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government is good!

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eliotn Posted: Sat, Mar 7 2009 11:25 AM

according to this website:

http://www.governmentisgood.com/

lets see what is on here:

"The Forgotten Achievments of Government"

"But how accurate is this popular image of the government as a bumbling fool? Actually, this is largely a stereotype – one based primarily on myth and selective anecdotal evidence. The reality is this: most government programs are successful most of the time. By and large, the public sector does a good job providing clean water to drink, keeping the peace, sending out Social Security checks, educating our children, ensuring aircraft safety, feeding the hungry, protecting consumers, and so on."

"Of course anyone can cite a number of failed government policies – such as the war on drugs, public housing programs, urban mass transit, and so on. But it is wrong to leap from this kind of anecdotal evidence to the conclusion that government as a whole is inherently incompetent. Just because a particular policy fails to deal with a problem does not necessarily mean that other policies will not succeed or that government itself is hopelessly ineffective. No one is perfect – everyone makes mistakes – but we don’t usually take this to mean that they are irredeemably inept. For example, all doctors make mistakes at times – they misdiagnosis patients or give them treatments that have inadvertent, but severe, side-effects. And yet few of us would condemn the profession as a whole. Likewise, business people make huge blunders all the time: 80% of all new small businesses go under within five years. Over 60% of all new foods introduced in our supermarkets fail to catch on with the public, at a cost of billions of dollars a year. And yet few of us would label American business people as a bunch of incompetent losers. But government bashers refuse to cut government this same kind of slack. They take every policy failure as a sign that government just can’t do anything right, and simply ignore the policies and programs that do work."

Then, it tries to cite "policies" where government succeeded:

"Regulation of the Business Cycle. The federal government uses a variety of monetary and fiscal policies to limit the boom and bust cycles of the economy. For example, it adjusts interest rates to give a boost to the economy when it is slowing down. Thanks to these policies, the U.S. has not suffered an economic depression since the 1930s. We tend to overlook the fact that before government took on this responsibility, severe depressions were a routine and recurring problem in this country – occurring in 1819, 1837, 1857, 1873, 1893, 1907 and 1929. And we have all but forgotten the enormous amount of human suffering caused by these economic meltdowns – the massive joblessness, the destitution, the rampant hunger, the disease, the riots, the hopelessness and the despair. By any measure, eliminating these depressions and this misery has been one of the greatest – and largely unheralded – achievements of our federal government."

"Public Health Programs. A variety of programs run by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local Public Health departments have greatly improved the health of most Americans. For example, the scourges of polio, cholera, and smallpox have been effectively eradicated from this country – a huge achievement. And vaccination programs have reduced by 95% our risks of contracting potentially debilitating diseases like hepatitis B, measles, mumps, tetanus, rubella, and diphtheria. Federal funds spent on buying and distributing these vaccines have saved countless lives and the billions of dollars it would cost to treat these illnesses. In addition, the dedicated scientists who work for the CDC are all that stand between Americans and a potentially catastrophic epidemic imported from abroad. The most likely and worrisome threat is from a new and deadly strain of bird flu. The last deadly flu epidemic to hit the United States, in 1918, killed over 675,000 people in matter of months"

"The Interstate Highway System. Started by the Eisenhower administration in the 1950s, this system now forms the backbone of long-distance travel and commerce in the United States. It makes up less than 1% of our highways, but carries almost a quarter of all roadway traffic. It has also allowed millions of Americans to move out of big cities and live in more pleasant suburban and small town environments. In addition, the interstate system has the benefit of being considerably safer than the old two-lane highways it replaced – saving hundreds of thousands of lives. Even some conservatives have been forced to admit the success of this building program, with George Will calling it “the most successful public works program in the history of the world." It’s hard to imagine the U.S. without this interstate highway system, and this system would not exist at all if it weren’t for the government."

"GI Bill Without this program, the middle class as we know it would not exist. The GI Bill provided government funds for 16 million World War II and Korean veterans to attend college. It allowed my father to become the first one in his family to graduate college, to become an engineer, and to go on to build a middle-class life for our family. Historian David Kennedy has remarked that “GI Bill beneficiaries changed the face of higher education, dramatically raised the educational level and hence the productivity of the workforce, and in the process unimaginably altered their own lives.”

"Federal Housing Authority. The middle class housing building and buying boom in the United States was initially financed by cheap GI Bill housing loans and by Federal Housing Authority insurance of conventional home loans. In 1945, only 44% of Americans owned their own home. But thanks in large part to the FHA program that lowered interest rates and down payments, 63% of Americans owned a home by 1968. These homes have become a multi-generational source of wealth for tens of millions of Americans. The FHA still insures over $50 billion a year in mortgages, and remains especially important for low-income house buyers."

"Consumer Protection. In reaction to increasing pubic pressure in the early 1970s, government began to pass legislation to protect consumers from shoddy and dangerous products. The Consumer Product Safety Commission remains the key agency enforcing these laws. The need it fills is still a vital one – products kill over 20,000 consumers a year and injure over 25 million more. It would be far worse if the CPSC did not recall hundreds of products every year. It is estimated that its activities produce $10 billion in savings on the health care bills, property damage, and other costs that would have been created by these defective products."

"Anti-Discrimination Policies. Since the 1960s, policies like the Civil Rights Act and Title IX have chalked up impressive gains in decreasing discrimination against minorities and women. Racial segregation in hotels, restaurants and other public facilities has been eliminated. Housing discrimination and workplace discrimination, while not completely eradicated, have been substantially reduced. College enrollment for minorities has greatly increased, jumping 48% during the 1990s alone. In terms of gender, workplace discrimination and sexual harassment have decreased and record numbers of women are now attending colleges and graduate schools. There is still room for improvement – particularly in the area of equal wages – but it is clear that these policies have made substantial progress in eliminating racist and sexist practices that had existed for hundreds of years."

"Clean Water and Clean Air Programs. America’s water and air are significantly cleaner than they were in the 1960s, thanks to federal legislation. The levels of four of the six air pollutants covered by the Clean Air Act – nitrogen dioxide, smog, sulfur dioxide, and lead – have been reduced dramatically, by an average of 53%. The quality of the air has significantly increased in virtually every metropolitan area in the U.S. The Clean Water act has been similarly successful. When it was passed in 1972, only one-third of the nation’s waterways were safe enough for fishing or swimming. Today that has doubled to two-thirds. And while only 85 million Americans were served by sewage treatment plants in 1972, that figure has now risen to 170 million."

"Workplace Safety. Businesses love to complain about the rules of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and sometimes its policies have been a bit overboard – but it has clearly been very effective in greatly increasing the level of protection for American workers. In 1970, the year before the creation of OSHA, 22,000,000 people were injured on the job and 14,000 died from job-related injuries. Since then, OSHA has helped to cut occupational injury and illness rates by 40 percent. Even more important, between 1980 and 2002, workplace deaths fell from 7.5 per 100,000 workers to 4.0. Particularly impressive has been its success against brown lung disease among textile workers, which has been virtually eliminated."

"The Military. Even Rush Limbaugh, who has never met a government program that he likes, admits that the U.S. military is a great success story. Although debates continue to rage over how the military should be used, there is complete agreement that our Army, Navy, and Air Force are the most effective military organizations in the world today. We have the best trained and the best equipped armed forces, and they have an unparalleled ability to effectively project military force – as was demonstrated in the two recent Gulf wars. In the case of the military, the government has clearly done an exemplary job of creating a well-working and effective organization."

"The West. Although few Americans think about this, much of the Western United States as we know it today is the creation of various federal programs. It has been that way from the very beginning, starting with government-sponsored explorations of the West in the early and mid-19th century. In continued with the federal government providing the money and troops for the depressingly efficient program of “Indian removal.” The government also sold public land to settlers for low prices and sometimes even gave it away. The railroads, which spurred so much growth in the West, would not have been built without massive subsidies from the federal government. And today, much of the farming in many Western areas is made possible by federal water projects, substantial parts of the ranching are subsidized by the artificially low grazing fees on federal property, and much of the mining is made more profitable by dirt cheap access to federal land. Cities like Los Angeles and Las Vegas would dry up and blow away without the federally funded dam and canal projects that provide water to those arid regions. So it is ironic that while anti-big government sentiment is very strong in parts of this region, the West literally would not and could not exist as it does today without the sustained help of the federal government."

"National Weather Service. This government agency not only makes your life more convenient by forecasting your daily weather, it also helps to ensure the safety of planes in the air and ships at sea and it has saved countless lives with its hurricane and tornado warnings. It also just keeps getting better. It’s predictions of hurricane paths has improved by fifty percent during the past 15 years; and its forecasts of weather 72 hours in advance is now as reliable as 36-hour forecasts 25 years ago."

"Poverty Policies. This may seem counter-intuitive. Everybody knows that poverty policy is the classic example of government failure. How could it possibly be considered a success when the poverty rate is essentially the same as it was thirty years ago? The answer is that most of the policies aimed at the poor in the U.S. were never intended to get them out of poverty. They were only intended to alleviate the suffering of the poor – and studies have shown that they have been very successful in doing this.8 For example, food stamps have worked to greatly reduce hunger and malnutrition among the poor. The poor are much healthier and have more access to medical treatment thanks to Medicaid. And rent subsidies have allowed many of the poor to move out of places with leaking roofs, inadequate heat, and faulty plumbing. These three programs form the backbone of our anti-poverty efforts – their combined budgets are eight times larger than that for welfare – and in terms of achieving their stated goals, these programs have to be considered impressive government successes."

"Pretty impressive – and this list could go on much further. Other clearly effective programs and policies would include our National Parks, the Voting Rights Act, Rural Electrification, AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Cooperative Extension Service, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Crime Information Center. And again, these are just the accomplishments of government on the federal level – they don’t count the thousands of other successful public sector endeavors on the state and local level.

All of these programs have worked exceptionally well and have made substantial progress in dealing with the problems they are addressing. And many of these problems have not been easy ones to tackle. Regulating the economy, controlling diseases, dismantling segregation, and protecting the environment are all inherently difficult and complex endeavors, which only makes these achievements of government even more impressive."

Ok, why can people say this?  And can anyone counter these so called "successes".

 

Schools are labour camps.

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they know nothing of economics, so they are like the tribe talking up the virtues of their witch doctor.

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

Fools! not to see that what they madly desire would be a calamity to them as no hands but their own could bring

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Sphairon replied on Sat, Mar 7 2009 11:30 AM

and they have an unparalleled ability to effectively project military force – as was demonstrated in the two recent Gulf wars.

Come on.


products kill over 20,000 consumers a year and injure over 25 million more.

What kind of statement is this? Aside from humans killing humans with their own fists, how can a non-natural death occur without involvement of a product?


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That a thief may donate time to helping kids doesn't make what the thief does any less immoral, does it?

Statist apologists believe a few "good deeds" (if they can at all be called that, but for the sake of argument let's) will wipe out the fact that the state cannot be justfied except through the use of brute initiatory force.

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They also forgot to mention the perks of government furniture:

"Look at me, I'm quoting another user to show how wrong I think they are, out of arrogance of my own position. Wait, this is my own quote, oh shi-" ~ Nitroadict

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Oh noes! Not--THE COMFY CHAIR!!! (dramatic orchestral hit)

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Juan replied on Sat, Mar 7 2009 12:05 PM
"Of course anyone can cite a number of failed government policies – such as the war on drugs, public housing programs, urban mass transit, and so on. But it is wrong to leap from this kind of anecdotal evidence
...

February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church.
Aquinas : "much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death."

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Do they really think it's "anecdotal"?

It allowed my father to become the first one in his family to graduate college, to become an engineer, and to go on to build a middle-class life for our family.

Unlike this, of course...

Freedom of markets is positively correlated with the degree of evolution in any society...

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eliotn replied on Sat, Mar 7 2009 5:23 PM

I challenge this person to a debate.

Schools are labour camps.

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DD5 replied on Sat, Mar 7 2009 5:30 PM

"Regulations and the Business Cycle"  - A flat out lie!  All of these dates stated were what we call today recessions but they use to call them depressions.  So if you believe that chaning the term depression to recession solves the business cycle, they you should advocate for the big government.

 

Also, the recessions back then were no where near as bad as they were today.

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eliotn:
It allowed my father to become the first one in his family to graduate college, to become an engineer, and to go on to build a middle-class life for our family.

Touching.

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows"

Bob Dylan

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No government anywhere, at any time, has ever brought net benefit to any society, and there is no desirable function that any government performs that could not be performed better, or less expensively, by free people operating on a voluntary basis for profit or for charity.

 

                                                                           ~Jim Davies

 

http://www.takelifeback.com/tdaw/

Posted by:  Samarami

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Stranger replied on Sat, Mar 7 2009 10:19 PM

Government is a system of class exploitation, hence it is always good for somebody.

Don't expect to persuade the exploiters that they don't benefit.

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Marko replied on Sat, Mar 7 2009 10:35 PM

Fascinating.

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Mark B. replied on Sat, Mar 7 2009 10:37 PM

While we are on the general subject, I wonder if somebody is ever going to get the "governmentisevil.com" website up and running.  Looks like somebody started out on it and never finished it.  As I remember, it may have been one of the denizens of this board.

If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
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eliotn replied on Sat, Mar 7 2009 11:15 PM

Mark B.:
While we are on the general subject, I wonder if somebody is ever going to get the "governmentisevil.com" website up and running.  Looks like somebody started out on it and never finished it.  As I remember, it may have been one of the denizens of this board.

we need to debunk the government is good site

 

Schools are labour camps.

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Solomon replied on Sun, Mar 8 2009 6:42 PM

Remember Mises's argument against socialism?  It is impossible to know whether a state program works because individuals who pay for them (i.e. taxpayers) have no way of assessing and comparing costs and benefits.

It is entirely conceivable that the state invent a better mousetrap, but can their endeavor seriously be considered a success if they squander the entire GNP insodoing?  Moreover, how can it be considered a success to the erstwhile mousetrap producers, now out of business?  What works for one person might not for another.  

To wit, the writer is predicating his argument on an opaque and misleading notion of 'success'.

Diminishing Marginal Utility - IT'S THE LAW!

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eliotn replied on Sun, Mar 8 2009 7:48 PM

Nitroadict:
They also forgot to mention the perks of government furniture:

Beware of the comfy chair, there is a bomb strapped to it.

Schools are labour camps.

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eliotn:

"The West. Although few Americans think about this, much of the Western United States as we know it today is the creation of various federal programs. It has been that way from the very beginning, starting with government-sponsored explorations of the West in the early and mid-19th century. In continued with the federal government providing the money and troops for the depressingly efficient program of “Indian removal.” The government also sold public land to settlers for low prices and sometimes even gave it away. The railroads, which spurred so much growth in the West, would not have been built without massive subsidies from the federal government. And today, much of the farming in many Western areas is made possible by federal water projects, substantial parts of the ranching are subsidized by the artificially low grazing fees on federal property, and much of the mining is made more profitable by dirt cheap access to federal land. Cities like Los Angeles and Las Vegas would dry up and blow away without the federally funded dam and canal projects that provide water to those arid regions. So it is ironic that while anti-big government sentiment is very strong in parts of this region, the West literally would not and could not exist as it does today without the sustained help of the federal government."

The amount of cognitive dissonance in this one is overwhelming. Efficient genocide of Native Americans? Selling land to settlers (why does the government own this land in the first place?) and spending billions to grow crops in the desert?

These are good things, dontcha know.

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Hey hey hey, wait a minute there! The man behind the site is a professor at the "Holy Joke College"...

http://www.governmentisgood.com/about.php

You guys fooled me to believe for a second there, that this was seriously meant Embarrassed

It's not fascism when the government does it.

“We must spend now as an investment for the future.” - President Obama

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Nitroadict:

They also forgot to mention the perks of government furniture:

 

I've been searching for somewhere to rest my white-supremacist pro-government anti-capitalist buttocks all day! /end sarcasm./

Thats just silly.

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It was seriously meant. Mount Holyoke not Holy Joke. 

 

The Link works: http://home.mtholyoke.edu/acad/misc/profile/damy.shtml

It is in fact a real guy, however it could pass for parody. Beyond rediculous. 

 

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MacFall replied on Fri, Mar 13 2009 11:24 PM

I think y'all have been hoaxed.

Pro Christo et Libertate integre!

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Government has been very successful in the past... Successful at destroying societies, starting wars, creating hatreds, and fulfilling it's own desires at the expense of the people it's claiming to be providing for and protecting.

Righteous government, or the righteous lack thereof, is not the producer of a righteous society, it is the product of one.

You can't have my guns, but I'd be glad to give you my bullets...

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AnonLLF replied on Mon, Dec 7 2009 6:21 PM

I wonder how much love he gets from the state over this website?

a price fixed cinema ticket and a candle light dinner with hilary?

 

I found this site just today. it's depressing and hilariously stupid. He seems to love ranting about the right wing.

 

 

I don't really want to comment or read anything here.I have near zero in common with many of you.I may return periodically when there's something you need to know.

Near Mutualist/Libertarian Socialist.

 

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filc replied on Mon, Dec 7 2009 7:31 PM

Half the benefits they defend if not all can not even truely be argued as a benefit.

"The government has done a 'good' job of providing clean water'.

Heh, the government is the ONLY one who is allowed provide clean water. It's not even a fair comparison, we aren't even allowed a comparison! Not to mention, I can't recall the last time a city, county, state, wasn't in dept.

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filc:
Half the benefits they defend if not all can not even truely be argued as a benefit.

 

 

And the other half are introduced to remedy the actions of the government

 

(why were the poor living in bad apartments -rent control...why did we need a voting rights act...)

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Wanderer replied on Mon, Dec 7 2009 10:38 PM

...is this serious, or satire?

Periodically the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots.

Thomas Jefferson

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AnonLLF replied on Tue, Dec 8 2009 3:47 AM

Wanderer:

...is this serious, or satire?

 

 

Sadly It's all too real.

 

The professor who runs the webste here http://home.mtholyoke.edu/acad/misc/profile/damy.shtml

http://www.mtholyoke.edu/news/story/5458093 - a synopsis of the Government is good website.

 

http://www.governmentisgood.com/about.php - the prof's "qualifications".

 

According to him :

"The criticisms of government offered by these conservatives are often at odds with much of what we know about government through research"

 

and as said earlier his "evidence" is anecdotal not  a priori facts or anything approaching historical or scientific fact

" I have seen the damage done in my own community when taxes have been slashed and programs cut back"

 

Check this out:

"While government policies can sometimes threaten our freedoms, our legislatures and courts are also often the most effective avenues for defending and expanding our rights and liberties. In reality, many of the main threats to our liberties often come from the private sector."

 

 Is this guy for real? what Politics has he studied?

 

 

I don't really want to comment or read anything here.I have near zero in common with many of you.I may return periodically when there's something you need to know.

Near Mutualist/Libertarian Socialist.

 

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That website was possibly one of the most disturbing sites I've seen. I originally thought their banner read government is God and thought this kind of figures.

The atoms tell the atoms so, for I never was or will but atoms forevermore be.

Yours sincerely,

Physiocrat

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"I have been motivated primarily by my increasing frustration with the attacks on government being waged by those on the political right."

 

Uhhh, which politicians???  They just want to grow the state!

 

I guess this guy is a big fan of the wars overseas and the war on drugs, etc.

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Blithely ignoring anything good about government, conservatives have conducted a relentless smear campaign against this institution, portraying it as wasteful, ineffective, corrupt, oppressive, and bad for business.

Not only is this written on the academic level of a high school student, but it makes a claim that would require massive, overwhelming evidence that is not given on the follow-up. This has to be comedy, for the sake of intelligence.

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I. Ryan replied on Tue, Dec 8 2009 1:03 PM

www.governmentisgood.com:

But how accurate is this popular image of the government as a bumbling fool? Actually, this is largely a stereotype – one based primarily on [...] selective anecdotal evidence

www.governmentisgood.com, a selection of anecdotal evidence:

"Regulation of the Business Cycle. The federal government uses a variety of monetary and fiscal policies to limit the boom and bust cycles of the economy. For example, it adjusts interest rates to give a boost to the economy when it is slowing down. Thanks to these policies, the U.S. has not suffered an economic depression since the 1930s. We tend to overlook the fact that before government took on this responsibility, severe depressions were a routine and recurring problem in this country – occurring in 1819, 1837, 1857, 1873, 1893, 1907 and 1929. And we have all but forgotten the enormous amount of human suffering caused by these economic meltdowns – the massive joblessness, the destitution, the rampant hunger, the disease, the riots, the hopelessness and the despair. By any measure, eliminating these depressions and this misery has been one of the greatest – and largely unheralded – achievements of our federal government."

"Public Health Programs. A variety of programs run by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local Public Health departments have greatly improved the health of most Americans. For example, the scourges of polio, cholera, and smallpox have been effectively eradicated from this country – a huge achievement. And vaccination programs have reduced by 95% our risks of contracting potentially debilitating diseases like hepatitis B, measles, mumps, tetanus, rubella, and diphtheria. Federal funds spent on buying and distributing these vaccines have saved countless lives and the billions of dollars it would cost to treat these illnesses. In addition, the dedicated scientists who work for the CDC are all that stand between Americans and a potentially catastrophic epidemic imported from abroad. The most likely and worrisome threat is from a new and deadly strain of bird flu. The last deadly flu epidemic to hit the United States, in 1918, killed over 675,000 people in matter of months"

"The Interstate Highway System. Started by the Eisenhower administration in the 1950s, this system now forms the backbone of long-distance travel and commerce in the United States. It makes up less than 1% of our highways, but carries almost a quarter of all roadway traffic. It has also allowed millions of Americans to move out of big cities and live in more pleasant suburban and small town environments. In addition, the interstate system has the benefit of being considerably safer than the old two-lane highways it replaced – saving hundreds of thousands of lives. Even some conservatives have been forced to admit the success of this building program, with George Will calling it “the most successful public works program in the history of the world." It’s hard to imagine the U.S. without this interstate highway system, and this system would not exist at all if it weren’t for the government."

"GI Bill Without this program, the middle class as we know it would not exist. The GI Bill provided government funds for 16 million World War II and Korean veterans to attend college. It allowed my father to become the first one in his family to graduate college, to become an engineer, and to go on to build a middle-class life for our family. Historian David Kennedy has remarked that “GI Bill beneficiaries changed the face of higher education, dramatically raised the educational level and hence the productivity of the workforce, and in the process unimaginably altered their own lives.”

"Federal Housing Authority. The middle class housing building and buying boom in the United States was initially financed by cheap GI Bill housing loans and by Federal Housing Authority insurance of conventional home loans. In 1945, only 44% of Americans owned their own home. But thanks in large part to the FHA program that lowered interest rates and down payments, 63% of Americans owned a home by 1968. These homes have become a multi-generational source of wealth for tens of millions of Americans. The FHA still insures over $50 billion a year in mortgages, and remains especially important for low-income house buyers."

"Consumer Protection. In reaction to increasing pubic pressure in the early 1970s, government began to pass legislation to protect consumers from shoddy and dangerous products. The Consumer Product Safety Commission remains the key agency enforcing these laws. The need it fills is still a vital one – products kill over 20,000 consumers a year and injure over 25 million more. It would be far worse if the CPSC did not recall hundreds of products every year. It is estimated that its activities produce $10 billion in savings on the health care bills, property damage, and other costs that would have been created by these defective products."

"Anti-Discrimination Policies. Since the 1960s, policies like the Civil Rights Act and Title IX have chalked up impressive gains in decreasing discrimination against minorities and women. Racial segregation in hotels, restaurants and other public facilities has been eliminated. Housing discrimination and workplace discrimination, while not completely eradicated, have been substantially reduced. College enrollment for minorities has greatly increased, jumping 48% during the 1990s alone. In terms of gender, workplace discrimination and sexual harassment have decreased and record numbers of women are now attending colleges and graduate schools. There is still room for improvement – particularly in the area of equal wages – but it is clear that these policies have made substantial progress in eliminating racist and sexist practices that had existed for hundreds of years."

"Clean Water and Clean Air Programs. America’s water and air are significantly cleaner than they were in the 1960s, thanks to federal legislation. The levels of four of the six air pollutants covered by the Clean Air Act – nitrogen dioxide, smog, sulfur dioxide, and lead – have been reduced dramatically, by an average of 53%. The quality of the air has significantly increased in virtually every metropolitan area in the U.S. The Clean Water act has been similarly successful. When it was passed in 1972, only one-third of the nation’s waterways were safe enough for fishing or swimming. Today that has doubled to two-thirds. And while only 85 million Americans were served by sewage treatment plants in 1972, that figure has now risen to 170 million."

"Workplace Safety. Businesses love to complain about the rules of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and sometimes its policies have been a bit overboard – but it has clearly been very effective in greatly increasing the level of protection for American workers. In 1970, the year before the creation of OSHA, 22,000,000 people were injured on the job and 14,000 died from job-related injuries. Since then, OSHA has helped to cut occupational injury and illness rates by 40 percent. Even more important, between 1980 and 2002, workplace deaths fell from 7.5 per 100,000 workers to 4.0. Particularly impressive has been its success against brown lung disease among textile workers, which has been virtually eliminated."

"The Military. Even Rush Limbaugh, who has never met a government program that he likes, admits that the U.S. military is a great success story. Although debates continue to rage over how the military should be used, there is complete agreement that our Army, Navy, and Air Force are the most effective military organizations in the world today. We have the best trained and the best equipped armed forces, and they have an unparalleled ability to effectively project military force – as was demonstrated in the two recent Gulf wars. In the case of the military, the government has clearly done an exemplary job of creating a well-working and effective organization."

"The West. Although few Americans think about this, much of the Western United States as we know it today is the creation of various federal programs. It has been that way from the very beginning, starting with government-sponsored explorations of the West in the early and mid-19th century. In continued with the federal government providing the money and troops for the depressingly efficient program of “Indian removal.” The government also sold public land to settlers for low prices and sometimes even gave it away. The railroads, which spurred so much growth in the West, would not have been built without massive subsidies from the federal government. And today, much of the farming in many Western areas is made possible by federal water projects, substantial parts of the ranching are subsidized by the artificially low grazing fees on federal property, and much of the mining is made more profitable by dirt cheap access to federal land. Cities like Los Angeles and Las Vegas would dry up and blow away without the federally funded dam and canal projects that provide water to those arid regions. So it is ironic that while anti-big government sentiment is very strong in parts of this region, the West literally would not and could not exist as it does today without the sustained help of the federal government."

"National Weather Service. This government agency not only makes your life more convenient by forecasting your daily weather, it also helps to ensure the safety of planes in the air and ships at sea and it has saved countless lives with its hurricane and tornado warnings. It also just keeps getting better. It’s predictions of hurricane paths has improved by fifty percent during the past 15 years; and its forecasts of weather 72 hours in advance is now as reliable as 36-hour forecasts 25 years ago."

"Poverty Policies. This may seem counter-intuitive. Everybody knows that poverty policy is the classic example of government failure. How could it possibly be considered a success when the poverty rate is essentially the same as it was thirty years ago? The answer is that most of the policies aimed at the poor in the U.S. were never intended to get them out of poverty. They were only intended to alleviate the suffering of the poor – and studies have shown that they have been very successful in doing this.8 For example, food stamps have worked to greatly reduce hunger and malnutrition among the poor. The poor are much healthier and have more access to medical treatment thanks to Medicaid. And rent subsidies have allowed many of the poor to move out of places with leaking roofs, inadequate heat, and faulty plumbing. These three programs form the backbone of our anti-poverty efforts – their combined budgets are eight times larger than that for welfare – and in terms of achieving their stated goals, these programs have to be considered impressive government successes."

"Pretty impressive – and this list could go on much further. Other clearly effective programs and policies would include our National Parks, the Voting Rights Act, Rural Electrification, AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Cooperative Extension Service, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Crime Information Center. And again, these are just the accomplishments of government on the federal level – they don’t count the thousands of other successful public sector endeavors on the state and local level.

All of these programs have worked exceptionally well and have made substantial progress in dealing with the problems they are addressing. And many of these problems have not been easy ones to tackle. Regulating the economy, controlling diseases, dismantling segregation, and protecting the environment are all inherently difficult and complex endeavors, which only makes these achievements of government even more impressive."

I thought that they did not like "selective anecdotal evidence".

If I wrote it more than a few weeks ago, I probably hate it by now.

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ama gi replied on Tue, Dec 8 2009 8:17 PM

I looked at that website just for kicks.  Take a look at this 100% organic bullshit:

Conservative Criticism of Government:

Churches and charities could take the place of government in addressing many social problems.

Rebuttals:

The amount of money raised by churches and charities is not nearly enough to address wide-spread problems like poverty, hunger, lack of health care, etc.  And in practice, only a small portion of the money these institutions collect actually goes to help those in need.

(~At least they don't spend trillions of dollars bombing foreign countries!)

And this:

On the surface, it seems that charities may spend large amounts on helping the needy in our society – after all, Americans give about $240 billion to philanthropic organizations annually. But this figure is misleading. Most of the money raised by charities and non-profit organizations does not in fact go to those in need. Most of it goes to programs and facilities – like the YMCA, art museums, colleges, medical research, public television stations, churches, etc. – that primarily serve the middle and upper class people who donate the money.

(Yeah, and all the billions in government bailouts were spent healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out devils......)

 

"As long as there are sovereign nations possessing great power, war is inevitable."

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Seems to me there's probably a forgotten man in every one of these arguments.

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eliotn replied on Wed, Dec 9 2009 1:59 PM

I think this guy is enamoured with the accounting fallacy.  Since he discounts the money taken, government is GOOD!

Schools are labour camps.

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AnonLLF replied on Tue, Dec 15 2009 6:49 AM

 

I just found this.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/anderson/anderson271.html

Anderson's critique of this site takes the form of a biting satire.

I don't really want to comment or read anything here.I have near zero in common with many of you.I may return periodically when there's something you need to know.

Near Mutualist/Libertarian Socialist.

 

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eliotn replied on Tue, Dec 15 2009 5:20 PM

Scott F:

 

I just found this.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/anderson/anderson271.html

Anderson's critique of this site takes the form of a biting satire.

WIN+++

Schools are labour camps.

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