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5 Liberal Policies That Backfire and Ruin Lives
Townhall ^ | 08/07/2013 | John Hawkins

Posted on 08/07/2013 6:49:59 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

“The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.” — Ronald Reagan
“There are no solutions; there are only trade-offs.” -- Thomas Sowell

"In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle: There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, ‘I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.’ To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: ‘If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.’" -- G.K. Chesterton

The biggest problem with modern liberalism is that it has devolved into little more than childlike emotionalism applied to adult issues. A liberal picks which policies to support based on whether they make him feel "nice" or "mean" and then he declares a policy to be a moral imperative based on his emotional reaction to it. There's no consideration put into whether the cost of a program is worth the benefits provided or whether the policy ultimately benefits more people than it harms; there's just a wild lurch based on feelings. Unfortunately for liberals, governing in that fashion is not sustainable over the long haul and leads to the sort of disasters we've recently seen in Greece and Detroit. Unfortunately for the rest of us, the wheels of history turn slowly and at times, ambiguously, which means bad ideas can take a long time to prove their unworthiness -- so long in fact, that there's often someone trying the same failed idea under a new name by the time the old idea has been discredited.

1) Price controls: Limiting the prices of certain goods like gas, electricity or food seems a kind -hearted thing to do. However, lamentably, it destroys the way the market functions. If the price of a product or service is kept artificially low, it will cause the populace to use more of it than it normally would. When this happens under ordinary circumstances, suppliers spend more money to keep the product coming (They buy surplus stock, set up 2nd and 3rd shifts at their plants, etc., etc.), they raise the price to cover their higher expenses and they wet their beak a bit by taking a little extra profit. On the other hand, if they can't cover the extra expenses because of price controls, they'll still try to sell what they have available, but there is no longer an incentive to use extra resources to meet demand for the product. So, when you see price controls put in effect, prepare yourself, because as sure as night follows day, a shortage is going to eventually occur.

2) Affirmative Action: In an effort to help black Americans, liberals advocate Affirmative Action. Sadly, this has turned into a particularly detrimental policy for black Americans. First off, every black American now has a question mark over his achievements. Did he deserve them or were they given because of Affirmative Action? This is one of the biggest drivers in the grossly unfair, soft bigotry to low expectations that are all often applied to black Americans in the media. Worse yet, depending on the numbers you believe, somewhere between 60-70% of black Americans drop out of college. Affirmative Action has a lot to do with that because it "helps" black Americans get into a more rigorous college than they may be ready to handle at a young age. As Walter Williams has said,

"...(B)lack students who are being turned into failures at MIT, if they’d gone to engineering school at the University of Pennsylvania or Cornell, they’d be on the Dean’s list."

That's an awful lot of human potential being wasted in the name of Affirmative Action.

3) Rent Control: Everybody needs a place to call home; so keeping rents low seems like a benevolent idea. Also, who wouldn't want a great place to live on the cheap? However, in practice, cities with rent control are the most expensive places in America to rent. That's because housing is a for profit industry. Existing apartments that can't make a profit will close and new builders certainly aren't going to build more space if they can't make a profit on it. If you have a housing glut, it's cheap to find a place to live. If you create an artificial housing shortage via rent control, it creates more homelessness and makes an area less affordable to live in for average families.

4) The DDT Ban: DDT is a safe, incredibly effective pesticide that was used extensively here in the United States with few negative effects. Sadly, Rachel Carson's junk science book Silent Spring made a lot of wild, unsupported claims about DDT hurting birds that forever stuck in the minds of liberals. The substance was banned worldwide and even after the ban was lifted, liberal foundations, governments, and USAID have applied tremendous pressure to keep poor countries from using it. This is regrettable because DDT was and still is the cheapest and most effective way to kill mosquitoes that spread malaria. It's very difficult to estimate the numbers of people in poor nations that have died because of liberal hatred of DDT, but most estimates seem to at least put it in the tens of millions with another million or so dying each year. There are a lot of dictators whose names we curse that haven't killed as many human beings as liberals have by making sure poor people in South America and Africa can't use DDT to free themselves of the scourge of malaria.

5) The Minimum Wage/Living Wage: What could be wrong with making sure that everyone makes at least a certain minimal amount for any work he does? After all, shouldn't everyone make enough to support a family off his wages? That's a nice idea, but the problem with it is that businesses aren't charities and when you force them to pay employees more per hour than they're worth, the company is probably going to react either by cutting their work force, replacing them with machinery, technology or outsourcing, or by hiring a smaller number of higher quality workers that are worth the money. In other words, minimum wages and living wages create unemployment. A great example of how this works recently happened in D.C. A law was passed targeting Wal-Mart which would have forced the retailer to pay its workers 50% more than the minimum wage. Wal-Mart's response was to cancel the opening of six stores in the area. The liberal argument is that the thousands of people who would have voluntarily chosen to work for Wal-Mart will be better off unemployed. The conservative argument is that they should be allowed to make their own choice about whether the pay, health care, skills, and potential for advancement in the job are worth it.



TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: liberalism; liberals

1 posted on 08/07/2013 6:49:59 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

5? Is there one that doesn’t ruin lives?


2 posted on 08/07/2013 6:51:41 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: Puppage

“5? Is there one that doesn’t ruin lives?”

Is there a liberal that cares?


3 posted on 08/07/2013 6:53:29 AM PDT by brownsfan (Behold, the power of government cheese.)
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To: Puppage

Only Five?

I think of a lot more...


4 posted on 08/07/2013 6:53:44 AM PDT by Little Ray (How did I end up in this hand-basket, and why is it getting so hot?)
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To: brownsfan

No. Just so long as “their intentions were good” Liberals don’t care.


5 posted on 08/07/2013 6:55:13 AM PDT by Little Ray (How did I end up in this hand-basket, and why is it getting so hot?)
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To: Little Ray

“Only Five?

I think of a lot more...”

Indeed.

Listing lib policies that have not failed would constitute a fine definition of a “null set”.

(And libs, don’t try to list things that really were obvious to all...which your cadre of lib arts flunkouts chose as something that you could claim as your own.)


6 posted on 08/07/2013 6:56:49 AM PDT by Da Coyote
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To: SeekAndFind

All 5 of these are perfect examples of destroying the natural implement of SUPPLY-vs-DEMAND, the most fundamental of all economic truths.


7 posted on 08/07/2013 6:57:52 AM PDT by Mr. K (Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics, and then Democrat Talking Points.)
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To: Little Ray
I think of a lot more...

Yeah, like ALL of them.

8 posted on 08/07/2013 7:08:05 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: SeekAndFind

Liberals are never held to account for the results of their policies.

Consider the war on poverty launched by LBJ in the ‘60s. We have spent trillions on various anti poverty programs since the ‘60s. Yet, poverty has not been eradicated. The GOP won’t talk about the failures of these Democrat programs. Democrats only response is that we need to spend more money on these programs for them to solve the problems of poverty.

And the media will never dig into the quagmire of the war on poverty. Even though this effort started by LBJ has been a total failure, Democrats and liberals never face any blame from anyone for their failures.


9 posted on 08/07/2013 7:08:48 AM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: SeekAndFind

Libs continue to follow the FDR playbook.


10 posted on 08/07/2013 7:12:49 AM PDT by Sans-Culotte ( Pray for Obama- Psalm 109:8)
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To: SeekAndFind
A liberal... declares a policy to be a moral imperative based on his emotional reaction to it.

That's the perfect description of a liberal.

11 posted on 08/07/2013 7:19:55 AM PDT by A_perfect_lady ("A liberal... declares a policy to be a moral imperative based on his emotional reaction to it.")
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To: SeekAndFind

Busing and integration should have been on that list.


12 posted on 08/07/2013 7:38:44 AM PDT by Beagle8U (Free Republic -- One stop shopping ....... It's the Conservative Super WalMart for news .)
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To: SeekAndFind

Three of these are the exact same thing. Minimum wage and rent control are just price controls applied to specific markets. Of course the problem with any list of leftwing failures is that something will always have to be omitted.


13 posted on 08/07/2013 8:37:08 AM PDT by cdcdawg (Be seeing you...)
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To: SeekAndFind

Basically, liberals are stupid when it comes to economics. We get that. However, I disagree that item 4 (DDT) was good intentions gone wrong. From the start, there was a Eugenics component. The people who advocated the ban on DDT intentionally wanted population control in the third world. It is evil, pure and simple.


14 posted on 08/07/2013 8:55:54 AM PDT by jimmygrace
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To: jimmygrace
RE: The people who advocated the ban on DDT intentionally wanted population control in the third world. It is evil, pure and simple.

You mean Rachel Carson (author of SILENT SPRING) was NOT motivated by good intentions but by the desire to control the world's population?

15 posted on 08/07/2013 8:59:39 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: jimmygrace

16 posted on 08/07/2013 9:00:35 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: Puppage

Obamacare
Vermont
ObamaCare
Deinstitutionalizing the Mentally Ill (Cf. Joy Behar)
Anything “Vegetarian” not in an Indian Restaurant
Anchor Babies
Global Warming Hysteria
The Designated Hitter
ObamaCare
Low Salt French Fries
ObamaCare
Joy Behar
The “Fairness” Doctrine
ObamaCare
Windows Vista
The Chevy Volt
ObamaCare
Doctorates in Education
Victimology (Womyn, Black, etc.) Studies
ObamaCare
Motor Voter
ObamaCare
CUIDADO CALIENTE! on coffee cups
ObamaCare
Undocumented Criminals
MSNBC
Dodd-Frank
The Nehru Jacket
The Great Society/Welfare
Obamacare


17 posted on 08/07/2013 9:01:18 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (Doing the same thing and expecting different results is called software engineering.)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

You forgot Obamacare.


18 posted on 08/07/2013 9:06:26 AM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: SeekAndFind
...when you force them to pay employees more per hour than they're worth, the company is probably going to react either by cutting their work force, replacing them with machinery, technology or outsourcing, or by hiring a smaller number of higher quality workers that are worth the money.

OK I'm struggling to make any sense out of the part in bold. What's stopping companies from doing that now even with the minimum wage in place? Costco has done it for years. It's part of their business model, and they get by with fewer staff and less turnover which reduces costs and increase profits. So minimum wage or no, businesses are free to pay as much as they want and operate with as few people as they see fit.

19 posted on 08/07/2013 9:07:43 AM PDT by 0.E.O
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To: editor-surveyor

Just a brief off-hand summary. Hard to see how I left that out.


20 posted on 08/07/2013 9:08:59 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (Doing the same thing and expecting different results is called software engineering.)
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To: 0.E.O

At the margins, some employees are not worth as much as others. If the price of marginal employees rises, employers have incentives to replace them with fewer more productive workers, or with capital investment.


21 posted on 08/07/2013 9:11:28 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (Doing the same thing and expecting different results is called software engineering.)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
At the margins, some employees are not worth as much as others. If the price of marginal employees rises, employers have incentives to replace them with fewer more productive workers, or with capital investment.

That's true, minimum wage or no.

22 posted on 08/07/2013 9:13:35 AM PDT by 0.E.O
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To: 0.E.O

Some ships will sink, regardless of the weather. More sink in storms. Minimum wage laws “cull the herd”, they increase the incentives to replace less productive workers.


23 posted on 08/07/2013 9:26:39 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (Doing the same thing and expecting different results is called software engineering.)
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