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Kind Capitalists, Scary Socialists

Melissa Clothier has a column at the American Issues Project website about the kindness of capitalism.

Liberals think of themselves as good people. They care. They demonstrate their caring by promoting things that show they care--like expanding public school into preschool (while they send their children to private school), like trumpeting the importance of unions (while going to shoot movies in towns that aren't unionized because it's cheaper), like increasing taxes for "the rich"--i.e. anyone who makes a penny more than them--(while not paying them, Obama's whole cabinet).

All these programs sound good, or the end results do. Health care for all (government run health care)! Save the environment (cap and trade)! Employee free choice (card check)! Transparency (CIA memos to out and threaten former administration officials)!

But the real consequences of the liberal's actions are hardly ever scrutinized because the point of these programs isn't to actually make the world a better place, it's to feel better about the self. I care about children. I care about the environment. I care about fair pay. I care about America's ideals.

While at the AIP site check out other columns by Jim Hoft and Laura Elizabeth Morales.


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Comments (28)

the first troll that posts ... (Below threshold)
914:

the first troll that posts is a rotten egg.

But the real consequence... (Below threshold)
Jack:

But the real consequences of the liberal's actions are hardly ever scrutinized because the point of these programs isn't to actually make the world a better place, it's to feel better about the self.

It would be nice to see a little more substance than throw away lines like the one above.

".....it's to feel better a... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

".....it's to feel better about the self"

Couldn't disagree more. It's about control. By coercion, stealth, guilt, misrepresentation of facts, it's about control. Manipulating policy to favor poor performing public school systems over sucessful charter schools/ home schooling; manipulating policy to favor universal health care rather than competition in the free market; moves to decrease incentives for private individuals to give to charity; making it difficult for banks to return TARP funds... One could go on and on.

It would be nice to see ... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

It would be nice to see a little more substance than throw away lines like the one above.

It's the difference between 'intent' and 'effect' (aka the law of unintended consequences).

I'll offer the following as an example...

"Anti-price gouging laws"

The intent of the 'anti-price gouging' laws is to prevent those evil people from making money as the result of problems. That makes everyone feel good, right ? The effect is that when there are problems prices will only rise on goods that the area needs more of. The result will be that the 'unseen hand' of the free market will move more of those goods into that area. By placing a cap on prices, what is actually done is placing a cap on supply.

For instance, several years back after a hurricane that hit FL, I recall a news story about a man that was arrested for selling generators out of the back of a truck for prices higher than 'normal'. He was charged with 'price gouging'. The man was from South Carolina, IIRC, had taken the day off work, rented a truck, and purchased as many generators as he could with the intent of selling them down in FL and making some money. The FL 'anti-price gouging' law made his supplying generators illegal.

If your goal is to get as many generators (for instance) into the area as possible as quickly as possible, you'll find that this will happen faster if you allow the market to respond to the change in conditions (i.e. rising prices). As supply shifts to meet the demand / rising price, the price will shift to reflect the change in supply until an equilibrium is reached.

In short, the intent of 'price gouging laws' is to make people feel better. The effect is that it limits supply to below what the actual demand is and produces shortages and hardship that would not exist otherwise.

Hey, Jack,Instead ... (Below threshold)
gdb:

Hey, Jack,

Instead of trying to be flippant by practicing flippancy, try expanindg your universe. A good start for Lorie's and Melissa's theme is the book "Vision of the Annointed" by Thomas Sowell.

I'll offer the following as... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

I'll offer the following as another example...


Minimum wage laws... historically, minimum wage laws were enacted to coerce white employers away from hiring black workers. What happened was that, at the time, white workers (who had been free) were more skilled than black workers (who had had not been free). If you're competing for a job against a more skilled person, your best chance get of getting the job is to offer your work at a lower price. However, if by fiat, the government requires that you cannot offer your work at a lower price, the choice between a less skilled worker and a more skilled worker at the same price is a 'no brainer'. This was the effect of min. wage laws (and the intent at the time)

Fast forward to today, the intent of min. wage laws are supposedly to help less skilled workers. The only thing that's changed over time is the intent - not the effect.

To preempt any argument that min. wage laws don't decrease employment, consider the following. Suppose the law set the min. wage absurdly high : $1 Billion / hour. No one would be able to afford to hire anyone else and would only be able to work for themselves. Suppose the other end of the spectrum - the min. wage: $0.00. This would have no effect on employment, obviously. So, at one extreme it reduces employment to 0 and at the other extreme it doesn't effect it. Between the two extremes, there's a transition.

"...the point of these prog... (Below threshold)

"...the point of these programs isn't to actually make the world a better place, it's to feel better about the self."

Not exactly. The point of these programs is to consolidate power...to advance politicians' careers.
http://www.rightklik.net/
h/t: DaveD

Instead of trying to be ... (Below threshold)
Jack:

Instead of trying to be flippant by practicing flippancy

I wasn't being flippant at all. That is a throwaway comment that has as much value as calling Bush "Hitler" or Obama "the messiah."

It is like dipping your toe into the bath to see if the water is hot or cold. It gives you a quick impression, but you never get the real story.

I'd take her column far more seriously if she stopped trying to analyze feelings and focused upon facts.

Every day I listen to people talk about politics but very few of them really know much. They can't tell the difference between a republic and a democracy. They can't tell you what socialism is, just that it is scary.

Too many people expend far too much energy pointing fingers at the other guy. I am tired of it.

And to be clear I am not promoting myself as an expert on everything. There are many who know more than I do. But I don't have to sit back and ignore nonsense and that comment is still nonsense.

Other things (fake) liberal... (Below threshold)
mag:

Other things (fake) liberals preach:
Busing school children, but not their children.
Building low-income housing, but not near their homes.
Banning guns, but having for themselves the best security that might include guards with guns. (the more richer liberals)
Acusing others of racism for the slighest thing, but would have a fit if their child came home with someone of another race they wanted to marry.
Telling the rest of us to "give" more to the poor, community etc. while being very tight fisted themselves...

Just a few things that came to mind.

You conservatives are all t... (Below threshold)
SER Author Profile Page:

You conservatives are all the same. You point out the bad results of liberal policies, but never the good. Examples:

LBJ's War on Poverty - now we have no more poverty.

The old department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) - now our inner cities are virtual paradises.

Jimmy Carter's refusal to back the Shah - now we have great relations with our ally, Iran.

The Department of Education - now our public schools are the envy of the world.

These are just a few. I call on all liberals out there to add their own!

Sorry. "Doctor" Clouthier's... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Sorry. "Doctor" Clouthier's website hurt my eyes. Her cobalt blue hyperlinks are cobalt indeed (radioactive). Ditto the glaring iridium white. "Capitalist" op-art?

I assume her "medical business" involves eyeball transpants and eyeball transplant accessories, then. Clever, if so.

-----------------------------------
"the first troll that posts is a rotten egg."

1. Posted by 914
-----------------no comment necessary---

Jack,I don't know ... (Below threshold)
MichaelC:

Jack,

I don't know if it would change your opinion about the particular statement you take exception to, but I would be very surprised if, after reading the body of Lorie Byrd's posting here at Wizbang, you did not come away with a lot more respect for her writing and her opinion. While you, not really knowing Lorie, may have the feeling that she has made a shallow comment, those of us who've read her work since she started posting here have another perspective with which we are able to see a greater whole.

But the real consequence... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

But the real consequences of the liberal's actions are hardly ever scrutinized because the point of these programs isn't to actually make the world a better place, it's to feel better about the self.

I am a computer programmer for a non-profit that operates over 50 schools for troubled kids. We do receive some funding from the state. However, the state requires us to collect an enourmous amout of information on our students. The state uses this information to evaluate how successful we are at providing an education and reducing repeat offenders. The amount of funding we receive is largely based on how successful we are.

Most of the people where I work (including me) took a substantial pay cut to work for a non-profit so you can not say it's about feeling good and not doing good.


I can play pop psychology j... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

I can play pop psychology just as well as Lori.

Lori thinks of herself as a good person. However, she does feel some repressed guilt about opposing programs that are geared toward helping those less fortunate. Loris' belief that these programs do not work is merely to alleviate her own guilt.

Lori, probably did not grow up poor. She probably had family that she could always turn to if things got really bad.

If Lori had grown up poor or did not have a supportive family, it is likely at some point in her adult life she would have had to except a government handout or been forced to live on the streets.

Liberals blabber a lot abou... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

Liberals blabber a lot about tolerence but never ever show it

"Lori, probably did not ... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"Lori, probably did not grow up poor. She probably had family that she could always turn to if things got really bad."

"If Lori had grown up poor or did not have a supportive family, it is likely at some point in her adult life she would have had to except a government handout or been forced to live on the streets."

Two paragraphs to make assumptions about the author does not bolster your argument. Especially when the post was quoted from another author's work. Perhaps you would be better served by addressing Ms. Clothier.

Don't get me wrong though. I understand your indignation. And even though I know nothing about the schools you work for, I do know that some of these programs are good. But they do not address the underlying problem that has caused such a need for said programs. A great many of these kids are from inner cities and from families that have relied solely or heavily on government for support. That thin gruel the government serves them will never get them out of those surroundings. These are areas that will continue to produce more kids for more programs. It's a vicious cycle. I'm not going to go into detail here. It's been discussed at length in Wizbang's pages.

The quoted article (I don't know if you read it) was too generalized, but I think its intent was to point out that the "liberals" it is discussing are those who have wealth and power and prefer to put government in charge of solving a problem that the government is partly responsible for creating.

It's been said too many times and I think many people are beginning to understand, "Government is not the answer."

I have an idea that could get the government out of the business of charity and put it back in the hands of the people where it belongs, but it would never fly, because it would take that power - that 'bargaining chip', if you will - away from them.

Oyster:I have an ... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Oyster:
I have an idea that could get the government out of the business of charity and put it back in the hands of the people where it belongs, but it would never fly, because it would take that power - that 'bargaining chip', if you will - away from them.

Me too. So long as government is able to raise its revenues by fiat, government is able to decide how big government is. That is, government decides how to limit government. Bad idea. Repeal the 16th & 17th Amendments. Repealing those two amendments should allow the states to reign in the Federal government's power through the 10th Amendment. By decentralizing power within the government, government should be more responsive to the people it represents (vs. 1 size fits all).

I agree with Lori that inef... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

I agree with Lori that ineffective programs need to be cut.

However, I am skeptical that Lori agrees with herself on this.

The reason I am skeptical is that studies show abstinenance only programs are ineffective but it remains a top issue for republicans.

So Lori, what is your opinion on abstinenance only programs?

"studies show abstinenan... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"studies show abstinenance only programs are ineffective"

Once again a leftist proves the timeless wisdom of President Reagan:

"Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so."

Oyster, can you think of on... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Oyster, can you think of one example in a liberal democracy (like Canada, America, Western Europe/U.K.) where government funding was cut, and as a result, things improved for the underclass? More spending is not always the answer, but I'd like some empirical evidence to support the claim that people are better off when government does less.

Hyper,"where go... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Hyper,

"where government funding was cut, and as a result, things improved for the underclass"

I can't give you any examples from a "liberal democracy" but I can give you many, many examples from a republic, namely the United States of America, since I live in that country and have worked in the social services field for the last 15 year. (O.k. thanks to the fact that 99% of Obama voters were ingorant of basic facts about the man for whom they voted, America is now a liberal-fascist republic, but it's still a republic not a democracy yet.)

The best example was the reform of the welfare system under Clinton and the Republican Congress. Of course now that the liberal-fascists who currently control our government have overturn those reforms and coupled with the massive tax increase Obama and the rest of the liberal-fascists imposed on very many of the poor in America, the poor will suffer greatly again.

But hey, at least you lefists feel good about yourselves and some of you (that are Americans) are, for the first time in your adult lives, proud of America.

BTW, Hyper,You ask... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

BTW, Hyper,

You asked for emperical evidence. Here is some.

Of course I expect you to be narrow minded enough to totally discount any and all facts when they come from a non leftist source, so here's the opinion of the far-leftist Brookings Institution, also.

No, PeanutButter, I was ask... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

No, PeanutButter, I was asking for some examples. Now, I will go read about the ones you provided--even though linking to the Heritage Foundation is no less suspect than me providing a link to MoveOn.org. I hadn't thought of Clinton's reform of the welfare system, which would be one good example that supports your case. You can't end cyclical poverty, but welfare does exacerbate the issue--fair enough. However, there is an abundance of counter-examples, where increased public expenditure benefited the worst off among you. Social Security would be a very good example of something that has indisputably helped disadvantaged Americans at a minor and justifiable expense to the advantaged. And, if there weren't public schooling available for all children--regardless of how terrible it tends to be in your country--there would be more poverty, not less.

And by the way, the United States--a Republic--happens to be a liberal democracy. Your misunderstanding of certain English words does not actually impact reality beyond your own perception of it. Stating that a republic is not a democracy is like stating that lions aren't mammals, but cats. Sorry, P.B, but hating on liberal democracies is hating on America, and that's un-American.

As for the "massive tax increase" on lower income earners, I'm confused: Republican cry-babies alternate between bleating about Obama's tax increases on everybody, and bleating about people who don't even pay taxes getting back money that they never earned in the first place. I can't imagine any reason to pay attention to people who are so obviously confused.

"However, there is an ab... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"However, there is an abundance of counter-examples, where increased public expenditure benefited the worst off among you."

I agree that there are a handful of examples of this, but hardly and abundance, and almost no examples that did not have harmful unintended consequences.

"Social Security would be a very good example of something that has indisputably helped disadvantaged Americans at a minor and justifiable expense to the advantaged."

Minor? Confiscating 12.3% of a minimum wage earners income is minor? Hardly.

Justifiable? Well sadly thanks to the 16th Amendment it's legal, but it hardly justifyable from a moral standpoint.

And I agree that public schools are better than no schools at all, however very many of them are far inferior to private schools. But I wouldn't expect you to understand why that is what with you being cluess about free markets and liberty and all that.

I'm actually am not familiar with the term "liberal democracy" so I was mostly poking fun at you, however if what you say is correct than "liberal" in that term was used in the classic sense and not the modern sense where "liberal" means fascist/marxist/pro-abortion/ socialist.

Why is it confusing that I might be bothered by the fact that Obama and our leftist Congress has passed legislation that will trap tens of millions of children in the cycle of poverty while also they are also raising taxes on those same people? Do doing two horrible evil things like that cancel each other out and constitute a good thing in your mind?


"Oyster, can you think o... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"Oyster, can you think of one example in a liberal democracy (like Canada, America, Western Europe/U.K.) where government funding was cut, and as a result, things improved for the underclass?"

Why are you asking me this? I think charity is a good thing. I also think that government should not play a role in it. But it's become such a great political tool for election and re-election that it can't be wrested from them.

Many people need help, but getting it from a faceless entity like government breeds a sense of entitlement and a lack of motivation and responsibility. People that live on welfare, yet CAN do better for themselves, don't feel particularly beholden when their food is bought with a card that's mysteriously replenished on the the first of the month; when a check just appears in the mailbox; and when someone else they never met pays the landlord.

And the responsibility of being charitable is slowly being stripped from the people and taken over by bureaucratic politicians.

I think this is a bad thing.

A republic is... (Below threshold)
maggie:

A republic is a state or country that is not led by a hereditary monarch[1][2] but in which the people (or at least a part of its people)[3] have an impact on its government.[4][5] The word 'republic' is derived from the Latin res publica which can be translated as "public thing".

The primary difference between a republic and a direct democracy is defined rights of the citizen. Governments have powers; citizens have rights. In a republic, the citizens grant government certain powers. The rights of the citizen limit those powers. For a republic to function the source of a citizen's rights must claim a superior origin to the source of government powers.

The definition of citizenship further limits the rights of individuals in a republic. Roman Citizens had greater rights than the limited rights of slaves. This distinction between citizens and non-citizens is the justification of continuation of slavery under Dredd Scott v. Sanford.

In a democracy, the powers of the government are based solely on the will of the majority without qualification nor limit. Citizens of republics often relinquish rights to an individual or group through the democratic process. The resulting theocracy, monarchy, or dictatorship often lays claim to a divine right to rule. The "divine right of kings" grants unlimited powers to the head of state.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic
John Adams defined a constitutional republic as "a government of laws, and not of men."[1] Constitutional republics are a deliberate attempt to diminish the perceived threat of majoritarianism, thereby protecting dissenting individuals and minority groups from the "tyranny of the majority" by placing checks on the power of the majority of the population.[2] The power of the majority of the people is checked by limiting that power to electing representatives who are required to legislate with limits of overarching constitutional law which a simple majority cannot modify.

Also, the power of government officials is checked by allowing no single individual to hold executive, legislative and judicial powers. Instead these powers are separated into distinct branches that serve as a check and balance on each other. A constitutional republic is designed so that "no person or group [can] rise to absolute power."[3]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_republic
Sigh... maggie...<... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Sigh... maggie...

Direct democracy is also one version of a liberal democracy. Both the Republican (U.S., France) and Parliamentary (U.K., Canada) models are examples of indirect democracies.

So willfully or accidentally ignoring the direct qualifier makes your attempt at...what exactly were you attempting to prove anyway?...come up lacking.

hyperbolist.Your pat... (Below threshold)
maggie:

hyperbolist.
Your patronizing arrogance is about to get
you a shovel, so you can dig your way out
of Wizbang permanently.
One more time little boy.




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