We the Evil, Ruthless, and Uncaring People – Part 2

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 15-03-2010

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In part one of this post, I talked about how the government tells us they have to steal, kill and abuse us, because we are too selfish to take care of each other without being forced to. They must protect us from each other, and we need to trust them to wield a monopoly on force in order to have a civilized society. But is this true?  Well, in this part, I’d like to touch on some of the arguments I get from the pro-government crowd.

…Government is there to make sure there is a level playing field.

Hmmm, is this why we give subsidies to failing businesses? Is it unfair that one company might have figured out a way to make a better, cheaper widget, and in doing so is putting it’s competition out of business? Does it make sense to prop up the failing business? Does it make sense to take the money from the workers and the producers in society, who would use their money to buy other products from companies who also figured out how to make better and cheaper products, which ultimately improves all our lives, because we get more and more for less, and give that money to companies who can’t produce what we demand at the prices we demand? Does this keep a level playing field by forcing workers to hand money to failing businesses through subsidies, who ultimately don’t even provide them a product for that money?

This must be why the government gave all our tax money to Wall Street bankers. They couldn’t have a profitable company on Wall Street handing out bonuses, while the failing businesses could not. Maybe this is why they stuck a gun to the responsible bankers’ heads and told them they will take TARP money or else. They just wanted to make sure their buddies, who were completely irresponsible, didn’t have to play on the unlevel playing field that they themselves created.

Ok, Ok. This must be why they take property from the average Joe, who works his whole life for “The American Dream” of owning his own home, so they can hand it off to private developers. Remember the Kelo decision? This is where your property can be stolen from you if the government decides to give it to someone who creates more taxes. Oh, but what happened there. The private developer backed out of the deal. The homeowner had her home taken at gun point, and now the land sits vacant. Hey, just keeping a level playing field.

The truth is government is all about picking winners and losers. They aren’t about keeping a level playing field.

…Government protects us from monopolies.

OK, this is the best. We all know monopolies are just horrible right. So what’s the fix? Give the government a monopoly on the use of force. Give them a monopoly on educating our kids. Give them a monopoly on theft. I know, I know. They do it all for us.

So we constantly hear monopolies would exist if government didn’t regulate against monopolies, but I have a hard time coming up with real examples where this happens. Of course, when you point out that monopolies can’t exist without government backing, proponents of government say “well, that’s because of antitrust laws”. This just isn’t so. Trying to create a monopoly is extremely inefficient, and ultimately a bad monopoly could not last. While a company may be able to corner a market temporarily, they could not hold on to it. If they were charging too much, a competitor would see the excessive profits and decide to get into the business. Yes, they could buy up the smaller business, but that would just signal to others that they too can make money by starting a competing business and being bought up. Ultimately, this buying up of more efficient competitors to maintain an inefficient monopoly, would lead to the monopolies collapse. The only way you could have an inefficient monopoly for the long term is if it was given exclusive rights to some public resource, such as phone lines, land, subsidies, etc, which is why you can only have a monopoly when the government backs you. Think about it. Let’s say Microsoft really was a monopoly. If you haven’t noticed they are getting their butts kicked by Google. Anyway, so they are a monopoly. How can they maintain a monopoly without government? The only way they could is to produce a better product. They cannot force people to buy their product.

What was the big issue with Microsoft? Netscape claimed Microsoft was using its monopoly to stifle other web browsers. Ok, but how was the consumer harmed? The consumer got a free web browser with their computer that came with Microsoft Windows, which made them decide against downloading Netscape. So really, what Microsoft had was a more efficient distribution system that they developed with the wide adoption of their operating system. Because Netscape had a less efficient distribution system for their web browser, they were getting clobbered. Does that mean Microsoft was being monopolistic, or were they just being more efficient? Has Microsoft put competitors out of business and jacked up prices on Internet Explorer? I’m pretty sure it’s still free.

Even more proof that Microsoft is not a monopoly (and never was) is Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome and Safari. People are now downloading other browsers, because they believe Microsoft’s product isn’t up to where it should be. The cost of downloading another program and installing it is now more valued than it was when Netscape was the main competitor. These competitors have figured out a way to compete and be efficient enough to eat away at Microsoft’s market share, and consumers are the ones benefiting.

Now if you want to see the horror of real coercive monopolies, just look at our public education system, where you are forced into using the monopoly. You have to pay whether you want to use it or not. If you try to send your child to a private school, the private school still has to meet the government mandated curriculum. What we get from this monopoly is nothing but ever decreasing results.

…Government protects the children.

This has to be one of the biggest lies out there. Government could careless about your children. They only want to make them mindless zombies, so they are easier to enslave.

Look at the biggest role the government has in your child’s life, which is public schooling, and you’ll see the abuse the government lays on your child. They are trapped in a prison all day long and brainwashed by material that special interest groups want to cram down their throats. They are ushered through grade after grade many times without any progress. Oh, and you better hope your child isn’t a thinker. God forbid your child questions anything taught in class. They’ll be labeled a delinquent, smart alec or a trouble maker. We wouldn’t want any of the other children questioning what’s being taught, so little Junior better just sit there and repeat, “The Constitution is a living document. Government is there to protect us. Obama is a great president, ah huh, ah huh, ah huh.”

Also, with childhood obesity on the rise, what does the all caring government do? Well, they fill your child’s lunch tray up with fatty and sugary foods. Don’t worry though. When your child is all wound up from the sugar, they’ll tell you your child is too hyper and needs to be medicated. While they are forcing private businesses to drop  transfats from the menu, even if people freely want them, they many times exclude the public schools from the same restrictions. They really do just love the children.

Well, unless you want to abort one before the child ever has a chance to be born. Then they are all for harming children. You know, those darn kids just cost the government too much. Better they aren’t born. At least, that’s how many in government see them. But hey, if you are going to have kids anyway, once they are born, the government might as well exploit them for it’s advantage.

…Government protects you from murders and thieves.

Do they really? It seems to me the government only comes in after the murder or burglary has already been committed. As I mentioned in previous posts, the only person who can defend you and your family is you. As long as you have the right to own guns, you can protect your property and your life. After all, there is no one who cares more about your family and your property than you do. Those who give up guns in hopes that the government will save them are just making themselves easy targets.

Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t have police or laws, but do we really need cameras all over the place, so you have no privacy. Do we need cops sitting on the side of the road every five feet getting their ticket quotas in? Do we need to throw millions in prison,  not because they murdered or stole, but because they decide to smoke weed instead of drink?

Do we need government to throw those evil insider traders into prison? Of course, right? This is what we’ve been brainwashed to believe. Somehow it’s evil to buy or sell a stock because you have inside information, but it’s not evil to hold onto a stock because of inside information? Buying and selling are all signals to the market, so in the example of Enron, owners of the stock might have known ahead of time that the company was a sham if insider trading was permitted. Instead, many lost the savings they had in the company, because insiders weren’t allowed to trade on that evil insider information. I guess instead of protecting us from theft, the government put laws into place to make sure the theft had to take place and was concealed until the bitter end.

…Government protects us from foreign enemies.

This is one we used to all be able to support. Unfortunately, in pursuit of empire, this is not so anymore. As I said in part 1 of this post, no nation would try to invade the US with the amount of weaponry held by the populace. If you think the Soviets got bogged down in Afghanistan and the US got bogged down in Vietnam, that would be nothing compared to what would happen if a country tried invading the US. Our foreign policy has gone from protection to empire. In this pursuit, we create enemies.

Now, I know terrorism is something that gets the blood boiling on all sides. As a recovering neocon, I used to think we were waging a just war on terrorist. The problem is who is instigating terrorism? As long as we keep telling ourselves it’s just because terrorist hate our way of life, this war will never end. Of course, that may be what the government wants. Anyway, ask yourself when terrorism against the US began. Some said it began under Carter, when the Iranians took US hostages. Was that terrorism? We were supporting a dictator in their country, and they revolted against the dictator and us. OK, then it must have been under Reagan when terrorist bombed one of our bases in Beirut. Well, this may be it, but what did Reagan do? Unlike our current policy, Reagan pulled out. He knew it was us being their that instigated the bombing. How many attacks did we have after that? I might be missing something, but I don’t recall any. Ok, so when did it really pick back up again? Well, the first attack was after the gulf war when we decided to setup bases on arab lands and not leave. We’ve had terrorist attacks ever since.

Instead of realizing it’s our bases and using those bases to support the likes of the Saudis that instigates terrorism, we let our leaders tell us it’s that we live. They hate our way of life. “What? Those bastards hate us. Here’s my money and rights government. Go get em!”

Meanwhile, if you listen to what the terrorist want to do to the US, they are achieving it. We are going to go bankrupt, just as we bankrupted the Soviet Union. History is full of empires who never learn the lessons of empire. We’re witnessing the latest. Unfortunately, it’s us.

…Government <Fill in the blank>

You can make up any excuse for the use of force, which is all government is. Everyone wants to win elections, so they can use the gun of government to impose their views on society. In a free society without government or a very small government, you would not be able to do this. You would actually have to convince your neighbor to do something. Can you image? Wow, it would be horrible to have to convince him. It’s so much easier to just stick a gun to his head.

The biggest myth of all is that we need government. If you ever want to think outside the box, there are ways for society to exist without government. Think about wars. Do you really have wars because the people want to fight. I’m guessing an Iraqi and an American would probably get a long just well if they bumped into each other in the street. What you really have wars for is government. Our government wants  their government to do something, and when it doesn’t, our government decides we are going to force them to do it. It’s no different than, if I asked my neighbor to do something, and when he said no, I went back over with a gun and stuck it to his head. Oh wait, we do that too. That’s what government is.

delinquent
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Comments (4)

Excellent points all. There is nothing so evil that Government can’t make it more evil.

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Jason,

I think terrorism dates back far before Carter. Ever since we’ve been involved in the business of other countries (Israel is a good example), we’ve become a target, though I’m not enough of a historian to know for sure. Al-Queda attacked us largely because we’ve been acting imperialistic with setting up military bases all around the globe and involving ourselves in other people’s business.

What bothers me when people who support those actions say “we must spread democracy throughout the world”. WTF? Who was there to help spread democracy here 250 years ago when we were fighting the Brits? We can’t force democracy on people – they need to enact it on their own. Even the most oppressed people when fed up will strike back. Forcing your beliefs on people before they’re ready will be much more difficult and will probably end up in failure unless you tie yourselves to that location for a long time. You also piss off a lot of people in the process.

Essentially if we enacted an isolationist military policy, is there a downside? All the countries on earth are essentially established, and I don’t see a lot of invading going on, especially among the 1st world countries. The remaining developing nations wouldn’t be dumb enough to go after a 1st world country.

Unfortunately we disagree on your last paragraph. I don’t think society could exist without government. I would argue that you might not even have a society without a government. Look at history and even neanderthals had governments. Once society grows beyond a certain point, it gets too difficult to handle disputes among all the members without some kind of centralized system. If I have a dispute and I feel my rights were infringed, I need to have some kind of recourse. That’s the job of our government. War is only 1 piece of it.

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John,

Terrorism has been around much longer, but unless I’m missing something I don’t recall the US being a major target of terrorism until after the gulf war. We’ve had issues in the middle east dating back to our founding. I had this debate with my dad. Jefferson had problems with Barbary pirates, but that was not a threat either to the US. They were basically making ships pay a ransom, and it happened to all ships entering their waters. While I don’t think Jefferson was wrong defending our ships, it is a far cry from a threat to the US as some try making it sound now.

As far as our disagreement, I thought the same thing no longer than 6 months ago. Then I got into some debates on the Mises.org forums, and I could not win the debates as to why government truly is necessary. There are other ways to resolve issues amongst ourselves. If you want to read some interesting material, check out Bob Murphy’s Chaos Theory. They have it in audio format on Mises.org. Also, check out this debate on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_k93op7_Pc

Also, I am not completely against government. If government was restrained to a limited role of protecting individual rights much like what Thomas Paine described, I’d have no problem with it. The problem is, and Jefferson knew this, government always grows tyrannical. If you really think about it, what happened in 1776 really has been a failure. While it was the closest the world has come to freedom, it’s failed probably since the Civil War, where state sovereignty was destroyed forever.

Lastly, I think if you had most power residing with states, you’d be better off. You need competition even amongst government, and when you federalize everything you lose that.

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Calling what happened in 1776 a failure doesn’t do justice to what was set up. We failed the system the moment we allowed our representatives to violate the Constitution. Unfortunately that appears to me to be the only weakness in the system – we don’t seem to have much recourse for many of the laws that have been passed that are clearly unconstitutional (though how that all works has escaped my google skills)

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