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The Santa Claus society
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Thomas Sowell hits a lot of homeruns with his writing, but none any better than one of his more recent articles:
Senator Hillary Clinton's Christmas commercial, showing various government programs as presents under a Christmas tree, was a classic example of calculated confusion in politics.

Anyone who believes that the government can give the country presents has fallen for the oldest political illusion of all — the illusion of something for nothing.
Unfortunately that illusion is alive, well and growing in the US. In fact, anyone watching the primary runs of the candidates on both sides witness a "Pander Fest" taken to new political heights.

But Sowell's point is well taken - how many out there think government is there to provide us with 'presents'?

And for those of you that think this is just a trait of "the other side", i.e. the left, think again:
Santa Claus is bipartisan. The Bush administration is unveiling its plan to rescue people who gambled and lost in the housing markets when the bubble burst.
Due dilligence? Personal responsibility? Doing the right thing? Bahhh - not when Santa is in town.

Sowell points to other examples of this absurd notion of government:
We now have a bipartisan tradition of the government stepping in to rescue people who engaged in risky behavior — whether by locating in the known paths of hurricanes in Florida or in areas repeatedly hit by wildfires over the years in California or by doing things that increase the probability of catching AIDS.

Why not also rescue people who gambled away their life's savings in Las Vegas? That would at least be consistent.

Apparently the only people who are supposed to be responsible are the taxpayers — and they are increasingly made responsible for other people's irresponsibility.
Consider this my opening rant for the year but it's one of those buttons, which for me, is easily pushed. For the life of me I can't understand how otherwise thinking people can condone such a government much less believe that it and the nation can survive and prosper. At some point, as Ayn Rand claimed, Atlas has got to shrug.

What do we have to look forward too yet again this election season? Another year full of promises for programs that government has no business involving itself in paid for by money it doesn't have.

And what will be the result? One of those yahoos will get elected and try to implement the "give aways". The net result will be more taxes, less freedom and fewer options.

But hey, it's be "Gmas" everyday!
 
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Santa Claus is bipartisan. The Bush administration is unveiling its plan to rescue people who gambled and lost in the housing markets when the bubble burst.
This is somewhat fair and somewhat not. The Republican leadership is trying its best to model itself after a 1980’s vintage pro-corporate Democrat (which actually did exist for a time).

However the pandering has little to do with the Republican base but rather the Democrat’s base. The Republican Leadership decided to keep & pursue power by taking its base for granted and pander to the otherside’s base for additional votes.

So in a sense the pandering is from bipartisan leadership, but the target voting block is primarily from the same party.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
There seems to be a prevalent feeling among the citizenry that the Federal Goverment is responsible for just about everything. Two major examples that foster that sentiment:
1) Katrina. I don’t know about you but I remember televised views of people on top of their roofs holding "HELP US" signs. Take a look at the major disasters of ours and previous times. From the 1903 Earthquake/Fire in San Francisco, through the really bad hurricanes of the 1920s, the Mississippi River floods of the 1920s and 1930s, through to the 1962 Earthquake/Tsunami in Alaska all the way forward to the flooding (Mississippi & Missouri River floods of the early 1990s) and hurricane disasters at the end of the Century. Anybody remember what the commitment of resources was for any of those disasters? Anybody recall any promises from the Federal government to rebuild and pay the bill? Did any of the resemble the blank check being offered for Katrina? All of a sudden the Federal government is holding the bag for the cost of Mother Nature’s tantrums.
2) The Savings & Loan Bailouts of the 1990s. Dozens if not hundreds of S&Ls were out on a financial limb trying to complete with the Banking lobby and were failing left and right in the process. Standard rules applying to Due Dilligence were ignored by many to the level of criminal behavior, all in a process of competition. People’s life savings were tied up in the process and the administrative process of resolving a failed S&L institution was calamatously long - tying up these people resources for years if not decades. Basically, the oversight of the S&L process instituted by the Federal Government with the establishment of the FDIC fell flat on its respectve *ss and the rest of the country was forced to foot the bill. What few S&L executives paid the price by going to prison was abysmally small and the FDIC kept going on its merry way.

These examples (and by no means limited to those two alone) and others have fostered this Nanny state process and it seems to be, as McQ has pointed out, curried by both sides of the aisle. My concern here is - where are you going to find the individual with the cojones to say "Enough is Enough!" And the second point of my concern is will the voting public let that person say it - and survive politically? Unfortunately, I do not think so.
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
I like the Santa analogy - those of us in the real world know those packages didn’t ’come from Santa’ they came from ’Mom and Dad’. Except in this case Santa is our government and ’Mom and Dad’ are a combination of ’those citizens who pay taxes’ and those willing to lend money to the government. (Note corporations ’pay’ taxes but in this case some citizen has to ’pay’ the corporation since the gov. just takes a slice of what citizens pay the corporation.)

Unlike gifts from Santa which have ’no cost’ the reality is each of those packages only appears as long as someone is willing to ’pay’ for it and the day is approaching where Santa will not be able to support all of the gifts he’s place under the tree because of the limited number of those paying and the inability of Santa to get another loan...
 
Written By: BIllS
URL: http://bills-opinions.blogspot.com
It has always amazed me that the Coast Guard rescue, Forest Rangers etc are sent out, helter skelter, and in force, and for free, to rescue people who went out with the intention of challenging nature, and lost....

 
Written By: eliXelx
URL: http://
At some point, as Ayn Rand claimed, Atlas has got to shrug.
Atlas, Shmatlas. That’s just myth and misinterpretation.

Magical elves make the goodies and they love it! Didn’t anybody put that in their Christmas ad?
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
Well SShiel,

Considering that it was the Federal government that caused both Katrina (Army Corp of Engineers) as well as the S&L catastrophe (deregulation+FDIC), those aren’t very good examples. In both cases the Feds were just cleaning up their own messes. And they’re failing in New Orleans. If you had chosen, say, the Chrysler bailout or steel tariffs or the NYC fiscal bailout then I could have agreed with you.

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: peter jackson
URL: www.liberalcapitalist.com
Considering that it was the Federal government that caused both Katrina ...
Wow, and here I thought Katrina started as a tropical depression off the coast of Africa.

Learn something new every day.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Peter: My apologies. I used examples that I thought were most pertinent. But in my own defense I also stated in my comment:
These examples (and by no means limited to those two alone) and others have fostered this Nanny state process
You are right, both the Chrysler and the NYC bailouts are also good examples - but don’t forget the Rolls Royce bailout of the early 70s, if you want to get really picky.

The Nanny state exists and my questions remain:
where are you going to find the individual with the cojones to say "Enough is Enough!"
and
will the voting public let that person say it - and survive politically?
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
SShiell;
Actually, Katrina is a perfect example. The Corps of Engineers was tasked and funded to provide protection from a Category 3 storm. It did. The Federal government (NOAA) is tasked to provide warning for major storms. It did. The Federal government has the responsibility to work with state and city leaders to develop an evacuation plan. It did.
Mississippi and New Orleans were hit with the same Category 4 storm, got the same Federal support before and after it hit; yet had very different reactions. In MS they actually evacuated the coast and followed the guidelines that it could be up to three days before Federal help could arrive after a disaster (both states had Federal personnel and supplies much sooner than planned). New Orleans waited for the nanny state.
 
Written By: Ted
URL: http://

 
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