Of course, we don't really know if leprechauns are real, either . . . do we?
In less than fifteen years, these "entitlement" programs will consume all of the Federal Government's revenue. All of it. No more national defense, no more national parks, no more federal research grants, no more federal highway funds, no more air traffic control system, no more education grants, no more federally guaranteed loans or bank accounts, no more NPR, no more PBS. It will all be going to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Here’s a stat for you: In President Obama’s proposed 2012 budget, the White House Office of Management and Budget estimates (in Table S-4) that mandatory spending this year (2011) will be $2.194 trillion, while total federal receipts will be $2.174 trillion.
In order to get the deficit down to 3 percent of GDP, not to balance the budget, you would have to confiscate around 80 percent of all income over $209,000--recall that the large majority of these taxpayers pay state income taxes too--which would destroy the economy . . .
“Subsidizing the markers of status doesn’t produce the character traits that result in that status; it undermines them.”
The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle-class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we’ll have more middle-class people. But homeownership and college aren’t causes of middle-class status, they’re markers for possessing the kinds of traits — self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. — that let you enter, and stay, in the middle class. Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them.Emphasis mine.
This is what "progressives" do not understand. Wealth does not cause social conditions. Wealth is an effect of social conditions.
Don't believe me?
Dump a million dollars on Egypt, and dump a million dollars on Utah, and see what each culture does with the money. Are you seriously willing to argue that in ten years Egypt will have turned that million dollars into a larger pile of wealth than Utah? Really?
How much foreign aid have we squandered on various totalitarian hell-holes around the world? What have we gotten for that "investment?" How much money have we spent on the "war on poverty?" Is there less or more poverty than there was when we started? (Hint: more. Go look it up.)
It's not the money. It's how you get it that differentiates "good money" from "bad money." Bad money is generally obtained by pointing a gun at someone else. This is how dictators and much of the current Democrat leadership believe money is obtained. They believe in the "zero sum game." They believe in "getting a bigger piece of the pie." They might give lip service to "making the pie bigger" but deep in their hearts, they really don't believe it--if they do believe it, they sure don't act like they do.
Good money is created (or "earned") by providing somebody else with some good or service that somebody else wants at a price that somebody else is willing to pay. This is the "classical liberal" belief, and it fueled the greatest expansion of wealth to the greatest number of people the world has ever seen.
Yes, Virginia, it really is that simple.
But, despite this dazzling success of the classical liberal economics of Ricardo and Smith and von Mises and Hayek and Friedman, we today face once more what seems to be the fundamental conflict of mankind's nature: the tension between those who believe wealth can only be obtained by force, and those who believe wealth must be earned by mutually beneficial trade.
This conflict has been clearly illustrated by the recent unpleasantness in Madison, Wisconsin.
So, which side are you on?
The fist, the club, and the gun, or the handshake, the contract, and the trade? The time for choosing is very, very near.
My advice: Get some sleep. And when you wake up Sunday morning, go to Denny’s and have their Grand Slam breakfast while reading the local newspaper. Then go back home and drink a couple brews while watching a basketball game on TV. At that point, you can then safely log back onto the Internet and try to figure out what actually happened Saturday.
This time they are pro-Israel thugs as opposed to extremist Muslim thugs (and various other thugs), but thugs are thugs. Here’s what happened; I quote Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign v. King County (W.D. Wash, decided last Friday): The county Department of Transportation in Seattle sells advertising on buses; the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign bought space for an anti-Israel ads: “The proposed ad read ‘Israeli War Crimes: Your Tax Dollars at Work,’ and featured a picture of children next to a bomb-damaged building.” When this hit the news, the Department got lots of objections, including “four [messages that] suggest[ed] an intention to disrupt or vandalize buses, four [that] communicate[d] violent intentions, [and] approximately twenty [that] express[ed] concern for rider safety.”
. . .
The Department then canceled the ad contract, partly based on these messages. And the federal District Court held that the action was likely constitutional, because the ad violated city policy that excluded ads that are “so objectionable under contemporary community standards as to be reasonably foreseeable that it will result in harm to, disruption of, or interference with the transportation system” or that are “directed at a person or group” and are “so insulting, degrading or offensive as to be reasonably foreseeable that [they] will incite or produce imminent lawless action in the form of retaliation, vandalism or other breach of public safety, peace and order.” This policy, the court said, was viewpoint-neutral and reasonable, when applied to this ad, because “The threats of violence and disruption from members of the public ... led bus drivers and law-enforcement officials to express safety concerns.”
Now on the one hand I sympathize with the Department’s safety concerns, and its desire to protect passengers. But on the other hand, behavior that gets rewarded — here, the making of threats — gets repeated.
The message is clear: If you want to stop speech that you dislike, just send a few threatening messages and you’ll win. You don’t actually need to act violently, and risk punishment for that. You could send the threats anonymously, in a way that makes it quite unlikely that you’ll be punished.