My Complaints About Liberals
Some of the reasons why I’m not a liberal
In my column “Governments Need To Be Guided By Pragmatism, Not Idealism” I said that the conservatives’ fundamental rule of government is: “Everyone Should Be Free To Look Out For Number One” and the liberals’ fundamental principle of government is: “Everyone Should Help Others.”
My objection to the conservatives’ policy of having no governmental regulations restricting any corporation from doing anything it wants to get more money, short of violence and robbery, is that it may be great for Number 1, but it is likely to be terrible for Numbers 2 through 100, 1,000, or 1,000,000, and a net negative for the country as a whole.
Liberals Fundamental Principles
I also have problems with the liberals’ fundamental principles:
- The rest of us should finance programs that are designed to be nice to people rather than designed to provide a net benefit to the economy or to the country as a whole.
- Poor people are entitled to get free stuff funded by taxes on wealthier people just because they are living human beings
- All human life is automatically and always sacred
Should The Government Spend Money In Order To Be Nice To People?
Costs That Exceed The Benefits
My objection to the liberals’ “share the wealth so that we can be nice to people” policy is that giving people free stuff just to be nice to them ignores any consideration of the costs of those programs versus the benefits arising from them.
There Is No Mechanism To Select, Control Or Limit The Spending
There are an infinite number of ways to be nice to people at an infinite cost. Where does it start and where does it end?
A policy of doing things just to be nice to people without considering the costs versus the benefits means there is no limit, no mechanism, no boundaries for determining how much, when, who, and what to spend tax money on.
There is a fine line where giving people free stuff goes from helping them to hurting them and hurting society in general. Government programs are blunt instruments that can and will often cross that line.
Most People Are Not Altruists
Human beings are not inherently philanthropic. Most people are unwilling to work hard so that someone else can get free stuff at their expense. Based solely on this fact of human nature, communism does not work.
The moral principle of sharing the wealth for the sake being nice to people is fundamentally unpopular with a majority of people, and it will be doomed to failure both practically and politically.
How Being Nice To People Translates To Immigration Policies
The world is full of countries with bad governments, dictators, death squads and political tyranny. The world is full of countries where people are poor, sick, malnourished and oppressed.
From a purely cost/benefit point of view, the costs of accepting tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands or millions of uneducated, unskilled, non-English-speaking people into the U.S. every year far exceeds the benefits their admission might bring to the country.
On balance, admitting large numbers of uneducated, unskilled, non-English-speaking people every year would be a huge detriment to the current citizens of the United States, and doing it to be nice to everyone in the whole world is not enough of a benefit to Americans to make allowing that mass immigration to be worth the costs arising from it.
Not to mention the facts that
- (1) all the poor people in the world cannot move here, and
- (2) if large numbers of them they did, the U.S. would become as poor as those other countries are.
Unless and until admitting large numbers of uneducated, unskilled, non-English-speaking people benefits the people currently living in the U.S. more than it costs them, letting hundreds of thousands or millions of untrained, unskilled, uneducated, poverty-stricken, non-English-speaking immigrants into the U.S. every year just to be nice to them is not a sufficient reason for American citizens who are already here to have to suffer the costs that will ensue.
A rational immigration policy would be to admit immigrants who either can support themselves or those whose presence, under objective standards, would benefit the country.
All Human Life Is Not Infinitely Valuable
Keeping Psychopaths Locked Up For Decades At Taxpayer Expense
If all human life is sacred then vicious, toxic, dangerous criminals who cannot be allowed loose in society must be kept in a cage for the rest of their lives.
Depending on the state, it costs between $36,000 and $81,000 per year to keep someone in prison.
If you imprison a serial killer at age 30 and he lives another 45 years at a $50,000/year cost that’s $2,250,000, so you have to ask, “Is it worth $2,250,000 to keep someone like Ted Bundy alive, or, by choosing to kill thirty-six women just for the fun of it, hasn’t he forfeited both his right to be running around loose and also forfeited his right to expect the taxpayers to spend millions of dollars to keep innocent people safe from him?”
Hasn’t Bundy’s voluntary choice to kill women for the fun of it left society with no other practical alternative than to execute him? Isn’t his execution “on him” because he chose to act in ways that left society with no other practical option?
Doesn’t it make more sense to execute people like Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer and use that two and a quarter million dollars each to fund youth programs and foster child programs that would help disadvantaged and at-risk kids grow up to have a decent life than to spend it just keeping people who kill for the fun of it locked up in a cage for decades on end?
Liberals think that all human life has an infinite value, and their answer to that questions is “no.”
If you think that the value of a person’s life can, by their own voluntary choices, become a very large negative number (Hitler, Himmler, Pol Pot, etc.), then the answer is “yes.”
Gov’t Policy Should Be Based On Pragmatism Not The Tenets Of A Political Religion
Liberals and conservatives have different ideas about the moral principles that each believes should form the core of government policy, but they both have the same failing, namely, they both believe that government conduct should be guided by their own list of subjective ethical rules, their own particular political catechisms, the principles of each of their political religions, instead of by objective cost/benefit pragmatism, that is, instead of by a policy of political atheism.
Within reasonable limits (e.g. no human sacrifice), everyone is entitled to live their private lives by their own moral/religious code, but people aren’t entitled to impose their personal, subjective moral/political-religion on the rest of us by incorporating it into government policy, including not being entitled to enshrine the principles of their conservative or liberal political religions on the country as a whole, especially when their political religions promote programs that are contrary to common-sense, pragmatic policies.