Government Sucks

I really wanted to fisk in depth this post at Government Is Good.  While there are loads of factual inaccuracies and logical fallacies, the most common is the assumption that if the government does something today, that activity would not have been performed by anyone without government.  For example, if the government did not educate our kids, we'd all be happy to let them lay around all day and play Nintendo.

The article reminds me of nothing so much as the old "better living through chemicals" commercials which were so ably parodied with the Kentucky Fried Movie skit about zinc oxide.

Unfortunately, I don't have the time. Fortunately, TJIC has already done a great job. Here is one example from a long post:

7:01 a.m. Government also helps you own your house in more than the
legal sense. On a more practical level, the federal government actually
gives you money every year to help pay for your house. It's called a
mortgage interest tax deduction

So I earn $100, and the government would normally steal $30 of
that, but because I fill out certain forms, the government only steals
$20 of it"¦and the $10 that the government would have stolen, but chose
not to, is a "gift" ?

  • JoshK

    That site is one of the funniest things that I have ever seen. I'm laughing so hard that I'm tearing up.

  • I agree. For the longest time I've objected when people have talked about the things the space race or DoD spending have brought us. We're on the verge of seeing private companies put people into space and it seems many people can't figure out that means we don't actually need NASA to run around space. It'll happen in different ways but it'll still happen. The same with things like defense spending leading to the internet. Human beings have a basic desire to communicate and to communicate as quickly as possible. It may have not happened in the same time frame. Maybe it would've happened later but I think if anything it would've happened earlier. All those people and resources tied up in those DoD projects that move as fast as a dead slug would've been out in the real world doing things that were directly applicable to consumers needs rather than trying to come up with tech to meet DoD needs and then eventually have others come along and adapt those to the world's needs. And it might not be HTTP but some other protocol with some other twist and maybe even some other name. But the Internet was bound to happen because of our desire for information. We didn't need all that government spending on defense to end up with the Internet.

  • Larry Sheldon

    Well waitaminit!

    If we didn't have, just for one example the US Army Corps of Engineers, we wouldn't have thousands of silted-up "flood control" dams, New Orleans would not have been wrecked and Iowa would not have been under water so much in the late 90's.

    Goobermint Rocks!

  • dave smith

    The Government website is run by a pol sci professor. I feel sorry for the drivel they are exposed to.

    I want to email her and ask her if she REALLY believes that gov't is the only thing keeping her from the abyss.

  • Mesa Econoguy

    The Bravest Man in the World skit is better….

  • It scares me that there are so many people who actually believe big government is a good thing. It highlights the arrogance of liberal politicians, to think they can engineer society while avoiding unintended secondary consequences of their policies, and it highlights the wishful thinking (and susceptibility to propaganda and manipulation) of their followers as well.

    Jeff

  • mjh

    For example, if the government did not educate our kids, we'd all be happy to let them lay around all day and play Nintendo.

    According to Steven Johnson sitting around playing Nintendo is making us smarter. So even if playing Nintendo is the worst case scenario, it's not that bad.

  • diz

    It would be interesting to add up how much it costs to provide the wonderful services listed in the post and see what percent of a 3,000,000,000,000 annal budget they would justify.

  • Bearster

    The post at "Government is Good" confuses the police with the regulator. For example, compare the radio spectrum to real estate. In the former, the FCC issues permits (but doesn't allow ownership) and dictates an endless list of ever-changing rules to keep your license. 1% of the FCC's job is to stop pirate radio stations. The other 99% is to somehow ensure that the "public interest" is served.

    Of course, with land ownership, the county recorder does not dictate what you can do, and does not issue a temporary license. Property ownership (at least traditionally) was absolute (today this is eroding).

    The fallacy is called a package-deal. Government performs a legitemate task and also performs many illegitemate tasks. Granted, we would not be able to live in a society in which any thug could kill at will. But modern big government focuses on two things: (1) taking from some to give, unearned, to others and (2) restricting some actions by some people, at the request of others. They de-emphasize protecting life, liberty, and property.

  • Larry Ruda

    im pissed my goverment who is suppoused to work for me, whos salrey we pay through tax's has become so divided by partisism they cant even manage to tie their FUCKING shoe laces any more much less agree on a bill to aviod the largest crissis in our history

  • USACE

    I completely agree with all of you. I work for the federal government and I cannot emphasize how much waste and stealing the government does. I feel embarassed telling people that I work for the government. The government does things everyday that would be considered a crime by any other citizen or private company. Look at the mortgage crisis, the government has a lot to do with the collapse, but they put CEO's behind bars and not our Preident? The U.S. Government is so extremely corrupt I can write an entire book on it. Government only hires their friends and buddies to work for them and they award big contracts to their relatives companies and even their own seperate companies that they have created to swindle money.