Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Tale of two moralities

I am impressed that he tries to acknowledge both sides, but he misrepresents the positions of both the right and the left, making both appear farther right than they really are.  Few Republicans want to abandon social programs, but they do want to prevent them from getting larger.

Likewise, the people on the left aren't just capitalists who also want public charity.  (That would be a good description of most Republicans.)  Many on the left despise capitalism and want the government to control the economy and specific industries.  The leftist policies of the current government have tried to take over healthcare, the auto industry and the financial sector.

He fails to mention Keynesian Economics, which is followed religiously by the everybody on the left and less religiously by a few on the right. This is a belief that the government should meddle in the economy by trying to boost demand during weak economic times.  The problem is that it has a bad track record and it is the perpetual excuse for increasing government spending and control.

There is an optimal level of government that prevents us from harming each other but otherwise leaves us free to conduct our own affairs.  We are way past that point.  The level of government we have now is leading us to bankruptcy.  The country is driving off of a cliff built out of debt.  The Tea party movement is not about a desire to abandon welfare, but a desire to reign in excessive spending.

Finally, everybody on the left ignores the lessons of history - how experiments in socialism have repeatedly collapsed the economies of the countries who tried them. It ignores the fact that per capita GDP is inversely proportional to tax rates worldwide and throughout history.

Consider the following thought experiment:  If you taxed a certain segment of the population at 100% of their income, how much would that segment of the population produce?  They would produce nothing at all.  As you lowered that tax rate, they would produce more, and if you kept lowering it, you would reach some level at which production is maximized.  Some have suggested that the government should find a tax
rate at which government revenue is maximized (as opposed to maximum productivity), but as tempting as this sounds, I want to remind you that it is not the role of the federal government to see how much money they can milk out of us.  This kind of thinking is counter to freedom.

Those on left want to increase taxes so that they can increase spending, but this is poison for our economy, as it runs counter to productivity and freedom

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