Skip to comments.New York Times Columnist Bumps into Reality, Learns Nothing
Posted on 04/23/2012 5:36:34 AM PDT by Kaslin
The pro-statism crowd routinely argues that we need more government. Every so often, though, one of them inadvertently stumbles on the truth. But they then refuse to draw the logical conclusion. For instance.
We now have another example to add to the list. Thomas Friedman is a columnist for the New York Times, where he specialize in ponderous columns that reflect the views of the left-wing establishment. Today, he has a column complaining about gridlock in America. Here are some key excerpts.
Does America need an Arab Spring? has American gone from a democracy to a vetocracy from a system designed to prevent anyone in government from amassing too much power to a system in which no one can aggregate enough power to make any important decisions at all? A system with as many checks and balances built into it as ours assumes indeed requires a certain minimum level of cooperation on major issues between the two parties, despite ideological differences. Unfortunately several factors are combining to paralyze our whole system.
This is remarkable, in part because he is stunningly wrong. The political class in Washington manages to spend about $4 trillion per year and churn out tens of thousands of pages of new regulation annually.
The politicians also manage to enact dozens of new laws every year, almost all of which expand the size and scope of the federal government. If thats gridlock caused by vetocracy, then I shudder to think what activist government looks like.
But the part that really shocked me was that Friedman basically acknowledged that the problem is big government.
the huge expansion of the federal government, and the increasing importance of money in politics, have hugely expanded the number of special-interest lobbies and their ability to influence and clog decision-making.
This is a facepalm moment. Friedman begins his column by complaining that our system is sclerotic and that this makes it hard for politicians to enact more laws, yet he then admits that our system is sclerotic because government is too big already. And it goes without saying (but Ill say it anyway) that Friedman wants to make government even bigger which is why hes complaining about gridlock in the first place!
By the way, I cant resist correcting some of Friedmans sloppy analysis in the final excerpt above. He complains about role of money and special interests in politics, but he fails to connect the dots. If he did, he would understand that political money and interest groups are inevitable consequences of a bloated public sector.
As I explain in this video, big government facilitates and encourages corruption. To put it in colloquial terms, if you create a big pile of garbage in your living room, dont be surprised when you get infested by rats and roaches.
A good tax system (like the flat tax) does not impose extra layers of tax on income that is saved and invested.
Ive tried to emphasize this point with a flowchart, and Ive defended so-called trickle-down economics, which is nothing more than the common-sense notion that investment boosts wages for workers by making them more productive.
But if you doubt this relationship, just take a look at this chart posted by Steve Landsburg.
(H/T: Cafe Hayek)
Thats an amazingly powerful relationship. Wages for workers are very much tied to the amount of capital thats invested. In other words, capitalists are the best friends of workers.
Something to think about with the President proposing big increases in the double taxation of capital gains. And something to consider since he wants America to have the highest level of dividend double taxation in the industrialized world.
Most New Yorkers are only one step away from the funny farm.
I don't think Obama got nearly enough attention for his recent remarks on financial "manipulation".
Here in America, we call that "investment". It's a central part of "capitalism" and a "free market". It gives people jobs, it builds businesses, factories, and entire industries.
Obama hates financial "manipulation" and wants to end it.
I live in NJ and work in NY and my office is full of leftists. Some are dedicated leftists, some are merely sheep, following the leftist leaders.
I’ll never forget a conversation I had with one of the sheep a couple of years ago (or so). It was around the time that Mayor Dufus Bloomberg realized that when he’d successfully run all the rich people out of the city (with tax increases), the city would be left with about 1/5 its revenue generating capacity and he actually stood up (borrowed a wooden brace to act as a spine) and said something to that effect: the rich people pay all our bills and maybe we shouldn’t run them out of town.
In a conversation about economics in general I quoted our good dufus mayor to the leftist sheep I was talking to, and I’ll never, ever, ever forget what he said:
“What? Now you want me to feel sorry for rich people?”
Talk about a face-palm moment.
Leftists are always either:
a) very, very, very evil
b) very, very, very stupid
“so I cant decide whether he is cynically dishonest or hopelessly clueless.”
That pretty much sums up my thoughts (regarding statists) as well.