Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Journalist's View

We have a pretty good local talk show here weekday mornings, on the one AM radio station that still makes enough profit to stay in business.  (Coincidence?  And on a side note: remember when a broadcasting license was a license to make money?)  On Thursdays, the host has a regular visitor - a reporter from the local paper.  This reporter is relatively moderate, and does a fairly good job of digging out objective data.  He even moderates his viewpoints when the data proves him wrong.  Pretty unusual for a reporter these days! 

Last week, the reporter had an insight that I thought was interesting and has been rolling around in my head for about 10 days. 

People on the left tend to think business is the root cause of all the problems.  People on the right tend to think that government is the problem.  On it's face this seems true: think of the number of times you heard left-wing idiots screaming "Halliburton Halliburton!!".  From my standpoint, their argument is silly. 

Let's say a company wants to get me to buy their product.  They can target ads to appeal to me, and do everything they can to try to convince me to buy it, but in the end, if I don't want to buy their product, they don't get my money.  There's nothing more they can do.  By contrast, let's say the government (local, state or federal) decides they want money out of me.  If I don't want to give them that money, someone eventually shows up and puts a gun in my face to get my money.  It may not be a direct gun in my face, but the threat is plainly there.  Furthermore, the government wants the monopoly of force over me so that there is nothing I can do to resist.  Maybe they won't kill me, I don't want to take that bet, but they can put me in jail and destroy my life in every other way.  I'd rather deal with a company any day. 

While a corporation might want to print their own money, they can't and generally don't try (there's a term for companies that do: organized crime).  Local and state governments are in the same boat.  The has given itself the right to do this, causing misery and agony for everyone outside their inner circle. 

One thing I think we can all agree on is that when companies and government get together, that's the worst of all worlds.  Whether it's the "Military Industrial Complex" that Eisenhower warned us about using their might to force us into foreign adventures, or ACORN and the AFL-CIO pushing governments to rob Peter to pay, well, everyone, when government and cronies get together, bad things happen.  I believe some people thought that was the change they were getting with Obama - get rid of the business crony relationships of the Bush White House.  They did - and replaced it with a different bunch of cronies and corporate/government alliances

1 comment:

  1. Yep, there's a BIG difference between private enterprise and government, as you point out.

    I've had countless discussions with 'liberal' and 'progressive' types about this, and they blank out every time -- when I point out that their darling government can't operate without putting a gun in someone's face, that it can't 'help' someone without hurting countless others, they just change the subject or claim I'm being 'unreasonable'.

    Sadly, I've no choice but to take this as a clear sign that I'm dealing with an irrational being, someone who is willing to condone, even encourage blatant violence done in the name of their pet social projects.