Diary

Social Darwinism

I just read the punditry of Robert B. Reich on the Huffington Post. Perhaps it’s because I never attended an Ivy-League school that I didn’t develop the proper cranial density necessary to remain impervious to logic, but Reich completely misses the mark. As usual. His thesis is that Republicans are in favor of social Darwinism. I’m not a Republican, but I play one on Election Day. Here are a few tidbits:

Reich: “In the late 19th century it was called Social Darwinism. Only the fittest should survive, and any effort to save the less fit will undermine the moral fiber of society.”

Conservative policies don’t demand that only the fittest survive, and efforts to save the less fit reinforce the moral fiber of society. That’s one of the reasons we support the unborn. That’s the reason we give to charities. We believe there is an inherent value in human life, and that we have a responsibility to do what we can to see that even those less fortunate have the opportunity to realize their potential, whatever that may be. We believe that this is best achieved through the private, voluntary actions of individuals, not through the coercive power of the state.  Having the state usurp this responsibility is not only less efficient, it eliminates the necessary interaction of caring, involved individuals so essential to affecting outcomes.

“Republicans also hate unemployment insurance. They’ve voted against every extension because, they say, it coddles the unemployed and keeps them from taking available jobs.”

I have no issue with unemployment insurance, other than I don’t have a choice. The supposed paragons of choice don’t allow one. We have Homeowner’s/renter’s insurance, life insurance, car insurance, and for a couple more years, health insurance, all provided by the free market. But unemployment insurance can only be handled by the state?

Finally, like Hoover and Mellon, Republicans want to cut the deficit and balance the budget at a time when a large portion of the workforce is idle.

This defies economic logic. When consumers aren’t spending, businesses aren’t investing and exports can’t possibly fill the gap, and when state governments are slashing their budgets, the federal government has to spend more. Otherwise, the Great Recession will turn into exactly what Hoover and Mellon ushered in — a seemingly endless Great Depression.

It’s also cruel. Cutting the deficit and balancing the budget any time soon will subject tens of millions of American families to unnecessary hardship and throw even more into poverty.

So the answer to decades of overspending by the federal government is to continue overspending? Talk about defying logic. Government can only spend what it takes from its citizens. And the Obama regime is overspending on steroids. The US used to be an export driven economy, but thanks to overzealous taxation and regulation, the only things we export now are jobs.  And cruel? How is it compassionate to foist crushing debt on future generations?  How is it compassionate to devalue savings by “monetizing” this debt? My children and grandchildren will never come close to paying off the debt Reich and his ilk -in both parties- have run up, if we continue down the path Reich advocates.  The Democrats like to talk about the “failed policies of the past”.  What about the failed policies of the present? We can afford to waste $700 billion on a stimulus in a single year, but we can’t afford to let those that earn the money keep $700 billion over the next 10 years?  Where is the “economic logic” in that?

All of this is an excellent argument for term limits. And yes, I realize that this might leave professional bureaucrats ostensibly in charge. All the more reason to have a limited government. A government of elected officials that are civic-minded and not seeking to become career politicos. A government that doesn’t think the answer to every problem requires more spending. Or emanates from Washington D.C.