February 25, 2011

Liberal v. conservative on government spending

As I continue to say, I think the big divide between conservatives and liberals is not the type of economy or country they want to see, but the different sense of autonomy or individual effort that got them where they are. The conservatives I know seem to think that they achieved their wealth, job, or status purely through their hard work. As such, they see taxes as an imposition. As one of my conservative friends (state subsidized law school, btw) puts it, "the government has to justify asking for more taxes."

The second divide, it seems to me, (as Bob noted in the last comment thread) hinges on how you conceptualize government spending. For conservatives, government spending is mostly (if not always) wasteful and going to undeserving people. As the troll asked, we have spent these millions of dollars, but have nothing to show. Except that isn't true, of course. At least not in how they identify it. As many have noted, the DOD has identified several contractors who have cost the taxpayer hundreds of billions in fraud (that is a B, not an M--as if that would make it better) but still are awarded government contracts. Yet, for conservatives, that is not the subject of their ire, but rather the fact that Planned Parenthood gets money from the feds.

Third, seems that many conservatives hold corporations as some kind of divine or holy venture. Only partly kidding. One of my facebook friends (the one who has yet to tell me a time when Palin has acted like a Christian) repeated the line about the need to lower taxes for corporations. In fact, he suggested that it was taxes that made these corporations outsource jobs. See, if we were to just give corporations whatever they want, they will take care of the workers on their own. It is like magic.

I think all of those assumptions lack factual foundation, but they seem to drive much of what the Koch brothers are able to exploit when they suggest that these public workers in Wisconsin (like our friend UBUB) are living the life of luxury on the public dime. I guess this is a very old strategy for the very rich. Divide the working class as much as you can. Divide them over race (Bacon's Rebellion or Jim Crow), or divide them between union and non. Make sure that no one looks at the stagnating wages, or asks just how much the wealthy will make off this mess. Don't look behind the curtain, and make sure you resent the hell out of that other working class stiff.

Or, as Monk pointed out to me this morning, you can always just distract by yelling about the abortions. Or the flag burners. Or the gay flag burners getting abortions in Mosques.


L.C. said...

I think liberals and conservatives very much disagree on the kind of economy and the kind of country they want. The disagreements are so great that I do not believe that liberals and conservatives will ever be happy in the same country.
Liberals and conservatives have different philosophies of life, and different moral standards.

The best solution would be to divide the country somehow and let the liberals have their own country. But since I don't see that being likely, I think it would be helpful if all the liberals were to congregate in one or two areas of the country, maybe the west coast, or the northeast. If they were to do that, at least they could run those states the way they wanted.

Smitty said...

Woa,woa, woa. I don't want to move. You move. I heard Mississippi has an awesome education system.

Why do conservatives want to force people to move? Why do they support that kind of big government intrusion into my personal life and make me move?

Keep big government out of my life!

L.C. said...


I don't want the government to make you move. I'm just saying that liberals and conservatives would both be happier if they were separated geographically.

If you're a liberal living in a state run by conservatives, and you want to stay there, then stay. Just don't expect to like how conservatives run the state. Same goes for conservatives living in a state run by liberals.

Streak said...

So discussion and argument are simply not in the conservative arsenal. For them, rule is about dictating without compromise.

Or there is another damn carbon monoxide leak on this blog.

leighton said...

Nah, I know plenty of conservatives and have no problem getting along with them, nor they with me. LC is just projecting his own genocidal fantasies onto liberals, I suspect.

L.C. said...

OK, if you prefer to argue and fight, just keep things as they are.

Streak said...

That makes absolutely no sense. The art of politics (and democracy--and governing) is compromise. That means that neither the left nor the right has all the right ideas. No one I know on the left thinks so. That means that we have a dialogue, not a one way "my way or the highway." That also means, by the way, that we will have a messy process--always have, always will--where everyone ends up paying for things they don't support. But if we do it right, we have something called government that actually does accomplish stuff. We have had that for a long time, too, at least until Republicans decided that all Government was evil.

So, grow up, and read a little history. Perhaps then we can talk.

L.C. said...

Everyone on the left that I know thinks that they are absolutely correct, and that anyone who disagrees with them is either stupid, or evil. They only "compromise" when they are forced to.

Everyone on the right that I know thinks that they are absolutely correct, and that anyone who disagrees with them is either stupid, or evil. They only compromise when they are forced to.

Streak said...

Then either you are surrounded by predominantly stupid people, or your ability to discern is lacking. To be honest, while you may not be trying here, you don't exactly present an ability to see nuance.

leighton said...

Here is something that ought to be solid common ground between conservatives and liberals, and actually is in the UK. I'd much rather work toward this collaboration in the U.S. than entertain pipe dreams about ideological segregation.