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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Truth Will Set Us Free from Anti-Government Rhetoric

After decades of conservatives telling us that government is the root of all evil, it’s time to set the record straight and remind Americans of government’s real value.

The way to talk about the purpose and value of government and be persuasive is simply to tell the truth. This has been in short supply over the last generation. To the contrary, government has been demonized in much discourse. It has at least, to coin a new verb, been “skepticized.”

Trust in government now is very low. But trust in government has been falling on balance since the late 1960s and took an especially large hit in the 1970s. The nation hasn’t truly regained its confidence in it ever since. In fact, the nation has been vulnerable to mythology and misinformation that has seriously damaged America’s future.

There are many such myths, but the primary one is that any social program or any increase in government spending dampens economic growth. Liberal economists have contributed to this as well. Even MIT’s Paul Samuelson, the leading Keynesian of his day, argued that there was a trade-off between social programs and economic efficiency 60 years ago.

It is simply not true. For the genuine evidence, not the propaganda, see a book by Joel Slemrod and Jon Bakija called Taxing Ourselves, which shows the true impact of higher taxes on growth. More to the point, see Peter Lindert’s book, Growing Public, which argues that social programs often contribute to growth. There is certainly no evidence, doing cross-country comparisons, that they retard it.

Both Bakija and Lindert were at the Rediscovering Government launch conference program on March 28 in New York City, and this week we will have video of their contributions on our web site, RediscoveringGovernment.org. Lane Kenworthy, among many others who participated in the conference, also made an important point about how much people of low income in the U.S. and other rich nations depend on social programs.

  • politicalhack1

    at last, an article which tells the truth about government. Theoretically, man is in the natural state, he fends for himself, making mistakes, and letting others about him fall by the wayside….of course some he helps. In order for protection and organization, and direction…….Men formed societies which were governed by either an autocrat, or themselves……in democracies. Government played the role of regulating the people, so that they could be protected from themselves and others outside the society and even from within.

    In a Polisci class in college, I remember a professor explaining the need for government regulation. He told the story of a town on a river where the townspeople constantly suffered from
    epidemics of infection and cholera, and didnt understand why. Government inspectors went there and found that the people were getting their water downstream, while dumping their waste upstream…….this rather simplistic tale of early america explained the need for regulation. Ever since Nixon’s young republicans became the venomous neo cons of today, we have heard outcries against the government and the good that it can do.

    Rules should be followed, not broken at will according to the whims of the leaders of state, which can be responsible for much of the dissatisfaction among the common peoples of the society….and unfortunately this was rampant from 2000 to 2008. even with a slightly more potent watchdog Congress the last two years of the regime.

    I look forward to followup articles which I hope will help to re orient the people to understand again the beneficial roles that government can play.

    • rustacus21

      … & WELL PAST DUE!!! Now, if only enuff Americans will READ this sort of ‘ENLIGHTENED’ dialogue, consider it thoroughly & walk in2 the voting booth this November & deliver the nation to the legislators & REPRESENTATIVES (as opposed to so-called ‘leaders’) who represent the nations fundamental philosophies – LIBERAL/PROGRESSIVE values, faiths, endeavors, all of which ARE at the Constitutions core…

    • montanabill

      The unsaid part of your glowing desire for government is what happens in the eventual history of government. There is little argument that some government is necessary, but history has shown, in every instance, that government will eventually go too far. Growing economies are driven by entrepreneurs who are willing to gamble on their own resources. Once a government has put into place too many regulations and restrictions, the formation of new businesses slows and stops. And with that, more citizens become dependent on government for sustenance because there are no new opportunities. It becomes a cascade which eventually inevitably leads to the downfall of the country. Ask yourself if you can name a single activity in your life that is not currently subject to government control in some form or another.

      • Ed

        If the repubs would stop demanding that “modern management methods” be used in government the government would be a lot smaller. The highly esteeemed business guru Peter Drucker, in his book MANAGEMENT, Methods…. stated “the purpose of management is twofold; to make a profit and to GROW THE ORGANIZATION! Since government cannot make a profit good management practices can on GROW THE GOVERNMENT. They should just ADMINISTER the laws, which is different from managing!

        • montanabill

          Wait…What? Maybe you missed something. The organization that the Repubs want to grow is a free market, individual freedom organization, not government. Though, admittedly, a politician is a politician regardless of party. Speaking of administering laws, has anyone seen Holder?

      • CrankyToo

        Montanabill, I think you’re wrong. It wasn’t over-regulation that got us into this mess; it was the lack of regulation or the ignorance thereof (which is to say, lack of oversight). Our corrupt “leaders” gave greedy, avaricious capitalists the freedom to do as they pleased, and they responded by trashing our economy – primarily by gambling with other people’s resources, by the way.

        Then, of course, we the people had to pony up a shitload to save the scumbags from ruin – and thus, to save ourselves from a great depression. Now we have to listen to an endless parade of right-wing dumbasses bemoaning the failure of bailouts and stimulus packages, despite the fact that any responsible economist will tell you that we’d be in a helluva mess today had the Government failed to act three years ago. In fact, most agree that the stimuli didn’t go far enough.

        Economics is a highly esoteric science – you have to be knee-deep in it to understand how all the pieces connect. But at bottom, there are only three places to turn for fuel to run an economy: (1) business investment; (2) consumers with money to spend; and, (3) the Government. When the fire’s going out under the economy, but businesses aren’t investing and consumers don’t have money to spend, there’s only Uncle Sugar standing between many of us and the bread lines. Hence, the stimulus programs. That’s Economics 101 – so simple even a Repugnican can understand it.

        Oh, and after we rescued those “too big to fail” financial institutions, did they feel compelled to use their resources to reinflate the economy they had devastated? Were the titans of the banking industry moved to return the favor? No, of course not. They locked their vaults and, in the main, refused to lend money to small businesses, which were starving for lack of operating capital. Instead, the banks grew themselves even larger by using their cash to buy up smaller competitors.

        This behavior, quite naturally, has had the effect of prolonging the “Great Recession”, and our collective agony. But hasn’t it dovetailed nicely with the behavior of the Repugnican dirtbags in Congress since our president was elected? Bitch McConnell said it all when he told the country that his primary objective was to make Barack Obama a one-term president. What a traitorous POS! The frickin’ economy’s on life support and all that dirtbag can think about is seizing power – presumably to reenact the failed policies of the man who gave us all this misery. George Bush whipped out the credit card and charged up two wars (one under false pretense), an insidious prescription drug plan (which was really just a donut-hole-filled giveaway to Big Pharma), and lest we forget, tax breaks for all his pals.

        Doubtless, for his role in the destruction of the American Dream, George Dubya Bush will be reviled in the annals of American history. But that’s some small consolation because we’re still stuck with McConnell and his nefarious partners (Boehner, Cantor, McCarthy, Kyl, et al). They spent the first two years of Obama’s presidency filibustering (in the Senate) every effort to get us out of the ditch, and the last year and a half since the mid-terms trying to manipulate the lower chamber with frivilous and counterproductive legislation clearly designed to further enrich the rich and make all the rest of us poorer still.

        I hear conservative wing-dings decrying “European Socialism”, and I remember the 14 years I spent living in Europe as an Army dependent and then later, as an Air Force service member. I remember that the trains and buses ran on time – invariably. I remember that the streets were immaculately clean. I remember that the Germans, in particular, have an enviable healthcare system. I remember that my European friends were warm and generous and, by and large, happy in their industries and in their leisures. Those memories contrast sharply with what I see, hear and feel here in America these days. We (sometimes unjustifiably) proud Americans could learn a number of valuable lessons from those darned socialists. Of course, you can’t tell a wing-ding that. In fact, you can’t tell a wing-ding squat – they’re too busy regurgitating the horseshit they hear on Fox Noise to listen to anyone making sense.

        One final aside: I retired from the Air Force, following two decades of service which spanned the last three years of the Vietnam conflict up through Gulf War I, and I can tell you with certainty, my “Government controlled healthcare” is the best thing thing since night baseball. I wish everyone in the country had equivalent access.

        I guess I kinda got off on a rant, didn’t I? Sorry about that. Forget everything after “Montanabill”.

        • montanabill

          Unfortunately your analysis of the economics and the under-regulation is just plain wrong. Who really created the building bubble? It wasn’t large institutions, it was government trying to do good without understanding the consequences of their actions. Government could have a place as an economic fuel source, IF it didn’t have to print money to provide the fuel or force private businesses to try to find a way out the mess into which they there were forced. Either way, government simply created a future problem of huge proportion, bankruptcy or inflation or both. Your Economics 101 – not where I went to school. ‘Too Big to Fail’? Both parties are responsible for that fable simply because both had large donors in those companies. Obama is, pure and simple, a Marxist. (see his history and his books for details) I don’t have any problem with anyone who opposes taking this country down that road. You are right about the niceties of Europe, but take a deeper look at what their kids face. There is virtually no opportunity to become an entrepreneur. You are generally born into a strata and remain there. A day of reckoning for their countries political system is coming as it does to all socialist societies. We are just now seeing the beginnings.
          If the VA is your only choice for healthcare, naturally, it will look better than none. But for many of us, we prefer to have a much bigger choice of doctors, treatment facilities and options.

          • Dave_dido

            There are about 50 million Americans who don’t receive your “much bigger choice of doctors, treatment, facilities and options” because they can’t afford it(upwards of $1000/month for family health ins.) or because they don’t qualify(people get turned down because they have an allergy or a past history of depression).You guys just don’t get it. About 1 million Americans have gone bankrupt because of medical bills and 75% of these citizens had health insurance! Not one person has gone bankrupt in Canada, Germany, France, Italy or Spain because of medical bills. So while you’re predicting bad times ahead for those “socialist”
            countries, guess what, the bad times are already here for us capitalists!President Obama wants to correct this deplorable situation and you guys call him a Marxist. I don’t think you know what a Marxist is; but I guess if a Marxist is someone who has compassion for those in need, then maybe President Obama is a Marxist!

          • montanabill

            Frankly, I don’t care if people like you want to depend on government for health care or food stamps or pensions. I decided when I was much younger not to be in that position and despite bouts of serious medical issues like polio and cancer, I am not dependent on outside resources for my good life. I made the sacrifices when I was younger to be in this position and I deeply resent having to contribute to the welfare of people who didn’t work to take care of themselves. I know fate hands some people a hand they can’t overcome, but those people are a small part of those currently looking for a handout simply because they operated like the grasshopper in the fable.

          • montanabill

            Bad times are not here for ‘us capitalists’ if we will only quit spending money we don’t have. If not one person in a European country goes bankrupt but their nation does, it that good? America has always been a compassionate country but we have way too many people who think the world owes them a living. Immigrants still come to this country looking for a chance and a great many of them succeed because they don’t expect someone else to take care of them. If you truly have knowledge of the President’s upbringing and the books he has written, you would have no doubts about his Marxist position. And if you think any country that has taken on Marxist philosophy has done well, please name it.

          • CrankyToo

            Montanabill, your response is fairly dripping with ignorance. I gave it my best shot, but you are obviously one of those right-wingnuts who simply refuses to be enlightened. The Repugnicans feed you gooseshit, tell you it’s tapioca and you, of course, swallow (and regurgitate) as much as you can. Then you show up at the ballot box armed with your misinformation and your disinformation and vote against your own interests. There truly are none so blind….

            There will be little hope for this country until or unless we find a way to get through to people like you, and reduce to an insignificant level the number of morons who turn out on voting day. On the plus side, when that day arrives, we will finally have rid ourselves of the scourge on our democracy that has become the Republican Party.

          • montanabill

            Since you feel it your duty to insult people about whom you know nothing, here are some facts: 1) we are not a democracy (look it up since you obviously didn’t learn squat in school), 2) I put myself through school to doctorate level (something you also obviously didn’t do), 3) I’m part of the 1% who started lower than a snake’s belly and worked up (something you also obviously didn’t do). Learning to listen and learn is a valuable asset in life. If you ever want to succeed, you need to learn it otherwise keep showing your position in life by writing ridicule to people like me.

        • Dave_dido

          Thank you, Cranky Too. I agree with you. I’m tired of politicians who want to treat this “land of plenty” like we’re a third world country. We are still, by far, the wealthiest country in the world. If Germany can see to it that all its citizens get good health care then why can’t we? Sure we can afford it. Who are they trying to kid? Just quit starting wars all over the world and thereby enriching Haliburton and Blackwater. And all the nonsense about the deficit is just idealogical brainlock- end the Bush tax cuts until the deficit is paid off (should take about ten years) then give the tax break back to the crybabies who are so worried about losing their summer home in the Hamptons! Don’t feel bad about ranting, Cranky Too. I understand your frustration.

      • scredbyeverybody

        In other words, ” We do not like GOVERMENT because it prevents us from keeping all OUR money by taxing us” Let other people pay for the inferstructure,police,courts,and all the things that allow me yo do bussiness.

        • montanabill

          Your words, not mine. Wise up!

      • Rigel54

        Every instance? Which instance(s)? What time frame? It would seem inappropriate, for example, to claim actions by ancient kings of current democracies. Oh, wait, that would also be going the wrong way, wouldn’t it!? Government proceeding from the bad to the good. Oh, my, it happened all over Europe! Repressive feudal systems have progressed into social democracies, frequently with better standards of living than the US! The same has happened to the Warsaw Pact communist countries for the most part! Blows the hell out of your hypothesis, eh?

        The Nordics are awash in rules, yet more prosperous than we are. Their standard of living is higher, and individual satisfaction indices, too!

        Appropriate regulation will not reduce entrepreneurial activity, it will enhance it. It is not the volume, but the quality of rules that make the game.

        • montanabill

          Each system of government that ‘progressed’ into something else was usually the result of violence that overthrew the old order, sometimes for the better, sometimes not. Just which social democracies do you believe have a better standard of living than we do? Have you actually lived in those countries for real comparison? Are you implying the Warsaw Pact countries have a better standard of living than the U.S.? The U.S. was built on a free enterprise basis where any individual has opportunity to create the life they want, from being a bum to becoming tremendously rich through their own efforts. That is not the case in the Nordic countries and Europe. If you are satisfied with getting by and don’t have the dream of a particular vocation, then that system is for you. Your last sentence tells me you are not an entrepreneur and don’t own or run a business. Have you even tried being your own contractor when building a home for yourself? You just haven’t run afoul the ‘appropriate regulation’ yet to discover what its ‘quality’ really is.

          • Rigel54

            Many large changes (monarchy to citizen government) have come through war or social strife, autocrats are generally unwilling to give up power. In many nations (England, Belgium, Holland) this strife has been minimal. Once democratic (or representative) governments have been established these societies have evolved relatively non-violently. The Eastern Block countries were under the foot of an occupying power, once freed they mostly emulated their richer Western cousins.

            As to those ranging from nearly equal to superior standards of living I would list Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, France, and Germany at a minimum. I have spent time in all the Nordics, and have relatives (and have spent more time) in Holland, Belgium, and France. I have colleagues from Holland and Germany. There have been many long discussions with them both here and there about life in our countries. While there are things they find appealing in the U.S., they are aghast at conditions for much of our population. Several of them are successful entrepreneurs. There is much innovation in those countries.

            I dealt with a fair measure of government regulation rebuilding my home after Hurricane Katrina. Most of it was quite sensible and good. Further, without the substantial government intervention, hundreds of thousands would have been out of house, home, food, and work. Now we thrive again, as will those who suffered from the recent spates of tornadoes, floods, and other disasters. If you want to speak out against a particular regulation, I encourage it. Some do need change.

            I work in a major chemical complex. We deal with quite a lot of regulation as well. Again, most of it makes sense and is good. It certainly makes sense to require certain environmental standards, otherwise “good” companies would be at a competitive disadvantage and poisoning our environment would be a short term win. That’s one of the major points of regulation, to make sure the playing field is level and no one cheats. Republicans like to cheat, and oppose regulation on that account. Regulations also frequently are put in place to ENCOURAGE entrepreneurship in beneficial industries. It is true that understanding them and meeting their requirements can be burdensome, but that problem is now ameliorated by the multitude of service companies doing exactly that for their clients. Unless you want to cheat.

          • montanabill

            Good response, until you get to the ‘Republicans Want to Cheat’ junk. I have no idea why you think Republicans cheat any more than Democrats. All one has to do is look at the handling of Solyndra and several other ‘green’ energy companies that were handed large sums of money by the administration simply because they were large donors to Obama. Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Charlie Rangel, Corzine, not including the Democrats who made news just this week for nefarious operations. Go back and look at scandals during the Clinton administration (not the sexual ones, though Democrats do love to get involved in those).
            I operate in the healthcare industry and can tell you that while some of the regulations are well intended, most were the scribbles of bureaucrats who had no idea what the result and impacts would be to the cost for Americans. The number of new regulations imposed on healthcare in the past decade has been staggering and have, in the large, been more obstructive to affordable healthcare than helpful. So far, the impact of the ‘Affordable Care Act’ has been totally negative. Costs for private insurance has soared, the costs to providers to meet the new regulations has been huge (one reason for insurance increases), people have been bounced out of the healthcare once provided by their employers who wouldn’t eat the 30% increases in costs. Government always works on a ‘one size fits all’ mentality. It doesn’t work. Entrepreneurs cannot afford the army of people it takes to insure compliance with hoards of regulations. The 2700 page ACA is simply a small fraction of the pages impacting healthcare as the newly prescribed agencies, bureaus, departments, etc. daily add new requirements and regulations.
            I would propose that all laws, all regulations, all bureaus, all departments, all agencies have an automatic sunset requiring review and renewal. That would go a long way toward reducing the negative impact government has on our economy and lives, unless of course, Congress in their usual lazy manner set-up automatic approvals.

          • Rigel54

            Thanks. Let’s get together and change the bad regulations. I think it’s presumptuous to assume that the funding to Solyndra and others was solely, or even mostly for political reasons. The administration had already made clear its desire to fund alternative energy projects. Solyndra was not (contrary to common opionion) a bad or weak company. Its goal and business model were fine. The Chinese began dumping huge quantities of below cost cells and gear using stolen technology specifically to kill off US companies like Solyndra. They succeeded, and the right has jumped right in to support them (the right in league with the Communist Chinese, go figure!).

            Mr. Corzine is certainly guilty of “nefarious” activity. The difference between right and left is that when someone is rightly accussed we (figuratively) hang them, the right promotes them. The only Clinton scandals/accusations that stuck were the sexual ones. We impeached a President for a blow job! Only in America!

            If you’re in pharmaceuticals I certainly understand your frustration with regulation! I’m in the chemical industry, in the analytical area, and I’ve had a whiff of what the pharmaceutical labs have to deal with! Those who have grown up with are used to it, but I would quit! Still, the risks of bad pharma justifies a substantial regulation. The form and degree is rightly up for debate, but the cost of error can be catastrophic. I do think the corporate buildings of big pharma alone make it clear they aren’t starving. They’re actually insanely profitable. They should settle for pleasantly profitable.

            I agree about the sunset rule, but we’d have to agree to pay the reviewers (some would call them regulators). One of the many reasons for government lethargy is the regulatory functions are woefully understaffed (really). I know folks in FDA, EPA, and USDA. Their pay is low and their workloads are disastrous. If we get together and agree on objective review of the effect of regulation in a routine framework, maybe we can fix this thing!

    • ObozoMustGo

      If men were angels, no government would be needed. But because men are not angels, too much government can be disaster. Why do you leftists assume that people that work for government are somehow NOT subject to the frailties and shortcomings of people in the private sector, but instead are somehow more noble? We are waayyyyyyy beyond the threshold of too much government and are in the territory of oppressive government. This is not opinion, this is fact! When our debt exceeds our GDP and there is NO political will to change course, the government has gotten bigger than we can afford. THAT IS the definition of too much government.

      Government is not the answer to our problems. Government IS the problem!

      • Rigel54

        No one assumes people in government are not subject to normal human behavior. That’s why we have laws, checks and balances, and laws. Republican actions in the last two decade make it plain that being in government in no way indicates nobility.

        Balance in government IS important. It should provide for the common defense, SUPPORT THE GENERAL WELFARE, and so on. Laws protect us not just from the government, but from each other. When there are current moves by private interest to invade personal privacy, and corruption in high financial interests to defraud citizens laws ARE needed. Your position IS opinion, not fact. There is no “fact” of what is the proper level of government, that idea is just silly.

        Much or most of the debt was accrued by “small government” Republicans, much or most of that spilling into the hands of their powerful patrons. Our recent flirtation with the Bush Depression required a great deal of deficit spending to prevent economic apocalypse. It succeeded. At this point, rapid moves of any kind could throw the economy back into a tailspin. Steady, slow action to build the economy, with emphasis on new technologies that reward Americans rather than OPEC, Russia, oil barons, and the financial sector (which doesn’t actually produce anything) are needed.

      • Rigel54

        No one assumes people in government are not subject to normal human behavior. That’s why we have laws, checks and balances, and laws. Republican actions in the last two decade make it plain that being in government in no way indicates nobility.

        Balance in government IS important. It should provide for the common defense, SUPPORT THE GENERAL WELFARE, and so on. Laws protect us not just from the government, but from each other. When there are current moves by private interest to invade personal privacy, and corruption in high financial interests to defraud citizens laws ARE needed. Your position IS opinion, not fact. There is no “fact” of what is the proper level of government, that idea is just silly.

        Much or most of the debt was accrued by “small government” Republicans, much or most of that spilling into the hands of their powerful patrons. Our recent flirtation with the Bush Depression required a great deal of deficit spending to prevent economic apocalypse. It succeeded. At this point, rapid moves of any kind could throw the economy back into a tailspin. Steady, slow action to build the economy, with emphasis on new technologies that reward Americans rather than OPEC, Russia, oil barons, and the financial sector (which doesn’t actually produce anything) are needed.

        • ObozoMustGo

          Answer this: which type of person has done more damage to humankind:
          A) so called greedy businessmen?
          B) power hungry politicians?

          I’m interested to read your response.

          • Rigel54

            It depends upon your definition of politician. I refer to elected agents of democratic nations.

            In terms of the affairs of stable, democratic nations in general and the U.S. in particular I would go with the greedy businessmen. I suppose the worst case of power hungry politicians would be Joseph McCarthy.

            If you broaden the term politician to include Hitler and Stalin (which would, of course, be wrong, they did their real damage in a post democratic phase) the nod would have to go to those two.

          • ObozoMustGo

            I knew you would not give a straight answer. No leftist ever does. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Polpot, and all the other politicians were power hungry. In fact, many of them were elected. But it doesnt really matter. You’re splitting hairs to get yourself out of a losing argument. Together, they have murdered well north of 100 MILLION, maybe 200 MILLION human beings. Further, what do they all have in common? Thats right. They were all socialists!

            Greedy businessmen… lets go with the worst, Bernie Madoff. How many people were affected? Maybe a few hundred to a few thousand. Go further, say 10,000… no, say 25,000 (just to act like a leftist and exaggerate). He killed no one. Though his son did commit suicide. The damage of one private corrupt businessman is NOTHING compared to the damage a power hungry politician can cause.

            Now I know you like socialists Rigel, but it’s true. There have been more humans slaughtered in the name of socialism than any other ideology, hands down, not even close. I dont expect you to admit the truth, though. It hurts too much.

            Have a nice day!

          • Rigel54

            My answer was perfectly straight, just a little too complex for you. Stalin, Mao, and Polpot were not elected. Hitler was initially elected, but then seized absolute power by violence. None of their murderous actions were under democratic rule. Again, my answer was quite clear (though it had more than 1 facet, exceeding your mental buffer). By my definition, they were not politicians, they were tyrants and autocrats.

            Your murder claims are exaggerated. They are responsible for something like those numbers of deaths, but many of them were during war, which is not technically murder.

            I realized after I posted that a more complex answer was most accurate (sorry, I was trying to keep it simple for you, I know you like that). The worst is greedy businessmen in league with power hungry politicians (e.g. the current Republican Party).

            Slaughter in the “name of socialism” is not slaughter by socialism. None of those tyrants was socialist, not one. The Soviet Union, despite its name, was not “socialist,” it was a communist tyranny. China and Nazi Germany were similarly not “socialist,” and certainly not social democracies. The devil is in the details (which I know you hate!). The driving force of the slaughters was autocratic drive for absolute power. The key separator between good and evil is the system of government, not its purpose. The purpose of socialism in the European social democracies is to serve the people, which they generally do.

            Sorry if I was too complex for you. Even odds you don’t make it past the first paragraph!

          • ObozoMustGo

            I suppose you’d like to argue over what the definition of the word “is” is, right?

            They were all POWER HUNGRY POLITICAL LEADERS and they infact were socialists. The problem you leftist nutjobs have is admitting that socialism is a failure where ever it is tried. And what they all have in common is the fact that they all sought to create their “perfect utopia”. In order to create that utopia, those that disagree are outright murdered, starved to death, beaten, burned, and generally eliminated. In order for socialism to be forced on people, there MUST be some form of authoritarian force. I can assure you that all tyrants actually do believe what they are doing is for the better of the collective.

            I also love how you downplay the murder of millions by these socialist tyrants as just being part of “war”. As if turning your military on your own citizens is just an ordinary course of business for a socialist and is therefor “not so bad”. hahahahaha

            “Slaughter in the name of socialism is not slaugter by socialism”? What kind of idiot are you? Of course it is. And then you make an absolutely contradictory statement in the same paragraph when you say “The key separator between good and evil is the system of government, not its purpose.” You’re a moron. The system of government exists specifically to enact its purpose. hahahahahahahahaha What an idiot!!!

            Businessmen, pursuing their own self interests, have given you the very device with which you use to debate me, you dope! They’ve also given you EVERYTHING you have in your life including your psychiactric medications. You are an idiot of the most supreme degree if you think businessmen are more evil than power hungry politicians/political leaders.

            If you like Eurosocialism so much, go live there.

          • Rigel54

            I’m not the one that has trouble with definitions or language. They were in fact, not socialists. Next, and rather obviously, since you rant against European socialism, by you own admission there are at least a dozen successful socialist countries (unless you define Germany and France as “unsuccessful.”). Further, socialism has never promised utopia, no human endeavor can reach that standard. The Western European social democracies HAVE NOT used violence in achieving their great success. You are uniformly wrong in both definitions and history.

            Slaughter “in the name of socialism” is no more about socialism than murder in the name of God is of God. It is under false pretense. If you cannot separate the form of a system from its purpose, it isn’t I that is the idiot.

            Businessmen, operating in a (democratically) regulated market, with organized and protected labor, are what has given me everything (much?) in my life. Businessmen alone would still have me working 6.5 days a week for 12 hours a day for barely enough to feed my family, under often lethal conditions. The American middle class exists because of organized labor, not business. I am white collar, but I know I owe my benefits and salary to the efforts of organized labor in the 20s and 30s, and to the regulation of democratic government. Pretty much every historian of any qualifications will tell you the same.

          • ObozoMustGo

            Rigel, you can parse words to highest levels all you want, more evil has been done to mankind at the hands of political leaders than all modern business put together. It’s not even close. Whether you want to acknowledge socialism’s role in the snake oil tyrants sell is your business. But it is what it is.

            As to you calling Eurosocialism a success? The jury is still out on that one pal. They are and will continue to fail because the incentive to work is being further squelched while all of their budgets are completely overbloated. Witness the PIIGS. They will continue to “paper over” their debts with printing presses while debasing their currency just like the US is and will continue to do. That ship has left the harbor. But you leftist nutjobs will continue to buy the illusion until its so far gone that you will have to make up some reason why you need more socialism to correct the problems that your socialism created in the first place. Socialism is the disease that presents itself as its own cure.

            And while we can dispute the role of unions in the middle class in America, the truth is that business requires capital, labor, land/hard assets, and enterprise. All 4 are needed for a chance at success. Further, while I personally think that unions in private business are dinosaurs and really only serve union bosses on lavish salaries and politicians whose pockets they grease, I fully agree with the right 0f private employees to organize. I also fully agree with the right of private employees to not be in the union if they so choose. However, public employee unions should NEVER be permitted. They should be made illegal because they are nothing more than money laundering schemes for greedy politicians who have the power to tax and then reward themselves through outrageous pay and benefit schemes to their union budies with whom they negotiate, and then funnel funds back to the same politicians. It is a scam and the US taxpayers are being plundered at every level of government because of this.

            You may actually be one of those white collar union thugs that lives off of the work of the laborers, come to think of it.

            It’s been fun jousting with you, Rigel. I mean that. I really do. I have to run. Have a pleasant evening.

          • Rigel54

            “White collar union thugs living off the work of laborers,” where do you get that. I earn my keep, and am smart enough to know that white badge or blue, we are all labor. I honor those who won our rights, as you do not. The role of unions in the development is indisputable, whatever you say. I have never denied the role of management either, indeed, I am part of it. It is the balancing of roles that makes things work, and it is you that work against it.

            Your hatred of public unions is silly. They are as important there as anywhere, perhaps more important. The idea that they benefit “greedy politicians” is ridiculous, current developments make it clear the opposite is true. You clearly have no idea of the pay scales for public employees or their union representatives, they are seriously underpaid by the standards of private industry. Lavish salaries? Absurd! You and your ilk merely seek cheap services by ripping off public employees. No doubt you act similarly in your business. The only truly deserving person in your universe is yourself! Everyone else is trying to cheat you. Megalomania, or paranoia? Hard to say.

            The PIIGS are certainly examples of the risks of any sort of ill planned deficit spending, like the war in Iraq, or the Reagan defense buildup. or the Bush tax cuts. They have been saved thus far by other socialist democracies, Germany and France. The only cuts the right wants to make are benefits to the people, benefits to business contractors, corporations, and the rich (by taxing income from investments at a lower rate than personal effort, what’s that about?).

            Oh, surprise! “Political leaders” have caused most of our wars! Oh, duh. Businesses don’t start wars (except by influence, where they do), they must have political power. Duh. Socialism has nothing to do with that. Genghis Khan, Idi Amin, Mao, Stalin, Hitler, ad nauseum were not ever socialists. Business is a social activity. It must have political protection to exist. That is why it owes society an enormous debt for providing and environment where it can prosper, and why society owes it a debt when it does. Oddly, business overwhelmingly is more prosperous under liberal democratic administrations than under conservative. Look it up. The only democratic administration that have suffered economic problems have been guiding recoveries from conservative induced depressions. Roosevelt took something like a decade to recover. Obama has got us out (of recession) in less than two years, and has overseen a huge stock market recovery and grudging economic recovery. My manufacturing export business is doing very, very well! It would have been a depression, but for the actions you decry.

            You would be a ruthless dictator, but a free people will not allow it!

          • Dave_dido

            I hate to butt in on your lively repartee, but let’s give the devil his due: many historians consider Naziism to be a far right movement. Yes, they opposed capitalism, democracy and industrialism as Jewish plots, but they also opposed liberalism ,communism,trade unionism, and the Enlightenment as Jewish plots. Naziism is a form of Fascism which is generally thought to be a right wing movement. I’m afraid that your indictment of socialism is not correct,Mr. Obozo. One could make the case that religious ideologies have caused more slaughter, but that,too, would be an oversimplification.

          • ObozoMustGo

            Hey Dave. I hope you are well. No problem. Please do butt in. You are always welcome in any discussion I am having.

            And I hate to correct you, yet again, but Naziism is only considered a far right movement by far left people. Again, what does NAZI stand for? National SOCIALIST Party. It is what it is, dude. Can’t get around it.

            And I never said that all socialists are mass murderers. The point of the question was in response to the supposition of Rigel that businesses do more harm than power hungry governments/politicians/political leaders. It just so happens that the worst ones in history were also socialists, not completely separate concepts in my opinion. That’s all.

            Have a nice day!

  • Great Article, can’t wait to read the books. If people want to know the truth, they will read the books!!!!!!

  • js121

    What difference does it make to publish a book confirming what most intelligent people already know. Oligarchy is making their last effort to get their “crown” by getting “their” boy Romney in place. Democracy will never be again in America. The Fall of the American Empire!

  • ObozoMustGo

    DISTRACTIONS —– DISTRACTIONS —– DISTRACTIONS

    Did Obozo call you and all the radical leftist nutjobs in the press asking to step up your hyperbole and fear attacks on conservatives becuase he took a public shellacking on the issues last week? All of this is designed as a fog to distract people from Obozo’s failed record. Here’s just a few to ponder:

    1) Had complete control of the government for 2 year. NO BUDGET PASSED WITH COMPLETE CONTROL, just continuing resolutions to jack up spending to way over TRILLION dollar deficits.
    2) His only crowning achievement in his first 2 years was Obozocare, which was bitterly opposed by at least 60% of Americans. AND STILL IS, YOU DOPES!!!
    3) A RECORD DEFEAT of his ideas in the 2010 mid-terms.
    4) Gasoline prices are more than DOUBLE since the day he took office, yet he denies the Keystone Pipeline that would increase supply. He has denied or delayed permits allowing offshore and onshore drilling that would increase supply. KNOW THIS —> YOU IDIOTS ON THE LEFT THAT THINK INCREASING SUPPLY WOULD DO NOTHING TO GAS PRICES BECAUSE WE ARE IN A GLOBAL MARKET ARE EATING YOUR OWN VOMIT ON THAT RATIONALE. WITNESS…. A GALLON OF GAS IN SUADI ARABIA IS $0.91 PER GALLON.
    5) Unemployment would NOT go above 8% if they passed his money laundering… errr… Stimulus Package… Sure, sure… How’s that worked out? In truth, America has lost a net 6 MILLION JOBS under this loser-in-chief’s management. They keep lowering unemployment because they are making the denominator of the equation smaller. Dont believe me, look it up. Real unemployment is around 12 %- 15% if you look at the U6 number. BLS has the info.
    6) Obozo comes into office $9T in debt. 3 years later, $16T in debt
    7) Promises to close Gitmo…. instead, he spends $750K on a soccer field for terrorists.
    8) Real inflation rates are close to 8% or higher. Who measures inflation without food and fuel??????? Obozo does!
    9) SOLYNDRA!!!!!!!! need I say more?
    10) Fast and Furious!!!!! If this was a Republican Admin, all of you nutjobs that write on this web site would be going justifiably ballistic!! It would be the lead story on ABC, CBS, NBC, MSLSD, CNN, etc. etc.

    I’ll continue to refocus the discussion on what is important and not these foolish smokescreens the left throws up to obfuscate Obozo’s true failure as a socialist in the White House.

    Have a nice day!

    • phantomoftheopera

      it’s nice to know the right has such rationale people who speak politely on its behalf. ok, enough sarcasm. in my experience, those who bluster the most, who use ridicule and name calling the most, are usually the one who know the least.

      • ObozoMustGo

        You leftist radical nutjobs don’t like views that challenge your crazy assumptions about the world.

        • phantomoftheopera

          ah, the reply that proves my point.

    • lexi001

      Stop wasting your time with all that writing. Nobody is even reading it as soon as they see your moniker.

      • ObozoMustGo

        yes, I know that reading the truth is NOT a favorite activity for leftist nutjobs like you, but not everyone on here is a leftist nutjob. Some people actually appreciate opposing viewpoints. You are obviously not in that category. So dont read it.

        Have a nice day!

  • Good article.

    Why do conseratives want to degrade the federal government? Because these people are the most ignorant of our society. They want to rule at the state level, ‘States Rights BS’, so that they can control those who bindly follow!

    A very good study would be to present the COSTS of States’ Govenments as these have grown over the last thiry years.

    • montanabill

      Particularly Rhode Island, Connecticut, Illinois, Hawaii, New Hampshire, California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts… Wait, I’m seeing a pattern here.

  • montanabill

    To claim that the people’s faith in government stated to decline in the 1960’s is to be totally ignorant of American history. Government can increase spending to boost economic growth, but with two conditions: 1) it cannot be a social program. That is simply taking a $1 out of the market and putting $0.50 back. 2) the spending cannot be done with printed money. If you can’t find evidence that social programs retard grown, you are simply not looking or don’t want to look.
    There are lots of historic examples of socialist (large government social control) countries and one example of a free market, individualist society. Which one has produced the country everyone else wants to get to?

    • phantomoftheopera

      hmmmm many i’ve talked to many who don’t WANT to come here! why? they have it better at home. we ARE a third world country already–if you’re poor or non-white or female. the ones who want in are from even poorer countries or unsafe ones.

      • montanabill

        That begs the question, if they didn’t want to come here, why are they here? Regardless of the dismal oh-woe-is-me attitude of too many in this country, it is still one of the few countries of opportunity. Many of those who come do the work to take advantage of it because they are not buried in self-pity.

        • phantomoftheopera

          no. you misunderstand. these are the ones who AREN’T here. ones who live in the socialist governments you vilify. they don’t envy us. many pity us.

          • montanabill

            I see. Gee, I hate to be pitied by a Cuban or Venezuelan or a Greek or a Frenchman or … so many. I feel just awful. I guess I’ll just have to get over it. I’m sure those who work the companies I’ve started are sorry I was able to do that too. They could have been wards of the government without worries.

          • lexi001

            I absolutely don’t believe for a minute you are educated, much less college educated. That you have “started companies”? Who are you trying to impress? It’s not working. You do not express yourself well enough to be what you say you are.

          • montanabill

            That is your choice. Just don’t place any bets on it.

  • howa4x

    Trust in Government fell off during the Viet Nam war when the president lied to the public about the cause for the war and how it was fought. Nixon didn’t help with all his lies and eventual impeachment. Regan lied about the Iran-conta deal, and Bush about Iraq. This all contributes to an overall disgust with government, and people being cynical about what the government is really doing with all the money it collects. This is why the Tea party revolted and occupy Wall St movement started. The general impression is that the Federal government is there to support and defend the corporate interests and the rest of us get the by products

  • Just remember, gov’t gets to do all the things we want but that the private sector can’t or won’t make a profit in, or else these would be privatized by now: roads, Medicare, Social Security, etc. Also, gov’t moderates the hard-core capitalist “golden rule” that he who has the gold makes the rules.

    Also, gov’t is essential to mitigate the “tragedy of the commons” where, absent regulation, an individual’s incentive to consume or degrade a free resource (air, water, land, game, fisheries) to his own benefit outweighs society’s more diffuse need for protection of the resource for the benefit of all.