Friday, September 27, 2013

Arguing Politics Is To Miss The Point

Last night, my wife and I went to parents' back-to-school night at our daughter's public high school. A couple of the teachers had tangentially political comments to make and one looked like a cartoon character you'd draw of a crazy progressive who waited tables at UCSD's Che (Gueverra) Cafe. Every teacher we met was solidly progressive. I'm certain that, given the political leanings of the education industry, the same little dramas were being played out all over the country.

As I sat there, I thought how surprised these people were going to be when the roof caved in on them. In Chicago, for example, the school system is down $1B and is about to go bankrupt. That led to a very simple thought that, because of articles of secular faith adhered to by the progressives, was probably a complete mystery to the teachers.

The government is simply too large for society.

Really, it's not any more complicated than that. Commercial enterprises pay for the State and if the State gets too big, you have what we have right now - monster debts and deficits leading to school closings, infrastructure rot, pensions reneged and so on. That the progressives fight for more spending and resist the cuts shows how they're a religious movement and not a philosophical one.

When you argue in favor of smaller budgets, the dialog usually goes something like this.
The government is too big.

OK, what would you cut?

Well, we're going to have to cut entitlements because that's where most of the money is being spent.

You'll never cut entitlements. They're too politically popular. In fact, here's a list of Republicans who vote for entitlements all the time.
Which is beside the point.

"The government is simply too large for society" is not a debate issue, it's a mathematical fact. As Detroit is showing us and Japan is about to, to argue politics is to miss the point. Popularity doesn't pay the bills, tax revenue does. If you don't have the income, you can't spend it.

Somewhere out there in the past was a turning point where we as a society decided we didn't need to balance our budgets. I wonder what that was. Keynes, perhaps?

Oh well, it was a nice run while it lasted.


Dean said...

Math wins. Math always wins. RT

Doo Doo Econ said...

I am not sure the exact date and time The Great Society programs were implemented or when the War on Poverty began, but these incremental white lie programs did it. I say white lie because it sure would be nice IF we could eliminate poverty or make a perfect world, so we have accepted lies instead of face the harsh truth.

"The richest/greatest nation on earth shouldn't struggle with _____."

No, this is earth and the world is a struggle for a reason. It makes us better. We might as well be arguing against gravity which is precisely your point.

Renee said...

How affluent is your community?

Easier to be progressive in the suburbs.

K T Cat said...

Renee, we're in the 'burbs, but not particularly wealthy ones. I'd say solidly middle class.

K T Cat said...

Thanks for the RT.

W.C. Varones said...

True within a finite monetary system.

Fortunately, Zimbabwe Ben has discovered a printing press to monetize deficits so that the federal government can fund infinite bailouts of state and local disasters.

The FHA just took a $5 billion bailout without Congressional approval. Hundreds of billions in federal student loans will be defaulted or forgiven.

With Ponzinomics, all things are possible.

K T Cat said...

WC, all things are not possible as Japan will illustrate.

I get your point, though.

Houston Keys said...

It's hard to pin down.

I personally think around Wilson, the creation of the Federal Reserve and the 17th Amendment taking away states representation.

FDR was the great acceleration of the progressive ideals.

The knife in the gut was LBJ and the creation of the Welfare State.

Obama is the finishing blow. The point where the unwashed masses learned they could vote for money paid our to them.

Or Obamaphones...

I will honestly be surprised if we make it until the end of Obama's rule. Those in power are keeping the house of cards standing far longer than I expected.

Sadly, the longer it stands, the worse it will be (but I know you already know that). Too big to fail in 2008 was supposed to be bad. Imagine now with 6 trillion more in debt and no way to bail anything out how bad it will be.

Pray. I would add and prepare, but that is just delaying the inevitable. The world is going to change drastically very soon.

drozz said...

"liberal", if you please.

"progressive" is their language.