Feb 23, 2014

Balance of Power



Thought of the day…. I am glad that Americans are finally paying attention to what is happening in different countries. Venezuela or Ukraine is just a small taste of what has been happening since authoritarian governments were being "ousted" by their people for the last few decades.  Sometimes, it take a few tries (Egypt) or sometimes it creates worse problems and a massive death toll (Syria). Typically, these politicians utilize their power under the guise of promoting equality via central planning. “If you give us power, we will help you in some fashion.”  However, it ends up with the same result. This. Just because something sounds good, doesn’t mean it works. We have learned that from several attempts of promoting central planning (getting your government to solve social issues and disparities without considering alternatives that are not practiced). Government is needed, no doubt. Just not on this level. It just creates corruption, disruption of the economy and revolutions. Why are people still wanting to promoting government to have more power? Surely you can advocate for more infrastructure spending but why more? We already spend a lot on that and much of the needed buildings, roads, railroads, bridges and tunnels are already established. Whether it was from Jefferson and the Lousiana purchase or the Eisenhower Administration establishing a highway system, the big stuff is done. Maybe for green energy? That doesn’t work as well as it sounds either. The private market does a better job of innovation and price reduction….
Whether it sparks from a Coup d'├ętat with a sociopath like Pinochet or from the general people fighting their way through, it shows how far their people will go to earn their freedom(s). Maybe they’re already perceived as “free” but still crave for something more.

4 comments:

  1. If human beings are corruptible, then the style of government is a moot point. It just depends whether or not you want your corruption front and center or behind closed doors. Human beings are corrupt and fallible--a system of government in and of itself is neither inherently good nor bad. Central planning doesn't somehow make people more corrupt than they already are or already were. Quite frankly, I don't really think that there's a huge difference between the corruption of authoritarian governments or central planning and the fact that the legislators and judges in this country are bought and paid for wholesale by individuals and corporations with vested interests and the money to protect those interests.

    But more to the point, the "freedoms" offered by the free market aren't really substantive. People in this country like to believe they have freedom because they have choices, but the choices offered by a free market are entirely inconsequential. Sure, in a capitalist society you have more brands of car to choose from, more types of phones and technology to shop for. Instead of one, state-run television network I can buy a satellite and get 300 channels, and if I don't like the satellite I can get cable. Or Netflix. My overall point is this: how important are the freedoms afforded by the free market? The free market has no bearing on our political system. You really only have two choices, two parties to chose from. And the people who always rise to the top of those parties during election season? The people with the most money, of course. Supreme court judges aren't elected, they're appointed, and they're appointed for life. The people who interpret the very laws the govern this entire nation and it's government are selected by the people who run it. There's no freedom or choice there. Despite the fact that your voting options are severely restricted, the electoral college and gerrymandering essentially undermine your vote. The government is spying on all of us constantly. Under eminent domain the government can take your property whenever it wants for whatever as long as it's in their interest. When it comes to REAL freedoms, and more specifically the ability to affect real change, Americans are just as stymied as anyone living in an authoritarian government. They just don't notice it because they have "freedom" in the form of 31 ice cream flavors, the ability to shop Nike or Reebok or Adidas, and a whole host of other false equivalencies to freedom brought to you by a free market.

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  2. That is where I disagree. A centrally planned government, throughout history, have been more easily corruptable that any other system. Centrally planned governments, even ones like ours, although not as "heavy" have issues, too. The choices offered are not by a market, remember? Yeah, I don't get me started on the judicial branch on the highest level... they certainly make mistakes. In fact, there is nowhere in the constitution that states 9 judges should be appointed but....
    So, you just gave several examples of how our large government is spying on us and is fairly corrupt. I agree.
    Also, most Americans think were "really free" but can't really say what that really means. Most countries are. Free market is just a sample of freedom though. They go together nicely. In fact, you really can't have one or the other. People think China is an exception. They're wrong.

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  3. With all due respect, I don't really know how one can quantify any of the statements you've made in regard to central planning leading to more corruption. That seems like a purely observational statement. Again, I would emphasize that perhaps it's easier to see the corruption in central planning due to it's structure. But you'll have a hard time convincing me that human nature somehow magically changes with the form of government. My overarching point is that the difference seems to be that people in capitalist societies seem to be willing to either not care about political corruption or turn a blind eye to it because they get more material goods, things that make them "free" and "happy." I don't really know how else to explain it. Americans are aware of redistricting, corporate lobbyists, the NSA spying program, citizens united, and a whole host of other things that speak to gigantic levels of corruption in our system. Yet nobody seems resigned to fight it, fix it, or even address it. Why? The only explanation I can think of is because people generally think, "Hey, as long as I have (insert material good here), who cares about what some asshole in DC is doing?"

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  4. Not to mention unions. They, believe it or not, are usually in the top donation category. ...

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