Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hooray for the Command Economy!

The Founding Fathers had a certain amount of wisdom in their desire to limit the federal government to certain powers, reserving all others to th states and to the people.  In fact, their first change to the Constitution was to add limits on the federal government specifically to protect individuals from the tyranny of a ruling class (that Bill of Rights thingy).  In short, the concept that a man owned only himself and his property, and enjoyed the right to do anything with that EXCEPT where he would deprive another of his right to life, liberty, and property.

While imperfections remained for may years (on the equality of liberty), the concept was that the government was not responsible for the individual.  The best analogy would be a referee and judge in a fight, as in maintaining order, then selecting a winner in a conflict (the role of the judiciary, specifically.

And we functioned well in this respect for many years, where the worth of a man was based on his labors, and what he earned was his.  And the only measure of equality (where applicable) was that he could set upon any course, any endeavor, and either reap the benefits of success or be snuffed out rapidly for failure.  And the various forms of government were there only to enforce the laws set up to maintain that order and equality.

With that, let's hit the video clip, which degenerates into buffoonery, but plays a key portion of audio from the Reagan speech I posted yesterday:



The point was that Reagan was making (and that Maher missed due to the fact he said this a year before the country was sold out) was that one form of economic slavery (government-run health care) begets others, like wage controls (embodied by things like the minimum wage, the idiotic "living wage" legislation that regularly dies, and the salary caps the government has been imposing since the Obama "change" showed up).

It comes down to the erosion of liberty (which does entail the risk of not "having" something) for safety/dependence on the government.  This is what Reagan spoke to.

Now I don't necessarily see us becoming a Soviet-style command economy in my lifetime (thank the 2nd Amendment), but I don't see my children living in a free country for the balance of their lives.  I also see far too many people who are all too willing to give away their right to self determination and a larger chunk of their paycheck to a paternalistic government, as long as they get to watch TV, follow sports, or do other things to distract them from the business of the day.  This was also the tactic in Rome back in the day, to distract the people while things went to hell by putting on festivals and games.

And all the while a bunch of grinning asshats are sitting in Washington proclaiming that people no longer need to worry because THEY have made it all better.  Just like they've been doing in the auto industry, and in controlling banks, and their previous attempts to steer the economy, and health care costs, and retirement, and taxes, and so on, and so forth.

Although the central planners are not enforcing tyranny at the point of the gun, they use the soft chains of the tax to guide us, to rule us, and to manipulate us further to the ends of their power.  And now they have the power to guide and control 1/5 of the economy in a single stroke.  I'll take bets on how long the insurance companies survive before the government thugs run them out of business (like how any dictator (name omitted so I don't have to listen to irrelevant babble) deals with his scapegoat).

5 comments:

CHAIRMAN TAO said...

Of course you are not a command economy and never will be....the government does not own the means of production...investors do.

You are a lot closer to a fascist soceity than you are to a socialist society...

It might be interesting to note that the socialistic European economies are enjoying some pretty nice economic growth...Denmark alone is GDP is up 10%....France is up over 2%...and America...well, we have flatlined....

Patrick M said...

Tao: Uh, economic fascism IS a command economy, because while much of the wealth stays in private hands, the government still uses its power to dictate how those businesses, and the people as well, behave.

As for the socialist Europeans, good for Denmark, maybe France is learning from their mistakes, and America, with the "stimulus" to pull us out... Deader than fried chicken. Which reminds me, how is Greece doing right now?

Toad734 said...

Here are all the ways in which you are wrong:

A. What you are saying is going to happen is like what Reagan was saying was going to happen when we passed Medicare and clearly, it didn't happen. No one tells you where you can go to work or what college you can go to.

B. "We" functioned well in this respect for many years means white, male, land owning, Protestants functioned well for many years. And "well" is a bit of a stretch because before this government intervention you speak of we had 8 year olds working in steel factories, bubbly creek in Chicago, a burning lake in Cleveland, a disappearing ozone layer, acid rain, institutionalized racism and sexism (still do), no overtime, sexual harassment was the norm, Bank runs, Pyramid Schemes (still do but they are no longer legal), The stock market crashes which killed the economy etc.

Its not until the corporations or people start taking advantage of the system that the government has to step in.

C. An 15 year outdated minimum wage is hardly wage regulation. And no other free corporation, who didn't receive tax payer bailout money, is subject to wage restrictions. If you want to play in our game you have to play by our rules and I say I want my fucking money back so the CEO of AIG can just make 10 million this year instead of 14 million. Boo fucking hoo. If you fought for the poor as much as you did the rich you would be granted saint hood.

D. As you could see by Waco, the 2nd Amendment doesn't keep the government at bay. In fact, the more guns you have, the more it attracts the federal government and their armored vehicles, stealth bombers, etc. Good luck fighting the US Army with your glock. Invalid argument.

E. I have lost no liberties since Sunday's vote. In fact I lost way more liberties when Bush came out with the Patriot Act than I did with health care reform, in fact, I have gained liberties because now I know I am secure if I get sick and won't have to sell my house because my insurance company can no longer dump me once I become too expensive or pretend like Cancer is a pre-existing condition because I had a wart removed when I was 12. Score one for the liberty column.

F. The government didn't nor did it try to control the banks...ever! When the free market principles the banks were operating under blew up in their face they ran to daddy to bail them out. They gambled and lost and in a free market economy they were and still are free to do so. The only problem is that we actually bailed them out so they didn't learn their lesson but that was the free market and not enough regulation that got us there, not the "government controlling the banks". Come on, you are smarter than that. You should be ashamed.

G. The stock prices for all the health insurance providers went up this week. Unfortunately, I doubt they are going out of business and if we had a public option, we may be able to reduce health care costs and thus save the insurance companies even more money.

Patrick M said...

let's hit these out one sentence at a time:

A. Not yet, obviously, but the government is less about the pure autocracy and more in the soft command of tax manipulation. The G.I. Bill would be an example (although this one is a necessity).

B. Did I say it was a socialist utopia? No. My point is that despite the issues, our country grew from a group of white guys to the massive multi-cultured country that we are now. That would not have happened if the government had been responsible for doing it. Hell, Chicago would have still been frontier territory. And people and companies take advantage of the system because politicians give shit out for votes.

c. If you remember, I opposed those bailouts for the simple reason that companies should rise or fall by market forces, not the ball grip of an imperial federal government. The role of the government is to protect rights, not dictate terms. Then people could be paid what they are worth (and believe me, there are slugs that aren't worth minimum wage). And I don't fight for any one class here. I treat them all the same.

d. Burning out a group of apocalyptic kooks is one thing. Massacring a large percentage of the country is a whole other thing. Especially when it's so easy to post it on YouTube.

e. Uh, you DON'T gain liberty from paternalistic government. Need I quote Franklin on this? A point that I will concede is that everyone who relies on a third party is limited in freedom. When there is no other option that a gargantuan single third party (that also has debt pissing out every orifice)....

f. The government didn't nor did it try to control the banks...ever!

Uh, the Federal Reserve? FDIC? Bank regulators? Not saying they're all bad, but the government has been playing with banks since Hamilton.

g. The price went up because in the short term, they'll do fine. Long term, it's a lesson in what a monopoly can do to the little guy. Except this monopoly also has guns.

h. There is no h. There's only the fact that you write pages that require reiteration of shit I already said.

Toad734 said...

A. Well its been 50 years since Medicare and little Johnny isn't standing in line at the Gestapo HQs waiting to fill his work orders and asking where the government is going to send him to school. It didn't take the Russians or Hitler 50 years to make their sweeping changes so let's just let sleeping dogs lie on this one as we know its just a Rush Limbaugh induced nightmare he tells to scare white men after they get done having sex with their guns.

B. Actually the government was responsible for a lot of this. Remember the trail of tears and then the land runs/grants the government handed out so people would settle the interior? Or the government allowing all the immigrants to come to the US? The free market didn't do that. Hell, the Civil War was one of the reasons we allowed in so many immigrants and that was driven by the government. Sure, the railroads and that industrial drive that had nothing to do with government intervention had a lot to do with places like Chicago.

But if the government didn't pave the way by exterminating the Indians, those RR ventures could not have been successful.

And without the government, the free market could keep refusing to hire Irish, Blacks, Chinese,Women etc.

C. I know you opposed the bailouts, as did I. But, in order to protect mine and your rights against the banking industry (and health insurance industry) the government had to step in and regulate them and even set up shit like the FDIC to protect the rights of the people. This isn't 1800, we can't just fix the problem ourselves by lynching the bankers and we can't fix it with our pocket book because all the banks and insurance companies are essentially doing the same things. If there was one "good" bank or insurance company we would all use that one and the others would go out of business but greed blinds people (corporations) and they know they can all get away with it and get rich if they all participate. So, either we let the government, whom we voted for, do it, or we go do jail when we tie these guys to the bumper of our cars and drag them down the street.

Im not saying our government is really an extension of the people but in its purest conceptual form, it is. Sure, the banks and insurance companies run the government and that's precisely why we need reform and precisely why we voted for a man of the community such as Obama who wasn't afraid to take on, and wasn't already financially tied to these industries. Im not saying he still isn't Wall Streets bitch but he most certainly isn't the insurance companies bitch and is doing the bidding of the majority of the people in this country. Yes, those Faux news polls you saw were misleading; only 46% support this health care reform but 14% don't support it because it didn't go far enough so approximately 60% population wanted reform.

D. But the majority of the US doesn't live in bunker in CO in fear of the government so that would never happen.

E. See what I said in the beginning of C. Obama (the government)was working on the behalf of the people. We elected him because we wanted health care reform and he gave it to us. This wasn't the big scary government gaining more power, this was a guy doing the bidding of the people.

F.Didn't control or own the banks, ever! Name one bank Obama owns. Name one bank where Obama is calling the shots. Name one CEO or bank President who has been replaced by a Government agent.And certainly, hasn't done anything more than what has already existed except for the losers who asked for the bailouts had to live under our rules until they gave us their money back. If they aren't gushing out money to their bad CEOs, they can pay us back faster.

G. Huh? Monopoly with guns?

H. I know