Free Capitalist Network - Community Archive
Mises Community Archive
An online community for fans of Austrian economics and libertarianism, featuring forums, user blogs, and more.

My thoughts on why people never worry about big government.

rated by 0 users
This post has 11 Replies | 4 Followers

Top 200 Contributor
Posts 457
Points 14,505
SilentXtarian Posted: Fri, Jul 24 2009 12:41 PM

I think a large reason as to why people never seem to worry about big government is because they're caught in this fake political spectrum.  People seem to think it's either about change or that it's not about change.  They have their own political views.  They fail to see that governments massively expand their power a whole heck of a lot.  People on both sides of the spectrum think that everything that is about more government control- that is- they think that whenever people talk about the expansion of government powers they dismiss these things as conspiracy theories.  So many voters are used to big government. 

 

A lot of conservatives who say they are for small government are used to voting in people who operate on their side of the spectrum and implement the kind of change they want.  They say they're not for much change because they're conservatives.  Yet, they seem to make more changes- just- in their own way.  They want to implement those changes on a national level.  A lot of voters are essentially cought up into thinking that politics is a game.  That we must regulate everything about politics.  That we must regulate things.  That is what Aristotle said after all.  People never stop and think about the kinds of powers they give these governmental agencies and how the government expands because of it.  People like to give the government power over things that they like- like abortion and family values, because they are brainwashed in school to think that these issues are the most important issues, and they are constantly told what to think about these issues from the mainstream establishment media.

 

I think people never stop to worry about important issues because they're having too much fun with it.  They see politics as a game.  They see their side as winning, or, their side as losing.  This is the mindset I saw politics in when I was in the false political spectrum.  What we need is not idealogues but we need to start moving beyond politics and really start advancing ourselves and thinking more about more serious issues about society.  It's obvious that government isn't working as well as we would like it to have.  And I think that this partisanship on all sides is what destroys the nation and destroys politics.

 

Politics used to be something that was just about organizing civilizations.  That didn't sound so bad.  The Government wouldn't overextend themselves too much.  Now politics is about who regulates what, and, people are still cought in this left and right spectrum so that's why they don't see this themselves.

 

That's how I see it.

  • | Post Points: 80
Top 150 Contributor
Male
Posts 754
Points 11,800

SilentXtarian:
That's how I see it.

I tell people all the time, they will not like true small government, their versions of welfare will have to go....

It sounds like the ocean, smells like fresh mountain air, and tastes like the union of peanut butter and chocolate. ~Liberty Student

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 100 Contributor
Posts 875
Points 14,180
xahrx replied on Fri, Jul 24 2009 1:14 PM

It's deeper than that.  People have no grasp of reality anymore.  More to the point, any and all government interventions that do exist are always negligible.  That's how people can look at, for example, the US Health Care System and blame the associated problems on the free market.  People are well aware of the interventions they advocate.  They just think they don't matter, as if economics is secondary and in the end everything boils down to problems of moral and ethical obedience.  It doesn't occur to them for example that  laws against price gauging will lead to over use and shortages of certain goods and services in emergency situations, as well as delay private non-charitable attempts to bring more of those goods and services to the emergency area.  They just think, "It's wrong to charge people already dealing with problems so much money, therefore we will pass a perfect law which will make the imperfect world perfect, and all will obey and there will be no consequences."  They simply do not get that this is analogous to trying to fly by passing a law that says gravity shall cease to exist.  They would likely see the absurdity of the latter, but in the gouging situation they will simply judge those who violated the law and those who over used as shallow and immoral/unethical.  They do not understand that in order to make decisions people need information, and that their laws often do little more than distort that information, leading to poor decisions.  The implicit cooperation of the market eludes them, probably forever.  I don't know why.

"I was just in the bathroom getting ready to leave the house, if you must know, and a sudden wave of admiration for the cotton swab came over me." - Anonymous
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 200 Contributor
Male
Posts 478
Points 9,180

Surely the reason why big government isn't threatening to people is that over the past 100 years both prosperity and larger government have occured simulataneously, thus leading people to the incorrect conclusions about governments and prosperity.

The ol' cum hoc ergo propter hoc study of economics.

Austrians do it a priori

Irish Liberty Forum 

 

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 150 Contributor
Posts 574
Points 9,305
Natalie replied on Fri, Jul 24 2009 1:24 PM

Government's expansion has less to do with controlling other people behavior for some moral reason than with the desire to ensure one's financial security at the expense of others. People (whether companies or special interest groups or even influential individuals) see that government is funded by taxes and more secure in the absence of competition and hence try to make the government fund their own projects, whether it's protectionist tariffs or bail-outs for their business or welfare for certain groups of voters or even warfare to protect the economic interests. Maybe we shouldn't even be to hard on common folks: after all, Americans (and almost everyone else) are always told by public schools and the media that as taxpayers they have a "right" to demand all kind of stuff from the government, from "free" healthcare to interventionist wars. It doesn't occur to anyone that maybe everyone would be better off if no one paid taxes and demanded everything from everyone else.

If I hear not allowed much oftener; said Sam, I'm going to get angry.

J.R.R.Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 25 Contributor
Male
Posts 3,113
Points 60,515
Esuric replied on Fri, Jul 24 2009 2:01 PM

They like big government because they assume no government, for whatever reason, is fascism. That's their fake political specturm: Left-communism, Right-fascism.

"If we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification for the use of coercion."

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 150 Contributor
Posts 574
Points 9,305
Natalie replied on Fri, Jul 24 2009 2:13 PM

Esuric:
They like big government because they assume no government, for whatever reason, is fascism.

More like all-out gang war. Supposedly, without central government everyone will try to subjugate everyone else. Ironically, that's precisely what happens under democracy, but few people are willing to admit it.

If I hear not allowed much oftener; said Sam, I'm going to get angry.

J.R.R.Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 100 Contributor
Posts 875
Points 14,180
xahrx replied on Fri, Jul 24 2009 2:35 PM

Esuric:
They like big government because they assume no government, for whatever reason, is fascism. That's their fake political specturm: Left-communism, Right-fascism.

That is another issue, though I think it ties in with obliviousness to reality.  They listen to small government rhetoric from the right and even though the rights wants just as big a government as the left, they still associate the rhetoric with reality no matter how far the two diverge.

As for special favors and managed markets, yes and no.  The problem is people differentiating between implicit and explicit cooperation.  The businessman who wants a loan to expand his franchise overseas but can't get one is being told by society at large, "Sorry, not worth it to us at this time."  He doesn't see that judgement, he sees his wonderful idea and it not being funded by people who take no action.  The government help is explicit - here's some money.  He sees and understands that as explicit.  If he had gotten the loan it would be society cooperating with him, but he wouldn't see that either.  He's see himself as getting the loan he rightly deserves.

It's ironic that the pricing system is one of the few truly social phenomena that exist.  It is more than the sum of its parts, incomprehensible in total to any individual, and yet allows the distribution of knowledge necessary for all people to make rational decisions out of subjective gobbledeegook so long as they concentrate on their sphere of action.  Yet it's that very concentration which usually leads them to miss the larger picture.

"I was just in the bathroom getting ready to leave the house, if you must know, and a sudden wave of admiration for the cotton swab came over me." - Anonymous
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 25 Contributor
Posts 4,532
Points 84,495
Stranger replied on Fri, Jul 24 2009 2:39 PM

SilentXtarian:

 

Politics used to be something that was just about organizing civilizations.  That didn't sound so bad.  The Government wouldn't overextend themselves too much.  Now politics is about who regulates what, and, people are still cought in this left and right spectrum so that's why they don't see this themselves.

Hans Hermann Hoppe wrote an entire book on this subject.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 5,538
Points 93,790
Juan replied on Fri, Jul 24 2009 8:28 PM
Politics used to be something that was just about organizing civilizations.
False. That's exactly the core belief behind every attack against freedom.

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."

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 11,343
Points 194,945
ForumsAdministrator
Moderator
SystemAdministrator

xahrx:
People have no grasp of reality anymore.

That's somewhat true in the West, I'm not so sure it is equally true in Africa, the Middle and Far East.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 20
Points 475

The problem with big government is a lot of the things that make it big like lobbyists/special interests are very difficult for the public to get together and oppose. People who hire lobbyists usually have a lot to gain or lose on a particular policy. On the other hand, the general public usually loses or gains very little. For example with agricultural subsidies the public takes a net loss but it's spread out over 300 million people, while the gains of the subsidy accrue to a few large firms.

Then again theory predicts that policy should match the preferences of the median voter but of course they don't :( .

  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (12 items) | RSS