Every now and then the pages of ToBeRIGHT are challenged by someone on the left. Most of the time, it is a snotty, profane one-liner that immediately gets trashed and never makes it through moderation. But once in a while, a leftist attempts to put forth a cogent argument in reasonable tones. I think it is worth approving these comments so that the conversation can move forward. I have no problem debating – our arguments are so superior, it becomes fun. As long as the tone is civil….let the games begin.
We get a fair amount of comment on these pages – most are similar to those found on political blogs the world over – short, punchy remarks supporting or questioning a position. Well, you can imagine my surprise when I looked at those comments awaiting moderation and saw a 2000 word thesis! I was impressed. I write a lot…and I can tell you with certainty, writing that much takes a fair effort. I imagine Albina (the author of the “comment” below) was writing for at least an hour or two.
As I read, I realized that Albina covers a great many topics and all typify the liberal position. So, just like the Systematic Destruction of a Liberal Argument last year, looks like this comment is ripe for a similar treatment. Let’s go through this point by point…
The following text is from the comments associated with the post Liberal Myths Debunked – My answers in quotes:
Are you not aware what “stimulating the economy” requires? Perhaps a recap to the last depression this country has faced would help. What pulled us out was investing money in the people, that is, giving them jobs. That’s why all the schools in the new york city area look the same. The government GAVE all those people who were losing their jobs due to the economy being in the shitter, NEW JOBS, even if temporary, in order to provide them with EARNED money they could then invest in the economy. That’s what helped then, and that is what is helping now. The fact it is used toward government buildings is just killing two birds with one stone, which is one of many descriptions for wise spending.
Stimulating the economy requires money, pure and simple. The Great Depression was caused by many factors including heavily leveraged stock purchases. The Great Depression did not end because the government gave people jobs. The Roosevelt administration spend about a decade with massive spending increases and government programs with no effect. Indeed, Roosevelt’s own treasury secretary, Henry Morgenthau Jr., lambasted the government spending of the 30′s. After 8 years of government programs, the unemployment rate remained largely unchanged and there was a massive new federal debt.
All this is beside the point. The Federal government is not mandated to give people jobs. Perhaps for a totalitarian state, but not in a democratic republic. The Constitution clearly lays out the powers of the Federal Government; giving people jobs is not one of the enumerated powers.
You also miss another important point: When the government “gives” people stuff, it can only do so by first taking it away from another citizen. The government does not produce – it is not a business that can throw off profit and invest it in new jobs. To give a subsidy, it must first confiscate the earned wealth of someone else.
Lastly, you say that, “…it helped then and it is helping now.” By what measure? Unemployment is worse than when the spending spree started in 2008 and now we have a falling dollar, a $1.2 Trillion deficit, and a $13 Trillion debt.
All your other spending arguments are subject to opinion as well. For instance Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security are in desperate need of reform. While taking it down entirely until a solution is figured out may not be the greatest idea, I hardly think allocating them money for what is going to be changed anyway is not very productive either.
It is not opinion that Medicare and Social Security alone have a total unfunded liability of $40 Trillion. (See bottom of page 12 – Roadmap for America.) I’m not sure what the rest of your paragraph means – try as I might, I couldn’t find your point. Bottom line is that Social Security and Medicare are massive failures and have questionable constitutionality.
When it comes to political support for President Bush, nobody at the time had any idea that president Bush was lying through his teeth the entire time.
Please refer to the specific lie. There is none. If you’re referring to Weapons of Mass Destruction, I will refer you to this article, which completely shatters the lack of context and understanding of the events leading up to the War in Iraq by the “Bush lied” crowd. So if you think “Bush lied” than you also must think Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Robert Andrews, Harry Reid, the British government, The French government, the Russian government – and so many more others that I can’t possibly list – all also lied about WMD.
And in the fog of war, the country was so angry at the attack on 9/11, that they became almost blinded by their hate and necessity for revenge, that presenting false evidence to take that rage out, was extremely easy.
Um, 9/11 happened a year and a half before the invasion of Iraq. I think you are saying that because we were attacked, we are hateful because we wanted to prevent it from happening again. I’m not sure exactly, but that’s the best I can surmise from your sentence.
I love how it was called “the war on terrorism.” Have we actually destroyed any terrorism since starting the war? NO. In fact the terrorists aren’t even in Iraq, it was well known they were hiding out in Saudi Arabia. It was only called a war on terror in order to play on people’s emotions and generate mass appeal. We all know that old man Bush has been wanting to take Iraq done even when he was president, and its not really surprising to see little Bush junior following in his fathers political footsteps. Except he got there through lies.
Again, what lies, specifically, please. The WMD thing has been completely debunked. There is an excellent write up on the 16 violated UN Resolutions on wiki (though a little pro-UN for my taste). The case for going into Iraq is well documented and crossed party lines by a wide margin, unless we are to believe that George W Bush somehow pulled the biggest ruse in the history of mankind and was able to propagate a lie that foreign leaders from countries around the world and all of the democrat leadership all fell for – and did so before he was even in national office! (The WMD danger from Saddam was touted by Clinton and Gore going back to the 1990′s.)
And honestly, what right do we have to take down another country’s leadership simply because we don’t like them very much. I’m sure if the correct facts were presented to the people they would have been just as against it as they were years ago. I understand the concept of the United States maintaining some policing power over the world, and though I don’t fully agree with that mentality, I support it, however this was not a policing act. The Iraq war was simply deceit, provocation, and invasion, of a government that posed no real threat to us, leaving the entire country in worse shape than it was before we got there – there was no “success story,”
I may surprise you here. I don’t think we should nation-build, or take down other countries unless they represent a direct threat to Americans. Iraq and Afghanistan both meet that criteria, though I am currently advocating a withdrawal and limited engagement in Afghanistan.
Even when a potential president loses an election, they will say kind things about the change of power despite disagreeing with them, because that is what the nation expects. We don’t expect sore losers; we don’t want all the democrats that supported the loser to suddenly storm the white house in a fit of rage. The main task of all politicians is to respect the winner, and despite disagreeing with some factors, they do their best in order to promote unification, and avoid division and conflict.
It is not the “main task of all politicians…to respect the winner…and do their best to promote unification, and avoid division and conflict.”
The main task of politicians (in the federal government) is precisely the opposite! In a democratic republic, it is the “main task” of politicians to represent the people of their constituency. In Federalist 9 and 10 Alexander Hamilton and James Madison argue that the only way to fight against “faction” is by representative government. The larger the republican body, with each representative working for the respective goals of their constituency, the better protected we all were.
In order to promote unification and avoid conflict, people tend to support whatever actions the government had taken, to the best of their abilities. Also, it’s wrong to assume posting the remarks of a few politicians that don’t want to appear rebellious and lose public appeal, as something that would characterize the mentality of the entire party, especially when there’s others who say otherwise.
Again, I would refer you to Federalist 9 and 10.
Analyzing “healthcare is a god given right,” on the basis of religion is an unwise and contradictory as an argument, as there’s many more religious arguments brought up by conservatives that are absolutely ridiculous, than liberals can even place a finger on. Indeed healthcare is a service, however I believe it is deserved by all individuals in a well-developed country such as our own. Would we rather invest more money in war and taking down governments that pose no threat to us, killing off countless American soldiers in the process, or investing that money into making our citizens healthy? So much for your “wise spending” argument.
I’m not sure where to begin. A right, by definition, must be granted by God, or be a natural right. Otherwise, it is a right granted by one man to another man. Who then, is the arbiter of this particular right? You also assert that health care is indeed a service. Well, which is it? A right, or a service? You get past this glaring inconsistency by saying it is a service that is deserved by all individuals. Really? Do all individuals deserve a house? How big? Do all individuals deserve a car? What make? Audi? BMW? Who decides what should be “deserved” by all individuals and what should not be? Your argument is for totalitarianism. If one man, or a group of men, become the arbiters of what should be deserved by all individuals, then be allowed to confiscate earned wealth and distribute the deserved services, you have just described communism.
Your rhetorical u-turn into the military and foreign policy is incoherent, so I’ll just ignore it for now.
Indeed, doctors are not born, they are made, just like police officers are made, just like soldiers are made, and don’t we have a right to protection? Hasn’t protection been the first and primary cause for societies to form since the dawn of time? At some point in our history, whether through evolution or intelligent design (I won’t even get into that argument), people realized that living in groups was safer than going at it alone. And the first kings asked for taxes in exchange for protection. Yes, taxes. So yes, our taxes go toward protection, which is a RIGHT afforded to us. Just like TAXES would go toward HEALTHCARE, which would also be a right.
Yes, we have the right to protection. First, this is in the Declaration of Independence (…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) and second, the military and defense of the country is specifically enumerated as a federal power in the Constitution – see Article I Section 8. Health insurance is not an enumerated power given to the federal government. And if not an enumerated power, it is specifically delegated to the various States to be addressed – see the 10th Amendment for clarification.
You want to know why other countries won’t “talk” to us? Because we tell them what to do, because we try to control them, because we enter countries without ample evidence and destroy their governments. Unless you define “talking” as obeying our every demand obediently. Just because you changed the president, doesn’t mean you’ve changed the history that country has had. Getting the respect of other nations to “talk” will take more than another pretty face, immediately after a bullshit war that the entire world is still talking about. Travel a little more, you’ll hear exactly what is being said about Mr. Bush, who you are trying to protect so much.
And nobody thinks we are weak. A large part of the world is disgruntled by our actions and the main reason they wouldn’t dare start a conflict with us is because at the end of the day, we’re bigger than they are and we have the most operational nukes. Isn’t that enough? Or are they really supposed to live at our whim as well?
Because the preceding two paragraphs are not a coherent part of any arguments you’re making, I don’t have much to say about them. They do seem to be a basic “blame America” rant. I would just call your attention to the fact that America is the most giving country in the world. We give more than TWICE the amount of charity than the next two countries COMBINED. Of all the leftist non-sense in this article, this small piece was the one that bothered me most. I understand that leftists want to confiscate money and redistribute it from the State, but I don’t understand the hostility to American exceptionalism. I never will understand it.
And finally, the race issue…. firstly, Rome was not built in a day… Slavery was not abolished overnight…. President Obama is the first black president. This isn’t a coincidence. Obviously there were factors that contributed to the lack of African American politicians. Since politicians are voted in, last I checked, the contributing factor would be majority vote. This implies that the majority of the country was against this occurrence at one time. The fact he got elected means the majority ruled in his favor. That does not mean that race is no longer an issue in this country. Instead it means that voters with non-racist ideology now officially outnumber the more racist counterparts.
So what? Yes, I agree. We voted a black guy into the oval office. Again, so what? This exposes a core liberal hang up – you see everything in terms of divisions based on gender, race, ethnicity, socio-economic status – whatever disempowered status suits the call for expanded government. The fact that Obama is black means nothing to me, and to most conservatives. His policies are what we find abhorrent – and I share that feeling about plenty of rich white guys too, like Harry Reid, for example.
This, ofcourse [sic], does not imply that there will be black presidents from now on, but it does mean that the possibility exists and is much more reachable than it was before, which I would say is a big step in racial relations.
Again – I wish liberals would fall in line with Martin Luther King, Jr. and judge people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. Enough already – nobody gives a damn what color someone else is. It is not 1955 anymore. Sheesh.
“Will a liberal who reads this be swayed? Probably not – most refuse to see the truth. But in summary, the Obama White House has, or is, destroying everything it touches. It is taking over car companies, banks, insurance companies, increasing taxes, moving to take over health care, nationalizing student loans, the mortgage industry. And in doing so has racked up more debt, faster than any other President in the history of the United States – actually, more than all of them through history, combined!”
First of all, I would really like to know your animosity toward liberals.
My animosity comes from the fact that there are liberals in positions of power who want to confiscate my money and property and give it to someone else. Simple as that. If liberals had no power to take away my freedom, I would not care a lick about them.
I’m not actually a full liberal and even i see the immense bias in your words.
So what? I make no effort to hide that. I am an unabashed freedom-loving, patriotic conservative. Of course I am biased – I think I’m right. As evidenced by the parsing and destruction of near every argument you’ve written, I think with good reason. If you are not “full” liberal (whatever that means) I would hate to see what that is. In this article, you have advocated for totalitarianism, repeated the blatant demagoguery that “Bush lied” and championed most of the core leftist principles.
The difference between you and me (well, one of them) is that I don’t shy away from my belief in freedom, while you attempt to cloak your desire for totalitarianism in some kind of philanthropic doublespeak.
It is wrong to say you are 100% right and liberals are just wrong.
No it’s not. Liberals are wrong. Period. This is opinion, of course, but the conservative principles of self-reliance, personal responsibility, desire to adhere to the Constitution, belief in American exceptionalism are all vastly superior positions than the left’s: dependence on government, trampling the Constitution to promote equality of outcome, blaming America for all the world’s ills and on and on. It’s not wrong at all to stand up against these juvenile, destructive and mostly theoretical ideals.
This matter isn’t so black and white, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many liberals in the first place.
There are not so many liberals. You represent a small portion of the populace. Last year, Gallup reported that only 21% of people identify themselves as liberal. My bet would be that in light of the radicals in power, that number has shrunk since then. There are not many of you; you’re just a loud bunch. The squeaky wheel, as it were.
You are basically using the superiority complex to characterize a disposition.
I’m not sure what this means, but A for effort.
Every human being is capable of thought, just like any other human being, you cannot eliminate a large percentage as somehow underdeveloped politically simply because they have strong opinions that oppose yours.
I don’t claim that liberals are underdeveloped politically. In fact, they are the party in power, so this is exactly the opposite of what I think. I do think that liberal ideals are theoretical nonsense, however. I think this is well established by this very post.
The fact they have strong opinions on the subject in the first place means they’ve put considerate thought into it, and arrived at that conclusion, what right do you have to shut them up?
First, thoughtfulness by itself means nothing if the conclusions are at best fallacious and at worst counter-productive. Second, I never claimed any “right” to shut them up. Can you show me where I have shown a desire to shut anybody up? As is the pattern with this diatribe, you are 180 degrees out of phase with reality. I WANT liberals to keep talking. The more liberals try to explain their positions, the less power they have. This is the exact reason I chose to HIGHLIGHT your comment, instead of leaving it buried in the comments. I want people to be able to see the difference between the two philosophies.
Secondly, Obama isn’t a demon pillaging the land, as I have already mentioned earlier. Taking over banks? Yes, that’s actually a good thing.
Another example of your tendency toward totalitarianism. You’re advocating government takeover of banks. Yet you claim to be “not full liberal.” That’s curious.
If you review your history a little better, we did that during the last depression as well, in order to save the banks, and thereby people’s money. Increasing taxes? Obama is only increasing taxes for those that earn over $250,000, and only for the amount that surpasses $250,000. Those people don’t need the extra money to survive, whereas less wealthy sometimes need the money just to pay the bills.
Please explain how it is a good thing to increase expenses for employers. If I employ 5 people, and the government increases my taxes, I am going to do one of three things (maybe all three): 1) Cut salaries 2) Fire someone or 3) Raise my prices. Head count and taxes are the top two largest expenses for business. If you increase expenses, staff gets cut, or retail prices go up.
“These people don’t need the extra money to survive…” What?! So you’re advocating what exactly? That the government should decide how much people should make? Your true character is on full display here: it is none of your damn business how much anybody makes. Moreover, you can survive on much less than $250k, so should be allow the government to make earning more than the poverty level illegal? Who should decide how much someone should make? You? A government bureaucrat? And based on whose definition of wealth?
Now think logically…. if we’re already in debt, where the hell do you think the money is going to be coming from?
There are only three sources of money for the federal government: print it, borrow it, or confiscate it. I’d be interested to hear where the hell you think it comes from? To print it, it puts downward pressure on the dollar. To borrow it, weakens our geo-political strength and puts pressure on other programs on interest service becomes overbearing. To confiscate it removes power from people (freedom) and puts it into the hands of bureaucrats, most of whom are unelected.
Tax cuts when we’re already losing money is a silly idea, and obviously taxes have to go up somewhat; I’d say raising taxes only after a certain salary is a great idea because it produces the most revenue, with the least amount of despair.
Wrong again. First, how is it a bad thing for people to be able to keep more of what they earn? It’s a good thing – even for the rich. If people have more money it is a certainty that they will do one of three things with it: 1) Spend it – good for the economy 2) Save it – good for all individuals and businesses as it puts downward pressure on interest rates when banks have more to lend 3) Invest it – good for businesses as they get capital financing and produces more entrepreneurship, thus pumping more into the economy.
No matter how you cut it, when people can keep more of their own money, it is a good thing.
It is also a myth that all tax increases necessarily increase tax revenue. That only happens to a certain point of taxation and growth. You should familiarize yourself with the Laffer Curve. When Reagan cut taxes in the early 1980′s – across ALL income brackets – tax revenue increased 300% over the next 8 years, even with the lower taxes. But there are many examples throughout history of how tax reductions stimulate economic growth and a commensurate increase in tax receipts.
As i had already said above, taking over healthcare isn’t a bad thing.
Above you say taking over the banks is a good thing. Now you say taking over the health care industry is a good thing. I keep trying to make sense of how you claim not to be a “full” liberal. By this I guess you mean you have transcended liberalism and moved onto totalitarianism? It would be a mistake for me to argue merits of your individual declarations – most of them are a moot point because they are completely unconstitutional! The federal government does not have the power to force people to buy a service of any kind.
I don’t see how this is such a problem. If you’re concerned about lines, quality, priorities, wait times, and you’re one of the people who has money to pay for health care, rest assured, there will still be private healthcare institutions in place, just like we have public and private schools. I’ve had to borrow a large amount of money from the government to finish school, and while doing my homework thoroughly, I can very safely say I am 100% in support of nationalizing student loans.
This is not about how the government cannot possibly run one of the largest segments of the economy, though that is a serous consideration. Rather, it is about whether or not they should be allowed to do it in the first place. In our current constitutional republic, they do not. Your position, as evidenced by your words here, is that it is okay for the government to control large swaths of the economy and place burdensome taxes on the people so that it can then redistribute it in the name of fairness. This is Marxism.
Car companies, and the mortgage industry NEEDS HELP. If you learned economics at all, those companies are the first to suffer when the country falls into economic distress, and if they fall, so does the rest of the economy. And when it comes to the amount of debt he’s racked up…. any large positive result first requires an investment – you cant win the lottery if you never even bought the ticket. Other than simply stating these things as somehow “bad,” why not explain exactly why you are against all these changes, which I personally see as very productive.
It is not the government’s job to make sure all businesses in all sectors thrive. The system we live in is called capitalism. The system you seem to want is at best socialism and at worst communism. You see $13 trillion debt, $40 Trillion in unfunded liabilities, erosion of the Constitution, increased tax burdens, and loss of freedom as “very productive.” You are sadly misguided. We’ll let the readers decide who has learned more about economics.
And with all due respect, president Bush has been voted in twice despite his illegitimacy and terrible “reforms” that suit only select individuals, while plummeting the rest of us into economic depression, loss of privacy, and reduced funding in essentials in order to fund his bloody war, including one that affected me personally, reduced funding in research. If anyone is traveling down the path toward being subjects to a tyrant, its the people who chose to vote Bush, not once but twice. (Assuming his first election was even fair, which we may never conclusively know due to the decision of the supreme court that year.)
With all due respect, President Bush has not been in office for almost two years. Obama is the President now – face it.
If you are going to post a bunch of “facts” without proper citations or giving due credit toward where you found the information, there is no reason for anybody reading to take the information you provided seriously. As much as I appreciate your passion in this, it appears to me to be primarily opinion, void of consistent substance or argumentative nature. (that is, arguing both sides in order to reach a correct conclusion. You cannot give only one side and then use that evidence in favor of the other, or vice versa)
First, I can do whatever I want because it’s my blog. Second, I provided many citations for the dismantling of your theoretical radical leftist arguments. Third, I didn’t notice a single citation in your writing, though in the many hundreds of thousands of words on this blog, there are many hundreds of citations. My hope is that you will take the time to read The Federalist, The Constitution and some of the founding history. I would also point you to Milton Freedman and some other giants in the economic field.
Lastly, my real hope is that you are able to take your government-funded education and make something for yourself. Maybe if you build something for yourself by starting a business you will see just how productive entrepreneurship really is. Maybe you’ll also see how hard it is to keep employees with the government confiscating your earnings and investments over and over. Perhaps with a little life experience, you’ll see that freedom from government is always the superior option.
Thanks for the debate and for serving as a fantastic illustration of the battle between freedom and statism.