Sunday, February 14, 2010

Big Government, Big Business, And Poor Little You



Government is a tool, to be used, or not, rightly or wrongly. It has no inherent value, no goodness or badness by itself, but it has great utility, and can do either great good or great harm, or both, simultaneously.

It is the responsibility of citizens to control and run their government. Complaining is both useless and pointless. Complaining about something that government does or does not do is like complaining that you have five fingers on each hand and don't know where to have lunch. It is completely irrational.

Shrinking government, or eliminating it entirely actually means converting from public government to private government. There is never a vacuum. Government will not go away by wishing it so. There will always be someone in charge of everything. If big public government were to go away it would be replaced by big private government. At that point citizens would lose the last bit of control and decline to the level of servants.

There is no free enterprise, never has been, and never will be. It's all about power and what power can get away with. Any segment of the economy left unregulated will be controlled by those with the power to control it. Unregulated economies move to monopoly.

Business does not result in better service or lower cost through competition. The way to make money in business is to charge the absolute maximum that the market will bear. Monopoly is vastly more efficient because it does less while charging more, and does not have to think.

There is no trickle-down economy. Never has been, never will be. All economies, especially the most lightly regulated, are trickle-up. Wealth always flows from the poorest to the richest. That is how the rich get to be rich. The rich do not create wealth, they take it. If the rich created wealth then everyone would eventually be rich because wealth would overflow.

Money is useless by itself. It has no inherent value or utility. Money is stored power, and operates only by the rules of social convention. It is useful only for what it can cause to happen. Paying for something is equivalent to using force, but more compact and cleaner. Money is also more portable than troops or weapons.

Wealth is always redistributed. This is what economies do, whether or not they use money. It is not wrong for a government to move wealth from one part of the population to another, nor is it right. It is only an operation, sometimes tactical, sometimes strategic, for accomplishing societal goals. If private entities accumulate wealth, that is also wealth redistribution in the form of sequestering, of concentrating power. If left unchecked then power will be concentrated enough to destroy public government and replace it with private government.

If the wealthiest 2% of Americans control as much wealth as the poorest 90%, then the other 8% constitute the middle class, and they have no real effect on the economy or on politics. Meanwhile that bottom 98% continues to grow in numbers and shrink in wealth, and power, as their real income falls. This process will take us back to feudalism, when at least 98% of the population was equivalent to farm animals, at best.

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