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"Slippery Slope To Socialism"

According to Congressmen Hensarling.

Yes, it's one that we started sliding down over seventy years ago. Unfortunately, though, many of his colleagues (including many in the media) see that as a feature, not a bug. As does at least one of the presidential candidates.


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Brock wrote:

Saying "at least one" is technically accurate, but I think it's more accurate to say "both." Neither McCain nor Obama can baldly come out in favor of socialism, but they seem to have a similar distaste for profit and private enterprise (as you've noted yourself on this blog).

McCain is better than Obama on a number of economic fronts, but I think that in his heart of hears McCain would prefer a not-for-profit economy. He wouldn't cal it socialism, but there's only way to take profit out of an economy.

It makes me wonder though about his desire to get rid of cost-plus contracting. I know he hates the government waste, but does he hate it more than contractor "profiteers"?

Carl Pham wrote:

I think that in his heart of hears McCain would prefer a not-for-profit economy.

I don't think so. That would certainly make for stress in the McCain household, don't you think, with his wife being the heiress of a huge profitable company?

McCain's attitude is much more similar to that of long-time military officers, and of the Virginia dynasty of leaders in the early Republic (Jefferson, Madison) and of the Victorian Liberal Party in England. They (and McCain) don't object to profit, and recognize it as the basis of the nation's well-being but they do not view it as the highest calling of a gentleman. It's common, grubby work, to their understanding, a bit dirty, even. It's something "civilians" do, the timid but nice folks inside the walls of the fort, and we balls o' brass hard-ass few patrol the walls of those fort so that they can do it -- but we wouldn't want to be doing it ourselves.

That's wholly different from Obama, who's philosophic roots are frankly Marxist. In his view, wealth is merely some natural resource, like oil or arable land, that spontaneously comes out of the ground, and the only serious question is how it's distributed. Logically, there should be some mighty central authority -- like me! -- who should make sure that wealth is distributed "fairly," according to the various needs of the people. To the extent he agrees somebody needs to work for the wealth to keep flowing, he feels they do this for the honor and glory of it, and not merely for the money, and so there is no harm -- and possibly much benefit -- in removing the connection between how hard you work and how much you earn.

They do have in common, I agree, a certain contempt for those who "merely" make money. But while McCain's contempt is the genial and mostly harmless contempt of the priest for the mere parishionier, or the sheperd for the sheep, Obama's is the harsher and more dangerous contempt of the hungry hyena for the well-fed zebra, or of the professional thief for the wealthy homeowner nervously locking the door.

Habitat Hermit wrote:

McCain knows well that the definition of socialism is not solidarity and cooperation for a common good. Sometimes I wonder if those* who claim this or that to be socialism really understand this bit (and of course the socialists themselves would loudly complain that it is what socialism is all about but they're clueless and/or lying --Obama fits right in with them).

* Ultra-libertarians (and why I'm not one of them, it's as blindly utopian as communism).

Don't confuse pretexts with content or for that matter content with pretexts.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on September 29, 2008 8:56 AM.

A Tale Of Two Candidates was the previous entry in this blog.

What Wasn't Discussed On Friday Night is the next entry in this blog.

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