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Government and parties looking hopeless these days

August 11, 2011

I sometimes think I’m starting to lean towards libertarianism, at least in theory. I had always defaulted to liberalism, because conservatives had shown themselves to be pro-rich, and often place blame towards different people, like racial groups, or (esp. in the case of religious conservatives) notions of a golden age of morality ruined by modern generations; and I was not aware of libertarianism as a third alternative. It sounded like just more conservativism.
(Because of the “less government” lingo, which I associated with conservativism. This before realizing the political scale was a 2D matrix,  with libertarian vs authoritarian a distinct factor from right/left).
It also spawned people like Murray and others, who try to resurrect stuff like genetic inferiority to bolster their crusade against government programs.

But it looks like neither of the main parties have the answer (just now seeing the latest stuff on the president i.e. http://www.amny.com/urbanite-1.81203…nomy-1.3083817, and how even some Democrats are saying he shouldn’t seek reelection).

And as far as reining in capitalism, what this site says is ultimately true: http://www.federalbudget.com/corpwelfare.html. The conservative response seems to assume then that since that recourse is inevitable, then we should just give them whatever they want. And this has been done off and on.

(Like when people like us are struggling, everyone from preachers to financial counselors to conservative advice suggests we should cut back. Well, in trying to cut back both the mobile and cable this morning, we find that with the sharp price increases since signing up for their service, due to deregulation, you can’t save any money by scaling back anything. If your original service was $40, you add some things, and this plus rate increases push it up anywhere from $150-over 200, yet to cut all the amenities, and perhaps reduce the service by half, you only save $20!)

Yet in this current budget mess, people are still screaming “we’re becoming socialist”. Meanwhile, the link mentions Democrats thinking Obama has capitulated to the Republicans too much. No matter what he does, no one is happy, and they all accuse him of the worst of their opponent’s flaws!

It would seem that “give them free reign” is the libertarian philosophy as well, but they sound like they would also end the opportunity for the corporate alliances with government that both parties allow (and ignore), so that would probably have some sort of tempering effect.

All they do is blame each other, and neither really fixes anything when in power; at least not for long.

And so many people are complaining about government. Even liberals and the poor, who push for more government and programs, have, it seems, never been completely happy with it. Many look to government to protect the poor from the powerful, but it is well known that the powerful and the government are often “in bed with each other”, that the line between them is often blurred, with the appointment of business leaders in various committees, etc. and that politicians can be “bought”. So blame  often gets poured on the poor as receiving so much government help at everyone’s expense, ignoring the great benefit to the rich. So again, no one is satisfied.

Why push for something no one is happy with? Especially realizing that it, like any other human institution, can never be perfect. With organizations, the tendency is always to just create a bureaucracy that serves only whoever has the most clout, and often those within the institution itself. (Of course, even with the  “every man for himself” alternative, we are still no less human and self-serving!)

The libertarians are also the ones against the War on Drugs, even acknowledging it as a new Jim Crow. You can see this here:

http://www.nolanchart.com/article1107_If_Ron_Paul_Hates_Blacks_and_Jews_Count_Me_In_Too.html

I am still leery of the apparent libertarian philosophy of just pulling out all the stops (such as no Social Security; just let your children take care of you I heard at least one of them explain, etc). I don’t think that’s ever even been tested. It’s probably why libertarianism doesn’t catch on, even though it seems everyone is unhappy with the current two parties.

In trying to do some research regarding the bar graphs on the main page for the second link: http://www.federalbudget.com; where the biggest outlay (spending) for the federal government is for the Department of Health and Human Services, I run across this Wiki entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporary_Assistance_for_Needy_Families which shows a drop of assistance by ’07-08 to nearly a quarter of what it was in the ’96 reforms when AFDC became TANF. It has gone slightly back up in the past couple of years, due to the economic crisis, of course.

Yet, this should show how utterly ridiculous it is for people to still be spewing rhetoric about “lazy welfare slugs” or “grasshoppers” and such. It’s obviously deflection from where all the money is really going.

Here’s one place that should make you wonder: http://www.newsy.com/videos/new-world-s-tallest-building-planned-for-saudi-arabia. It seemed the recently completed Burqa would have been it for awhile. But now, here’s a plan for something to dwarf that!

Funny that after 9-11 we were calling them “middle age” or even “stone age”, yet as we fall face first, they continue to be on the rise, financially (that is the builders, at least. The article mentions the rest of the society struggling).

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From → Politics

3 Comments
  1. Eric, that’s a very thoughtful post. I overlooked it originally, but now that my attention has returned to it, I’ll try to make some comments soon. In general, I think that there are more alternative practical solutions to emergency situations than often imagined. Back in the 1800s, even more recently, people struck by a fire would be helped to rebuild by their neighbors, and people too poor to pay for health care would be treated pro bono by doctors — without the means being extracted by force by the government. It would never have crossed most people’s minds that they were not morally responsible to pitch in and help out when possible, that it was government’s job to “take care” of people’s needs. Now, of course…

    • Hi Roger!

      Yeah, in the past, there was more of a sense of community, so that it was more about the actual people, rather than a “government” ruling over the people (supposedly “of” the people, but in practice being strangers doing a job for a check, who don’t really care). Now, the world has changes so much, and we’re all pretty much strangers, and we feel we’re barely making ends meet already, with the time and money we have, so we can’t do things “pro bono”, but if that is to be done, it will have to be by someone else. And that someone else ends up being the government. (In less than a month, I’m going to a reunion of the block I grew up on. Ever since leaving there 28 years ago, I was never able to find another community like that, and it was already going down and becoming bad, causing us to leave in the first place. Everything is so different now).

      So I don’t know what the solution to this is. I don’t think any of these politicians can restore that sense of community that would allow a total libertarian system to work. What would probably have to happen, is a total collapse of the system and culture, and replacement with an entirely new one, and the only thing that usually would instill such values would be something catastrophic; I mean on the order of near total destruction, that would bring people together by force of necessity.

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