I know the pieces fit


As I used to tell my persuasive-writing students, begging the question may be a logical fallacy, but it often is an extraordinarily effective rhetorical tool: Most people are not intellectually sophisticated enough to understand how they have been manipulated. (Me, cynical? In an age of “hope and change” political rhetoric, it is impossible to set the bar too low.)

The problem is that most people simply don’t have the reasoning skills to figure this stuff out. That is why Turbo-Tax-Timmy can get away with saying that we “can’t afford” the tax cuts on the rich. But we can afford em on the middle class?

We either need the money or we don’t.

Not to even get INTO the argument that the government spending is the issue, not the revenue. Logical would dictate that the issue of “affording” what the government taxes from us isn’t the issue. What we “can’t afford” is the government itself.

Moving on in the same strain of rational thought, and the lack thereof among our citizenry- Rachel Maddow and her fallacy of confusing government and society:

Is there a difference between government and society? Rachel Maddow seems to think not.

Pay close attention to these words from the MSNBC host’s promo as she attempts to defend “America” against those who (in her view) believe its best days are in the past:

“No, no, no. We’re not going to build it. No, No, No. America doesn’t have any greatness in its future. America has small things in its future. Other countries have great things in their future. China can afford it. We can’t”—you’re wrong! And it doesn’t feel right and it doesn’t sound right to us because that’s not what America is.”

The greatness of America is in it’s individuals, not in its government. Liberals don’t “get” this.

Frédéric Bastiat identified it in 1850. In his classic, The Law, Bastiat wrote that the “socialist” confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education… We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.

Socialists, and today’s progressives, believe that everything good flows from the government. It has a hand in all. The positive force. The equalizer creating fairness and unicorns. And handing out free shit, of course.

Echoing President Obama and Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren, Maddow apparently believes that no private accomplishment is possible without government support through spending on infrastructure, education, and research. But that is wrong. All of those things can be and have been provided in the private market. Government has a way of crowding out private efforts and then asserting its own importance because of the lack of private alternatives. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy!

Government doesn’t just crowd out private-sector activities; it also substitutes inferior ones in their place. No one is pleased with education—which has been under government control for close to 200 years. If the infrastructure is in disrepair, who’s to blame for that? Politicians don’t think about fixing things until they need a rationalization for “stimulus” spending. Why does it take a recession to make them think about the roads and bridges? American history is rife with examples of private roads and bridges, whose owners didn’t wait for an economic crisis to fix them. Their incomes—their businesses—depended on satisfying customers. That goes for education and research too.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The government sucks at just about everything it does, because they are pretty much unaccountable.

In other words, government may do flashy things, but they are things that are never subjected to the market test of actually serving consumers. Do political decision-makers pay the price for their failures? Usually not. Occasionally an incumbent may lose an election, but he never had any capital at risk.

And the media doesn’t hold them accountable. Case in point: Head Start.

After some prodding, yesterday the Obama administration released the long-overdue first grade evaluation of the federal Head Start program. As expected, the results show that the $7 billion per year program provides little benefit to children – and great expense to taxpayers.

That is from 2010.

And yet – F2012:

President Obama signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 on December 23, 2011. This Act included the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 appropriation for programs under the Head Start Act of $7,968,543,933. This represents an increase of approximately $409 million over the FY 2011 appropriation level.

The $409 million funding increase includes $340 million to continue operations for the expansion of programs funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) as well as funds for a 0.72 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increase for all grantees and, as required by statute, an increase to training and technical assistance. This Program Instruction explains the increases and provides general guidance on the criteria for the use of these funds. In separate guidance, the Regional Offices will advise grantees of the amount of funds available for these purposes in FY 2012. For grantees that have already received partial funding for FY 2012, your award will be adjusted to reflect the increased appropriation.

It keeps growing and growing despite the complete absence of proof that it does ONE THING.

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2 Comments on “I know the pieces fit”

  1. Cathy Says:

    Amen! I firmly believe that liberals know dang well that the root causes of our ailments are the elfin’ spending and taxing! The reason the modern day Tea Party Movement came into being was exactly this…to send the message that we want government to be accountable and stop this out of control crap! I fear that if government does not curb itself soon that we just may witness a civil/revolutionary war in some new and ugly form… And it won’t be the supposedly ‘radical’ conservatives with legal firearms that we will need to fear. It will be the oppressive government and their handmaidens, the criminals and illegals.

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