Quick Roundup 344

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

You can't fix what is inherently broken.

Jim Woods has a couple of posts up about something I've been mulling off and on lately: The silly premise, increasingly evident among Republicans, that we can make government violations of individual rights "work" if we only tweak them enough.

At the first link, we have a Republican congressman calling for "reform" of government entitlement programs. At the second, we have Newt Gingrich leading the charge, not to abolish all restrictions on production and trade, but merely to tap into proven oil reserves presently kept off-limits, arbitrarily, by federal law (while leaving federal power to continue doing so intact). Given Gingrich's new enthusiasm for Green causes, this smacks of little else than Clintonian triangulation.

The Republicans failed as advocates of capitalism decades ago, when they refused to identify and get behind the full government protection of individual rights (on which capitalism depends) and its moral basis, the fact that every man's life is an end in itself.

In the past, when the Republicansy did more often seem to want a freer economy, they were still easily thwarted by altruists who protested that others "depended" on various government programs. Since they avoided the moral high ground, even when you'd initially hear talk of abolishing a government program or a cabinet post, it never materialized.

Now, Republicans rarely talk about capitalism, but usually focus on making government programs "work". But what does "work" mean coming from the mouth of someone who does not understand that the proper purpose of the government is to protect individual rights? Your guess is as good as mine. What becomes clear when one does understand the proper purpose of government, however, is that any reform of a program whose entire purpose is to violate individual rights is merely a cosmetic change.

There is only one way to "fix" government interference in the economy, and that is to abolish it altogether.

Oh, and speaking of the Republicans and individual rights, here's a chance to remind that party of that idea.

A Movie Scene Worth Watching

This smolders and smokes -- and I'm saying that even after having to hold the speaker up to my ear while the cat rubbed his head against it the whole time. The volume problem, I suspect is on my end, so don't let that stop you....

Two Different Uses of the Word "Power"

A Republican or two could stand to read Brian Phillips' short outline of the difference between political power and economic power.

The difference between political power and economic power is the difference between the coerced and the voluntary, between the choices of political officials and the choices of individuals.The difference between political power and economic power is the difference between the coerced and the voluntary, between the choices of political officials and the choices of individuals.
The reaction of your audience upon learning (or being reminded of) this may be friendly or hostile, but in either case, you are discouraging the evil and encouraging the good when you make this clear. Sometimes, you will succeed in changing minds, and sometimes, your words will even encourage someone else already on the side of freedom.

-- CAV


Paul Hsieh said...

Regarding the two uses of the word "power", Bill makes a good point at the NoodleFood comment thread on taxes. Citing Richard Salsman, Bill says:

"Salsman's point came when speaking about Microsoft and the antitrust case. He was trying to point out that Microsoft had no real power. He asked to us to ponder who would come after us if we did not buy Microsoft products for a year and did not pay taxes for a year. Let's just say its not Microsoft."


Gus Van Horn said...


(And I have been a "fugitive" from Microsoft for ten years now....)