|Why Liberals Hate Inequality||Dr. Ben Carson and the Responsible Self|
by Christopher Chantrill
February 12, 2013 at 6:56 pm
BACK IN 2008 I decided to vote for Barack Obama because I wanted the Democrats in charge of foreign policy. I never thought that they would do a good job, but I felt they needed to own US foreign policy for a while. For eight years they had been ragging on President Bush as the stupidest, most warmongering president in history, who was flushing civil liberties down the toilet with his Patriot Act. But now, Andrew McCarthy writes:
After four years of watching Obama enthusiastically adopt what he once condemned, we now know Bush detractors were animated by politics, not conviction. We now know that, across a broad spectrum of Obama progressives and national-security conservatives, there is consensus about an aggressive counterterrorism model.
OK, so the liberals finally signed onto the war on terror, kinda, sorta, but don’t tell anyone. Now, McCarthy urges, we need the president to push for a “national security court to deal with the unique legal challenges of a war against transnational terrorists.”
President Obama could do it — he could deliver plenty of Democrats. Together with the strong Republican support that is guaranteed, we could very quickly have an enduring, constitutionally sound counterterrorism framework. We could craft legislation that provides broad executive discretion but avoids the dangerous excesses of the Justice Department white paper.
Only President Obama won’t lead. He just had the Attorney General produce a secret white paper that authorizes him to kill Americans that act as enemy combatants. But forget about formalizing his policy in legislation.
You can see why. The president and his fellow Democrats are afraid to lead their progressive base back onto the reservation. They spent the entire decade of the 2000s raging about Bush the mad bomber and human-rights violator, and now they can’t face their base and break the bubble of deceit.
It’s the same with domestic policy. Democrats won’t touch entitlement reform. Instead they keep driving their voters towards the buffalo jump that will send grannie’s Medicare over the cliff.
And so on, with welfare, global warming, mortgage mayhem. Arthur Laffer has a piece in the Wall Street Journal about how a woman on welfare with two kids usually faces a marginal tax rate of about 100 percent if she starts to work. No wonder the president wants to increase the marginal tax rate on the rich—just to make it fair.
What do Democrats really think is right for the country? Never mind. If it doesn’t keep the Democratic majority steadily emerging they are not interested.
So liberals have to deceive themselves. It all started right after the Great Society legislation. According to Charles Murray in Losing Ground liberals had instrumented their new programs with lots of reporting so they could measure and trumpet their success to the world. When the programs didn’t work out, and the reports showed it, liberals sent the reports straight to the stacks. It’s been that way ever since.
Here’s some reality for you. Mr. Skinflint here has finally sprung for a copy of Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics at Half Price Books. At $9.99, why not?
Dr. Sowell sensibly starts out his book with “The Role of Prices.” Really, everyone should read Sowell on prices once a year. You need to do that in order to flush out all the mainstream media misdirection, not to mention the special-interest ifs, ands and buts, that endlessly muddy your brain.
Sowell writes about price controls, especially rent controls. The science is in on rent controls: has been for decades. They reduce the supply of housing, they result in housing decay and abandonment. And the rich benefit while the poor get screwed. Still, even the black Sowell family got to benefit from the rent control in New York City in World War II and actually contributed to the housing shortage. But they didn’t have a clue what was wrong. Sowell admits the shameful truth:
My own family, which occupied a two-bedroom apartment in 1939, before the war, occupied two apartments with a total of four bedrooms in 1944, and of course two kitchens and two bathrooms. Yet we were as baffled as everyone else as to why there was a housing shortage.
It’s not too hard to understand how liberals manage to live in denial about rent control. Maybe they have a friend with a rent-controlled apartment. Maybe grannie is panicking at giving up the apartment she’s had for 50 years. And of course, if you were the New York Times, you wouldn’t want to rile up your liberal readers with unpleasant truths about basic economics.
I suppose that’s the reason we have speech codes, and the mainstream media doesn’t want to talk about the lefty politics of the LA police killer. Liberals need to stay safe in their bubble of self-deceit.
The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness...
But to make a man act [he must have]
the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove
or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action
But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie
that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison
At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, The Scientist as Rebel
Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says we should....
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
When we received Christ, Phil added, all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh
I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all.
In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion
We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.
E. G. West, Education and the State