21 June, 2006

Santa Liberala

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.

o Medicare

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?


At 3:20 PM, June 21, 2006, Anonymous Sarcastro said...

Thank you for doing that before I did.

I was really hoping they would try to bring up the EPA, OSHA, SSI and MBDA. The Uber-Liberal Hero, Richard M. Nixon brought us those.

At 4:29 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger thehomelessguy said...

Oh dear sister, do you not see the beam in your own eye?

At 4:52 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Guess not, Kevin. Cause I thought I covered all logs, beams and splinters in there.

At 6:30 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Chance said...

National Endowment for the Arts

I'm sorry, that's a pretty weak example. Why do we need the gov't to tell us what type of art to spend our money on? The Bill of Rights said it would protect our speech, not give us money to speak.

At 1:08 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger thehomelessguy said...

For so many years, the talk show Rush limbaughs for the Right have been throwing inaccurate, and often outlandish definitions of what "Liberals" are - and now, we liberals are seeing all the little ditto heads repeating these things, obviously believing them to be true. The folks on the left are just tired of being maligned and want to set the record straight. These lists are just in response to attacks from the right. As is the method of folks on the right, they can't beat the left on many of the actual issues so instead they attempt character assignation of the left instead. It really is time it stopped, but it doesn't look like it's going to any time soon.

At 1:51 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

All due respect, Kevin, because I see your point, but you appear to be talking about a set of people (i.e. Rush Limbaugh, dittoheads, etc.) with whom I am not aligned.

Yes, I realise that many on the right have done these things. I'm not responding to that right now--although I have responded to it in the past. I'm just trying to point out that in governmental issues there are always two sides--at a minimum.

At 9:55 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger dolphin said...

Why do we need the gov't to tell us what type of art to spend our money on?

Yeah, because spending a half-a-cent a year to ensure that we remain a nation capable of creative thought is too much to ask.

To quote Mr. Holland's Opus, "Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want. Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about."

At 10:09 AM, June 22, 2006, Anonymous Lesley said...

I describe myself as a liberal, but I do have some conservative values. For example, I think unions have not only outlived their usefulness, but have crossed over into detriment. Every time I want something and can only get a cheap Chinese version of it, I curse the Unions and Wal-Mart.

Unemployment insurance is paid by employers; it does not come from paychecks. That's the only fact I can refute in your statements since most are opinions, but I generally disagree with a lot of what you wrote. While I see your point about displacement of people to create national parks, I find it necessary to protect what makes the country beautiful. And many people have shown irresponsibility to their fellow citizens (and mostly to neighbors) by selling their land to private interests. This is why so many of the mountaintops in Applachia are now being removed. Granted, the concept borders on socialism, but sometimes the individual must sacrifice for the good of the population.

At 11:24 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Lee said...

"Yeah, because spending a half-a-cent a year to ensure that we remain a nation capable of creative thought is too much to ask."

If we need government assistance to remain a "nation of creative thought," then we are in a world of hurt.

I wonder how much gov't money Mark Twain got? Or Whistler? Or Whitman?

At 1:04 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Chance said...

Yeah, because spending a half-a-cent a year to ensure that we remain a nation capable of creative thought is too much to ask.

To quote Mr. Holland's Opus, "Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want. Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about."

I understand, but I don't think it is necessary to have the government spur creative thought. Since government schools do exist and they are raising our children, yes, I do prefer that they teach art and literature for the reason that Mr. Opus mentioned. In my view, we are already spending tax money on schools, so yes, I do prefer that they teach artsy stuff, rather than just how to do math.

For grown up adults however, I think we are perfectly capable of being a creative nation on our own. The same with economics. I don't think Bush has to issue national directives insuring that our companies remain competitive.

At 8:48 PM, June 23, 2006, Anonymous Sarcastro said...

If the best you can come up with is quoting "Mr. Holland's Opus", you are finished before you even start.

During the TennCare discussions will you be quoting from "Patch Adams"?

Treacly movies are not a prime source of political thought.


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