Monday, May 16, 2011

Predatory Governing

Government is consuming us

Progressives believe that the government must be the biggest guy on the block, to protect us from a host of imagined predators, be they corporate, environmental, or some other bogey monster.  Well, big government has become the all-consuming predator, leaving nothing and no one unmolested.

Haley Barbour announced last week that he would not run for president. Most notable was the reason he gave:
"A candidate for president today is embracing a 10-year commitment to an all-consuming effort, to the virtual exclusion of all else," (Politico)
Roger Pilon at CATO observes.
We are moving inexorably not simply to news but to politics 24/7/365.

...politics has taken over so much of life. When government was more limited, and we didn’t look to it to provide our every need and want, those who “governed” didn’t feel such a need to cater to us — and we had better things to do anyway than obsess over politics.  (CATO – All Consuming Politics )
The imperial presidency, enlarged by President Bush and taking on baroque bureaucratic grotesqueries under Obama, will end up killing America.
The presidency is too-large-for-life because the president is the head of a government that is simply too large. (Kyle Wingfield)
I'd go even further and say that politics has become a societal corrosive.  Hope-filled naifs and crony crapitalists wait for governmental deliverance, lashing out at anyone who suggests senile old Uncle Sugar can't afford it anymore.

Even college football can't keep government off its back.  Government has poked its snout in every corner of our lives, making more and more decisions for us, stoking a 24/7/365 political shouting match.

Any member of even a small family who has tried to decide on what kind of pizza to order can see the fallacy of applying a one-size-fits-all approach to a nation of 300 million people.

26 comments:

Jersey McJones said...

We don't have a one size fits all approach. We have fifty states and each of them is quite unique.

Look I hate to break it to you cons, but we're not some mythic Wild West frontier country anymore. We are a massive nation of over 300,000,000 people. It takes a lot of government to keep that together.

JMJ

Jack Camwell said...

Jersey,
We're not in a state of anarchy or anything, and your line of logic is dangerous.

Do you know why the people of China readily accept the oppressive thumb of their government? Because they are told that due to the size of their population, a strong and involved government is needed to keep them in line, to keep their society from falling into chaos.

You might not believe me, even though this comes from interviews of Chinese citizens. And if you think those types are in the minority in China, ask yourself this: in a country of 1 billion people, what is stopping them from overthrowing their government?

The answer is that they believe that strict government control over just about everything is necessary to keep them safe.

I, for one, will never acquiesce to the idea that my life needs to be controlled to the max just so that society can be a little less chaotic. I don't need the government deciding how much sodium can be in my food, I don't need them running my healthcare, and I sure as hell don't need them keeping me from buying a firearm (should I choose to do so) just because some gang-banging thugs use guns for evil purposes.

I don't have all sorts of interference in my life from the government, and I seem to be doing just fine.

How about instead of saying that the government needs to save us from ourselves we say that people should continue to accept personal responsibility in their lives.

Jersey, what do we do about welfare lifers and other unintended products of the liberal agenda? I only ask that you answer that question before you ask other questions of me.

Silverfiddle said...

Jersey and Obama, two pyromaniacs in a field of strawmen.

Nobody is advocating a wild west. The states are now subsidiaries of the federal government.

"It takes a lot of government" to screw things up this badly.

Louis H. said...

We can blame federal government, and we can blame our home state for giving up its sovereignty, but the truth is closer to home. We are to blame for letting this happen. That there are obtuse individuals like Jersey who think government is the hope of harmonious society explains how we got to where we are. If anything, Jersey and his kind are Stalinesque.

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

It takes a lot of government to confiscate what they deem is theirs with little or no resistance.

It takes a dumbed-down populace to justify the former.

conservativesonfire said...

Americans have become afraid of freedom; yet they are comfortable with a little tyranny and socialism.

The Javelina Bomb said...

"We are a massive nation of over 300,000,000 people. It takes a lot of government to keep that together."
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! That's hilarious! Gosh darn these troublesome Americans. If they were more well behaved we wouldn't have to have such a large government. Maybe it would be more accurate if Jersey said it takes a lot of goverment to keep a lot of government together.

Mustang said...

LOL @ Jersey.

God must have a special place in his heart for dimwits. He made so many of them.

Jersey McJones said...

Jack,

You can't compare China to the United States at that level. You can't. I worked for them for many years, and I know that with complete certainly. Their history, their demographics, their resources, interests, and on and on, are quite unique. China is nothing like us.

Secondly, it is utterly ludicrous to say we are anything like them! We aren't moving toward anything like totalitarian communism. To say otherwise would be a sign of pathological paranoia.

"Jersey, what do we do about welfare lifers and other unintended products of the liberal agenda?"

Jack,

I'm very disappointed in that very stupid question. Did it ever occur to you that conservative politicies cause "welfare lifers"??? Silly.

Look guys - in the grown-up, real life, adult world, smart people realize that most of that "rational self-interest" and "self-correcting markets" and "supply-side" are NONSENSE. Not true. Not borne out by the facts. Without historical basis. CONTRARY TO HUMAN NATURE.

Grow up.

JMJ

Silverfiddle said...

Jersey: You are wrong, as usual. History is driven by rational self-interest. Without safety nets, that's all one has left. It is indeed human nature to act in one's self-interest.

Jersey McJones said...

Silver,

You make two big philosophical leaps here:

1) People are "rational."

2) There is some thread of "rational" self interest that we all have in common.

I'm sorry Silver, but that's just naive.

Look, I can agree with you guys (apparently more often than you do with me) when it comes to making government more efficient, less intrusive, etc. But many of these simplistic general libertarian ideas just seem unrealistic to me.

JMJ

Lisa said...

Secondly, it is utterly ludicrous to say we are anything like them! We aren't moving toward anything like totalitarian communism. To say otherwise would be a sign of pathological paranoia.

You say that so convincingly Jersey.
Not yet anyway, It's a slow process.

I wouldn't be so sure that it is paranoia especially when you have a government who pits people against one another by using means like say...class warfare.

Silverfiddle said...

Jersey: Are you saying the advance of mankind is the result of irrational behavior?

Of course people can act irrationally, and their crash becomes a warning to others. 100 years ago, someone who drank himself stupid ended up dying drunk in a gutter.

Why do you think so much emphasis has been placed on practicing virtuous behavior, going back at least to the Greeks?

Do you think people practiced self-denial for the fun of it? Of course not! They did it because they saw a connection between virtuous behavior and success. By the same token, one could also plainly see the most likely outcome of debased behavior.

Leticia said...

No matter what you say liberals will fail to grasp the scope of the truth.

Government control is not the answer. That would be an economic suicide.

What we need is for the people to start taking charge again and make our local and state representatives do the job they were paid to do. And furthermore, keep them accountable or boot them out of office.

Jersey McJones said...

Lisa,

You have to put that quote in context. What I was saying is that we'll probably never be anything like the Chinese.

Silver,

"Are you saying the advance of mankind is the result of irrational behavior?"

No. I'm saying irrational behavior is what has always held us back. But then... who am I to say?

What is rational to you may be irrational to another. You have to accept that human condition.

Leticia,

"Government control is not the answer."

If by that you mean we should not become the Chinese, you are absolutely correct. I agree with you. Remember, our differences are matters of degree, not polar opposites.

JMJ

Silverfiddle said...

@Jersey: "What is rational to you may be irrational to another."

Aha! You get it. Because of this fundamental truth you have hit upon, it stands to reason that each person must be the sovereign of his or her own life and property, so long as no harm is done to others.

If some impersonal power does everything for you, chances are it won't do things the way you would, and it probably won't give you the rewards you would work for yourself.

Worse yet, having that impersonal power do everything for you destroys your initiative and ends up making you dumber because you will eventually forget how to do for yourself.

Finntann said...

How can a rational man argue for more government when we have hit a 14 and a quarter trillion dollar debt cap and the government is now raiding federal pension funds to feed its gnawing hunger?

Most Rev. Gregori said...

"We aren't moving toward anything like totalitarian communism. To say otherwise would be a sign of pathological paranoia."

I would rather be paranoid and free rather then enslaved and wrong.

Jersey, open your eyes, because we ARE headed toward much worse then totalitarian communism.

Lisa said...

Hitler had many intellectual followers.

MK said...

The leftard is right in that todays liberal camp doesn't want the sort of gulag-style communist police state like their heroes are doing in China.

It's not that they don't want it in their heart of hearts, it's just that they know they'll never prevail if they tried it.

No, today's liberal camp is content to push the soft-fascism its gotten away with for so long. Like denying choice when it comes to your toilet or your light bulb but making you pay for some slut to murder her unborn.

It's content to brutalize the unborn and explore the same with the elderly for now.

"We are a massive nation of over 300,000,000 people. It takes a lot of government to keep that together."

I hate to break it to you leftards, but most decent people are not out to get each other and don't need anyone to keep them in line.

But you are partly right, a fair amount of government is needed to keep you lot in line when you get together, lest the breaking and trashing that comes so naturally to you gets out of hand.

Trestin said...

Jersey, What area of the country do you live in?

Always On Watch said...

And now the Treasury Department is tapping federal pension funds to prevent a default of the United States government.

If I were a retired federal employee or an about-to-retire federal employee, I'd be worried sick.

Sure, the government is assuring us that this robbing of the federal pension funds is only a temporary measure. Let us recall that our government has defaulted is many such promises made in the past.

On the other hand, if the United States were to default on debt payments, our entire economic system could come tumbling down.

Jack Camwell said...

Jersey,
I think you completely missed my point. I wasn't trying to compare the US to China at all, I was merely arguing the merits and logical conclusions of your argument, that as a population gets bigger we need more government to keep the people in line.

I didn't say that Republican policies don't have their own unintended consequences. But you can't tell me that every welfare lifer is the product of the Republican Party. Have you not met the women that have children purely because they know the government will pay for them and their children to live? That has nothing to do with economics or the Republicans ruining her life. It's a conscious decision she makes to go on the government dole forever. If you don't believe me then that's fine. Call me a liar and an exaggerator, or call me a "child," or "immature," but I've seen it with my own eyes.

Left Coast Rebel said...

Trestin: The state of alternate (fictional, government-run) realities.

Country Thinker said...

Silver, I like the quote from Pilon because he's right - politics is everything. Then again law affects everything. And of course, economics affects everything! Hence, my consolidated subject of "polawnics."

It's hard for me to think about one without pondering how the other two are interacting, and too often, contraindicating.

Leticia said...

JMJ, right. I do not want communism in any shape or form.