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Skipping toward the road to ruin
Posted by: McQ on Monday, December 15, 2008

On the podcast last night, Dale and I talked about the seeming inevitability, driven by the panic atmosphere in Washington, of the more toward a more socialistic US. As Dale said, it seems, even after the lessons of the Soviet Union, that we're doomed to repeat the failed experiment.

Robert Tracinski has written a great piece about it, saying, in fact, it is the return of the Old Left we're seeing - "the mid-20th-century left of public-works giantism, ham-fisted labor union protests, and command-and-control central planning."

I can't yet disagree, given what I've seen and heard thus far of the plans of the incoming administration. Tracinski concludes his article with a weary headshake, not understanding why it seems we have to do this all again:
The 20th century experimented with every possible variant of socialism. We had democratic socialism in Western Europe, totalitarian socialism in Eastern Europe, and fascist socialism in South America. We had atheistic socialism and we had "liberation theology." We had the "scientific socialism" of the Soviet central planners and the chaotic jungle socialism of the Khmer Rouge, who executed anyone with an education. We had "socialism with Chinese characteristics" and socialism with African characteristics and socialism with Hindu characteristics.

We tried it all, and every time it led to poverty and oppression.

Those results have been proven with scientific thoroughness. There is no excuse for trying it all again.
When talking of "car czars" and "energy czars" you're not talking freedom or liberty. As Tracinski says, we may as well be honest about it and call them what they are - "commissars" instead of czars. And the first thing anyone should expect them to do is issue a 5-year plan as we head down an old and well traveled road to ruin.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

The problem is that everybody thinks, "Well, I can do better because I won’t repeat the mistakes of the past."

That and regimes like the USSR only seem like failures to those of us on the right. To lefties, they are shining examples of What Might Have Been.
Written By: docjim505
URL: http://
The problem is that everybody thinks, "Well, I can do better because I won’t repeat the mistakes of the past."
Well put. Our socialists are CERTAIN they can do it this time. The others just didn’t try hard enough, and weren’t as smart as "we" are.
Written By: jjmurphy
In reading the linked piece one section really jumped out at me:
Alan Brinkley, a professor of history at Columbia University, says of the New Deal that "they didn’t spend nearly enough" and laments that "They were constrained by all kinds of traditional ideas about balanced budgets."
Aren’t we paying the price now for consumers, banks, etc. that spent too much money that they didn’t have and incurred enormous debt to pay for things? You know, not being constrained by all kinds of traditional ideas about balancing our own budgets and living within our means.

It leads to disaster when people and companies do it, but the left thinks it is just fine when government does it! I am not optimistic right now.
Written By: jjmurphy
This is the central reason for a lot of my disengagement from debating those on the left. The way I’ve often put it in comments here is that the left is simply disconnected from reality. They believe things that are clearly ridiculous based on history and experience.

When you point out said history, they do some handwaving and get right back to talking about how great it will be when we have universal health, or whatever their current socialist hobby-horse happens to be. And if you persist in pointing out how silly their assumptions are, they get personal, demanding to know why you hate poor people, or are racist, or some other name-calling based on some presumed emotion I don’t feel at all. They do that because their own opinions and arguments have now become based almost totally in emotion rather than reason, facts, logic, or history.

I hear people (on both sides) lamenting the decline of political dialog. Well, dialog has to be based on shared facts and reality. As Ed Koch put it, you’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. When argument descends to the point where your debating opponent refuses to face obvious facts, it’s really not possible to go any further.

Our leftist-biased media is one of the focal points for the problem. We now have easily the most ignorant professional media class in my lifetime, and probably in the history of this country. They don’t have any foundation for understanding the issues they report on. They report on science and technology, while being unable or unwilling to master the math or science required to understand it. They report on economics, when nine out of ten could not tell you the basic ideas of Adam Smith. They report on the military matters when they barely know which end of a gun to point. They report on political issues without being informed by historical parallels because their knowledge of history before 1992 is limited to Harriet Tubman and FDR.

The rest of the left takes their clues from this professional media class, and glories in their own ignorance. They feel an emotional repulsion to war and violence, and so don’t trouble themselves to actually learn anything about it. That results in such dogmatic assertions as "Iraq is an irredeemable failure, and no good can ever come from it, and one third of the returning soldiers are mentally disturbed in some fashion". They feel emotional sadness that some people don’t have first rate healthcare, and their answer is to wave a magic wand and presume government can just fix that, without having the first clue of the laws of economics that doom any such effort to failure. They’ve been taken in by the panic-mongering around global warming, and in their fear insist that the government "Do something!" with no consideration of whether that something will make things better or worse, or how much it will cost or how much damage it will do.

They’re proud of their atheism, and what they don’t realize is that many (most?) have merely substitued faith in government for faith in God. I don’t know what else to call it. When you believe that socialist big government works when the evidence over a century of misery is that it doesn’t, it can’t possibly be intellectual reasoning that fuels that belief. It has to be faith.
Written By: Billy Hollis
well said Billy.
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Check the last panel.

Sums it all up rather nicely, doesn’t it...
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Within the podcast discussion touching on protectionism, the steel industry and its demise was used as an example of the result of holding a protectionist line. Being involved in the industry at that time (1970’s) I recall that the problem was not so much as protectionism but rather the European and, in some respects, Japanese gov’ts were heavily subsidising their countries industries thus were able to offer the product to the world markets a price below the actual production costs. Regardless of any technological advancements, USWA concessions or Trade Agreements that were implemented domestically, the global environment was not geared toward a fair competition. Also, during that time the US began moving away from a manufacturing base to a service base causing the demand for heavy steel to diminish. With or without protections, the industry was caught in a downgrade and, as we now know, didn’t have the leadership structure to reinvent it.

Great blog and podcasts! Keep up the good work!
Written By: JohnTX
URL: http://
Great comment, Billy Hollis!
Written By: docjim505
URL: http://
I hate to say it, but the next two years might be good for America and for capitalism. Why? Look what happened in 1994: Clinton and his goons in Congress wet too far, tried to ram socialized medicine down everyone’s throats, and what happened? A revolt, that’s what. Say goodbye to Speaker Foley and say hello to Speaker Gingrich. Followed by 12 years of GOP House rule, the longest run in the 20th century.

Obama and his goons in Congress are already going to far, what with unending bailouts and trillions in new spending followed by who knows what. If the GOP plays its cards right, and speaks out against this bullcrappola, in 2010 we may see a repeat of 1994. If so, say goodbye to Speaker Pelosi. I personally don’t like John Boehner, but he is far and away an improvement on Pelosi, and even on Dennis Hastert.

Watch this space, and see if I am right in 2010 about the push back from the American people. I think the 61% support against the auto bailout is the first sign of manna from heaven.
Written By: James Marsden
URL: http://
James, I hope you’re right, and that (all too slim) possibility is why I didn’t really mind seeing Obama get elected. McCain would have been more of the same or worse, with no effective opposition to his big government inspirations for the same reason the GOP didn’t oppose Bush’s big government schemes.

I realize others thought differently, and that an potential Obama disaster was much worse than a McCain semi-disaster. They may even be right. But based on the experience of Carter and Clinton, there’s reason to hope otherwise. Both were followed by a resurgence in preference for limited government as expressed at the ballot box.
Written By: Billy Hollis
This CBS report is truly scary.
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
I thought the Dems wanted to push towards Comunism? No? Could of fooled me. lol

Click under the dolt towards the bottom of this site below. I spit coffee on my screen this afternoon I laughed so freeking hard! I think I posed it onnce before.
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