Left vs. Right: Programs, People and Plural Nouns

It is interesting to note how liberals, when discussing some problem, often speak in terms of programs in order to fix those problems.  Got a housing problem?  Start an affordable housing program.  Got a hunger problem?  Start a nutrition program.  Got an energy problem?  Start a renewable energy program.  These programs are, of course, intended to fix the problems for which they were designed to address.   Consider housing; specifically, the current problem of high foreclosure rates.  Obama has proposed dealing with foreclosures with his housing program.  If an individual wanted to take advantage of this plan, he/she would have to meet the qualifications.  The intention, of course, is that those needing the help would meet the qualifications.  But that isn't always going to be the case.  Some people who ought to be helped won't qualify, for one reason or another; and some people who oughtn't be helped will still qualify anyway.   To use an analogy, government is attempting to cast a wide net to catch fish; no matter how big the net, government won't be able to catch all the fish, and it will end up catching some turtles too.

But if you think about it, "the housing problem" is really composed of a bunch of little problems.  "The housing problem" includes Bob & Judy and their family who, sadly, are being foreclosed on because Bob just lost his job and Judy was just diagnosed with cancer and now has huge medical bills.  That's sad and these people are worthy of help.  But "the housing problem" also includes Vince the house-flipper who got in over his head and now is looking to be bailed out from his bad choices.  "The housing problem" includes Reginald the owner of beachfront resort housing who is rich enough to weather the housing bubble, but, if the government is going to be handing out free money, is more than happy to take a share of it.  "The housing problem" includes Farmer Joe who, during the days of $4/gal gas, put all his eggs in the ethanol boom, and, now, finds himself and his farm overleveraged and doesn't know if he'll be able to keep his farm that's been in his family for generations.  Will Obama's housing program help all these people?  Will Obama's housing program help any of these people?  Maybe 3 out of 4?  We don't really know.

So, naturally, conservatives complain that Obama's program will end up helping people like Vince and Reginald (possibly), and liberals defend Obama's program pointing out that it will help people like Bob & Judy and Farmer Joe (probably).  Conservatives and liberals scream at each other: "You want to bail out the irresponsible!"  "You want to throw poor people into the streets!"  But this shouting match misses the real problem inherent in Obama's housing program, or any housing program for that matter.  To use the fishing analogy again, it's not that government is casting the net too wide, or is using too fine a mesh of net, to catch aquatic life that shouldn't be caught.  The real problem is that government is using only one net.  It has conceived of the problem in the singular form - "the housing problem" - and has designed a singular solution in order to fix it.  Sure the solution may have different components with different strategies, but it is still conceived in response to a singular problem.

And herein lies the real contrast between conservatives and liberals.  We conservatives are less inclined to view these problems as singular nouns.  We understand that there is no single best solution to any of these problems; what will help Bob & Judy will probably not help Farmer Joe, and vice-versa.

So what is government to do?  Well, government could, in principle, tailor its solution to meet the needs of each individual person who ought to be helped.  With the fishing analogy, it would be equivalent to throwing away the net and individually selecting each fish to be caught.  And this solution, while possible in principle, is just not feasible.  Besides, a government which had this sort of immense power is not one that I care to live with.  So this is why conservatives are knee-jerk opposed to new government programs. It's not that we don't want "the housing problem" to be solved.  It's that the government program won't actually solve the real underlying problems (plural) for which it has been designed to solve.

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OK, I'll bite.

OK, I'll bite:

It's not that we don't want "the housing problem" to be solved.  It's that the government program won't actually solve the real underlying problems (plural) for which it has been designed to solve.

So what are the solutions?

Let me guess - begins with "t", ends in "ax cuts"?

solving the problem

Sure, for some.  For some others, however, they could pay zero in taxes and still not be able to afford their house.  But you miss the point on why conservatives like tax cuts so much.  It's not just because we don't like paying taxes.  It's because money is the tool by which we individuals can solve our problems on our own, without needing some government program.  If I have more of my own money, I can solve my own housing problem.

The bottom line is that there is no single solution.  What will solve my problem is not the same thing as what will solve your problem.

Hilarious

Quite funny.

Why wouldn't you believe it?

You love tax cuts because you've heard every form of right wing media tell you you should like tax cuts. They tell you that tax cuts have been the solution to fixing every economic problem. Even though tax cuts have barely any relation to actual growth.

You've heard higher tax rates cut growth. You've heard that a high tax rate makes it impossible to have a strong economy. You've heard every positive thing possible from right wing media about tax cuts. Everything negative about tax increases.

None of this is borne out by even a cursory look back at history. But conservatives go on believing it all anyway. Wonder why that is?

Skayne: READ THIS

Skayne, you come to this blog with a belligerent attitude for the purpose of, apparently, repeating leftwing stereotypes of conservatives, and gloating.  It's not to learn, that is for sure.  But, you do hang out here for better or for worse, so on the off chance that you might accidentally learn something, this comment is for you.

I support tax cuts in most situations because, deep down in my very soul, I am a free market conservative.  Fox News and Ronald Reagan could have never existed and I would still be a free market conservative supporting tax cuts.  Why, you ask?  It has nothing to do with technical arguments about economic growth; if you could prove conclusively that socialism had better economic growth than capitalism, I would still be a free market conservative.  It has to do, instead, with the simple proposition that "free markets make free men".  When you are allowed to own the product of your labor, when you are allowed to own property and trade it freely with other free people, it is only then that you can experience true liberty.  Taxes serve to reduce your ability to keep the fruits of your labor, thereby reducing your liberty; moreover, what government spends the tax money on, more often than not, impedes the free market, thereby restricting your liberty even further.  So I am a free market conservative who supports tax cuts because I believe, very strongly, deep down inside, in individual liberty.

So, don't lecture me on why I supposedly love tax cuts.  You haven't the foggiest idea.  Unless you actually decide to learn something here in the middle of all your gloating.

the problem I have with tax cuts...

are not the cuts themselves... sure I can always use the extra money  :)

The problem is that the GOP at no point seems willing to acknowledge what an appropriate tax rate should be. They act as if we should keep cutting taxes more and more until there are no more taxes at all.

I have little doubt that if we slashed government and established a flat 15% tax rate on everyone, then the GOP would simply start trying to get the flat rate lowered to 14%, then 13%, because that is the only way they think problems are solved.

That, of course, is not just bad economics, but it's also batshit insane.

 

So the first thing Obama did was . . .?

Cut taxes? For 95% of Americans? Refunded taxes to people that that don"t pay income taxes. Ran on a tax cut promise? Do you ever read the shit you write? Really?

Obama did not cut taxes

He RAISED taxes. But he raised taxes in such a way  that most people saw a slight decrease while the top income earners pay more. So he ran on a platform of "lowering taxes for 95% of Americans, while raising taxes on the top 2%" or something like that.

Perfectly clear, in my opinion.

Try to be less reactionary so that your shoe doesn't get so easily caught in the back of your throat.

 

Wrongo (again)

He hasn't raised anyone's taxes. You may want to check your facts for once. He is planning to let the Bush tax cuts expire next year. But if you want to call Obama a liar, thats your right:

Never before in our history has a tax cut taken effect faster or gone to so many hardworking Americans," Obama said Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/21/obama-tax-cuts-will-be-fe_n_168785.html

wat

 He hasn't raised anyone's taxes. You may want to check your facts for once. He is planning to let the Bush tax cuts expire next year. But if you want to call Obama a liar, thats your right:

 

Letting the "Bush tax cuts expire" is raising taxes on the highest-income earners. 

Thanks for confirming my facts!

 

You are learning the Obama double speak very well

He RAISED taxes. But he raised taxes in such a way  that most people saw a slight decrease while the top income earners pay more

He has not yet let the Bush tax cuts expire. And he may not, depending on the economy. So, your statement is factually incorrect, as you know.

Point is, you vilify the Bush tax cuts (which reached all taxpayers, not just the rich). But when Obama lowers taxes, you can't even admit that he did it! Incedible.

that is not doublespeak

First of all, you brought up Obama, not me.

Second of all, I assumed it was common knowledge that Obama's tax cuts to the middle class are being paid for by rolling back the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy. COMMON KNOWLEDGE.

Now you want to quibble over semantics about timing since, after all, Obama has made no indication that he is reversing his position on the Bush tax cuts. 

If that is the kind of Pyrrhic victory you want to crow about, then by all means you can be "correct" until Obama's planned tax hikes take effect.

You are woefully underinformed

Mr. Obama will also call for letting the Bush tax cuts on income, dividends and capital gains lapse after 2010 for individuals who make more than $250,000 a year. But while the top rate for income would rise to 39.6 percent, the top rate for capital gains and dividends would be 20 percent.

As a candidate, Mr. Obama called for immediately repealing those tax cuts. He decided instead to keep them in place through 2010, as scheduled, reflecting the widespread belief that raising taxes further depresses economic activity.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/22/us/politics/22budget.html?_r=1&hp

 

He has pushed back his plan by more than a year.

Who knew that raising taxes on the rich could adversley affect the economy?

once again, a Pyrrhic victory

Your argument that Obama is cutting taxes really undercuts many of the GOP talking points against him. I would be shocked if the Bush tax cuts aren't rolled back, but I guess anything is possible.

What was the original point I was making, which you never addressed? Oh. That all the GOP wants to do is cut taxes, to the point where they never set a floor on how low they would go.

Your brilliant rebuttal involved some semantics about how Obama is also cutting taxes, so therefore.... ?

Only too happy to remind you

You said:

The problem is that the GOP at no point seems willing to acknowledge what an appropriate tax rate should be. They act as if we should keep cutting taxes more and more until there are no more taxes at all.

My rebuttal was that the first thing Obama did as president was to cut taxes. He cut them for people that don't pay them. So he cut them not only to the point that there are no more taxes at all, but is actually paying people to work.With no firm plan to raise them. You obviously felt that taxes were slashed too much under Bush and would be raised under Obama.

Here's where it gets interesting. You were unaware that Obama had cut taxes. In fact you said he had raised them. It does not suprise me that a rabid Obama supporter had no clue as to what was going on, what with all the "hope" and "change" in the air. But, now you have had time to research it for yourself and won't have to make a fool of yourself again by making staements like "Obama raised taxes". He will. Maybe next year. But, for now, he realizes even if you don't that raising taxes will hurt the recovery.

he should do like Reagan did

Seems like he should have taken a cue from Reagan, who raised taxes slightly back in the middle of a recession after realizing the effects of reckless tax cuts in terms of the debt.

Everybody pays some form of

Everybody pays some form of tax. People might not have a federal burden, but they certainly have a payroll tax burden, as well as state and local taxes.

Yes but its insane to refund

Yes but its insane to refund someone's FICA taxes with someone elses income taxes.  Which is what Obama did.

were those stimulus checks bush and company sent out

just as fiscally irresponsible? of course!

this at least is more broad range.

the rich love conservatism

The rich have made out like bandits under conservative presidents. Like i said in a previous post, part of the social security fund was used to help pay for the first bush tax cut.

Plus Soc sec taxes have gone up. The top marginal has gone down. Meanwhile, the rich have double the wealth in that time while the average income has fallen. Conservative presidents have been raiding soc security for years.

The middle class deserve a break.

I call bullshit

Conservative presidents have been raiding soc security for years.

The biggest raider of social security ever was Bill Clinton. Do you even know how this works?

 

If I may,

It's not about a set percent. Tax rates aren't the independent variable. Spending is. Conservatives want an efficient and small government. Theoretically, if universal single-payer was cheaper than medicare and medicaid are right now, I'm sure most conservatives would be for it.

Ideally, conservatives would provide plans to cut costs in government programs while maintaining their purpose (if the purpose was worthwhile), and with the savings, they would reduce taxes. That's the idea, anyway. We've been better at the second part than the first one, anyway. It's easier, you know...

yes, I understand

" Spending is. Conservatives want an efficient and small government."

This is why I was in the Republican party for so long. But the same problem still applies. The GOP does not consistently define what it thinks the responsibilities of the government should be and this directly ties to what an appropriate tax rate should be.

The GOP wants to raise defense spending even though it is already greater than the next 10 countries in the world combined, but also wants to shrink government so much that it can be "drowned in a bathtub". They are also willing to let the evangelical base legislate morality, even to the point of altering the constitution. I don't think the GOP really has a clear idea of what it stands for, anymore.

 

Learn what from you? You

Learn what from you? You repeat the same thing I hear ad nauseam. I don't need to learn anything from you. I've heard it once, i've heard it a thousand times.

Who was proposing socialism?  You people have no idea of the word. You heard it on talk radio and Fox News. You don't think independently.

You pay taxes because that is the cost of living in a civilized democracy.

You rail about the debt, you support the war, and you criticize spending.

Yet you want your taxes repeatedly cut. I know logic doesn't matter to you, but it does to me. What you want doesn't make sense. Either pay taxes to cut debt, or cut taxes and have endless debt.

That's why people who think logically voted for Obama, and you people just can't understand why.

But I know you're happiest in your ignorance.

 

happiness is slavery

But I know you're happiest in your ignorance.

Well, one of us is anyway.  And it's not me.

At least I can't say that I didn't try.

It's all the same

Try what? You tried telling me the same thing i've been hearing from most conservatives. I'm not hearing anything different from the last 8 years. Like I've said before, you pretend you don't like the last 8 years because the standard bearer of your party during that time is now widely unpopular. I'm not in the minority. I voted for the guy who won.

The guy who most people support. The guy who most people want him to do what he campaigned on.

 

taxation and liberty

Okay, so I'm just telling you what you already know.  Fine. So what part do you disagree with?  Do you disagree with the connection between taxation and liberty?

Taxes and tyranny

We pay taxes because that is the cost of living in a civilized democracy, is certainly true enough as far as it goes. But listen to what chenjeff is saying. Even when necessary, the paying of taxes still represents a transfer of sovereignty from the people, where it resides, to the government. The more we pay taxes, the less liberty We, the people, have and the stronger government becomes. The stronger government becomes, the stronger the need for more taxes becomes, rather justified or not. Without restrained government growth,  tyranny will inevitably prevail.

ex animo

davidfarrar

I can honesty say.

I have never thought of, nor can imagine, my tax rate as a form of tyranny.  As Jefferson said of the freedom of speech, "It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg."

But then again, push comes to shove, I feel I get my monies worth.  There is a local bond issue for new schools at something like 6 1/2 mils.  New taxes = new schools.  I'll be voting for it and will gladly pay the extra taxes.

My health insurance is $107 a month with a $3,500 deductable, which means I would spent around 5 grant before I got a cent from the insurance company (although 100% on everthing no limits beyond that).  Short of paying $5,000 extra in taxes, increased taxes to pay for health care doesn't seem that big of deal.

My grandmother is in a nursing home paid for by....whatever government program pays for that (Medicaid, Medicare???).

Freedom of speech may not pick your pocket...

...nor break your leg, but unconstrained government growth can certainly do both.

Do you think the money invested in public education is a good investment when private schools provide better education for less per pupil?

Health care insurance, thank God, is still largely in private hands, do you really think turning over health care to government is going to make it cheaper and provide better service?

And Medicaid and Medicare, do you really think their costs have been controlled?

Do you think socialism will achieve better results at a cheaper price than more liberty and a free market?

Nobody is saying we must do away with taxes. But we must realize, we lose a little bit of our precious liberty every time taxes are increased and government grows. Make your choices wisely.  

          ex animo

          davidfarrar

i've yet to see the actual stats on private versus public

education, but ti's been my impression that public schools are mandated to take all kids, whereas private schools can and often do (sidwell friends) select the creme a la creme. or at least the kids who aren't disabled, developmentally or physically.

Everyone else's public health insurance, in all the other countries that do it, is cheaper than ours. Yes, we waste 6% of GDP a year denying people coverage. That is to say, you spend close to half your health care dollars paying someone to tell you "NO, that was an Abortion you had at the Emergency Room, not a miscarriage, so Please Sue Us and if you Don't Die before you win the case, you will actually be reimbursed"

That's not an isolated incident, david, that is modus operandi for Death by Spreadsheet.

Conservative position on special ed?

whereas private schools can and often do (sidwell friends) select the creme a la creme. or at least the kids who aren't disabled, developmentally or physically.

I'd be interested in hearing more from the school-choice side in this regard.  As you note, it's easy to claim private ed is cheaper and more effective when they aren't mandated to  accomodate studemts with disabilities or challenges (physical, learning or behavioral).

Chemjeff or davidfarrar, in a school-choice model, how are the higher costs of special-ed education handled?  What about the model?  Would it segregate students with developmental or learning disabilities into 'special' schools where there is no opportunity to mainstream at any juncture in the school experience?  Would you be concerned about the 'labeling' or 'dumping' aspects of that approach?  Would private schools continue to be allowed to choose their students or would all schools be required to accept any student who applies (i.e., true freedom of parental choice?).  These are sincere questions because I think true school choice is worthy of considering, but I point these issues out because even you have to acknowledge that public schools are at a disadvantage in the "lower cost, more effective" debate given the requirement that they accept and do their best to educate all students.

There are private schools...

..specifically designed to take in developmentally or physically disabled students, and do so at a lower costs then do state schools, and achieve higher academic levels.

In terms of the health care issue, as in public education, we need to understand, whether we use public or private providers, a structural monopoly is going to increase costs while achieving less, until or unless, structural competition can be introduced into each system. In a public monopoly like public education, private providers should be introduced into our public school system. In a private monopoly, such as our present health care system, public providers should be introduced into the system. So I am not really all that worked up about the socialization of our health care system, as long as both systems can remain to compete against each other. If we socialize our health care system to the degree where our private provide system is destroyed, then we will have achieved nothing.

ex animo

davidfarrar

More questions...

..specifically designed to take in developmentally or physically disabled students, and do so at a lower costs then do state schools, and achieve higher academic levels.

I don't doubt that and I don't begrudge parents with access to vouchers taking the vouchers to those schools and paying the difference if necesary, if that is what they feel is best for their child.

But in a voucher system or a true free-choice model (no school taxes, no public schools, free market choice by parents), the special-ed school will necessarily cost more than a school that does not accept special-ed students, because of higher operating costs, e.g. lower teacher-student ratio, special equipment, etc.  This is as opposed to spreading the costs of special education over the broader society in the form of taxpayer-funded public schools. 

So I'm still concerned about families with special needs children.  Let's take the example of Governor Palin's son.  Like any other family they want to educate Trigg to achieve the highest potential he can.  Let's say special-ed, at one of the few schools available as an option in their area, costs $6,000/year.  She receives a voucher, like all other Alaskans, of $3,000/year for education.  Now it is incumbent on the Palins to pay the additional $3,000/year for the special-ed school, because he won't be accepted at most schools and frankly, the special-ed school is the best option for him.  You're not concerned about families who through no fault of their own or the child's, would be forced to pay much more for basically the same service (education)?  And the Palins are lucky -- they could afford the $3,000/year difference.  What of the poor family with a Downs child?  If they can't afford the difference between a voucher and the actual cost, or even without paying any school taxes still can't afford to pay the full cost of special education, what would they do?

Vouchers for special ed students...

...are larger than regular vouchers for regular students to compensate for the added costs incurred.

In addition, for a private school to participate in a public school voucher program, the tuition must be the size of the voucher, and no more.

Lastly, and this is a common mistake made by many opponents of public school vouchers, is that the state remains the regulatory agency via their Department of Education and the local school boards for any voucher plan.

ex animo

davidfarrar

OK, thanks, I thought a

OK, thanks, I thought a voucher was the same amount for all students. 

I still worry about rural areas -- realistically, how many choices are going to be available there for special needs kids?  Not much profit-incentive in educating 15 students in a several-county area, so as a practical matter the local public school would probably still be the only option in the community.  We might see the rise of boarding schools because that's the only way to turn a profit in special ed in rural areas.  Maybe I'm a bleeding heart liberal on this one because I can't help feeling for parents in rural areas who are more likely than those in cities to have to accept a boarding school solution for a special-ed alternative to the local public school.  I know the conservative answer is that they could choose to move to a city to broaden their education choices, but that's often easier said than done.  What kind of 'choice' would a family in rural, remote Alaska have for special ed?  Probably no more than they have now.

 

There is far more profit than you think.

Public school vouchers are outrageously high when compared to the average private school tuition.

Moreover, far more specialization can occur in a voucher system than our public school system, when the education providers actually have to compete for their students. Just to give you one example: Children with divorced parents. We really need to have male educators to be role models for male students who have only females in their family as role models and vice versa. But the list of specialization is, in fact, endless. But this type of specialization can never occur under our present public school system because there is no structural need for such specialization.

ex animo

davidfarrar

um. WAIT. no we don't.

thousands of years of men going to war hasn't perverted our genepool into effeminate gay freakazoids.

this year won't either.

Seriously, it was standard operating procedure for most Roman men to go off to the military, for years at a time, and their women raised their kids. The kids didn't grow up gay, or whatever you want to say about "no male role models"

In times past, many women were lost to childbirth. Their offspring did not grow up to be butch dykes. it won't happen this year either.

Might I remind you...

...Rome fell to the barbarians. But more to the point, Roman family life can scarcely be compared to today's family life. The positive benefits of Big Brother and Big Sister programs have been too well documented to say that this type of specialization has no pedagogical benefits at all.

ex animo

davidfarrar

drop me a few links.

then again, i'm still waiting on your proof for the other shit .

"through no fault of their own"

You're not concerned about families who through no fault of their own or the child's, would be forced to pay much more for basically the same service (education)?

Call me a cruel-hearted bastard, but I simply don't buy this line of reasoning.  All of us have our own unique special challenges, and many of them arise due to "no fault of our own".  Is it "fair"?  No, it's not fair.  But that is life.  Do developmentally disabled kids have a greater degree of challenges tha most? Well, sure.  That's the hand that the kid was dealt.  It's a crappy hand.  That doesn't mean we can't have compassion for our neighbors who struggle with personal challenges, but to lament about how 'unfair' it is, is IMO pointless.

At your request

 You're a cruel-hearted bastard.

yes

"do you really think turning over health care to government is going to make it cheaper and provide better service?"

 

YES

Do you really not understand how dysfunctional our health-care system is, currently? We have over 40 million Americans uninsured because it's TOO EXPENSIVE, and yet we still rank behind a lot of countries with nationalized health care.

Private industry thrives on the profit motive. Profit motive + I need heart medication = GOUGING. 

Answers to your questions.

Yes.  Public education is a bedrock of a civilized society.  Besides I've known many a person who went to private schools (religious) and couldn't do math at a 9th grade level after graduating.  Or didn't undestand biology.

Yes.  People on welfare have better health care than I do.

Doubtful, but the government doesn't really use its leverage to drive costs down.

Depends on the product.  Capitalism is wonderful for consumer goods (cars, toys, food, etc.).  It does not so good a job for complex, monolithic systems (energy, health care, infrastructure, defense).  Especially ones where the consumer doesn't have the option of not buying.

taxes

I have never thought of, nor can imagine, my tax rate as a form of tyranny.

Think of it this way.  Your effective tax rate can, in principle, be anywhere between 0% and 100%.  Suppose it is 100% - that is, you don't get to keep any of your money at all, you send it all to the state.  Would you conisder this situation tyrannical?  Now suppose that with all that tax money, the state provides you with housing and food and schooling and clothes and all the other necessities of life.  Would the fact that you receive benefits from confiscatory taxation make the confiscatory taxation any less tyrannical?

I am not saying that the status quo represents unbearable oppressive tyranny a la Soviet gulags.  I am saying, though, that each incremental step towards higher taxation represents an incremental loss of liberty. 

Davidfarrar is right, the services that government provides with tax money tend to be inept and inefficient, but even supposing that they weren't - suppose that government-run schools were the best on the planet.  Would you still want to be a part of a system in which you didn't have a choice?  Suppose Andy over here is not interested in a conventional education, but instead wants to enter a religious school.  The public schools, even though they are the best on the planet, are still secular.  To Andy, the secular schools don't do him much good.  Suppose Christine over here doesn't want a conventional education at all; instead she wants to learn experientially.  She wants to learn by traveling and working in the field.  The government schools don't do her much good either.  I would rather have an education system that permits individuals to explore their individual passions rather than have a system that puts them through a rigid path of schooling, no matter how valuable that path may be.

THIS is the key to understanding the conservative viewpoint - you look at the world from the bottom up, through the lens of individuals attempting to solve their own problems (plural), rather than looking at the world from the top down, through the lens of decision-makers attempting to solve "a problem" (singular).

As Jefferson said of the freedom of speech, "It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg."

Well, taxes really do pick your pocket, so Jefferson's right on here.

There is a local bond issue for new schools at something like 6 1/2 mils.  New taxes = new schools.  I'll be voting for it and will gladly pay the extra taxes.

In your area, perhaps, you are confident that the extra tax money will be spent wisely on quality education.  But, even still - in the absence of this extra taxation, what could you have done with the money instead?  Could your money, and the money of all the other people who had their taxes raised, done greater things?  Elementary economics tells us that the allocation of capital in the free market is more efficient than allocation of capital by government.

and elementary economics is wrong.

where exactly does it say that what Circuit City did... firing all of it's top performing workers, was a good idea? The stores sit empty now, because of that decision. This is a severe misallocation of capital.

I think the gov't would have done a better job than Circuit City, at least!

I am fairly certain that the government won't spend half of it's health care money designing New And Clever ways of devising New and Better Regulations and Hoops for me to jump through, so that I can get lifesaving medical procedures.

Unlike the insurance companies.

Best Buy

The Circuit City help sucked and they were incompetent.  I bought the extended edition of King Kong there when they went out of business.

macroeconomics

That free markets are a more efficient allocator of capital than governments is a macroeconomic result, not a microeconomic one.  Of course individuals and companies do stupid things with money all the time.  But in the aggregate the free market does a better job.

freedom within reason

Like how the free market created 10-15 economic boom and bust cycles concluding with the Great Depression. It was all free market then. I don't want to go back.

You should have the freedom do anything in the market place within reason.

  • Relaxing rules so banks could have 40 or 60 to 1 capital ratios? Madness
  • Repealing laws that limited the services a bank could offer? Insanity
  • Allowing banks to pay for its own auditors? Lunacy
  • Relaxing lending rules so banks could make riskier loans? Crazy

 Just imagine if you could 'do whatever you want' when it comes to interacting with people. Think of the chaos that would ensue.

Basically we allowed banks and corporations to do 'whatever they want'. The economic collapse is the result.

 

"do whatever you want"

Just imagine if you could 'do whatever you want' when it comes to interacting with people. Think of the chaos that would ensue.

Your curious choice of examples actually makes my point.  There are no laws telling you how to interact with people.  Sure you aren't allowed to hit or stab people, but you can be a complete boor in public if you want.  And yet MOST people, MOST of the time, act civilized and decent while in public.  Why is that?