Monday, October 17, 2016

The Role of Government

A couple of years ago I was at the local Republican Party (Minnesota District 34) meeting and they had Dr. David Schultz of Hamline University as a guest speaker.  He lectured the audience on how bad a system the Constitution is for governing the country.  He called it “the machine”.  I tried to point out (if you think I am a bad writer, I am even worse as a speaker) that good or bad has to be judged in terms of purpose.  The Toyota Pries is as bad a dirt hauler as a Terex 6300 is as a commuter vehicle. But each may be perfectly acceptable for the role they were designed to fulfill.  Be that as it may, the point is what do YOU believe the role of government should be.

Many people; and I believe that Dr. Schultz is in this group, believe that the role of government is to make the lives of the country’s citizens safer, easier, and more egalitarian.  I call these people Type 1’s.  In February 2005, Richard Parker, a liberal economist, wrote an article in the Boston Globe titled, The Pragmatist and the Utopian, in which he blamed Milton Friedman and the free market advocates for every economic misfortune since the 70’s. Parker’s criticism is that in no way has the country achieved more equality, requires less effort, or is safer than it was 25 years ago.  In sociology there are two doctrines on how life can be made safer, easier and more egalitarian.  The first is Symbolic/Interaction, which states (you can google these for fuller explanations) that our institutions and culture form our attitudes and behaviors.  Only by changing the institutions of the poor and disadvantaged will they be able to prosper.  On the other side are the Structural/Functionalists who believe that we have free will and can be anything that we want.  That society is basically good and the problems are caused by deficiencies in the people not being able to adapt or dysfunctional consequences of government action.  The problem is with these goals themselves; each of these goals is reflected by a characteristic human value; egalitarianism is of course about irresponsibility (equality of outcome), lazy people think life should be easy, and safety is important to the cowards. Irresponsible, lazy and cowardice are the human values that are being aggrandized in this system.  I believe this desire for safer, easier, and egalitarian always leads to economic, moral (social), and spiritual bankruptcy. I addressed this belief here: Liberals are cowards, lazy, and irrespnsible.

The next group of people are those who believe that the role of government (they aspire to power) is to be able to reward themselves and their friends and punish their enemies.  I call these people Type 2’s.  Sociologists refer to this as Social Conflict. People who believe in social conflict believe there are poor people because there are rich people.  They believe that the immigrants and poor and downtrodden are holding us back, or else the banksters are stealing all our money.  The defining trait of people who believe in social conflict is that they are never at fault. It is Bush’s fault they say, or the weather, or the Republicans searching for scandal, or obstructing, or you can fill in the blanks.  No matter what happens or how bad it gets, they are always right.  These people not only include the corrupt and criminal dictators and tyrants enriching themselves and their friends but also the white supremacists, the black lives matter group, and the religious zealots attempting to bend humanity to their will.

The last group is a small minority who believe that the role of government is to: “Secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” I call these people “stupid”. This is “sort of” the Libertarian positions but like Christianity there are all kinds of people who call themselves Libertarian.  The point I would like to make to the Libertarians is that it is not about (as Richard Parker argued) making life easier, safer and more egalitarian.  It is the opposite.  Prosperity and wealth are created by what I call “work, worry, and woe”.  Anything people do to increase the safety, egalitarianism, or make life easier will make it less prosperous.  I mean, how do you explain to the ignorant and superstitious that the only way to make life better is to make it less safe, less easy, and less egalitarian?   People should ask, “Do I want to squat in a hovel where life is easy and everyone is safe and equal like in Zimbabwe, Cuba, or North Korea or would I rather live in a society of wealth and prosperity even though it is unsafe, unequal, and requires constant effort?  

To summarize for “Guest”, Visions for the role of government:
1. “Make life safer, easier, and more egalitarian”, Called Type 1’s.
2. “Reward the people in power and their allies”, Called Type 2’s.
3. “Secure the Blessings of Liberty for ourselves and our posterity”, while hard, unsafe and unequal produces prosperity, people who advocate this are called “Stupid”.

Since I am a cynic, I believe that the vast majority of people who claim to be Type 1’s are in reality Type 2’s.  The only two examples of Type 1’s I can identify right now are Kim Jong-un of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Castro brothers of the Rep├║blica de Cuba.  In both these countries the people are safe, life is easy, and definitely (in the vast majority) egalitarian.  They have good schools and equal medical care. There is very little crime or violence. The people eat healthy organic diets and neither country has significant obesity or type II diabetes.  Both are environmentally responsible with very small carbon footprints. They don’t have to worry about losing their jobs to bad times and big machines. They are perfect states of peace and tranquility.  They are the models that many in the United States hope we can emulate.  That point being made, I thank the god Jehovah every night that I live in a country that is governed by the corrupt, criminal, and crazy. My question for Dr. Murphy: What do you believe will be the role for government when Jesus takes his throne?  (See Matthew 25:21, Rev 3:21, Rev 4:2) How will he govern?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Freedom and Equality

For the past few years I have been concerned about the complaints of the main street media of the lack of "Equality" in the United States.  Milton Friedman in his book, Free To Choose" pointed out that individual freedom and liberty are on the opposite end of a spectrum from  equality.  (See pg 128 to 149 in the 1990 edition.)  Recently I was cleaning and sorting and found a copy of a letter I sent to Friedman about his premise.   

  
Don't you love the familiarity of the times, "Dear Milton" my ass.  

No typing in those days, I actually looked and I taught myself to type shortly after this was written.
It appears I use a "yellow dog" tablet.  The joys of being young!!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Last summer I read “The Real History of the End of the World” by Sharan Newman.  Since Daniel and Revelations, apocalyptic predictions have proliferated.  What I find fascinating are the two competing apocalyptic visions presently in vogue. These, of course, are Climate Change and government fiscal budget austerity.  In the past two weeks Kelly has hit them both.  I find most startlingly is the culture war between conservatives and liberals in the defense of their own apocalyptic vision. (The United States is the only country peopled early on by heavily apocalyptic religious groups, and perhaps this permeates our culture more than we realize).  We have the climate Hoaxers and their Liberal allies screaming that if we don’t have energy austerity the seas will rise. polar bears and coral will die, and our children will all suffer a fate worse than death.  At the same time the “fresh water economists” and their conservative collaborators are warning us of the Bond vigilantes and unrestrained debt stealing our children’s future in a tsunami of inflation, bankruptcy and poverty.  These apocalyptic predictions are countered by the Climate Deniers and their friends the conservatives and the Liberal “salt water” economists and Paul Krugman.  The Deniers claim that even thought CO2 has been growing unchecked for the last ten years we have in fact been COOLING! I would point out that James Hansen has just published a paper claiming that if not for CO2 in the atmosphere, due to the solar cycle we are in, both the Thames River and the canals of Holland would be frozen this winter. (As if this would have been a good thing.)  At the same time, Paul Krugman points out that even thought the FED is holding at least $31 TRILLION in debt ($16 trillion private and $15 trillion Public, double of our GDP) to hold interest rates down, the bond vigilantes have yet to show up.  I would note they might be busy in Greece, Spain, and Italy and just not gotten to us yet. You admit to know nothing of science, the type of person we call “superstitious savages”, so how do you know which side to support?  Or do you just accept the incredible example of doublethink, where Paul Krugman tells us that the more educated the Republican the more ignorant they are and just take the opposite side.   I can’t resist, Paul Krugman points out the Real Expenditures have not increased due to the $1.2 Trillion stimulus and TARP spending vs. during the Reagan Recovery.  The reason is as Kelly pointed out; this administration’s goals are to support their core constituencies, at the head of the line are crony capitalists who receive subsidies and bailouts. Next are faculty and staff at colleges and non-profits that depend on government funding. Then come the unions This administration works solely for their own personal gain and to retain their power and prestige.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Liberals are irresponsible, lazy, and cowards.


I am not being uncivil, this is not some type of ad hominem
attack like Liberals love to use. Edward Deming (I believe the second greatest mind of the twentieth century) is credited with pointing out that "It is not the product, it is the process". This concept changed "Made in Japan" from an acronym for junk to the standard by which quality is judged in the industrial world. In the global sense, it can be paraphrased as "It is not the people, it is the government, the rules by which we live". In February 2005, Richard Parker, a liberal economist, wrote an article in the Boston Globe titled, The Pragmatist and the Utopian, in which he blamed Milton Friedman and the free market advocates for every economic misfortune since the 70’s. Parker’s criticism is that in no way has the country achieved more equality, requires less effort, or is safer than it was 25 years ago. I don’t know if I agree, but note, each of these goals is reflected by a characteristic human value, egalitarianism is of course is about irresponsibility (equality of outcome), lazy people think life should be easy, and safety is important to the cowards. Irresponsible, lazy and cowardice are the primary human values of the Liberal. If you build a system that aggrandizes the lazy, the irresponsible, and the cowards, are you in any way surprised you end up with Zimbabwe or worse? Now don’t confuse me with a Conservative (sometimes confused with Republicans). Conservatives believe that they can control man’s appetites through legislation and prison. Like the Muslims, they believe it is the person, not the process, and blame all the world’s problems on the moral and spiritual bankruptcy of the immigrants, drug addicts, homosexuals, and dark skinned minorities that pollute the system. They believe that if only the people were moral, then this system based upon irresponsibility, laziness, and cowardliness can be made to work. Sorry, it’s not to be; as Adam Smith pointed out, "The invisible hand that makes free market systems self correcting is the same hand that destroys all others." A desire for safe, easy, and egalitarian always leads to moral, spiritual, and economic bankruptcy.