on the size of government

I’ve been shying away from political posts, but that Imperial IPA loosened my tongue a bit…so this is a comment I left in response to this.

After reading your post I’m amazed that at the end you still refer to Bush as a Republican president, as he is only republican in the disappointing social values perspective that your party embraces for votes alone (else why such hypocrisy in your leadership).

As far as your issues with government size, I partially agree. There are huge shortcomings in the system. Government handouts, welfare abusers, unjustified wars, sweetheart deals, they’re all problems.

But, the general anti-government, ant-tax stance is wrong. And it doesn’t matter what percentage of Americans make their honest wage off government funding.

You are correct about the transfer, but you should be thankful for it, as that transfer is keeping you out of the company store. My belief is that Democratic voters have the primary goals of preservation of the middle class and the progress of the American economy (as well as an unalignable array of social goals).

Government is able to provide a buffer against major economic shifts (such as the baby boomer problem and our market’s wholesale shift to a service industry) both by providing meaningful employment and by training and education. It is also able to provide protection for smaller players against more powerful entities. Completely contrary to the objectivist Republican ethos, regulation actually promotes competition.


  • Rod Maingot

    Regulation promotes competition? What kind of nonsense is this? Regulation is always a form of interference, that is simply the nature of regulation. A more plausible (but still wrong) argument would be that regulation interferes with competition to induce a positive outcome for one competitor, and a less positive outcome for another.

  • rick

    It’s not nonsense at all. Look at what’s happenened to radio. Insufficient regulation has led to massive consolidation of stations into a tiny handful of parent corporations (primarily Viacom and Clear Channel).

    Maybe it would be a bit easier to stomach with a sports analogy. Sports have rules. Say football, which has tons of them. The rules exist for many reasons, but primarily they exist to promote competition. If they broke Peyton Manning’s knee every time he stepped on the field, or if the Raiders put 150 receivers on the field, it wouldn’t be very competitive.

    And we need to pay the referee to show up and blow the whistle.

    Monopolies are the outcome of deregulation, and they are the antithesis of competition. Just like cultural anarchy, economic anarchy is a beautiful ideal but one that cannot be successful on any but the smallest of scales.

  • http://zerosandones.beerdrinker.org nader

    Yeah, this one is actually elementary economics. Unchecked capitalism tends towards monopoly. Easy to see how this would occur as the minute any market entity has some competitive advantage over the others, it will exponentially increase that advantage (by re-investing it’s higher marginal profits etc.) and devour the competition.

    As rick mentions above, monopolies are the antithesis of competition – one supplier for a good or service doesn’t compete with itself. Pure free market capitalism is inherently unstable, and will tend towards self-destruction unless it is regulated.

    So, if you look at markets from a wider level of analysis you see that an unregulated market will only see the greater innovations and benefits of competition until the market power has become too concentrated in a few entities. Regulation which shifts the market power away from the monopoly will ultimately result in greater innovations and competitive benefits because it makes the market more stable in perpetuity (if regulated well).

  • Rod Maingot

    I would encourage you to read von Mises, Hayek, and Rand. They make a compelling argument that monopolies form in mixed economies in relative proportion to state interference – especially subsidies. As long as companies can lobby the government for more regulations and “safety controls” to raise barriers to entry, monopolies will exist.