The Lowdown on Obama-economics
Economic fairness is impossible: an oxymoron. Since economic activities are inherently varied and often competitive and since one size doesn't fit all and not everyone can win in a competition, no such thing as fairness is possible unless it simply means no one may be prevented from taking part. Certainly, however, the outcome will most likely be very different for different participants.
The sort of fairness and equality President Obama and his supporters are after may be achieved around a family or fraternity dinner table or in a last will and testament where goods are being distributed among family members who each expect the fulfillment of an implied promise from elders to receive a "fair share" of the wealth left to them. "Fair" here makes sense since the idea is that no one is going to get much less or more than another. But no such expectation makes any sense throughout a country! The government owns nothing and can thus leave nothing to the citizenry without engaging in massive redistribution of wealth it doesn't have any authority to distribute or redistribute.
When fairness is demanded, it implies that the government does have the authority to assign winners and losers in the economic sphere, as if we still lived in a monarchy awaiting the decision of the king as to who will be the beneficiary of his largess. All the subjects can hope they will receive a fair share of the wealth of the country.
But in a free country, with the principle of private property rights as the law of the land, the king or government has no business engaging in wealth distribution so the issue of fairness is entirely moot. It's a dream and where attempted, it leads to a police state. All that Mr. Obama needs to do to appreciate this is to read George Orwell's Animal Farm, a wonderful parable about what happens when equality is demanded and government tries to produce it. He might also check out the late Robert Nozick's famous Wilt Chamberlain example, from this book Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1973) where he shows that when goodies are fairly distributed among people they will turn right around and rearrange it all so the "fair" distribution is completely upset.
Or if he wants real life cases from which to take lessons, Obama & Co. might remember the Soviet Union and investigate how things are panning out in that heavenly egalitarian country, North Korea. They could perhaps consider that in Cuba the rulers are finally realizing the futility of the socialist-egalitarian ideal and are making changes to turn the place into more and more of a free-market system.
Still, there will always be those who want to level the economy. The main reason is the misguided conviction that we are, after all, in the same boat, just as are the children in a family. But the government isn't like our parents who have made a promise to care for all their children. We aren't the children of Mr. Obama and his administration! To try to serve us all with all the benefits that parents owe to their offspring would be futile and invites totalitarianism.
Parents, after all, own their resources and owe some of it to their children; this is not the case with governments and the citizenry. They don't own anything at all without confiscating it. At most they may do this up to what is needed for administering the laws of the land − providing the citizenry with national defense and a sound legal system and its maintenance. Even some of this can be achieved without much government management. After all, who is the government but other citizens who have been hired to do a rather limited job in the country? It is up to the citizenry to secure for themselves economic growth, solvency, innovation, investment, etc. To attempt anything more would involve the government in tasks that free citizens aren't entitled to.
Sadly, Obama & Co. see the country as it if were some club or team where everyone is part of it and needs the same treatment as everyone else. But a country is not a club or a team − those are the results of free men and women coming together voluntarily for a great variety of purposes. The government of such free men and women must not get involved with what the clubs are embarking upon, be it business, athletics, education, entertainment or whatever else peaceful such folks will embark upon. Like the proverbial cop on the beat, the government isn't there to pick the goals and tasks of those whom they serve in a limited capacity of securing their rights. It's there to keep the peace. That is all!
Posted by Hognutz on 01/30/12 01:28 AM
It is not so much about "fairness" as it is about reverse racism, buying the vote, and a dose of good old fashioned envy.
Posted by rossbcan on 01/30/12 07:17 AM
Surprise, no mention of the basic problem:
"From each according to ability, to each according to need"
Creates political "arbiters of "fairness" reaping a hefty commission by pretending to arbritrade between "needs", which are ever escalating since, it is a motivational economic principle of life: You get what you encourage (sloth and "need") and punish what you discourage (productivity).
Now, the productive and potentially productive have CHOSEN - no point:
Click to view link
Atlas HAS shrugged, and will remain so until "quid pro quo" and property rights are again respected. Parasites have ZERO negotiating room, by their basic position of dependency.
Posted by dave jr on 01/30/12 09:10 AM
There is only one question that I would like answered, but the likes of Obama will not.
How many hours of my life is everyone elses fair share? How many hours of everyone elses life is my fair share? Where is this fairness?
OK, that was three questions.
Posted by Col on 01/30/12 11:41 AM
screw progress, give me my country back
Posted by Col on 01/30/12 12:03 PM
The DB doesn't have an information clearing house to post relevant articles to, so I'm going to dump this right here!
those Damned Germans, I just knew the Greeks were innocent... ..
This article has it all in terms of Elite memes: blame anybody just not the System, there's no room for Nationalism & sovereignty if the EU is to be saved, the Technocrats had the answers all along but nobody listened.
Did Germany sow the seeds of the eurozone debt crisis?
Click to view link
Reply from The Daily Bell
Posted by gmallast on 01/30/12 03:07 PM
Pertinent question to the esteemed Dr. Machan: Why does anyone believe the socialist wealth redistribution/wealth equality line? Going through the whole sordid history of state socialism going back to Jan Mattys and Jan Bockelson's prototype socialist terror state in Munster in 1534-35 down through the Soviet Union, People's Republic of China, National Socialist Germany, Jonestown and beyond, when did socialist politicians ever redistribute the wealth they stole to anyone but themselves and their cronies beyond the minimum amount necessary to maintain power? Maybe in a few small Utopian communities like amongst the Shakers or Robert Owen's New Harmony, but on the level of state socialism? Even when allegedly spending their stolen wealth on the poor, a disproportionate amount goes for cushy high-paying jobs for armies of administrators while the poor are made poorer
Posted by Friend_of_John_Galt on 01/30/12 04:37 PM
If only, those people who demand "social justice" would understand that the only way to achieve this utopian goal is to impoverish everyone. Then universal equality is achieved as we all wait to die of starvation. (Even here, true equality remains elusive, as there will be those who can survive longer that others without food.)
The few references and examples provided are educational. But Obama so strongly believes his economic theory, that he does not wish to be bothered with "inconvenient truths." Sadly, there are many others who should know better but continue to seek the impossible utopian goals set by progressives.
Here in California, the land of fruits and nuts, our progressive legislature just missed a deadline to pass a "single payer" health care bill this year. (It passed in a previous session but was vetoed by Gov. Schwarzenegger.) It will likely be back agains next year -- and sadly, Gov. Moonbeam will likely sign it into law -- not that the progressives have any clue how to pay for it.
When I talk of these topics with some folks (who should know better) they just say, "Oh, things will work out... " That is the ultimate sadness -- these supposedly educated and intelligent folks who prefer to ignore the stark facts rather than stand up and protest.
Gov. Jerry has also lined up a series of propositions for the November ballot that will raise sales taxes and add a "millionaires'" tax to the state income tax -- a super category that "taxes the rich." The shocker is that the state that once hosted the "taxpayer revolt" and proposition 13, now polls strongly in favor of these new/increased taxes (even though most of the impact will hit the "middle class" with the sales tax).
Our Air Resources Board has decided that 14% of new automobiles must be "zero" emission vehicles by 2025 -- again with no understanding of how this will be acheived -- or how auto dealers will be able to induce someone looking for an SUV to buy an electric car. (Hint: the law is worded to "cap" non-electric car sales, so prices will rise to allow the market to clear naturally. So you can buy a $40,000 electric car you don't want -- or pay $50,000 for the SUV you do want.) The state will receive the benefit of the increased sales taxes collected through these artificially inflated prices.
As I search for another state to reside in, I'm struck by the implications that as California drives the productive private businesses and their employees to other states, that ultimately there will be nobody left here except (mostly unionized) government workers and recipients of the state's largess. Without any real (or sufficient) productive private industry, tax collections will collapse and those fat public worker retirement paychecks will no longer have any funds available to cash them. And the "poor" who get massive benefits from the state will also no longer receive that largess.
Then, the utopia of progressive policies will be achieved as those few fools who remain here will experience true social justice as they all starve in the midst of what was once one of the most productive areas in all the world.
Posted by jdb on 01/30/12 05:06 PM
Economic fairness is impossible: an oxymoron.
1948 to 1958 Germany , perhaps the only time in modern history , an economic fairness existed. By 1958 Germany was the richest country in the world (by population), reason being: economic Fairness. Labour and capital worked with open books.How quick we forget , or simply never knew.
Life Magazine : Special issue May 1954 and again 1958.
Posted by seer on 01/30/12 06:02 PM
But in a free country, with the principle of private property rights as the law of the land, the king or government has no business engaging in wealth distribution so the issue of fairness is entirely moot.
So anyone born into a situation where ALL the Land is already owned and passed on from generation to generation within families is basically born into a caste system. This brings to mind those in India who kill and eat rats for a living; perhaps the lowest caste.
But who says we have to share the planet? Greed is good. Damned those who say we have enough for everyone's need but not for everyone's greed. Einstein and Issac Newton would disagree with your thoughts but hey I am sure Bernie Madoff would agree.
Posted by seer on 01/30/12 06:05 PM
Thank You for the information.
Posted by ksbrunn on 01/30/12 07:28 PM
As I follow these posts, I am struck by the absence of any mention of the credit default swap derivative products, primarily of JP Morgan, that lured the largest banks and financial institutions in the world to invest and, after a decade of profits, lose billions of dollars and euros, as the sub-prime mortgage scam opened a gash in the ship's hull reminiscent of the recent disaster in Italy. The institutional money spent on worthless financial products eventually drained capital out of each participating country's economy, making it even harder for governments to pay for the entitlements and services for which they were elected. "Blythe Masters" by Pierre Jovanovic is a superb book on the international consequences of the activities of JP Morgan, under the leadership of Mrs. Masters, whom Jovanovic calls the most powerful woman ever to walk the planet -- more powerful that Cleopatra or the Queen of England -- because she was able to bring whole nations to their knees. Jovanovic sees this as the primary cause of the global financial crisis. The book is in French and has been widely read in France. The DB, in my opinion, should have the resources to read it before it comes out in English. I eagerly await the DB's comments on it. It's the story of something that was just "too good to be true." Yet the sharp minds of multi-millionaire CEOs got suckered into putting lots of eggs into a basket whose bottom, common sense would have told them, was loosely attached.
Posted by laceja on 01/30/12 07:31 PM
Might be easier (less difficult) to just go get a different one, where all this garbage hasn't already taken place.
There is a reason, why the Anglosphere elite want a one world government, and that is, because, if they keep doing what they are doing, it will, in fact, be easier (less difficult) to simply leave and find a better place. But, it will have to be a place with enough natural resources, that the rest of the world cannot control it, by withholding whatever that place doesn't have.
Posted by dave jr on 01/30/12 08:19 PM
We can go search for an uncharted continent right after we finish inventing our free energy source, so we can cloak it;)
Posted by Danny B on 01/31/12 12:44 AM
Humans are born with hugely varying levels of abilities. The collectivist attitude is that none should be allowed to fail / die. ALL should be allowed to reproduce. We don't follow that practice for domestic animals. Nature doesn't follow that practice for wild animals.
Why should homo-sapiens be special? We can't claim that all humans should be nourished on moral grounds. That would rule out abortion. We can't claim that there is a shortage of man.
There isn't any possibility of economic fairness if there isn't any control of reproduction.
Click to view link
An interesting article on the results of reproduction.
Click to view link
Posted by Col on 01/31/12 10:32 AM
"quick to forget" indeed, the biggest plot hole in that entire BBC article is the fact that they are laying the blame for Germany's 3% GDP blowout in 2003 on German Reunification... ... ... which occured in 1990... ... ..give my a frakking break!
Posted by Clearance on 01/31/12 03:01 PM
can you specify the 1958 issue?
I could not find any issue in that year that featured the state of the German economy.
Thanks a lot for your help in advance (will buy the issue of 54).