Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

The Inevitable Failure of Centralized Government

Most people realize words mean things. I say this satirically, since most of us at some point realize this fact, but often we forget it. Much of the time we all blindly accept terms thrown on the table without realizing what we are actually saying.

One common example is Climate Change Deniers. Supposedly there are people who deny the Earth’s climate changes (though I can’t find anyone who will admit to this belief). But there are two major fallacies with this term.

First, the words Climate Change are often used as synonymous with Anthropogenic Climate Change. The fact that climate change is ALWAYS happening is often forgotten, while the notion that it can be stopped is blindly accepted as not only a possibility but an obligation. This is done purposefully, so most of us forget natural climate change has been happening for as long as the planet has existed. When we forget this, it becomes accepted politi-speak to say “climate change” when we actually mean “human-caused climate change”. These two meanings are vastly different from each other.

This leads us to the second fallacy with the “deniers” label. When the so-called deniers say climate change isn’t real, the agenda-driven alarmists remind us that the climate is changing after all, but conveniently gloss over the fact they are referring to natural climate change, while the deniers are referring to anthropogenic climate change, while both groups use the same words. This purposeful confusion of concepts utilizing the same term is a very effective tactic among those who rely on obfuscation to promote an agenda few would support if they knew what was really going on behind the smoke and mirrors.

When the debate is handled this way few people think for themselves long enough to ask how climate change occurred before the industrial revolution, or how a natural phenomenon like climate change could possibly be stopped even if most people wanted to do so, or exactly what is this ideal static climate (which never existed) that we wish to preserve by imposing so many environmental regulations (and taxes)?

This semantic slight of hand is happening on many issues facing Americans today. What I wish to bring attention to in this post is the term “crony capitalism”. The term itself is designed to mislead us from the reality of the situation. Most people believe crony capitalism is a flaw/feature of, well, capitalism. But few stop long enough to realize this form of corruption cannot happen without GOVERNMENT help.

Think about it. This idea of crony capitalism is inherently a collusion of business and government. So why do so many people think of it as exclusively a capitalism problem and not a government problem? Probably because of the label we use to discuss it.

It would be more accurate to speak of this issue as crony government. I think P. J. O’Rourke said it best when he stated

When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.”

This quote is true not only on its face, but it also alludes to the prime issue obscured by the misleading term “crony capitalism”. The prime issue is this: big government inevitably becomes corrupt.

Many of us like the idea of campaign finance reform. Unfortunately the notion of money corrupting politics falsely suggests the politicians were clean and pure souls to start with. The reality is much more likely the money merely revealed the greed that was already there. So while politicians and citizens debated campaign finance reform to “get the money out of politics” did you hear any one ask about the gazillions of dollars being collected and spent by actual legislation by those same politicians? I mean, if we’re really serious about addressing greed in politics…

But I digress. Just like record breaking campaign spending makes headlines while record breaking government expenditures get disregarded with a ho-hum attitude, so too are we deluding ourselves when we discuss crony capitalism while missing the bigger picture of corrupt government. One scary aspect of this is that, while we talk about wanting to rid politics of corruption, we seem oblivious to the fact centralizing government control invites corruption.

Consider this. The United States federal government now collects and spends more tax dollars than ever before. Concentrating that much money in one place, with politicians eager for re-election and a matching desire to spend that money, is begging for corruption. And when we look around we see an age where, more than ever before, our lives are highly regulated and subsidized by government. We live in an age where big business is foolish to NOT lobby for policial support, because their competitors are doing the same thing. Putting that much power and money in the hands of so few is begging for corruption.

Likewise, a big government demands big bureaucracy. Do we realize what bureaucracy really means? It means multiple levels of paperwork, bogged down in mountains of policy compliance, with numerous agencies all trying to perform their compartmentalized tasks. The more work done by big government the more red tape, and the more error and inefficiency result. This is the nature of big government.

Centralized power in Washington D.C. cannot avoid the outrageous levels of corruption and waste we have grown accustomed to in the United States. We keep acting like mega corporations are a problem but then demand government do more, tax more, regulate more, grow more to deal with it – all the while not realizing government involvement makes its own significant contribution to the problem in the first place. How convenient that the same people and organizations used to create corruption and waste are the same we expect to fix it all.

This is why local government is better than distant government for some things. I appreciate having a strong fighting force to deal with the horrible things happening around the world. That is a job better suited for our federal government. But is education better handled by our federal government? Is retirement? Is health care? Is commerce? Our society acts as if our sex lives should be free from government control yet demand government regulation of just about everything else.

If we allow ourselves to ask these questions we may eventually realize there are some things in life better handled by state or local government. We might even discover there are some things in which government has no business involving itself at all (like marriage). Wouldn’t that be a novel thing to see in a nation of free people?

bureaucracy, campaign, capitalism, corruption, culture, ethics, freedom, global warming, government, indoctrination, nanny state, politics, propaganda, regulation, spending

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Filed under: bureaucracy, campaign, capitalism, corruption, culture, ethics, freedom, global warming, government, indoctrination, nanny state, politics, propaganda, regulation, spending

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