Meta-Blog

SEARCH QandO

Email:
Jon Henke
Bruce "McQ" McQuain
Dale Franks
Bryan Pick
Billy Hollis
Lance Paddock
MichaelW

BLOGROLL QandO

 
 
Recent Posts
The Ayers Resurrection Tour
Special Friends Get Special Breaks
One Hour
The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
Oh yeah, that "rule of law" thing ...
Putting Dollar Signs in Front Of The AGW Hoax
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
Do As I Say ....
 
 
QandO Newsroom

Newsroom Home Page

US News

US National News
Politics
Business
Science
Technology
Health
Entertainment
Sports
Opinion/Editorial

International News

Top World New
Iraq News
Mideast Conflict

Blogging

Blogpulse Daily Highlights
Daypop Top 40 Links

Regional

Regional News

Publications

News Publications

 
How close to the tipping point are we?
Posted by: McQ on Monday, June 16, 2008

It seems each day we get closer and closer to that theoretical "51%" who will forever ensure a world of big government (not that it is so small now) and an ensuing retreat from freedom, liberty and market capitalism - the principles which have made us a great nation.

The latest indicator of that shift?
A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 29% of voters favor nationalizing the oil industry. Just 47% are opposed and 24% are not sure.
The fact that 29% favor such a thing should be startling and troubling to any American. What in the world are they thinking? Equally disturbing should be the fact that 24% don't know enough to say how bad an idea such a move would be. And lastly, a minority is opposed.

I can actually buy into the belief that a good 20% of this country are committed leftists who see some form of socialism as the ideal way to govern. Regardless of our traditions, history and founding ideas, they believe in a top-down, fairness-over-justice, economics of redistribution and equally drab outcomes for all (well except the ruling elite as in most cases) form of government as the best.

And there are probably a like number on the right who, to some degree or another (conservatism to anarchy), want government out of their lives, out of their business and out of their futures. The majority of them want the tradition of a small government of the "night-watchman" variety rediscovered, re-instituted and focused on rights protection, the provision of equal protection under the law and national security. Period.

For most of our history the middle 60% has pretty much fallen on the side of those believing in less government. Because we were a nation of immigrants, and because most of those who immigrated here came from situations in which government abuse was intolerable, the group in the middle, for the most part, was very wary about granting government increased power over them.

That wariness seems to have evaporated over the intervening years. There are a number of reasons for that being the case. The result is those in the middle now seem to be leaning, ever more slightly each year, toward policies which would eventually establish European style socialism here at the very least.

Frankly, 50 years ago, with the examples of Eastern Europe and the USSR still teetering along, talking about nationalizing any industry (with the possible exception of during wartime) would have been met with howls of protest and derision from the vast majority of Americans. Cognizant of our history, traditions and what has made us great, they wouldn't have stood for it. Now we only have 47% who find the idea to be repellent and an ignorant 24% who just don't know enough to have an opinion.

For whatever reason, I find those numbers very disheartening.
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Frankly, 50 years ago, talking about nationalizing any industry . . . would have been met with howls of protest and derision from the vast majority of Americans.
I don’t agree. In the 30s, the left had all but won. CPUSA candidates did their best ever in presidential elections, and FDR was pushing various forms of fascism in the New Deal.

The 1930s was the farthest left the US ever went . . . .

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Uh Don - the 30s isn’t "50 years ago" but it is one of the reasons that 50 years ago, such a proposal would have been met "with howls of protest and derision from the vast majority of Americans". The Cold War is the other.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Uh Don - the 30s isn’t "50 years ago" but it is one of the reasons that 50 years ago, such a proposal would have been met "with howls of protest and derision from the vast majority of Americans". The Cold War is the other.
Yes, but the way I read your piece was that this is the farthest left we ever drifted . . .

We were still pretty much a "big government solution" country during the 50s and 60s. It is just that after WW2 the facade fell off the USSR, and out-and-out communism lost appeal.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
*ups his estimate of required ammo for the revolution by 10%*
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
I’d love to see a cross referencing between the 30% of idiots who want to nationalize oil and those mental cripples who believe 9/11 was a govt job.

I’m sure you’ll find a significant correlation between one and the other.

I don’t believe it’s a left/right thing.

It’s a f**ktard/sane thing.

—Scott, unless you already had a starting estimate approaching that of a small country, you may need to up it by more than 10% ;)
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I’m not so sure that 20% are leftists, but rather I feel that life is imitating art as I see the last part of the plot of "Three Days of the Condor" playing out in real life.
Higgins: It’s simple economics. Today it’s oil, right? In ten or fifteen years, food. Plutonium. Maybe even sooner. Now, what do you think the people are gonna want us to do then?
Joe Turner: Ask them?
Higgins: Not now - then! Ask ’em when they’re running out. Ask ’em when there’s no heat in their homes and they’re cold. Ask ’em when their engines stop. Ask ’em when people who have never known hunger start going hungry. You wanna know something? They won’t want us to ask ’em. They’ll just want us to get it for ’em!
In the present case, the Democrats are trying their best to force the oil companies to go to "alternative energy." Frankly, I have no idea what "alternate energy’ can fill the gap in the short term. All of them have long lead times of a decade or more, so I’m dying to see if the MSM lets Obama, who has promised help at the pump, get away without ever defining just how he will help anybody at the pump.
I predict that "help at the pump" will go the way of the Clinton middle class tax cut.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Polls. You can make them say anything you want. Word it correctly and you can get 74% of mothers to agree that hot iron branding is an acceptable punishment for not eating one’s peas.

However, while I might not believe the numbers to be as high as that, I do believe you are correct in a way. Freedom and liberty require hard work. Our lives have progressively gotten easier over the decades and we expect that everything should be easier, including government. Sustaining liberty requires work that most people simply have no desire to engage in. Freedoms aren’t held in such high regard any more.

Look at Canada and the brouhaha over Mark Steyn. People are actually saying freedom of speech is a bad thing. In their eyes, of course, it is. For them, it’s better to not insult someone than have the ability to say what you wish. They don’t see the censure as a negative. They never lived in a society where they couldn’t speak out, so they see no reason to make such laws.

Soci@lism is coming, and it will be here faster than you think. Barack Rock the Casbah Obama is just the first step. You guys (along with myself) are part of a dying breed. While we might be able to instill the American ethos in our children, we’re outnumbered by people who consider American Idol to be quality entertainment and would give up the entire Bill Of Rights to ensure it stayed on the air.

Have a nice day!
 
Written By: Robb Allen
URL: http://blog.robballen.com
In the mean time, I expect the Democrats to ride the wave of "They’ll just want us to get it for ’em!" in a non-military, more political, sense to get whatever they want, using AGW to stop any idea of drilling our way out of the energy problem.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
"Hi, we are doing a Rasmussen poll asking people if they would want to have the oil industry nationalized. On a scale of 1 to 5 how much would you want the oil industry nationalized, 5 meaning you agree completely and want oil prices reduced and the profits spent on various charities for children, 4 meaning you don’t want the profits to go to the chiiwdren who need them, 3 meaning you just want the oil industry nationalized a little bit, 2 meaning you don’t want anything to be changed at all, and 1 meaning you want things to become worse."

"Uh, I have no idea what you’re talking about."

"Ok, I’ll just put you down for ’not sure.’"

"Yeah fine."

In that case, 24% being "not sure" doesn’t sound so bad.
 
Written By: jows
URL: http://
Because we were a nation of immigrants, and because most of those who immigrated here came from situations in which government was abuse was intolerable, the group in the middle was very wary about granting government increased power over them.
Immigration since WWII has been for personal economic reasons only for most. You’re romanticizing it if you think otherwise.

So you have people less interested in shedding government from their lives and as a consequence are more ready to put their hand out. Combine that with a broader immigration cross-section from places where the traditions of individual freedoms and the requisite independence and self-reliance that requires have not been as strong.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
I don’t believe it’s a left/right thing.

It’s a f**ktard/sane thing.
Quoted for truth.
Polls. You can make them say anything you want. Word it correctly and you can get 74% of mothers to agree that hot iron branding is an acceptable punishment for not eating one’s peas.
Alright, y’all are on fire now.
"Hi, we are doing a Rasmussen poll asking people if they would want to have the oil industry nationalized. On a scale of 1 to 5 how much would you want the oil industry nationalized, 5 meaning you agree completely and want oil prices reduced and the profits spent on various charities for children, 4 meaning you don’t want the profits to go to the chiiwdren who need them, 3 meaning you just want the oil industry nationalized a little bit, 2 meaning you don’t want anything to be changed at all, and 1 meaning you want things to become worse."
Would not be surprised at all if this is 95% of today’s polling dialogue...

 
Written By: rob
URL: http://
JPM, couple that with a school system that emphasizes "self-esteem" as a given and nothing to work on with parents who don’t give a damn about their kids, and well we’re churning out plenty of those types of people here within our own shores just fine.
 
Written By: Robb Allen
URL: http://blog.robballen.com
Because we were a nation of immigrants, and because most of those who immigrated here came from situations in which government was abuse was intolerable, the group in the middle was very wary about granting government increased power over them.
I disagree. The core of our individual rights ethos come from those who came from England, a nation that was evolving into a leading liberal democracy during the period when we were a colony.

The Founding Fathers actually rebelled against a relitively benign mother country.

One can further see this when the Texians (anglos living in Mexican Texas) rebelled against Mexico when Santa Anna overthrew the Mexican 1824 constitution and declared himself dictator, while most of Mexico submitted weakly.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
I don’t say the above tersely.

Growing up in Canada, where diverse immigration was encouraged very early and aggressively. And we were told ’Canada is a mosaic of cultures like a stain glass window [of many pretty colors] while the US is a melting pot like some stew [which is just green muck]’.

So I got to know more that a few first generation immigrant children or children who came here as toddlers. And they were unabashed about their reasons for immigrating to Canada. Aside from the fact the line to the US was longer, it was for personal income.

And there was absolutely no acknowledgment the improved economy had anything to do with the different economic systems. Many of these immigrant were flat out social!sts if not commun!sts. Despite how they had it, they’d complain about all the stuff the weren’t being given free like they would in their home countries who were far ahead of Canada on the social!st scale at the time. I’d just shake my head.

Long story short, its been my personal experience that immigration today is dilutive to to the appreciation for individual freedom and self-reliance.

Its one of the reasons why I don’t like immigration of a kind that slows or inhibits assimilation.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
So, 29% of Americans want to see their energy delivered to them with the same caring as the VA and with the same efficiency as the postal service.

You can bet one thing...as soon as the government’s coffers become dependent on oil drilling for revenue (should nationalization take place,) not only will ANWR become fair game for drilling in a heartbeat, but coastal California and the gulf will have more rigs off their shores than they currently have environmentalists on them. Oil shale? Ring the cash register!

Environmentalists will win against "BIG OIL" every time. The government’s need to feed loses to no one.

 
Written By: Rougman
URL: http://
You can bet one thing...as soon as the government’s coffers become dependent on oil drilling for revenue (should nationalization take place,) not only will ANWR become fair game for drilling in a heartbeat, but coastal California and the gulf will have more rigs off their shores than they currently have environmentalists on them. Oil shale? Ring the cash register!
You wouldn’t be referring to this, would you? Found at Insty’s place who suggests "It’s as if it’s all just some sort of giant shakedown scheme."
 
Written By: CR
URL: http://
In my opinion, the percentage of people who are OK with big government are proportional to those who pay no income taxes.
 
Written By: SD Mojo
URL: http://
In my opinion, the percentage of people who are OK with big government are proportional to those who pay no income taxes
DING DING DING! WE HAVE A WINNAH!
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Obama does best in state capitals and college towns full of academic types. The term academicians was phrased to describe his biggest supporters. Guess what academics and state workers have in common?

No, not education, but nice safe jobs with fat salaries that are insulated from the state of the economy or any competitive pressures. These are exactly the kind of people who wouldn’t mind some extra taxes to make them feel better because their income is so stable (and they can probably get a raise to cover it anyways) and of course, their employing agencies get those taxes as revenues.

Its like if company owners could vote themselves higher prices.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
How much of a rebound from big gov was the Reagan era after the long era Democratic dominance? Was that a myth?

Back then I was a happy leftist willing to pay more taxes believing it was all great compassionate synergy on our way to Star Trek: The Next Generation when we would have abolished money and would be multicultural, multispecies, federated worlds, etc. I had the impression Reagan was undoing much of that wonderful progress.

Now I see these things differently and I’m hoping that absolute big government will not descend like a long gray night, and I kinda think it won’t because if the pain gets too great, people will do something. Before the US gets close to the brink, we will be watching Europe collapsing, and just maybe get a few clues from that.

Or maybe I’m naive.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
How much of a rebound from big gov was the Reagan era after the long era Democratic dominance? Was that a myth?

Back then I was a happy leftist willing to pay more taxes believing it was all great compassionate synergy on our way to Star Trek: The Next Generation when we would have abolished money and would be multicultural, multispecies, federated worlds, etc. I had the impression Reagan was undoing much of that wonderful progress.

Now I see these things differently and I’m hoping that absolute big government will not descend like a long gray night, and I kinda think it won’t because if the pain gets too great, people will do something. Before the US gets close to the brink, we will be watching Europe collapsing, and just maybe get a few clues from that.

Or maybe I’m naive.
Well, for the cries of bloody murder, you’d think that Reagan cut the government to 1/3.

But the actual cut was probably small enough that depending on how you manipulate inflation, you could wipe out the cut.

Reagan’s contribution was more about momentum. He stopped the momentum of Incremental Social!sm that had already consumed Europe and Canada in the 60s & 70s and was taking hold in the US during the mid to late 70s.

The incrementalism resumed at a slower rate after Reagan. Sped up some by Clinton & Big Government Republicans. And ready to resume full bore with Obama/Democrats.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
So, 29% of Americans want to see their energy delivered to them with the same caring as the VA and with the same efficiency as the postal service.

You can bet one thing...as soon as the government’s coffers become dependent on oil drilling for revenue (should nationalization take place,) not only will ANWR become fair game for drilling in a heartbeat, but coastal California and the gulf will have more rigs off their shores than they currently have environmentalists on them. Oil shale? Ring the cash register!

Environmentalists will win against "BIG OIL" every time. The government’s need to feed loses to no one.

 
Written By: Rougman
URL: http://
"The government’s need to feed loses to no one."

I think you overrate the altruism and common sense of government bureaucracies and politicians.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Just to nitpick, 47% is a plurality rather than a minority, since it’s the largest bloc.

Mmmm, nits. High in crunch, and full of protein!
 
Written By: Sigivald
URL: http://
I had a conversation with a liberal last night night. He told me we were not in a war, and that he didn’t care if oil went to $10 a gallon, because it would make the country change it’s behavior. That’s what liberals want to do force us to change the way we live. Just listen to Michele Obama if you have any questions about that. I think we’ll continue to win these debates as long as we get our message out.

http://www.thenewconservatives.blogspot.com/
 
Written By: The New Conservative
URL: http://www.thenewconservatives.blogspot.com/
If you want to read my comment, you will have to go to CG’s page and click in the comment line. QandO HAS BLACKLISTED IT FOR NO REASON. (And I have reported that to CG) I do not consider that responsible conservative journalism, and am in a quandry as to what is REALLY THE AGENDA here.
 
Written By: posterior_sling
URL: http://
If you want to read my comment, you will have to go to CG’s page and click in the comment line. QandO HAS BLACKLISTED IT FOR NO REASON. (And I have reported that to CG) I do not consider that responsible conservative journalism, and am in a quandry as to what is REALLY THE AGENDA here.
Probably had a spam term in it and the blocker caught it.

Lately the word has been "soci*lism" because it has "ci*lis" in there. An unfortunate quirk of the system.

Don’t get all exercised over it and assume something that isn’t in evidence (i.e. we’re "blacklisting" your comment). I you were blacklisted, you wouldn’t have been able to post the comment you did. Just send me the comment and I’ll be glad to see it gets posted. My email is on the top left of the main page.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools:
Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment:
   
 
Vicious Capitalism

Divider

Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

Divider

Divider