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Attacking Liberalism Part IV- Why non-socialist democrats are just as bad as socialist democrats
Self | 5-24-02 | Matt Festa

Posted on 05/24/2002 6:21:45 PM PDT by Festa

Non-Socialist Democrats are as bad as the socialists

Part IV on an attack on liberalism

By now many democrats are furious that I would lump them together with the extreme socialist movements that have plagued the world. Alas, I do not begin to make the accusation that all democrats are socialists. It is the same as saying all republicans are conservative. The statement is completely false. However, the non-socialist elements of the Democratic Party are just as bad/even worse than the socialist element.

In America, there exists an element of the population that says, “Ok, I am not a socialist, I believe in capitalism, but it is the best of the worst. We need a strong powerful federal government in place so as to fix the problems with capitalism.” I will now cede one point of the argument to the democrats. There does exist some flaws in the capitalist system. Not everything the market does is perfect. But to assume that only a strong federal government is needed to fix this problem is ludicrous and counter-productive.

Every economist will say that in the free-market, people act out of their self-interest. To paraphrase Adam Smith: It is not out of the benevolence of the butcher that meat is put on the table, but out of the butchers own needs and self interest. There is no disagreement there. Thankfully, in the marketplace, there are checks and balances on ones self-interest. Want to put arsenic in that Pepsi bottle…lets see how long Pepsi can stay in business doing that. You want to use predatory pricing to force out competitors from the marketplace…fine, Ill leave now, you take all the losses in forcing the rest of the people out. When you finally wake up from your delusion, I will reenter the market and your scheme will be of waste. The market is the great equalizer that brings everything into balance.

Sometimes however, there exists times where the private sector cannot produce all that is needed for maximum social benefit. Does anyone really believe that the private sector would be the best provider of national defense? I certainly hope not. First off, Defense is a pure public good. The fact that you enjoy the benefits of defense does not exclude me from benefiting as much as you. We both share in this benefit. Even more, this benefit cannot be excluded from any one individual living in this country. Everyone benefits. However, in the private sector, not everyone pays. Some will pay; others will simply free ride off of others. So the government is right to step in, tax everyone, and provide the good to everyone. Everyone pays, and everyone benefits.

However, the fundamental flaw of the democrats is they assume every good is a public good. Not enough health care? Lets provide it free of charge. We’ll leave the other stuff to the private sector. But everyone deserves equal health care right? Well not really.

Doctors are not a pure public good. When I go to a doctor, someone else cannot go to a doctor because I went. What insurance companies do (to great criticism) is ration the more important from the less important. This person has a severe heart problem: ok you go first. You have a cold: ok you go next week. Doctors do this as well. In Japan, a country that has a national health care system, people have to wait months before they can see a doctor about that lump on their neck or get a cat scan. Meanwhile, people flood the doctor’s office everyday with meaningless colds. This solution only makes the problem much worse than it has already been. Policies such as this only lead to massive market distortion.

Even more importantly, just because something is a public good does not mean it is necessary for the government to step in and provide it. Network television is a pure public good---so is radio. But these goods are not provided by the federal government because the market is much more efficient in producing them. Can one imagine the amount of waste and fraud that would occur if the government owned the television networks? It would be astronomical.

A school of economics called public choice economics explains perfectly the failure of non-socialist democratic policies. Public choice says that like the market, governments and politicians also think out of their narrow self-interests. Why the abundance of public schools? Is anyone going to argue that for the past 30 years public schools have been anywhere near efficient? I highly doubt so. Yet the government continues to monopolize the industry (except for some who find a way out of it) and prevent private competitors from entering. Why?

It is quite simple. Politicians like the votes. It looks good for them to have a headline in the newspaper that says, “Sen. Jones pushes for more school funding, smaller class rooms.” Sen. Jones knows quite well that this money is going to go nowhere. But he gets the teachers union vote, he gets the soccer mom vote.

The optimal way to provide education in this country would be to sell of all public schools to entrepreneurs. Then the government can find out the cost of education (lets say its around $9,000 per child) and then send a voucher to each family paying the cost of the education. Families can choose what school to send their children too. The debate over school prayer, uniforms, and curriculum are over. Parents decide. When it becomes quite obvious what works, then most competitors will adopt that policy.

But the government continues to skirt the issue. They do this because it is in their narrow self-interest. This is quite evident in many other areas of the government. It is obvious that proponents of big government (be it the traditional democrat or the traitor republican) screw things up. Billions upon billions of dollars are wasted every year on such things as the statue of Zeus, armadillo research, dance halls, and etc. Whenever politicians are criticized for this they respond, “well my county needs this money…it lowers crime…promotes morality…etc.”

Hogwash. You mean to tell me that the thought of cost-benefit analysis has not even entered your mind. That statue of Zeus, armadillo research, and dance hall are needed more than anything else in this country? What about our troops overseas, do they not need the proper equipment. What about the millions of poor people dying on the streets: how come the money isn’t going to them (think hard about this and then you will realize an even greater flaw in socialism). How come? The answer they should say if they were being honest is that the true meaning of this is it helps them to get re-elected. It helps their political party. It prevents an outsider from challenging them.

There is no great equalizer that checks the self-interest of the government. Sure we elect the leaders, but most people are rationally ignorant and suffer from an information asymmetry problem to make an effective choice in the matter. Therefore, these big government democrats and traitor republicans go on happily as money is wasted that could be better spent in the private sector.

A question should now be circling around your head. Why does no one here this? How come the media ignores these seemingly simple questions? More on this in Part V on why the media is both biased and clueless.

TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; Philosophy; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: democrats; liberalism; politics; socialism

1 posted on 05/24/2002 6:21:45 PM PDT by Festa
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To: Festa
The Republicans are no different. Both parties are intoxicated with power. They will stick up for each other to keep out real competitors. The moment you realize that less than 5% of the Republican party actually believes in limited government is the moment you will start voting responsibly. Most Republican right wingers are either religious right or neo-cons. They have no problem with big government if it is regulating the hell out of what you can publish or put in your body. They only get indignant about "the encroachment of government" when it goes after their wallets because economic freedom is the only kind of freedom to them. You can own your mercedes but you're going to prison if you use drugs or have sex outside of marriage.
2 posted on 05/24/2002 7:13:37 PM PDT by dheretic
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To: dheretic
Even your average libertarians have their more socialist aspects to their ideology. The sooner you realize that it is a matter of degree, the sooner you can stop yelling at the hated "phantom menace" of American society, the religious right. For the most part, they do believe in limited government. Just because they may not share your views on state and local government's responsibility in controlling "lifestyle crimes" doesn't mean they're facists. Only anarcho-capitalists can claim purity on the issue of limited government. The rest of us admit that government is a necessary evil; we just disagree in various areas about how limited it should be. All too often, I think the more "do what you feel-damn the establishment" libertarians have an unwarranted chip on their shoulder.
But I must admit, I love listening to anti-establishment, more hard-line limited government libertarians, even if I disagree with much of what they say. It is such a breath of fresh air from the liberal bullsh*t I get shoved down my throat every day. I can admit it, libertarians have an advantage over my more conservative views in many instances. But the self-righteousness gets to me. Not everyone who wants to legislate anything is stepping on someone's "rights" (I recognize and appreciate what the ninth amendment says, but we can reasonably defer to democracy some of the time in state and local governments).
3 posted on 05/24/2002 8:54:44 PM PDT by Tublecane
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To: Festa
4 posted on 05/25/2002 6:55:22 AM PDT by bassmaner
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: Tublecane
Um no. Defer nothing to democracy. The people have no right to use the government to vote themselves a welfare safety net or anything beyond what the government should do which is provide basic social infrastructure (courts, police, military, roads). They are supposed to keep the infrastructure working, not find ways to to steal money from someone who actually works and is responsible and give the money to someone who had too many kids because they didn't believe in abortion or birth control.
6 posted on 05/25/2002 10:28:48 AM PDT by dheretic
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To: Festa
Could you post a link to all the articles in this series please?
It'll make finding them all easier. Probably should be posted to all threads.
7 posted on 05/25/2002 10:32:26 AM PDT by My Identity
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To: dheretic
I'm not talking about redistribution of wealth and social programs. We all know most of the "religious right" don't believe in that. You chastized them for only fighting for "economic freedoms" while clamoring to regulate what we can publish and what goes in our bodies. State and local governments, through their quasi-democratic process, can expand and claim the right to regulate vastly different areas. We may not always agree on what is "right" for them to regulate, but it does not go against conservative principles to regulate certain things. I, for one, do not care for laws against recreational drugs, smoking in public, adult pornography, firecrackers, or the use of lawn fertalizer, etc. But I'm all for laws against public nudity, lewd and reckless behavior, child pornography, prostitution, etc.
I just have a problem with certain libertarians' call to radical individualism. It doesn't jive with me. I know, I know, most morality should not be decided by government. We're in the same boat on that. But you have to admit, the call for freedom and no limits on what you can do, provided you don't harm anyone, is destructive to society. The grounds you have for using the arguments in the debate over where government can and cannot go are solid. The argument that most morality should not be imposed by government fiat is absolutely right. But in the non-politic world, people are clamoring for "non-judgementalism". The "do what you feel" sentiment is catching on like wild-fire. Radical individualism is here. Why shouldn't state and local governments have a part in keeping us out of moral anarchy in certain areas? I think they should, and I remain a principled person in favor of limited government.
8 posted on 05/25/2002 11:05:43 AM PDT by Tublecane
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To: My Identity
Sure, I am sorry for not doing so before, but I am an idiot when it comes to posting. Part I

Part I

Part II

Part III

9 posted on 05/25/2002 12:30:52 PM PDT by Festa
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To: Tublecane
Democracy is a might makes right system. It doesn't acknowledge any higher calling than the temporary will of the people. A democratic process will resort in the worst kind of immorality. Look at what happened to Socrates. The only reason why a repeat of that is mostly impossible in our society is the 2nd amendment. Socrates in our day and age could easily take out at least few cops before the people ordered him to be executed for his views.

Driving almost any vice underground is not practical. If the government cannot see the vice, it cannot regulate the vice. It becomes a cancer slowly eating away at society. Prostitution would be much safer and less of an issue of prostitutes operated openly and with government regulation than it is now. Public health officials cannot demand that today's prostitutes get regular health examinations because they have no way of enforcing such demands.

The truest moral anarchy is something like the HUAC. Using the elected government to launch a reign of terror against the citizenry because of their beliefs is moral anarchy. It's so funny that people are concerned about the lack of morality in this country today. My generation is far more moral than the baby boomer generation which grew up in a stuffier environment than mine.

I don't trust local governments to regulate any morality other than no public nudity or something like that. The Chicago police classify glow sticks as drug paraphanalia because they're popular at raves. Raves have a lot drugs, ergo only drug users/dealers carry/use glow sticks. Many local governments have tried or want to try to give legal weight to content rating systems like those on game sales. They want to criminalize selling mature games to people under 17 because it is too easy for kids to get access to them they feel. Nevermind the fact that the warning label is about t 1-1.5 inches by 1-1.5 inches, placed prominently on the front of the package and there is a detailed explanation justifying the rating on the back for parents to look at. It's all about lack of responsibility.

I hear too many right wingers talking about how it's so hard to avoid what they consider to be obscenities. It requires too much effort from them to change the channel, to change the radio station or to not go to the movies. What they want is the government to do is take pop culture, criminalize anything remotely obscene and sterilize pop culture so they don't have to actually filter for themselves what they don't want to see/hear. It's laziness and irresponsibility of the highest order. They and the Gores, Liebermans and Clintons of the world blatantly disregard the United States Constitution when it says, "Congress shall pass no law abridging freedom of speech" when they tell content creators to "clean up their acts or else."

Lastly I don't care about the kids. You read that right, I don't care about the kids. Not quite 1 year ago I was legally a minor. It's always for the f$%&ing kids. Not one of the puritanical fascists that claim to be the "man with the plan" cares if they create a police state so long as the kids don't listen to Marilyn Manson, Cradle of Filth, Nine Inch Nails, KMFDM and 95% of all rap out there. It always me laugh when people say that pop culture makes kids go crazy. Pop culture has nothing to do with it. The music I listened to and still do listen to is much harder, more aggressive and often nihilistic than what most problems kid listen to. I graduated with a 3.82 weighted GPA and a 1270 on my SATs and now attend one of VA's best universities. Pop culture isn't the problem and neither are morality police the solution. Irresponsible, whiny and lazy people are the problem and the solution is to take away the nanny state they depend on to force them to look in the mirror and realize that they are why society is what it is.

10 posted on 05/25/2002 5:15:42 PM PDT by dheretic
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To: Tublecane
Even your average libertarians have their more socialist aspects to their ideology.... For the most part, they do believe in limited government.... Only anarcho-capitalists can claim purity on the issue of limited government.

??? Have you made up your mind yet?

Not everyone who wants to legislate anything is stepping on someone's "rights"

No, but those that wish to legislate EVERYTHING almost certainly will.

. I, for one, do not care for laws against recreational drugs, smoking in public, adult pornography, firecrackers, or the use of lawn fertalizer, etc. But I'm all for laws against public nudity, lewd and reckless behavior, child pornography, prostitution, etc.

Ah! The beauty of a Constitutional Republic and a limited federal government! Most of these issues are or should be decided on state or local level. The one-size-fits-all mentality of the federal government, rarely does. Public nudity? Certainly, most of us would not want to see our neighbors walking down the street in the all-together (well, some of my neighbors, I would ;) ). However, if a landowner wishes to establish a nudist camp or business owner a strip club in an appropriate location, is this not best left for those directly affected to decide? Do we need federal laws against "Girls Gone Wild" from flashing? Prostitution? How do you define this? If I buy a few drinks for a woman that she would have otherwise bought herself and we decide later to "go to my place", is this not prostitution? If I give my (poor) girlfriend $20 to buy some groceries and we sleep together that night (or next week), is this not prostitution? Whose business is it anyway to whom I voluntarily give my money and for what reason?

I just have a problem with certain libertarians' call to radical individualism.... The "do what you feel" sentiment is catching on like wild-fire. Radical individualism is here.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by 'radical individualism'. But within every "group" of humans with common interests there will be a spectrum of beliefs. Most Democrats are not hard-left socialists. Most Republicans are not of the "religious right". Libertarians are no different. Ever seen a Bell curve?

But you have to admit, the call for freedom and no limits on what you can do, provided you don't harm anyone, is destructive to society.

I would not admit that. How could going about your business in a non-harmful way be destructive? There are many social controls on "morality" that are not mandated from on high. Parents (well most parents) teach their children not to murder or steal. Adolescents and adults scold or shun their peers that don't abide by their moral code. Organizations can expose, ridicule and boycott individuals and groups they believe to be immoral.

11 posted on 05/26/2002 8:04:32 AM PDT by RANDomScout
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To: Festa
Your series has been given the Eagles Up Award!

Eagles Up Award

12 posted on 05/31/2002 12:48:00 PM PDT by RJayneJ
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To: RJayneJ
Thank you very much. I have been busy, but should have a series of articles up soon. Ill let you know!
13 posted on 05/31/2002 2:00:20 PM PDT by Festa
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To: Festa
Just flag me when the next article is posted.
14 posted on 05/31/2002 3:09:26 PM PDT by RJayneJ
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To: RJayneJ
Here is the link

Part V

This is sort of a lead in article to a change of topic. I am going to talk about how the left is exploiting rifts between different types of conservatives and how we are buying right into it.

15 posted on 05/31/2002 3:30:50 PM PDT by Festa
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