Tag Archives: liberalism

Liberal hypocracy

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Pining for a perfect world

Everyone wants to live in a perfect world.

That’s not a really surprising statement. What separates us, however, is whether we think a perfect world is attainable given the current state of affairs and whether we think it is possible  to bring about a perfect world.

How we answer these crucial questions is what defines our political outlook.

Big government advocates, for instance, think a perfect world is obtainable through the right policies. In the past these policies were based purely on theory (a la Karl Marx) but in more recent times these policies are being based on statistical averages. Modern proponents of big government are fond of making the case based on scientific research and strong appeals to game theory as a solution to the tragedy of the commons. In short, a perfect world is possible if we limit the non-optimal decisions of others.

This view sells. Its a sound theory. It is possible to bring about the most optimal set of circumstances through the application of something like the Nash equilibrium. However it fails to account for one crucial fact. The fact that complete and flawless knowledge of all the relevant facts is required in order to make the calculations accurate. Big government proponents either fail to factor in the uniqueness of individuals or else they boldly assert that individuals are obligated to conform to the community’s desires. The recipe for a perfect plan calls for perfection.

This inconvenient truth is where big government advocates often find their lofty ideals being dashed on the shores of reality.

There are no individual humans or group of humans who have acquired the omniscience required in order to concoct such a perfect plan in order to bring about a perfect world.

And its this reality that leads people to advocate for a realistic system designed not to bring about a perfect world, but a just one.

Small government supporters rightly recognize the problem inherent in designing a perfect society. So rather than try they prefer to uphold the individuals right to chart their own course through the ocean of life. Small government advocates believe in the principle that more people come up with better solutions to problems than a small group of people do. Small government supporters also believe that it is wrong for others to try and force their view of what constitutes a perfect world on others.

A liberal understanding of free speech

Notice Sharpton begins with racist speech and then includes homophobia later on. This is not a coincidence. Homosexual activists have already won the fight to get “hate crimes” legislation passed that would afford special consequences to those unfortunate enough to offend the wrong person.

All of this sounds like Orwell’s classic line from 1982, “all animals on the farm are equal, but some are more equal than others.”

Dispelling liberal myths: Tax cuts have to be paid for

A popular liberal refrain is that tax cuts have to “be paid for”. Tax cuts for the rich are often construed as handouts for millionaires, and people who advocate for less taxes all around are treated as fiscal miscreants who want something for nothing. Tea partiers are routinely chided as not paying their fair share.

Stories like this one are meant to convey the idea that tax cuts are the same as the government writing a check. They are also meant to portray those in favor of tax cuts as economically ignorant about the ramifications of their actions.

Facing a huge budget deficit when he took office in January, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano did not impose a hiring freeze. He did not stop borrowing to subsidize some of the richest school districts in the country. He did not eliminate the Police Department’s beloved mounted unit.

Instead, Mr. Mangano, a Republican who won one of the first upsets of the Tea Party era, did what he had promised: He cut taxes, adding $40 million to the county’s deficit, which has since reached nearly $350 million.

Now, with its bonds suddenly downgraded and a state oversight agency preparing to seize its checkbook and credit cards, Nassau is on the verge of a full-fledged fiscal crisis.

However stories like this one neglect to mention the fact that while executive orders do, in fact, lower taxes and thus reduce the pool of available money that government agencies can pull from. These government agencies, like the local school board, have flatly refused to revise their budgets based on the revised numbers. This is what the press is calling a “deficit”. It is not so much a unilateral problem that the city is continuing to spend like mad, it is. The problem is that even cutting off the taxpayer spigot, government officials want to pretend like their budgets determine reality rather than the other way around where reality (money coming in) determines the budget.

Again, this is like my wife and I setting an imaginary budget of $5,000, walking into a store and spending up to that amount, and then getting mad at my employer for not covering the debt I’ve incurred. What I would have in such a case would not be a deficit, but a receipt for a cartload of stupidity.

So liberals like the reporters in this case can call it a deficit all they want. But that doesn’t change the fact that what this really is is poor planning by those who want to ignore reality.

Another article on the same subject paints quite a different, and more full, story

According to a county spokesperson, if business or homeowners believe that the county has assessed their taxes incorrectly, they have the right to file a tax grievance, which is then reviewed by a special commission. Property taxes are reduced and refunds potentially issued if the grievance, known as a tax certiorari, is won.

We had a similar situation in Augusta, GA before I moved to Atlanta.1

Home values were plummeting but rather than lower the tax assessed value to match market value, the county wanted to keep them artificially high just because they had gotten used to the cash flow. In fact, they said that even if they reassessed the values to be lower, they would raise the millage rate so they ended up receiving the same amount of money in the end.

This is essentially government agencies acting like they are not subject to market forces like everyone else. That is, if the taxpayers are not making as much as they used to, if their homes are devalued, then they cannot pay as much as they used to and therefore the government will take in less money as a result. Sure, the government can ignore these market forces, but not for very long until reality catches up with them and they end up filing for bankruptcy.

The moral of the story is that a stupid fiscal plan for a family does not stop being stupid just because we scale it up to encompass multiple families.

  1. They have since then apparently come to their senses. []

Secular sources against abortion

Why is abortion always treated as a Catholic issue?

I get highly annoyed when people speak of issues such as abortion as if they were purely the invention of the religious right and devoid of any other supporters than “the crazy Christians”.

So to help put things in perspective, here are several secular sources who, like Christians, thought that abortions were a bad idea. Boldness liberally applied by myself.

“There are five kinds of evil Karma which are difficult to extinguish, even if one were to repent of them. What are the five kinds of offences? The first one is killing the father, the second one is killing the mother, the third one is abortion, the fourth one is to injure the Buddha, the fifth one is to create disharmony among the Sangha assemblies. These five types of evil and sinful karma are difficult to extinguish.” -The Dharani Sutra of the Buddha

“I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.” -Hippocratic Oath – Greek, 4th century BC

“The law enjoins us to bring up all our offspring, and forbids women to cause abortion of what is begotten, or to destroy it afterward; and if any woman appears to have so done, she will be a murderer of her child, by destroying a living creature, and diminishing humankind.” -Josephus, 1st century Jewish historian

Do not abort a foetus or kill a child that is born.” -The Didache – the first manual of the Christian Church, AD 100 (Ok, this doesn’t exactly fit the criteria of a secular source, but it does show that this isn’t a recent tirade of the religious right.

“You shall not kill your awlad [born or unborn children] due to fear of poverty. We provide for them, as well as for you. Killing them is a gross offence.” Quran 17:311

“It seems to me clear as daylight that abortion would be a crime.” -Mahatma Gandhi

“They are killing the baby in the womb. How cruel! In this age of unwanted population, man is losing his compassion. That living entity must again take on that same life form to complete its designated life term in that body. And the killer must return to pay for damages.” -A.C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada, founder of the Radha-Krishna movement

  1. Come on, this is even more potent coming from one of the most blood-thirsty religions on the planet. []

Individualism, politics, and followers of Christ

A friend of mine recently recounted his disagreement with his son over their political choices, specifically Barak Obama and his struggle to explain to his son why Obama’s plans and ideals are incompatable with their shared Christian faith.

The specific problem with Obama’s ideals, and hence their appeal to a wide range of people, is their focus on the philosophical view that the individual, and his or her rights and pleasure, is the pinnacle of importance.

This philosophy colors every aspect of what we know commonly as Liberalism however it isn’t all that new for one needs not look very hard into history to find the selfish “it’s all about me” attitude permeating history and streathcing as far back as Genesis 3.

Is it any wonder, then that Obama and his camp speaks so much about the individual and so little about objective good (which presupposes that the individual isn’t of primary importance)? Is it any wonder why we hear the R word (responsibility) so little and the E word (entitlement) so much?

The only thing that befuddles me is why people would think that such a philosophy could be compatable with Jesus’s teachings. Do people really not pay that much attention to ideas and the consequences they have?

My friend’s initial question was whether I thought Obama to be the anti-Christ. While I wouldn’t start painting horns on his head just yet, I will maintain that his current philosophy (which, as his conduct suggests is subject to change according to his audience) is against Christ (hence anti-Christ in the sense of 1 John 2:18, 1 John 2:22, 1 John 4:3, 2 John 1:7) and the ideals he stood, and consequently died, for.

BTW: This underlying philosophy is also why the overwhelming majority of liberals tend to not give as much to charity or actually lift a finger to help others in any real sense (other than superficial hand-outs).