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.

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