 on August 18, 2013 at 7:14 PM

OldEnglish on August 18, 2013 at 7:09 PM

The words for that particular photo came from Russians, who lived under the Soviet regime.

Resist We Much on August 18, 2013 at 7:17 PM

Also, OldEnglish, that photograph was taken in the 1970s/80s. I don’t know where you lived as a whippersnapper, but I doubt milk delivery was the same. Colour television didn’t even become widespread in the USSR until the late 1980s.

Resist We Much on August 18, 2013 at 7:18 PM

But the real argument being put forward here is that it is inherently unfair that some people do extremely well in a competitive world and others do not.

Nice.

I would differ in this respect. Liberals don’t argue for this; they just assert it. I suspect there isn’t a non-question begging argument for it.

I think, however, liberals and their media allies have succeeded to this extent. They put the burden of proof on conservatives to defend the perceived inequalities as not being somehow unfair or immoral or “destabilizing.”

I find it disappointing that there isn’t more push against this nonsense of “this is unfair” and “that’s unfair.” These are not bright people making these claims. But our national Republican and conservative leaders seem not much interested in taking this issue on…mostly I think they are afraid that they will upset someone.

It’s also interesting…I don’t see much evidence that certain “identity groups” that the fools at the RNC would like to reach, namely, young people of all races, see individuals being really, really rich as a problem. They don’t seem to mind Zuckerberg or the sports/entertainment types being ridiculously wealthy. Instead liberals are allowed to get away with making it about “greedy capitalists” and their abettors, Republicans.

If the RNC had a chair who was good at anything besides backstabbing, they’d figure out how a conservative message could be fashioned — rather easily — that could bulwark against this WaPo/current occupant of WH/media nonsense.

EastofEden on August 18, 2013 at 7:21 PM

Don’t listen to a Luddite like Obama for economic advice. There is no intrinsic value to economic equality.

What the poor need most is opportunity and upward mobility. However it just so happens that government policies that maximize upward mobility or the poor, such as property rights, liberty and the rule of law, also create upward mobility for everybody else as well. Hence equality should never have been the objective in the first place.

As Thacher once said, there is no moral justification in making the poor poorer in order to make the rich less rich.

True economic equality will eventually come upon us when we are all dead. Does anyone want to hasten that outcome?

Rich H on August 18, 2013 at 7:33 PM

We, as a species, have yet to invent any perfect form of governance, and it’s never as simple as Mr. Konczal would have it.

Which is why we have a set of checks and balances. The ones ignored when the rat-eared coward gets away with granting de facto amnesty to DREAMERS (which is another name for younger illegal aliens). The checks and balances ignored when the Congress lets the Execuative selectively enforce the rule of law.

In short, we have a tension between the Legislative and Executive branch that ensures the best possible kind of governance occurs. But that has been ignored of late and why I truly think future generations are doomed to live some kind of version of Kenyan socialism. No economic opportunity, just worship of the dicatator who controls all the wealth and ability to carve out a life for one’s family.

Happy Nomad on August 18, 2013 at 7:34 PM

This argument is really at the heart of many of the issues we wrestle with today, and clearly it’s going to remain a talking point for the Left well into the future. But what exactly does “inequality” mean? Was there some golden age in the past which all historians somehow managed to miss where everyone wound up with exactly the same results in the game of life?

No, you lose this argument if you don’t notice it, and you didn’t notice it:

How? President Obama gives a couple of targeted reasons. Huge inequality can make us more vulnerable to economic instability, and a weak middle class makes stronger recoveries and innovations less likely to happen. Huge inequalities can “distort our democracy,” making it harder for government to answer the needs of the people. These supplement other arguments like inequality can cause severe deprivation, stigmatizing, unacceptable forms of domination and block equality of opportunity.

The argument against you on “inequality” is just manure tilled into the pumpkin patch. It’s the jumping-up-and-down guy, the hand-wringing guy, you are really arguing with, and he’s taking the ground for granted and shouting something different. He’s not using “inequality” to make the plea, he’s using “huge inequality” to make the plea. Sort of a rhetorical shocked exasperation that you can’t see the egregious problem. It’s egregious, you see — it’s huge.

Axe on August 18, 2013 at 7:39 PM

In my spiffy dress blues an ol’timer strolled up. Fisherman, I guess. Knapsack strung on his shoulder. Dirt poor. No english. Sat down next to me pulled out a 1/2 loaf and a frigging huge knife.

No words were needed. Old humble Russian. Seen something in his days. His message was clear.

I offered him $20 American, he refused.

Shook hands and nodded good day.

He shared his bread.

wolly4321 on August 18, 2013 at 7:41 PM

Equality, rightly understood as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences; wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.

Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on August 18, 2013 at 7:44 PM

How Photographs Of Markets Revealed The Grimness Of Soviet Life (Photo Essay)

I would say it’s ‘Great taste!,’ but, in the Soviet Union with its chronic shortages, ‘Less filling!’ is more appropriate.

Resist We Much on August 18, 2013 at 6:44 PM

I know a Bulgarian woman in her late 50′s. She is a conservative and lives now in Pittsburgh, PA. She hates the government of her childhood, but there is one peculiar thing. She thinks that the simple food which the Communist government raised or manufactured was healthier for the people than the food of today. I suspect it is a result of nostalgia for her childhood. It would be hard for me to explain if it isn’t.

thuja on August 18, 2013 at 7:46 PM

thuja on August 18, 2013 at 7:46 PM

The food may have been healthier, but it was in very short supply. Shortages were commonplace in the USSR and its satellites. We always seem to remember the good things in childhood more than the bad. We also have a way of magnifying things, too. I remember houses that I thought were really big and beautiful, which I saw years later and thought ‘Why did I ever think that?’

Resist We Much on August 18, 2013 at 7:49 PM

Zero knows NOTHING of “inequality.” Everything was handed to him and he did not earn it.

Is he talking about ending affirmative action? /sarc

dogsoldier on August 18, 2013 at 7:58 PM

In a free and healthy society, the difference between the richest and the poorest will grow. The poorest a person might be in the physical world is broke (though on paper, you can actually possess negative money, which is bizarre) — and no limit exists on the amount of wealth a person can accumulate. A measurement of the disparity between zero and a high-water mark is not a measurement of economic dysfunction.

Massive numbers of people slipping into poverty as an economy grinds to a halt is a symptom of dysfunction, though, and nothing about this:

But the real argument being put forward here is that it is inherently unfair that some people do extremely well in a competitive world and others do not. That’s the part that is the true sin in the eyes of the author.

–even addresses it. Sort of makes you wonder which parts of Marxism were supposed to have something to do with economics.

Axe on August 18, 2013 at 7:59 PM

Ayn laughs.

Bmore on August 18, 2013 at 8:01 PM

But the real argument being put forward here is that it is inherently unfair that some people do extremely well in a competitive world and others do not. That’s the part that is the true sin in the eyes of the author.

I’m NEVER going to be Tiger Woods or kick a Superbowl-winning FG or beat Olympic marathoners.

That’s not ‘unfair.’ It’s life and existed even in communist countries.

Resist We Much on August 18, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Does making my bag limit smaller help the empty bag?

wolly4321 on August 18, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Your bag limit remains the same. It’s just that now, the game warden is waiting by your truck and extracts three or four from the bag, keeps one for himself, and gives the rest to someone whose bag is empty. It’s all about fairness you know.

Kafir on August 18, 2013 at 8:12 PM

Bet you could.

Axe on August 18, 2013 at 8:17 PM

Kafir- yup.

wolly4321 on August 18, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Resist We Much on August 18, 2013 at 7:18 PM

Coventry.

OldEnglish on August 18, 2013 at 8:33 PM

Resist We Much on August 18, 2013 at 6:44 PM

I swear I didn’t see that before I posted; otherwise I would have just said, “See Sophie’s pics.”

Steve Eggleston on August 18, 2013 at 7:04 PM

…Stevie…all you ever have to do is wait…she’s got EVERYTHING!…with Soph…canopfor…davidk…Fallon…Shad and the rest of the crew…you lack for nothing!

KOOLAID2 on August 18, 2013 at 8:43 PM

Anyone notice they always use proportions when accounting for so-called income inequality? If they used actual quantifiable numbers, they’d just look like idiots b/c the wealthy do not have enough wealth available to redistribute & actually solve any problems.

That’s why we use actual numbers, as in if you took all the income in the top 5% of earners you could only cover the budget deficit for one year (but I’m too lazy to look up the #s right now)

blockchords on August 18, 2013 at 8:45 PM

The articles position: There are public problems: opposing Democratic solutions is bad.

Instead of the Republican position: There are public problems, but don’t think anyone has the first idea of how to actually solve them, especially by top-down command which has been proven a failure time and time again.

HakerA on August 18, 2013 at 8:45 PM

So if unfettered capitalism leads to problems, so too does unfettered government. The question, at the end of the day, is who will do the fettering. And fiscal conservatism has no more trust of the government in that role than socialists have in the charity of wealthy capitalists. We, as a species, have yet to invent any perfect form of governance, and it’s never as simple as Mr. Konczal would have it.

This is right Jazz. The systems we create are often as flawed as we ourselves are, but it’s not just us. It’s our world. Everything in our universe has strengths and weaknesses depending on the purpose to which we wish to put it. The point then becomes not to create a perfect system, but to create the best system that maximizes freedom. Capitalism has it’s flaws, but it maximizes freedom when compared to Socialism.

DFCtomm on August 18, 2013 at 9:05 PM

Obama will print magic money to feed the children with unicorn skittles.

It’s so easy… when you just learn to believe.

profitsbeard on August 18, 2013 at 9:44 PM

Some of us go to the woods & fields hunting rabbits and such and come home with a bag limit.

Some come home empty.

Does making my bag limit smaller help the empty bag?

No. The problem is not that some are better hunters. The problem is that the hunt is rigged from the start.

lostmotherland on August 18, 2013 at 9:46 PM

Gosh, if “income inequality” is such a problem, then why is the Obama Administration trying to flood the labor market with massive amounts of immigrants (legal and otherwise), which would depress middle-class wages, and ensure even greater profits for those evil one-percenters?

Also – the blizzard of regulations that comes from Washington inherintly favors the larger corporations, at the expense of the smaller ones. This is why a large, well connected corporation such as General Electric can thrive, while paying zero taxes. The larger corporations can afford the massive legal departments that can find loopholes in the regulations, and they have the personal connections to the governing-class politicians and regulators which can sway the legal and regulatory environment to their advantage.

One can argue that extremes of income inequality is a problem. But big-government “liberalism” is not the solution – it makes the problem worse. The fact that income inequality has risen during the Obama administration is proof of this.

The solution to the “problem” of income inequality is more Free Enterprise, and less aristocratic governance.

SubmarineDoc on August 18, 2013 at 9:51 PM

Re: Freddy

Adam Smith used the term capitalism a century before Marx. It is by no means a ‘dirty word’. Beware the ramblings of the uneducated left wing propagandists.

Freddy on August 18, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Lord, I love speaking to people who can put me in my place, and thank you. I had no idea that Adam Smith had used the term before Marx/Engels used it to start the ball rolling that has crushed 100 million+ people so far. I guess the book, “Das Kapital,” makes me feel like the Left has taken proprietorship of the term, and we needn’t let them.

I guess my point was that in the original article, he felt Santorum’s objection was loony–that these terms are loaded and direct the course of discourse before conversation can even start–when in fact it begs the question about the Left’s oh-so-fastidious approach to penumbras of meaning that might prove a conservative is a racist, hate-mongering jackanapes, while demanding simultaneously that they can bandy around class-warfare terminology and expect us to do battle on their own rhetorical ground.

SmallishBees on August 18, 2013 at 9:51 PM

Would someone describe for me the “problems” of unfettered capitalism?

Chances are, any problems that exist are the result of some form of fetters-likely installed by the powers that be at some level of govt.

The flaws are those of people-not capitalism. Unfettered capitalism-working with a properly fettered govt and allowing for the greatest individual liberty-minimizes the impact of the flaws of individuals.

An unfettered govt maximizes the flaws of individuals and creates a ripple effect throughout society-exacerbating the flaws of anyone with any “official” power and effectively stifling virtue throughout the citizenry.

questionmark on August 18, 2013 at 9:52 PM

True economic equality will eventually come upon us when we are all dead. Does anyone want to hasten that outcome?

Rich H on August 18, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Communists were notorious about “hastening that outcome”. One more feature of their plan for “egalitarianism”, I guess.

SubmarineDoc on August 18, 2013 at 9:58 PM

No, really !!! The Soviet Union was supposed to have worked !!

/S

viking01 on August 18, 2013 at 10:02 PM

Implicit in this silly screed is the notion that “public problems” can only be managed by the federal government and its bureaucracy, which have long and depressing records of corruption and incompetence.

In fact there is no “public problem” that federal government cannot make worse. Even if, in theory, rational actions by a federal government bureaucracy guided by the best interests of the public could be useful, the government bureaucracy is run by people whose personal and political agendas are inevitably substituted for the public interest.

It is this fundamental fact of human nature that the defenders of big government and expanding government power simply will not acknowledge. This failure to confront reality is why their utopian policies inevitably fail when put in action, and often make matters worse by placing more government power in the hands of those who will pervert and abuse it for their own ends

novaculus on August 18, 2013 at 10:12 PM

Just look at what a success story the Department of Education has been….. Oh, Wait….

viking01 on August 18, 2013 at 10:24 PM

Thanks, wolly.

Resist We Much on August 18, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Great pictures. When I was a kid, and the iron curtain came down, my grandfather’s cousin came to the US for the first time from Czechoslovakia. The first place in the US my grandpa took him was a grocery store. I remember this grown man walked silently through half the store then broke down and started crying in the produce section. He didn’t even know the names of most of the fruits and vegetables. He had never seen so much food in one place in his entire life. He said he was crying because he could not believe how poor they had been all along.

bitsy on August 18, 2013 at 10:25 PM

This article is nothing more than just another attempt to promote communism by another name.

bgibbs1000 on August 18, 2013 at 10:26 PM

Would someone describe for me the “problems” of unfettered capitalism?

Chances are, any problems that exist are the result of some form of fetters-likely installed by the powers that be at some level of govt.

The flaws are those of people-not capitalism. Unfettered capitalism-working with a properly fettered govt and allowing for the greatest individual liberty-minimizes the impact of the flaws of individuals.

An unfettered govt maximizes the flaws of individuals and creates a ripple effect throughout society-exacerbating the flaws of anyone with any “official” power and effectively stifling virtue throughout the citizenry.

questionmark on August 18, 2013 at 9:52 PM

You are right of course. The flaws in any economic system are our flaws reflected back at us. However, if there were a perfect people then any system would work, even no system at all, since there is no need to govern a perfect people.

DFCtomm on August 18, 2013 at 10:46 PM

Every time Obama Party members start shrieking about “income inequality”, ask them point blank: does surfer dude who lives off welfare because he doesn’t want to get a job deserve to make as much as a doctor?

Unless the answer is yes, they can shut the f*ck up about “income inequality”.

Conservatives do not need to defend “income inequality”. It’s “unequal” because lazy-ass uneducated Obama supporters do not DESERVE the same income as those who actually paid attentinon in school and work.

Hammer them with this. Make it clear that Barack Obama and the Barack Obama Party want those who work to pay for the welfare of those who don’t. Barack Obama wants to raise taxes so fat lazy Rachel Jeantel can buy Cheetos and pay for her “court nails” with an EBT card.

northdallasthirty on August 18, 2013 at 10:47 PM

Your bag limit remains the same. It’s just that now, the game warden is waiting by your truck and extracts three or four from the bag, keeps one for himself, and gives the rest to someone whose bag is empty. It’s all about fairness you know.

Kafir on August 18, 2013 at 8:12 PM

Which means the following:

1) You have exactly the same as the game warden and the person whose bag is empty

2) The incentive to hunt is gone, since you will get no more for hunting than you do for just taking from the bags of others

3) The game warden and the person whose bag is empty would, if they voted to change the system, be taking game out of their own bags and requiring them to work where before they did not need to work.

In short, the confiscatory policy has not increased the amount of game available to everyone; it’s reduced the incentive to go get it. The only thing that keeps the system running is your willingness to go out and hunt when doing so benefits you no more than sitting and waiting for someone else.

System collapse is a given under this structure. It’s about time we hasten it.

northdallasthirty on August 18, 2013 at 10:58 PM

I know I voted for Romney so that we can stop wasting tax dollars on things like roads. I don’t see what’s so completely stupid about this article at all.

Obama just wanted to hire 100,000 teachers and maybe get the rich to finally pay some taxes…you know, their fair share.

Jeeze, what’s so hard about that?

joeindc44 on August 18, 2013 at 11:47 PM

Implicit in this silly screed is the notion that “public problems” can only be managed by the federal government and its bureaucracy, which have long and depressing records of corruption and incompetence.

In fact there is no “public problem” that federal government cannot make worse. Even if, in theory, rational actions by a federal government bureaucracy guided by the best interests of the public could be useful, the government bureaucracy is run by people whose personal and political agendas are inevitably substituted for the public interest.

It is this fundamental fact of human nature that the defenders of big government and expanding government power simply will not acknowledge. This failure to confront reality is why their utopian policies inevitably fail when put in action, and often make matters worse by placing more government power in the hands of those who will pervert and abuse it for their own ends

novaculus on August 18, 2013 at 10:12 PM

^^This^^ X1000

Progressives view government as if it were populated by incorruptible, incomprehensibly wise philosopher kings, who made their decisions soely on the “public interest” (however you choose to define that). But in the case where the government is massive, the biggest “special interest” in government is government itself – i.e. the needs of the bureaucracy (particularly true in the case where public employee unions have large effects on the outcome of elections). Power corrupts…

SubmarineDoc on August 18, 2013 at 11:52 PM

You see, unfettered capitalism leads to problems for at least a portion of the population.

When have we ever had unfettered capitalism?
The closest we saw in the 1800s also saw most rich people actually living in communities with the poorer and middle class people and feeling a great deal of civic responsibility to voluntarily give to and find various projects in the community. Even many of the supposed “robber barons” gave away most of their wealth in philanthropic efforts.

And capitalism has the added benefit of only making someone rich if that person provides something of value to the market/ community. Capitalism doesn’t promise to care for every poor person (because this is impossible) but it does ease the burden of poor people by making life less expensive.

Socialism on the other hand emphasizes gaining wealth by force so there is no requirement to provide something of value.

gwelf on August 19, 2013 at 12:09 AM

No. The problem is not that some are better hunters. The problem is that the hunt is rigged from the start.
lostmotherland on August 18, 2013 at 9:46 PM

And as any government system has proven the government is really lousy at unrigging the hunt from the start. It just rigs it for the politically well connected and those that are already wealthy much more than capitalism ever did. Obama and rich liberals are the poster children for this. Even Matt Damon knows to feel ashamed that he sends his own kids to private schools while decrying “inequality”.

gwelf on August 19, 2013 at 12:17 AM

A modicum of individual responsibility and integrity would go a long way, alas America has become a nation of degenerates and selfish ignoramuses fed upon by the looters in D.C.

Murphy9 on August 19, 2013 at 5:45 AM

Obama’s Neo-Nationalism

Resist We Much on August 18, 2013 at 6:58 PM

This gets bookmarked for sure. Incredible information.

I have always maintained that Liberalism is not merely a mental disorder but, rather, a spiritual disorder having its roots in spiritual rebellion against the natural order and against its Creator.

Jesus Himself laid it all out comprehensively in his description of the cause and the process whereby men (and, by extension, a polity, or a community, which we once were) travel from faith to rebellion and the consequences thereof.

“[43] “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he passes through waterless places seeking rest, but he finds none.
[44] Then he says, `I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes he finds it empty, swept, and put in order.
[45] Then he goes and brings with him seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. So shall it be also with this evil generation.”

Matt. 12:43-45

This is why a political solution will not be found for our problems as they are not political in nature but spiritual.

Nothing less than a national repentance can save us now.

Cleombrotus on August 19, 2013 at 7:26 AM

This is why a political solution will not be found for our problems as they are not political in nature but spiritual.

Nothing less than a national repentance can save us now.

Cleombrotus on August 19, 2013 at 7:26 AM

Thank you.

I read threads like this and they almost never have a concrete solution.

IlikedAUH2O on August 19, 2013 at 8:34 AM

Everything you need to know about making everyone equal can be learned from looking at past lottery winners. Usually low to middle class working stiffs win a huge payout, putting them far ahead of most everyone else in the US of A. But, through poor decision making and lack of character, these winners are often right back to where they were after 5 or 10 years. You can;t make everyone equal – you just can;t. Some people will make good decisions and others will make poor ones and unless the government plans on making all decisions for people, there WILL be “winners” and “losers”.

Free Indeed on August 19, 2013 at 9:21 AM

No. The problem is not that some are better hunters. The problem is that the hunt is rigged from the start.
lostmotherland on August 18, 2013 at 9:46 PM

Possibly.

I certainly think that a child growing up in the ghetto that knows more adults in prison that adults with full time jobs and that has a lot of pressure to (from friends and family and lack of other opportunities) to join a gang is much less likely to “win at hunting” than a kid in the suburbs in a neighborhood full of people that leave each morning for their full time jobs and where all the pressure is on getting good grades so you can go to a good college and get a good job.

That said, the government has shown itself to be extremely bad at fighting these types of problems. Since they took over the ‘war on poverty’ from local churches and civic groups, things have gone from bad to worse. Instead of finding ways to change the framework these kids grow up in so more of them can make it out, they try to equalize things by throwing free housing, free food and free money at the problem as if all that ails the poor is a lack of some material good.

We’ve spent the past 40+ years trying a government solution and it’s been no good.

The hunt may be rigged, but, the government isn’t going to unrig it.

JadeNYU on August 19, 2013 at 10:04 AM

IlikedAUH2O on August 19, 2013 at 8:34 AM

I’m not certain it can be called a “solution”. Everything would not be rosy. We’ll still have problems to deal with but at least we’d know what we’re dealing with – what the real problems are – and what will be effective strategies for dealing with them and what aren’t.

Cleombrotus on August 19, 2013 at 1:51 PM

unless the government plans on making all decisions for people, there WILL be “winners” and “losers”.

Free Indeed on August 19, 2013 at 9:21 AM

Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner. The NSA may contact you for divulging state secrets cause that’s the plan.

DFCtomm on August 19, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Unfettered capitalism turned America from nothing to the world’s most powerful nation, and before it turned Britain from a regional power in Europe to the most powerful nation on earth.

Conversely unfettered government always ends in the death camp, the gulag or the laogai.

18-1 on August 18, 2013 at 7:08 PM

As many Hot Airians have pointed out in the past, the Unfettered Capitalists can’t put you in prison, confiscate your property, or take your life unless they have the co-operation of the government; the Unfettered Government can do any of these things whenever it chooses without needing accomplices.

AesopFan on August 19, 2013 at 2:56 PM