Why The Liberal Is Liberal

Without Comment:

Which is why successful people should be a lot more humble and willing to redistribute income to those who have not achieved the same in our meritocracy.  It’s totally not fair that I’ve succeeded, in very large part, due to having two great upper-middle class parents, who raised in me in a great community with great schools, and provided the DNA for high cognitive skills and impulse control.   I didn’t deserve that any more than somebody deserves to have been born to a 15-year old crack addict.  That’s why I’m liberal.

To which I added in the comments:

However, you aren’t interested in the “willingly” part of it – you want to mandate it by government fiat and force me to distribute my income. And not even in ways I see fit, but in ways YOU see fit.

You want me to spend my money on your programs while you keep your money to spend on your choices.

Indeed.

10 responses to “Why The Liberal Is Liberal

  1. Or some of us, due to our analysis of how society operates, believes society will be stronger and more just if there is government action to assure equal opportunity. Markets are good, but not magic. If you let markets function without regulation you get the “winners” able to stack the deck in their favor, and completely unequal opportunity. That not only is unjust, but also ultimately will lead to an unstable and dysfunctional society. Government intervention should be to assure equal opportunity – provide education, police protection, health care, and basic social and civil rights protections. There is also a need to assure children and the elderly are not left to suffer. Ultimately (and history bears this out) that leads to a stronger, more prosperous society. It also allows the market to function better because the “winners” can’t use their clout to stack the deck.

    Mandating is practically necessary – otherwise the “free rider” problem will cause people to simply figure they don’t have to contribute and thus not pay their share. Their share, however, should be determined in a democratic manner, with constitutional protections. Thus it is the people deciding, not some far off “government.” So liberals want an effective market, equal opportunity, and a government of the people, by the people and far the people – accountable to and limited by the people. That is the liberal ideal. Government should only be involved to the extent necessary to maximize equal opportunity and support a functioning and effective market.

    • Or some of us, due to our analysis of how society operates, believes society will be stronger and more just if there is government action

      At least we are to the point that you are admitting that you need the force of government to obtain your goals.

      assure equal opportunity.

      You keep referring to this “equal opportunity” yet I have seen no attempt at a formal or rigorous definition.

      Markets are good, but not magic.

      Not just good, but rather, the best we have yet discovered. No one I know will argue that every single individual will “win”, however, more people will more win with even the least among us better off that they might have been.

      If you let markets function without regulation you get the “winners” able to stack the deck in their favor

      Another term you use, “stack the deck”. I’m not sure you know specifically what you might mean. Nor how few people out there are able to stack that deck in any meaningful way.

      Government intervention should be to assure equal opportunity

      Equal opportunity again. However, government does have a role and, in many cases you mention, we intersect.

      Mandating is practically necessary – otherwise the “free rider” problem will cause people to simply figure they don’t have to contribute and thus not pay their share.

      You keep banging the “social responsibility” drum. So, if I have a responsibility to give back, does the citizen who won’t work have a responsibility to provide as well? And how will you mandate that man to be a productive member of society?

      How do you mandate that?

      Their share, however, should be determined in a democratic manner, with constitutional protections.

      We don’t live in that constitutional world. We live in a world where the constitution delineates and then limits the powers of government. None of which include any of the things you are talking about.

  2. If I may, Scott you are operating on the assumption that government is a disinterested referee. Theoretically that’s wonderful.

    I submit that after the 2008 election, the stimulus was primarily a liberal slush fund. Even the green initiatives were paybacks. Crony capitalism.

    The winners have indeed stacked the deck. I don’t know why you believe people in the public sector are less greedy than people in the private sector. The NY Times of all papers has a good story about the Clinton Foundation.

    What do you think the American Revolution was really about? It was a rejection of the special privileges that cronies of the British Crown enjoyed at the colonies expense. The Constitution was written to block the rise of a politically connected nobility. It is failing.

    • I don’t know why you believe people in the public sector are less greedy than people in the private sector.

      Great point!

      Milton Friedman said it best:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWsx1X8PV_A

      1 – Are political appointees appointed for the virtue [merit] or political clout?
      2 – Is political ambition more noble than economic ambition?
      3 – Where are you going to find these angels?

      Indeed!

      The Constitution was written to block the rise of a politically connected nobility.

      Individual Liberty with 18 enumerated powers and limits.

  3. Re: “equal opportunity” and the market, I think the common ground here between liberals and conservatives is in regards to the “stacking the deck” that Scott may be referring to (at least in part?) Government is in bed with big business – not governing them, but taking orders from them and in turn, getting catered to by them. That’s where I side with Scott in that big business is effectively writing the legislation for the financial industry, the environment, prisons, etc. which is unfairly “stacking the deck” to me.

    As for taxation, with all due respect I have yet to see a liberal opinion that includes serious math on what their version of “fair share” would actually do to our deficit and debt – not in theory, but in actuality once the Laffer curve kicks in. Sure, we can tax corporate profits such as Apple’s at 90%, but if one can tell Apple and many other companies already have their money parked out of the reach of the IRS, as do many wealthy individuals which I would see only getting worse if government wanted to start making this even more restrictive. The issue to me isn’t how much we’re taxed, it’s how much is wasted.

    Which brings me to the third item, which is government waste. Once again it’s become a non-issue in this country, with the IRS scandal and other scandals taking front and center yet again, yet it should be a bipartisan issue that would not only unite the parties on an issue (for once) it would (I think) unite this divide amongst the right/left in the populace, at least to some degree.

    I was watching Mark Levin last night, where he suggested having tax day right before election day. I’d go one step further – release the AG’s waste report in September of an election year as well.

    I think the problem isn’t the people on this blog who actually read and discuss these important topics and whether or not we’re liberal, conservative, right/left, whatever. It’s the numbskulls who instead of discussions like this would rather be over on some other blog talking about A-Rod’s steroid scandal for the entire month.

    • I think the common ground here between liberals and conservatives is in regards to the “stacking the deck”

      I think the Left vastly overstates the “stackers of the decks.” But to the point, do we approve of GE manipulating the Obama administration for their gain? No.

      I have yet to see a liberal opinion that includes serious math on what their version of “fair share” would actually do to our deficit and debt

      Not to mention what “fair share” really is. From what I can tell, it’s just “more”.

      he suggested having tax day right before election day.

      And taxes be paid then, not held from pay checks.

  4. “I think the Left vastly overstates the “stackers of the decks.” But to the point, do we approve of GE manipulating the Obama administration for their gain? No.”
    Even if overstated, they misplace their anger and pressure – protest legislators, not companies, and you’ll get somewhere.

    Not to mention what “fair share” really is. From what I can tell, it’s just “more”.
    Yup! Asking for the leprechaun’s pot at the end of the rainbow yet having no clue what it’s worth. That’s why I distinguish between “Fair Share” Liberals and “Normal” ones (haha!) in my jabs.

    “And taxes be paid then, not held from pay checks.”
    Hmmm… on that one you have more faith in people than I do. Unfortunately there’s a reason why seatbelts and helmets still have to be legislated. When we stop having to legislate that or we stop needing “Do not attempt” warnings on commercials where CG trucks catch a 747 without landing gear, then I’ll trust society enough to promise now, pay later.

    Better yet, I’m for either a) a flat tax or b) doing away with Income Tax altogether and replacing it with a “gas tax” as has been proposed. I say this, however, being fully aware that these two ideas are basically strapped to the back of a unicorn and don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever happening.

    • Hmmm… on that one you have more faith in people than I do. Unfortunately there’s a reason why seatbelts and helmets still have to be legislated.

      I would like the paychecks delivered in cash and taxes paid on site – in cash.

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