These lists have been popping up a lot lately, like some sort of web virus. They're all variations on the Recitation Of Good Works for the liberal catechism. Somebody posted one in the comments section of this post at Nashville Is Talking.
And I'm just so whelmed by the whole thing. First off, the whole liberal/conservative thing is too simplistic. Most people I meet anymore are a mix of responses along the scale. I'm not into the hive mindset necessarily, even though I lump myself with the libertarians for a sort of shorthand. So these lists about all the beneficient acts of liberalism are kind of strange. But they're a lot of fun to fisk. So I fisked it there and I'm fisking it here. Just because. To all my friends and family who self-identify as liberal, please understand. I think you are as equally valuable a part of the national conversation as I. But just as I don't post long lists about the good things "conservatives" are responsible for, please realise that these oversimplistic lists of yours are just getting a little bit old. And they're consistently inaccurate.
You had to make me do this, right?
Just a reminder, here are just a few things we can thank those g***** godless liberals for.
o Regulation of banks and stock brokerage firms cheating their customers
o Protection of your bank account
Why can't we privatise the FDIC? Why must it be Federal? All these protections do is insure your money at the cost of your money. In other words, if someone robs the bank of your funds, we have to use taxpayer funds to pay you back. And taxpayer funds come from....you. And just a reminder...the FDIC only insures $200K of your money.
o Social Security
Yes, because a governmental Ponzi scheme is always a good idea. I wouldn't be braggin' on this one much longer....
o A minimum wage
Change that to a governmentally mandated wage floor. Because philosophically there has always been a minimum wage, whether or not it's been one that people like. And as with all governmentally mandated things, the Minimum Wage we know today is a whole lot of a bad idea, in many people's opinion. Government redistribution of wealth being a socialist concept and all....
o Legal alcohol
Bob already addressed this. But I may also add that the Liberal President FDR did nothing to constrain Hearst and Ainslinger in their establishment of the Drug War in 1937. So the open-minded liberalism did nothing to ensure the liberty of the people against controlling interests in the case of marijuana.
o Regulation of the stock exchanges
I would argue that this was a cooperative effort.
o Right of labor to bargain with employers
Yeah. That's turned out so well for labour, hasn't it? Let me point you to the town bankrupted by Crystal Lee Sutton Jordan. You many know her better by her movie name--Norma Rae. She fought to unionise her little textile factory town. Now, 20 years after her brave stand she is employed full time by the union. But the mill has shut down and moved operations to Mexico because it can't afford to employ the people of the town at the new union-mandated wage.
o Soil Consevation Service and other early environmental programs
I don't know enough about this topic to comment,so I'll give you this one for now.
o National parks and monuments such as Death Valley, Blue Ridge, Everglades, Boulder Dam, Bull Run, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Mount Rushmore, Jackson Hole, Grand Teton, Cape Cod, Fire Island, and San Juan Islands just to name a few.
Do you live in Tennessee? If so, how can you praise this as a good move without realising how much private land was seized by the federal government to make these things happen? Do you not realise how many East Tennesseans were displaced from homes that had been in their families for more than a century in order to make the national parks? Okay, maybe the rights of a few Appalachians don't matter...
o Tennessee Valley Authority
o Rural electrification
See above. Federal money and displacement of persons is a good thing why?
o College educations for innumerable veterans
Well, they are "numerable" seeing as how the government does keep track of recepients of the GI bill, but I'll give you this one as a good thing.
o Housing loans for innumerable veterans
Again...not strictly innumerable, but you can still have this point.
o FHA housing loans
I have one and I'm grateful for it. But Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not doing so well lately. So let's privatise this.
o The bulk of hospital beds in the country
Don't think you're right about that. I think they are responsible for the largest single ownership of hospital beds, but the combination of charity hospitals and for-profits largely outnumbers governmental hospital facilities.
o Unemployment insurance
Yeah, they force you to pay the premiums out of your paycheck. Great. Let's not give the folks a choice.
o Small Business Administration
o National Endowment for the Arts
Seriously? Let's include all federal programs. You think they're a peachy idea. Most conservatives and libertarians disagree with the idea of forced contribution to limited-interest organisations.
That's working really well, isn't it?
o Peace Corps
Sure, I'll give you this one, especially in honour of John H.
So how about we stop this Vince Vaughnesque drawing of lines and bickering over stuff and just, you know, work together? Call me crazy, but that seems like the best idea. Weren't there liberals AND conservatives in Philadelphia around the beginning of July, 1776?