Free Markets, Free People

Valarie Jarrett


Competing concepts–why the left’s concept of government is dangerous and immoral

The left’s operating concept for government can be found in the words of Valarie Jarrett, President Obama’s senior advisor.  In her words are the very reasons why the left mostly fails when it comes to very basic things like job creation and relieving unemployment.   It is all to be found in the way they envision the role of government.  They don’t see government as an enabler – a role it does and should play – but instead as a provider.   And that was never a part of the vision of our founders.

 This is what Jarrett said to a lay Episcopal group in Washington D.C. on September 21, 2011 about the Obama jobs bill and the role of government.

JARRETT: He has a vision for our country, and I think his America Jobs Act’s a very positive signal about what we could do instantly to create some jobs because we know that’s the backbone of our community. We have to give people a livelihood so that they can provide for their families.

JARRETT: And its a vision, I think his is a moral vision, it’s a deeply it’s a vision based based very deeply in values. And taking care of the least of these, and making sure that we are creating a country that is a country for everybody not just for the very very wealthy. We are working hard to lift people out of poverty and give them a better life, and a footing, and that’s what government is suppose to do.

JARRETT: What he has said is that he is not willing to balance our budget on backs of the least of these, those who are most vulnerable those who depend so steeply on the safety net programs that our country….that is like a rock and foundation of our country. He says I am not willing to [inaudible] Medicare [inaudible], I’m not willing to hurt Social Security, I am not willing to make those choices while the very wealthy and the corporations and the most profitable are not paying their fair share.

There are many things to talk about in those three paragraphs.  The first, of course, is no government program will “instantly create some jobs”.  At least not in the sense of permanent jobs.  Oh it may be able to gin up some make work jobs – eventually.  But those aren’t the productive permanent private economy jobs that we so desperately need.  Government jobs are rarely productive economy building jobs.  They’re also rarely permanent.  Creating a few hundred thousand temporary construction jobs weather stripping schools is not going to pull us out of the economic crisis.  And most likely those jobs will end up costing more than they’re worth and doing little to address the real fundamental problems the economy faces.

But the real problem here is one of philosophy.  The line that bothers me most is the one which ends with “that’s what government is supposed to do”.  No.  It’s not what government is supposed to do.  Or at least that wasn’t the design laid out in the Constitution of the United States.  What was laid out there was a mechanism to enable private individuals to do those things necessary to improve their lives and productivity without using force or fraud to do it.  What Jarret is pushing the left’s vision of government’s role.

Government, as created by the founders, is there to enable and protect.  But it isn’t there to “do” what is claimed by Jarrett.  Because the founders knew that in order to “do” what Jarrett claims it would need much broader and intrusive powers.  And they knew that a government with broad and intrusive powers would continue to grant itself even more broad and intrusive powers while the citizens of the country were slowly bled of their power and rights.  Look around you – that’s precisely what has happened.

As brutal is this may sound, the beginning of this decline in freedom began with the institution of public safety nets and the dependency on government they brought.  Callus?   No, truthful.  Once a dependent class was created and justified (and could be relied upon to vote for the continuation of the welfare state), the current situation was assured – it wasn’t a matter of “if” we’d eventually find ourselves in the plight we find ourselves now, but “when”.

When is now.  Government dependency, which has precipitated its continued growth, has put us in the position of ruin.  Those who’ve whole heartedly helped us on the way and buy into this charade completely are now trying to sell the myth that our dire shape isn’t because of their well-intentioned but ruinous profligacy in the name of social justice, but the very wealthy and corporations – the very engine that has allowed them to keep this model alive for as long as they have – is the problem.  They’re not paying their “fair share”.  And the implication, of course, is if they would, all would be sunshine and roses.  That it is, in fact, because of them, and not the unsustainable welfare state these people have built, that we’re on the edge of the cliff.

Of course any rational person who has taken the time to look into what our politicians have done over the years and how unsustainable it is knows better than to buy into this line of pure and unadulterated nonsense.

Yet the shills and snake oil salesmen still push the myth and try to shift the blame to keep the belief that this situation is viable if only those filthy rich and corporations would finally pay their “fair share”.

It is personally frustrating for me to see people like Jarrett talk about “moral visions” when what she is pushing is a deeply immoral concept. 

Their model has failed the world over in many, many forms, caused true misery and yet there are true believers who simply refuse to accept that reality and feel the only reason that it hasn’t worked yet is because they weren’t in charge.

And when they finally do get their chance, this is the inevitable result.

Do we have a moral obligation to help others less fortunate than ourselves?  That’s for each of us to decide, not some nameless, faceless bureaucrat or leviathan government.   Should we provide for them? Again, that’s something we should decide and if we decide to do so, find a means of doing it.  But should government be in the business of redistributing the income of some to others.  I find nothing “moral” about that and, in fact, find it to be very immoral, because it eliminates my choice, overrides my priorities and essentially promises violence from the state if I don’t comply. 

That is neither freedom or liberty.  And last time I checked, those were the concepts this nation was founded upon.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO