Thursday, July 31, 2014

Occupiers Like Government

I'm in the middle of investment guru Peter Schiff's video on his visit to Occupy Wall Street.  The setup is that he's wandering around the Occupy encampment in the fall of 2011 with a camera crew from Reason magazine and a protest sign that reads: I AM THE 1%. LET'S TALK.The full version goes on for 1:48 hours.  Or you can get the gist with the 18 minute cut.

My takeaway is that the Occupy protesters all agree that they need government holding a gun to the head of their employer if they are to get a fair shake in the world.  They've internalized all the lefty talking points but are completely ignorant of the righty talking points.  As far as they are concerned, without government they'd all be getting paid subsistence wages in sweat shops with no health care, no pensions, no benefits.

So, they don't understand the market, they don't understand business, and they don't understand government.  Otherwise they are pretty smart; they know all about memes and protest tactics.  But what would you expect after a K-graduate school education conducted by government functionaries?

Look, I get it.  Most people work as employees for The Man.  Their uppermost thought is a worry that they'll get laid off. They do not think: Hmm, I wonder how my employer is doing, how many projects are in the pipeline, how well the company products are priced.  They just think: Wow, I could get fired tomorrow.  Then they think: Wow, if only the government could stop my employer from laying me off.

To understand that the market is a regulating mechanism that coordinates the activities of millions of people and hundreds of thousands of businesses through the price system is completely outside the reality of most peoples' lifeworld.  The idea that surrender to the price system is the first step on the road to prosperity sounds completely crazy.

The other side of this game is that lefty politicians understand instinctively that people must believe that the corporation, not the price system, rules the world if the left's agenda of enlightenment and liberation is to win.  Otherwise voters will hesitate to vote for bigger government.

And that's the key.  People must believe that force is needed before they'll vote for more government.  If you listen to the Occupy protesters talking to Peter Schiff you realize that our millennial young 'uns have been perfectly socialized to vote for more government.  They all believe in force.

But what's the reality?  Daniel J. Mitchell has a nice little link to a piece on the history of sweatshops from Ben Powell of the Independence Institute.  Did you know that workers flocked from the countryside to the sweatshops in the early 19th century?  Yes, conditions were horrible, compared with today's Third World sweatshops, and in some of them people worked for 16 hours per day.
Yet workers flocked to the mills. …sweatshop workers…were attracted by the opportunity to earn higher wages than they could elsewhere. In fact, economist Ludwig von Mises defended the factory system of the Industrial Revolution,…writing, “The factory owners did not have the power to compel anybody to take a factory job. They could only hire people who were ready to work for the wages offered to them. Low as these wage rates were, they were nonetheless more than these paupers could earn in any other field open to them.” …Mises’s argument is supported by historical evidence. Economist Joel Mokyr reports that workers earned a wage premium of 15 to 30 percent by working in the factories compared with other alternatives.
And so the population in Britain tripled and then doubled in the 19th century.

The truth is that nobody has any problem with paying people a premium of 15% to 30%.  What gets everyone riled up is when the business cycle turns down and the factory owners want to cut wages.  This is regarded as an outrage.  And a guy like worker Joe Soptic thinks it is monstrous for private equity guy Mitt Romney to restructure his steelworker job out of existence.  Because in the mind of Joe, he has a property right to that job, and the bosses have a moral obligation to pay his wife's health care bills.

In my mind, Joe Soptic thinks like a serf, and so do most of the folks in the Occupy movement.  And in my mind it is a bloomin' shame that the political leaders on the left won't educate their followers to the facts of life in the industrial age and lead them to the golden future of responsible individualism. Liberals get their power from keeping their voters on the liberal plantation and don't see why anything should change.

And yet.  The interesting thing is that the working stiffs of the 1930s grew up into 1950s suburban householders.  And now there's a new generation on the way up. I saw a construction truck near my house yesterday that had "Chavez LLC" emblazoned on the side.

Despite all the propaganda about the horrors of big corporations people still want to start their little business; they still want that little house in the suburbs.  They still want the peace and tranquility of middle class respectability.

But how?  How can this be happening when 100,000 liberals chant with one voice and 100,000 liberal hearts beat in unison about the wonders of marriage equality and the horrors of the Republican "war on women."

I will tell you what I think.  I think that there are millions of black women who ache for a marriage and a house of their own and two kids growing up straight and true far from the roar and the violence of the big city.  But these women have been cruelly and corruptly misled into a reactionary racism and kept on the liberal plantation where their desperate votes can be used to keep the current liberal ruling class in power.

One beautiful day, un bel di, the world will change, even if it changes too late for Butterfly and today's adult black women.  The rage of those black women, cheated for half a century from the good life of middle class respectability, will be something to behold.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Liberals say Ted Cruz isn't very smart

One of the eternal verities, to liberals, is that Republican politicians aren't too smart.

George W. Bush was notably stupid -- except that he had better grades than John Kerry.  Ronald Reagan was an "amiable dunce" when he wasn't a dangerous extremist.  And Ike was an aging bumbler who liked to golf in the afternoons.

It all probably got started when Alice Roosevelt Longworth wrote that Calvin Coolidge looked like he had been "weaned on a pickle."  And Dorothy Parker, upon learning that Coolidge had died, reportedly remarked, "How can they tell?"

Har de har har.

Now the meme is getting started on Ted Cruz.  Unfortunately, with Cruz there's a bit of a problem on the stupid front because Cruz went to Princeton and Harvard Law. Here's Wikipedia with six (!) citations:
Referring to Cruz's time as a student at Harvard Law, Professor Alan Dershowitz said, "Cruz was off-the-charts brilliant."
Then Cruz went on to clerk for a federal appeals court judge and then clerked for Chief Justice Rehnquist on the US Supreme Court.

You can see the problem for the liberal "GOP stupid" brigade.  Cruz has a perfect educational resume that any liberal would kill for.

So there must be something else wrong with him.  And here it is (H/T NRO).

According to Nathan Robinson at Salon: “The ‘Ted Cruz is smart’ trap: Why this garbage is false — and dangerous.”  You see, according to the folks who know Ted Cruz has never changed his mind.
David Panton, Cruz’s law-school roommate and college debate partner, who told The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin: “Ted’s views today politically are almost identical to when I met him. There’s nothing he says today that I didn’t hear in college.” “Ted Cruz,” Robinson declares, “does not in his life ever seem to have taken on board a single challenge to his worldview”
Golly.  I mean, like, has Barack Obama, like, ever taken on board a single challenge to his worldview? Like, ev-er?

You can see the quandary liberals are in.  They can't really take the usual route of making Cruz stupid because he hadn't punched his ticket at all the liberal way-stations.  Did you know, darling, that Ronald Reagan never even clerked for a district judge, let alone the Supreme Court.  Not our kind, darling.

So Ted Cruz has to be rigid, ideological, inflexible, a guy that hasn't grown into a liberal world view.  In fact Cruz is a scandal.  How come, how come that a naive immigrant's sone didn't get converted to the liberal world view in the liberal secular seminary?  That's what college is for, after all.  Somehow the system failed, and I suspect sabotage from the Koch Brothers.

OK, liberals, go ahead and underestimate Ted Cruz.

Remember back in Fall 2013 when Ted Cruz did his 21 hour filibuster.  "Everyone" said it was a stupid gesture that made Republicans look like obstructionists.

But then I got an email from my sister suggesting that Ted Cruz was her man.

You see, liberals, if you are a conservative in these Obama dog days, the one thing that really annoys you is that nobody is willing to stand up and take the fight to Obama.  And we know why.  It's because anyone that criticizes Obama gets called out as a racist.  (Hey, maybe I'll never vote for a non-white-male again unless they are to the right of Attila the Hun.  Because what's the point of voting for America's First Whatever unless you get a hall pass?)

When Ted Cruz staged his photo-op filibuster he was telling people like me and my sister that he's willing to fight for us.

Oh yeah, I know.  It was all staged, a photo op that was never going to roll back Obamacare.  What was the point? But then you could say the same about all politics.  It is all staged, a sham fight, or as I like to say "civil war by other means."

But there was a point to the filibuster.  The point was to communicate to the frustrated GOP faithful that here was a guy who would stand up for us, and fight for us.  And the message came through loud and clear.

But go ahead liberals.  Get your "Ted Cruz is dumb or something" meme going.  Just don't forget that when liberals say a conservative has "grown" it's a sign to us that he's betrayed us in order to go along to get along inside the Beltway.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Outlook Impoved, say Medicare Trustees

The annual Medicare Trustees Report came out yesterday, and the official line is good news.  You can see that from Googling the news reports.

Not surprisingly, administration spokesmen have claimed that the Affordable Care Act is partially responsible for this. Maybe.  After all, the ACA is supposed to raid Medicare of something like $700 billion over ten years to pay for the ACA.  Or maybe the answer is Medicare Advantage, which encourages large deductibles and limits the front-end "free stuff" aspects of conventional Medicare.

What has happened is that Medicare costs have moderated in recent years, although they are expected to start to climb significantly by 2020.  But the result is that, according to my analysis at usgovernmentspending.com, Medicare costs will reach 4 percent of GDP by 2023 -- instead of in 2020 as forecast in last year's report.  Long term, at the end of the century, Medicare is forecast to approach 7 percent of GDP.

Think of it.  By the end of the century the American people will be forking out 7 percent of every dollar just for the government share of senior healthcare, and that doesn't include Medicaid expenditures for the low-income elderly.

Something, as they say, will have to give.  And way before the end of the century.

In a way, it's nice that the government takes care of our retirement income and health care.  It relieves us seniors of the big worries of our declining years.  Feel a pain, head for the doctor.  But I worry about the young 'uns.  Is is really fair or just to saddle them with such enormous burdens?

If you raise the question with a liberal they will ask you whether you want grandma starving in the street.  Good point, liberal.

But, as the Brits are finding out, if you tighten up on welfare eligibility, more of the poor go out and get a job.  In other words, marginal economics works, even with welfare.  If you change the rules a bit, people will change their behavior a bit.  Maybe we could try that with Medicare, especially as old people are the richest kind in America.  What a concept: make seniors more individually responsible for their health care.

John Hawkins, in a typical "5 Obvious Principles of Human Nature That Baffle Liberals," points out the central principle of responsible individualism.
[I]t’s bad for people to have someone else making the decisions about their kids’ education, their retirement, and their health care[.]
That's because the person that has other people make the big decisions about their life is, de facto if not de jure, a slave.

Hawkins also mentions a corollary of this truth: "it’s even worse that the government officials that take those decisions away from people are usually given a free pass when they screw-up."

Yeah.  Why is that?  Oh all right, we know why.  The whole point of government power (as opposed to market power) is that you don't get called on your mistakes.  If you can get called on your mistakes then you don't have power, you just have responsibility.

The whole point of responsible individualism is to reduce the amount of power and domination in the world and increase the amount of responsible individual acts in the world.

So here's a question.  Under what conditions would seniors like me demand of the government: take it away?  Take Medicare away and let me get my own health care in my old age. Hey, I'll even kick in a little for the aged poor.

Don't hold your breath.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Seeds of Destruction

For conservatives there is much in Obama's America that doesn't make sense.  Why is Obama so terminally divisive? Why would gays, on the cusp of winning their "marriage equality" want to rub out a techie like Brendan Eich?  Why would feminists, after a half century of feminist progress, now be subjecting college boys to the witch hunt of the "rape culture?"  Don't these people understand that they've won?

Jim Goad describes what is going on here.
Howard Bloom’s book The Lucifer Principle goes into great detail describing how social movements that initially claim to merely seek “equality” morph into insatiably power-hungry predatory super-organisms once their alleged oppressors are willing to grant them equal treatment. While those making the concessions may think they’re doing so in the name of “fairness,” groups who are on the ascent tend to smell blood instead. Once even a semblance of “equality” is achieved, the mask falls off and it becomes a naked drive for power. They never seem sated by equality and keep moving the goalposts, ultimately becoming every bit as oppressive and intolerant as their former masters.
The point is that any political movement is about politics.  It starts, no doubt, with a sharp experience of injustice.  That is not hard to do because all government dispense injustice, because they write their laws based on their ruling-class interpretation of justice. Others find their so-called justice the acme of injustice.

Very well. But politics is politics, and involves mobilizing people into a political army that is trained and inspired to fight, whatever the cost, for truth and justice.

What happens to the political army once it has achieved its goal?  Nothing.  So it looks for new fields to conquer, and that is the moment that the political movement transforms itself from a movement for justice into a cruel agent of injustice.  We've seen that happen to the civil-rights movement, to the environmental movement, to the feminist movement, and now the gay movement.

But why is Barack Obama so insistent on dividing America?

I've been reading a piece by Harry Stein on his father, Joseph Stein, who wrote the book for Fiddler on the Roof.  Joe was a lefty-liberal all his life, and couldn't understand his son's journey to the right.
My father simply couldn’t fathom how any thinking person, let alone someone who’d imbibed politics at his knee, could have ended up a . . . well, he never actually used the word, at least not directly. 
The word, of course, is Fascist.

The point is that Barack Obama has lived his entire life in a left-liberal bubble.  He is part of a political movement that is dedicated to "fundamentally transforming" America.  The point about such a political movement is that, by its nature, it doesn't know when to stop.

Back in the 2000s I was worried by books like The Emerging Democratic Majority by John Judis and Ruy Teixeira.  They projected that a new majority of blacks, Latinos, women, the educated, and the young would form a new majority that would rule for decades.

But the problem is that Obama has rained hardship on this new majority. Blacks have lost the homes that the real-estate bubble got them into, and are devastated that the the new dawn promised by the election of a black president has turned into a mirage.  Hispanics want jobs and they don't see them. The educated are confused, and the young are totally screwed.  College educated youth is buried in student debt, and the rest of the youth are buried in the slow recovery.

The most telling thing is that inequality has got worse on Obama's watch.

Yeah, well, say conservatives and libertarians.  What do you expect when you boost welfare and food stamps, and you implement Keynesian cheap money?

The point is that Obama and his acolytes in the liberal bubble don't get it.  They think that cheap money "stimulates" the economy.  They think that their programs to help the poor alleviate inequality.  But somehow it's all gone wrong.  That's why they are looking for scapegoats and reckon that some dastardly Republican plot masterminded by the Koch Brothers has destroyed the president's agenda. They are like Harry Stein's father. They can't wrap their brains around the notion that they could be wrong, and that it is the president's policies that have caused the present malaise.

That brings us to the good news.  The polls say that the American people are coming to the notion that we need different policies to attack America's problems.  There's wisdom in that poll question and in the response of the voters.  Americans don't know the first thing about economics and how to promote prosperity.  In fact they believe a bunch of contradictory things about the economy.  Think of their ideas as a muddy precipitate of all the sound bites that are flung at them every day.

There's one thing that the voters can decide for us.  When they sense that things are on the wrong track, they can vote for a change.  That's what happened in 1980 when voters repudiated the McGovernite Sixties generation.  It took nearly a generation after the debacle of the Sixties New Left before Americans could vote for an unapologetic leftist, and even then the media hid Obama's leftism from the voters.

But now the voters sense that things aren't working.  Probably they'll surprise us in November with a wave election that unseats a couple of Democratic senators that nobody thought were in trouble.  And then it will be on to 2016 when Republicans will have at least three bright and energetic young candidates -- Cruz, Rubio, Paul, Ryan: your list is as good as mine -- that will be telling the American people that it is time for a change.

Oh yeah.  The Democrats will be flogging their base with wars on women and gays and finding racism in every living room, board room, locker room, and classroom.  But there comes a moment in flogging a cart horse when the light goes out of its eyes.  It just doesn't have the strength or the will to shove its weight against the harness.  It just stands there, under a rain of blows, and does nothing.

Because politics is about power, government is about force, and human society is about something better than power games and brute force.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Get a Clue on Reality of Politics and Journalism, Ron Fournier

For years I've been wondering how the Obama administration does it.  I mean how it has managed near zero pushback from the media?

I know that the media are all liberals and liberals believe that the Democrats' hearts are in the right place.  But still, somewhere, somehow there must have been a liberal joournalist whose desire to make a name for himself should have won out against tribal loyalty.  After all, you don't make a career in journalism by going along to get along.  Not any more, not while dead-tree journalism is flushing down the toilet.

There must me more to the Obama message discipline than tribal loyalty, and the "more" has been slowly dribbling out in the lame-duck years of the Obama presidency.  We've seen that Obama officials go nuclear against journalists that displease them, pushing back with appalling invective in a brazen attempt to intimidate.  And we've seen that the Obamis appeal over the heads of the journalists to the Democratic-contributor suits at the media outlets to keep the junior journos in line.

Now we see, from a frustrated Ron Fournier, that there's another method to the Obama media blitzkrieg: the media minder.  Quoting a Washington Post staffer, he writes:
"Almost every officially sanctioned exchange between reporters and the proverbial 'senior administration officials' is conducted in the presence of a press staffer, even when the interview is 'on background,' meaning the source will not be identified by name."
The purpose of the "press staffer" is not just to intimidate the reporter but also the administration official.
"If you have a minder there, it sits in [a source's] brain that they're supposed to stay on message," said Peter Baker, who covers the White House for the New York Times. "They're less likely to share something other than the talking points."
Ron Fournier's solution to this problem is to "flip the script," to refuse to play by the rules, to make the administration fear the reporter rather than the other way around.

But this is rubbish, at least for reporters in a Democratic administration.  And it violates what I call the "Jack Patera Rule." Or you can call it the "blood in the water" rule.

The story is simple.  Years ago, Jack Patera was the first head coach of the expansion Seattle Seahawks.  Every week the local sports journalists would interview him on various pre- and post-game shows, respectfully asking the usual nuts-and-bolts questions about the game.  But then the day came when Jack Patera was fired as head coach, and we found out that the journalists had never liked him. Then all the dirt came out.  No kidding!  You guys thought Jack was a loser all along?  Why didn't you tell us, you rough, tough, muckracking journos?

Of course the sports journalists didn't tell us.  Because day-to-day their jobs depended on the nuts-and-bolts PR of interviews and canned questions about the team and the game.  If they had started asking difficult questions, then they would have lost their jobs.

Because the whole point of sports journalism is to do PR for the home sports teams.

Until there is blood in the water, and the coach loses his job.  Then it's shark feeding time and the journos can circle in for the kill.

That's why Ron Fournier needs to get a clue on the journalists that cover the Obama administration.  If any journalist "flipped the script" on the Obamis it would be his last interview.  Game over. Career over.  There are lots more journalists where that one came from, hungry journalists willing to play doormat for the next interview.

Until there is blood in the water, and everyone agrees that President Obama is the worst president ever and the officials of the Obama administration are the most useless and incompetent and corrupt ever.  Then you'll see courage returning to the press corps. Then you'll see the sharks going in for the kill.

The only guys that could have "flipped the script" were the Obamis.  They could have said: Look, everyone wants to be able to control the message, but you can go too far.  Isn't the whole point of the media is to shine a light upon the government, and give it some feedback?  That way, maybe, we can avoid making a few real boner mistakes.

But that was never the way that the Obamis approached things.  They wanted to push as many left-liberal policies past the point of no-return as they could, never mind how it was done.  We can assume that they believed in the ratchet effect.  Once you start a government program it is almost impossible to stop it.

And, of course, there is the little matter of power.  Men like power, and will seize it if they can.  What's the point of political power if you don't use it?  The place to learn the game of power when you are merely a bush-league politician is in bullying young bush-league journalists around, because they need you more than you need them.  By the time you have graduated to big-league politics you are practiced enough to bully big-league journalists around!

Which way is best for an administration?  Is it best to use the utmost ferocity in your messaging and make the journos fear you?  Or is it best to ease up a bit and let them criticize you?

Stay tuned for the final two years of the Obama administration to find out.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fighting the Left-wing Culture

Here's a touching story from Taki on-line magazine.  It's about Roy Griffis, who's been writing for years, but could never break through the liberal gatekeepers in the entertainment and publishing industries.

But now, as Amy Sterzinger writes, Griffis is finally getting published, because of the growth of indie publishing efforts like Liberty Island.

You can see why he's had a problem.
Griffis began writing as a teenager. By his 30s he’d given up on selling stories to magazines, with their labyrinthine rules about which viewpoints were correct for sympathetic characters to hold. He turned to screenplays. But screenplays introduced him to even more of what he calls the “good-think rules” for media. When working on a history piece set during the Korean War, Griffis was using North Korean characters as antagonists in the drama, and the producer told him: “Let me check and see if they’re okay.”
Hello! Can anyone spell C-E-N-S-O-R-S-H-I-P?

Anyway, Griffis has started writing novels, and has written two series already.  So I though I'd better get started on his "By the Hands of Men" series. Imagine a book uncensored by the lefties at the Ministry of Lefty Publishing.

Of course, in all ages the gatekeepers are trying to control what is thought and said -- particularly the best that is thought and said.  That's how you do social control.  Right now I'm reading a book on the Bronte sisters, The Bronte Myth by Lucasta Miller, and back then they said that Jane Eyre was full of "coarseness." They meant that it had too much sex and violence for nice young ladies.  I expect they were right.

It used to be the church that did all this social control, and now it's liberals.  Right this week, Tracy von Slyke has been writing in the British Guardian about the intolerable racism of the BBC Thomas the Tank Engine TV series.  You see, the steam engines are the good guys and all exude white smoke and the dirty diesels spout black smoke.  And as for the Fat Controller, that icon of the white patriarchy!

Never mind that "everybody" in England in the 1950s hated the diesels, including lefties that hadn't yet realized that coal was the root of all evil.  (By the way, steam maxes out at about 6% efficiency, and diesel at about 40%)

The problem is everywhere.  I get to watch children's cartoon features when I'm visiting my grandchildren and the lefty cultural assumptions in the movies frankly terrify me.  But what's a grandfather to do?  Well, he can start patronizing the adversary culture.  Over at Vox Popoli, Vox Day is aggressively trying to lead the Science Fiction/Fantasy world away from lefty cultural control, and getting the lefty Torquemada treatment for his pains. And he is actively involved in a center-right SFF publishing venture, Castalia House.  Don't ask me why it's based in Finland.

My guess is that the current lefty cultural offensive is going to run out of steam in the next couple of years, as Americans resist its totalitarian mind control with a "backlash."

But a tactical reverse isn't enough.  To beat the lefty culture we need the counterforce of a righty culture with culture warriors ready to do battle and die for the cause.

Maybe, just maybe, the retreat of the big five publishers at the hands of Amazon and the possibility of non-Hollywood movies getting made will make a difference.

But don't hold your breath.  I'm still under the influence of Eric Hoffer and The Ordeal of Change.  He points out that the intellectuals are a class that got started with the invention of writing, and they are nothing but trouble. Half the time they are employed by the state and happily order the people around at the command of the rulers.  But when the state collapses, as it does from time to time, then the intellectuals are out of a job and get angry and take up their pens against the state as revolutionary leaders of the people.

Go figure.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Obamas' Problem, Chris Cilizza, Is That Liberalism is Unjust

We conservatives have been waiting for this: the moment when liberal pundits would view the failed Obama presidency and sigh that the job was just too big for one man.  Déjà vu Jimmy Carter all over again.

So here comes liberal worthy Chris Cillizza telling us that "It's virtually impossible to be a successful modern president." No!

For you young 'uns, a bit of history.  Back in the 1970s when the liberals ruined the economy with Keynesianism and big government and Jimmy Carter had his head handed to him by the Soviets, the best and the brightest all opined that, gosh, the job was just too big for one man.  Maybe we needed a committee of presidents instead of one man.

Earth to liberals:  The problem isn't the man. The problem is the system, the whole unjust system of administrative bureaucracy by the best and brightest that you call "liberal" and "progressive."

Oh and don't forget to add in the secular liberal Puritanism that stigmatizes and shames and shuns anyone that doesn't salute when the identity-politics parade goes by.  What I want to know is who will write The Pink Letter for our age in which a conservative young woman gets shamed and shunned and forced to wear a pink "B" because she didn't want to make a wedding cake for a pair of sue-happy gays with contacts at the local Human Rights Commission?

But of course liberalism is not merely unjust.  It studiously ignores, as any pony-tailed lefty fundamentalist would do, a century of settled social science.

Correction.  It would be settled science if more than 2 1/2 liberals had actually read it and if more than a couple of liberal professors had actually got their students to study it.

Let's review the settled science.

Settled Science Part One.  It was nearly a century ago that the Austrian Jew Ludwig von Mises wrote that socialism couldn't work because it couldn't compute prices.  For about 20 years lefty writers tried to refute Mises.  Then they gave up and pushed him down the memory hole.

Settled Science Part Two.  Mises' student, F.A. Hayek extended his teacher's argument.  He said that administrative government couldn't work, for two reasons.  Reason one was that the administrative bureaucrat could never know enough to run a large program when compared against millions of consumers and producers interacting via the price system.  Reason two was that you could never write a law that covered all the contingencies of a large government program, so bureaucrats would have to write regulations on the fly.  But wait a minute!  I thought that writing laws was the job of Congress, not the president and his assignees.  Hello Injustice.  Hello Obamacare!

Settled Science Part Three. All legislating involves the springtime of the special interests and the buying of votes to force the legislation down the throats of the minority.  This settled science is called "public choice" theory.  The go-to guys are James M. Buchanan and Gordon Tullock in The Calculus of Consent.  Interestingly, if you are interested in justice, the only voting system that does not involve raping and pillaging the minority is the voting system of unanimous consent.  That way the majority has to buy the votes of the entire minority; in other words the majority will have to compensate the minority for its costs.  Notice the gravamen of this settled science.  All legislation is unjust except unanimous consent, because all majority voting amounts to two wolves and a sheep voting on what to eat for breakfast.

The answer to the injustice of liberal politics is simple, Chris Cillizza.  Read, learn, and inwardly digest the settled science and stop this culture of denial.  Cut government down to size, so that it is within the span of control of a single man.

Actually there is a bigger question here, and it issues from my apothegm that "government is force."

If government is force then everything that government does has the character of a war: a war on terror or a war on big banks. (Har Har.  I notice that progressive darling Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is perfectly happy with the crony capitalist Ex-Im Bank).

Then there are the wars on drugs, on poverty, on bigotry, on ignorance.  They go on forever.

And that's the problem.  You can see it from the failed presidency of George W. Bush.  He realized that he could only fight one war, the war in Iraq.  So he let everything else slide, including the housing bubble that was the consequence of a war for affordable housing and a war against redlining.

Here's my point.  The president is really nothing more than the commander-in-chief.  He is there in case the United States needs to go to war.  If the United States is engaged in a bunch of stupid local liberal wars like the war on poverty and the war on bigotry then the president isn't going to have enough bandwidth to do his job when a real war comes along.  He's going to be distracted by all the liberal activists showing up to insist that he nullify the immigration laws, etc.

So, Chris Cillizza and all you big-government believers: here's the bottom line.  If you want the president to be successful, then stop the expansion of government.  Don't have the government in charge of social services and turn everything social into a war against something.  Put the people in charge of helping the poor and educating the children.  Because justice.  Don't have the government regulating business: it won't work.  Public choice theory says that the regulators will end up being "captured" by the businesses they regulate.  Don't regulate business.  Because justice.

There's really a simple reason why we should cut the size of government.  We humans are social animals that thrive by communication and cooperation.  We are not Newtonian mechanical monsters that move by force.  Big business and big government are systems, and systems are there to dominate.  Even German neo-Marxists like Jürgen Habermas can figure that out.