Brilliance from George Will

by Russ Roberts on October 6, 2011

in Complexity & Emergence

One of his best ever (HT: RealClearPolitics). Masterful. Read the whole thing. It starts like this:

Elizabeth Warren, Harvard law professor and former Obama administration regulator (for consumer protection), is modern liberalism incarnate. As she seeks the Senate seat Democrats held for 57 years before 2010, when Republican Scott Brown impertinently won it, she clarifies the liberal project and the stakes of contemporary politics.

The project is to dilute the concept of individualism, thereby refuting respect for the individual’s zone of sovereignty. The regulatory state, liberalism’s instrument, constantly tries to contract that zone — for the individual’s own good, it says.

It gets better. Read the whole thing.

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{ 249 comments }

dave smith October 6, 2011 at 1:38 pm

“Liberalism preaches confident social engineering by the regulatory state. Conservatism urges government humility in the face of society’s creative complexity.”

I would say that this statement is true of nearly all “liberals,” but unfortunately not all conservatives can be characterized as Will does.

Which is too bad.

Curt Doolittle October 6, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Help with terminology:

a) Conservatism can refer to a sentiment – a cognitive bias.
b) Classical Liberalism is a political philosophy using economics as means of making political value judgements.
c) Conservatism can also refer to the conservative movement in classical liberalism (Burkeian conservatism ).
d) American Conservatives tend to be Classical Liberals, because their conservatism relies upon classical liberalism – ie: jeffersonians.

When George Will uses the term ‘Conservatives’, he means, I am fairly sure from his phrasing in the article, conservative classical liberals. Not ‘sentimental conservatives’ in the broader sense, which can also refer to those who give religious conservatism (lower classes) or aristocratic/martial conservatism (upper and lower classes), a higher rank in their preferences than they do to conservative classical liberalism (middle classes).

JS October 6, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Burke wasn’t a conservative and either were the liberals, but he was a conservative liberal. The term ‘classical liberal’ is modern and was used to distinguish the early liberals, who were libertarians, from the liberals who hyjacked their name, who were the socialists.

Modern conservatives lean more to libertarian values in political economy, although they share the same voting booth with the cultural conservatives, who aren’t that libertarian oriented. Burke was a cultural conservative in most social aspects but tended to argue for society to trend in the direction of liberty rather than defend the paternalism of the aristocratic conservatives of his time.

The classical conservative mentality would be very happy with the current state of affairs in western civilization, whereby the masses are provided limited succor in various forms of security to keep them in their places.

Invisible Backhand October 6, 2011 at 8:36 pm

I leave for one day and it’s like the Beverly Gullibillies are trying to fish in the cement pond.

The left doesn’t preach social engineering. Because I’m a liberal I know this but just to verify I pulled my copy of the Encyclopedia of the American Left and it’s not in the index:

http://i.imgur.com/o8wED.jpg

Don Boudreaux October 6, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Yep. I agree, Russ.

Along the lines of Sowell’s pointing out in his 1987 book that a conflict of visions separates those of us who understand reality’s hard restraints (the “constrained vision”) from those people who see no such hard restraints (the “unconstrained vision”), another conflict of visions separates those of us who see in government nothing at all special – at best government is one supplier of some useful services, such as police protection – from other people who see democratic government as the manifestation of some transcendental collective will that is somehow prior to, and above, puny individuals.

SweetLiberty October 6, 2011 at 2:50 pm

at best government is one supplier of some useful services, such as police protection…

And roads, and schools, and first class mail, etc. The problem is, government has a monopoly of these services for all intents and purposes, which doesn’t allow consumers to choose a different supplier, one that better suits their needs. Warren’s point that we all use socialized services provided by government assumes that government, and only government, can provide these services efficiently. While it is possible that this may be the case in some areas, I highly doubt it for most given government’s track record.

Speedmaster October 6, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Loved Conflict of Visions, a legendary book.

kyle8 October 6, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Yes, ditto what speedmaster said. Conflict was my first book by Dr. Sowell. It should be mandatory reading for all college students.

vidyohs October 6, 2011 at 5:46 pm

To my way of thinking, the horrible thing wrong about Elizabeth Warren’s way of thinking, shared by an astounding number of other fools, is that the unspoken is the reverse of their claim that no individual is responsible for his own success, and that is that no individual is responsible for his own failure.

From the successful the looney left wants to take a lions share in order to give it to the failure. Of course that is what the whole thing is about, justification for the redistribution.

muirgeo October 6, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Don,

“from other people who see democratic government as the manifestation of some transcendental collective will that is somehow prior to, and above, puny individuals.,”

Name one major business or corporation or invention that came to being absent a government collective…Just one.

Steve Jobs acheivement began when taxes were 90% on top earners… it occured while we were all paying into social security and Medicare and infrastructure…. It didn’t occur in a minimalist state… NOTHING of significance has and nothing ever will.

Babinich October 6, 2011 at 10:12 pm

“You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea — God bless, keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

Who’s “you”?

What’s clear is that the government takes in the form of taxes and gives back to the “next kid”. We’ll how’s that Solyndra kid looking these days?

P.S. I like the Penguin avatar.

robert_o October 7, 2011 at 2:39 am

His avatar is FDR, not The Penguin. Eerie isn’t it?

Economic Freedom October 7, 2011 at 5:04 am

you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid

That’s accomplished automatically by putting one’s business profits in a savings account or investing them. They’re “paid forward” in the form of a greater supply of loanable funds available for new businesses to hire new workers.

vidyohs October 7, 2011 at 7:28 am

The Bow, Arrow, Steam power, Spear, Rope, Canoe, Sailing ship, Fur trading, stabbing and cutting weapons, gunpowder, Tailoring, Carpentry, metal working or blacksmithing, agriculture, fishing, hunting, wheel, screw, waterwheel, saw, hammer, nails, masonry, glass, Greek Fire, candle, lantern, …………..etc.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, gets done in innovation or invention in any field without the individual creating it. Government only comes in afterward with its hand out trying to be the silent partner.

Yeah I move my goods and services over roads built under the incompetent contracting and supervision of the government, but they build those roads with my damn money not theirs.

Greg Webb October 7, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Excellent reply, Vid!

Slappy McFee October 7, 2011 at 9:01 am

The wheel was invented absent government collectivism.

Slappy McFee October 7, 2011 at 9:02 am

Damn, should have read Vidyohs first.

Slappy McFee October 7, 2011 at 9:04 am

Both the steam and internal combustion engines were invented under a minimalist state.

Fred October 7, 2011 at 9:09 am

The turbine engine, what I would argue is the single most important invention of the last two hundred years, was invented in 1899 under a minimalist state.

carlsoane October 7, 2011 at 11:44 am

Muirgeo:
Although you make your argument to justify our system of government, your argument applies equally well to justifying despotism. We have seen thousands of years of innovation under all forms of government including inventions made under terrible despotism like the inventions that came out of Soviet Russia or Ancient China.

vidyohs October 7, 2011 at 5:29 pm

And, the inventions that came out of the Soviet Union were………….(drumroll)……………….hmmmmmmm…..what were those inventions?

carlsoane October 7, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Thanks for the drum roll.

A random sample taken from the list on wikipedia here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_inventions#.C2.A0Soviet_Union
- light-emitting diode
- pressure suit
- electric propulsion
- underwater welding
- drag chutes
- Space capsules
- 3D Holography
- proton rocket
- radial keratotomy
- electron cooling
- tetris (my personal favorite)

JS October 6, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Although that was an interesting book by Sowell, it has its problems. I’ll spare going into detail regarding the weakness of his themes, but you, for one, are a good example of the contradictions in his argument. Based on our current institutions of big government, a huge portion of the population is dependent on them. Your vision of society would be a radical departure from what currently exists, and to push for your ideals ‘today’ could certainly be classified as representative of an unconstrained vision. Today, a constrained vision wouldn’t tamper much with things.

Economic Freedom October 7, 2011 at 5:43 am

Today, a constrained vision wouldn’t tamper much with things.

It sounds to me as if you don’t grasp what Sowell meant by the terms “constrained” and “unconstrained.” As used by him, the former term does not mean “status quo since Johnson’s Great Society”, and the latter does not mean “a radical return to laissez faire.”

The terms are used by Sowell to describe opposite attitudes regarding human nature and the possibility of mankind’s moral perfectibility. The “unconstrained” vision sees mankind as having no specific, fixed nature; it is not “what it is”, as a given, but “what it could be”, as a potential, realizable by means of environment — specifically, changed and “improved” social institutions of school, family, workplace, etc. Mankind is thus, potentially, infinitely improvable by means of incrementally altering and improving his social environment. Naturally, the people suggesting and implementing these changes would be highly educated elites of “experts.” According to this vision, human nature is “unconstrained” by anything except the momentary influence of specific social institutions in effect at a specific time.

Conversely, the “constrained” vision sees human nature as a given; it is as fixed as the physical nature of any chemical element. Put in traditional culturally religious terms: man is a fallen creature, capable of freely choosing good or evil, and such choice cannot be automatized by environment toward only the good. We can try to educate specific subjects in a better way — reading, writing, arithmetic — and we can illustrate sound moral judgments by way of example (that used to be the purpose of reading biographies), but we cannot actually make a person “better”. Smarter? Yes. Better and more moral? No. This vision, therefore, sees mankind’s moral nature as “constrained” by metaphysics: man is what he is, just as iron is what it is, and no change in any of his institutions can alter that. The upshot of this vision is that highly educated elites of “experts” who attempt to steer institutions toward the task of bettering humanity are, at best, useless; at worst, dangerous. The direction and ultimate purposes of institutions like school, family, workplace, etc., are best left to those agents who directly participate in them, and who would bring to bear on these judgments lots of concrete, implicit (i.e., unarticulated), local knowledge of specific conditions, attitudes, backgrounds, and cultures.

Thus, by Sowell’s use of these terms, it is the political left and its unconstrained vision of moral perfectibility that has tampered with people’s cherished local institutions for many decades, and not the constrained vision of the classical liberals.

Jim October 7, 2011 at 6:54 am

I appreciate your comments on this website.

One of the frustrating emphases of Progressives is their inconsistent and subjective emphasis on nature vs. nurture. Either one is situationally subverted in order to maximize societal interference and minimize responsibility.

As example, I am not religious, but despite all the psychological terms (which are inconsistently diagnosed and prescribed all the time), some people are just plain evil. And i still believe that remains the most accurate term. IOW, social engineers (which extends to virtually all social sciences) have too much control in relation to how much they think they know. This is the lead pencil parable argument, or the Hayek argument, or the implied argument of complexity.

But let us assume we really could engineer ‘success.’ Shouldn’t the moral answer be a resounding ‘no?’ Meddling (like the Fed or stimulus or prolonged welfare) is immoral; it subverts actualization and choice.

So social engineers are wrong twice; they are both immoral and presumptuous.

jjoxman October 6, 2011 at 2:09 pm

What Galbraith thought corporations could do through advertising is actually what the state (I will not call it government!) does through its “programs.”

Welfare to help those in need becomes pernicious and people rely on it and pass that reliance on down through generations, to take one example.

The state is a parasite that needs society’s acquiescence to survive. How best to obtain such passivity than to bamboozle society into thinking that society needs the state? This is done through state monopoly of services that society does want (but need not be provided by the state) such as police, education, and utilities.

Over time, because the state has imposed its will on society through its monopoly on force, people become dependent on the state. Dependence on the state leads to a reduction in personal responsibility and work ethic and the very important virtues (see McCloskey, for God’s sake and your own) that lead to real human development. Society becomes a limp version of itself, that allows the state to carry on with its looting.

If people are now bovine in nature, and many are, it is because of the state. A reduction in the state’s interference will at first be painful, but it will over time unlock those powers of human development that we all possess. Then we can to build wealth again, in all its forms, instead of running on this treadmill the state has imposed on us.

Darren October 6, 2011 at 6:50 pm

What Galbraith thought corporations could do through advertising is actually what the state (I will not call it government!) does through its “programs.”

Government is just one huge corporation that doesn’t have the limitation of competition.

mcwop October 6, 2011 at 2:16 pm

What Elizabeth Warren neglects to mention are all the instances where government blocks economic activity. Sure we use roads financed by the gas tax. But, the government prevents the building of refineries, pipelines, blocks broadband spectrum, blocks proliferation of fiber optic broadband in Baltimore, provides inadequate rail services such as Amtrak.

Prevents me from defending myself on the streets of Baltimore (cannot carry a gun legally in MD), because of the ineffective police force and judiciary keeps violent criminals on the street (guy was shot in front of my house this morning while I walked my dog (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-shootings-20111006,0,7911491.story).

The government spends $1 trillion on the military, and goes on massive military excursions which waste resources, and kill countless people. The government gives money to politically favored pet projects like ethanol or solar rather than use pigovian taxes, and let the market pick the best course of action.

I could go on-and-on.

Jim October 7, 2011 at 7:01 am

I saw that soon after surrounding states allowed gun carry laws and their crime rates went down, Maryland’s crime rate rose. Criminals ain’t necessarily totally stupid.

And yes, I understand that correlation does not mean causality, but like the continuing decline in crime rates even while more people are destitute, it is interesting that the correlation is opposite of all Progressive memes of class warfare and violence.

Observer October 6, 2011 at 2:19 pm

if anyone should recognize a strawman it ought to be Will

Warren’s comments, appropriately, was that we all use public resources and should pay our fair share for them

Odd how people at one time provided their own police, education, and utilities and released doing such doesn’t work—we would never want to learn from the experience of others

vikingvista October 6, 2011 at 2:23 pm

“pay our fair share”

Since I don’t want them, my fair share is zero. Where do I go to get my money back?

muirgeo October 6, 2011 at 9:15 pm

vv said,

“”Since I don’t want them, my fair share is zero. Where do I go to get my money back?”

The place to go to get your money back requires you use a public road. So you can’t go there… you don’t get use the resources unless you pay. So sit in your silly house and rot… and start digging a ditch in the back yard because you can no longer use the sewer system.

vikingvista October 6, 2011 at 10:51 pm

“The place to go to get your money back requires you use a public road. So you can’t go there…”

So, in addition to the thugs stealing my property to co-opt useful services, they have fenced me in? Sounds like they aren’t the types interested in restitution or any other notion of justice.

Well, tell you what, since it is all stolen loot anyway, and none of it my choice or the choice of any of the rightful owners, I’m going to go ahead and use those roads. I’m not about to die in protest of their malicious monopolization of roads, sewers, or anything else.

They don’t care what I think about my property, so I sure as hell don’t care what they think about the property they’ve commandeered into their control.

cmprostreet October 7, 2011 at 8:54 am

“you don’t get [to] use the resources unless you pay. ”

So you advocate ending all welfare programs, and telling the poor to fend for themselves and stop expecting public support they don’t pay for?

Or, I suspect, do you mean that people of whom you approve may use any resources, while those of whom you disapprove must pay for both their own resources and those used by others?

Fred October 6, 2011 at 2:25 pm

As long as someone has more than someone else it will be argued that it is because they have not paid their “fair share”.

I suppose we will know that “the rich” have paid their “fair share” when they are no longer rich.

Ken October 6, 2011 at 2:33 pm

O,

“we all use public resources and should pay our fair share for them”

Factory builders and entrepreneurs pay more than their fair share of taxes. And yes at one time, the private sector provided education and utilities, which worked much better than the government that took them over.

Regards,
Ken

jjoxman October 6, 2011 at 2:54 pm

First, what is a public resource? Define it.

Second, if we are going to pay our fair share for the use of resources, then shouldn’t the poor pay the most? After all, they benefit the most from welfare, public housing, subsidized medical care, food stamps, etc. Rich people, apart from those who obtained their wealth through political entrepreneurship, have created more wealth than they have actually obtained. Therefore, by a ‘fair share’ standard, rich people should get payments from the state!

No, progressives don’t want people to pay the fair share. They want an unfair share, and that’s precisely the problem.

Finally, “Odd how people at one time provided their own police, education, and utilities and released doing such doesn’t work—we would never want to learn from the experience of others”

Is this English? Don’t drink & type. Must be a statist thing….

Anotherphil October 6, 2011 at 3:25 pm

First, what is a public resource? Define it.

Muirbot/Obserbot can’t define it. There are no “public resources”, there are “public goods” and since it’s throwing terminology around without understanding it, it erred enough to show its ignorance.

Of course, for “public goods”, the meaning has nothing to do with what the left might think it is, i.e., something that they find indispensible but not indispensible enough to ask people to pay for when they use it. Don’t even think about asking it to define “nonrivalrous”.

Hence, contraceptives are not a “public good”. However the left considers their use indispensible (its actually more like a religious rite to them) so they will make you pay through “insurance”.

Ken October 6, 2011 at 5:05 pm

In this solitary instance, I rise on behalf of the defense to note that the one probably intended to type “realized” instead of released — autocomplete/autospell is not always one’s friend (I keep reminding my students).

As for the rest of the comment: Fair share depends, in the Nation of Men they have succeeded, at least in part, in creating. Paraphrasing Seth a few days ago: Those Elizabeth Warren envies pay through the nose, until it hurts. Those willing to vote Elizabeth Warren an iron rice bowl at the expense of those she envies get a break.

Sooner or later, though, “Make the rich pay!” becomes “Do it to Julia!”

jjoxman October 6, 2011 at 7:40 pm

That makes more sense. I mean, at least it’s English.

But, it now is an empirical claim that requires substantiation.

Sam Grove October 6, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Warren’s comments, appropriately, was that we all use public resources and should pay our fair share for them

The market does a much better job of that than does government, but if government insists upon providing such things, then it should charge usage fees so as to incorporate pricing which is essential to efficient allocation of resources and consumption of same.

kyle8 October 6, 2011 at 5:28 pm

and what part of public spending do you like the most? The spending on three undeclared wars? the spending on the war on drugs that gave us the BATF and fast and furious? How about ethanol and other subsidies, you like that? Do all subsidies going to big agribusiness float your boat? How about the bail outs of big unions or big financial institutions? Or all the welfare and food stamp payments that are going to criminals and illegal aliens? You like the cost of welfare fraud? How about military procurement fraud? How about $16 cinnamon rolls, $53 hammers, and $250 toilet seats? Cash for clunkers? that worked out well didn’t it/ and Solyndra, guess you loved that.

Darren October 6, 2011 at 6:53 pm

The collectivist agenda is antithetical to America’s premise, which is: Government — including such public goods as roads, schools and police — is instituted to facilitate individual striving, a.k.a. the pursuit of happiness. The fact that collective choices facilitate this striving does not compel the conclusion that the collectivity (Warren’s “the rest of us”) is entitled to take as much as it pleases of the results of the striving.

Randy October 6, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Warren and her ilk are not society. Nor do they represent society. They merely claim to represent society. And the claim is a rationalization for theft.

Anotherphil October 6, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Correct. Warren and her ilk are parasites.

EG October 6, 2011 at 2:33 pm

While Will does a good job at what he does, I’m not sure he has “responded” to Warren’s ridiculous claim.

What he should have said (and what economists should be saying, instead of getting into moral arguments of what gov. is and ought to be etc)…is that yes, the entrepreneur/corporation/firm etc benefited from the public roads etc. BUT…so did all of their customers. That means everyone in society. The “firm” didn’t “benefit” more than its consumers. It doesn’t make sense to say the “firm” should pay more for those services, because that only means…everyone…will pay more for those services.

All she is essentially asking is: give more money to government. It doesn’t matter if it comes out of the “businesses”. In the end, everyone is paying for it.

Observer October 6, 2011 at 3:24 pm

the ultimate end of your logic is that only firms should pay taxes, which will be passed on only to the firms customers, since we (the public) are not customers of every firm.

best argument I have seen yet for taxing only the rich—doesn’t hurt them, they can pass it on to their customers who ought to pay the tax

Anotherphil October 6, 2011 at 3:28 pm

they can pass it on to their customers who ought to pay the tax

Then why not have the government tax them directly? Oh that would direct resentment where it belongs, intead of at the third party conscripted to do the state’s dirty work.

Seth October 6, 2011 at 4:30 pm

All taxes come from individuals. Firms are just groups of individuals and the income on which they pay taxes comes from other groups of individuals.

EG October 6, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Its not an argument for doing it. But thats the end result of “taxing the rich”. Thats an argument for not taxing corporations at all, or “the rich” to some other %.

My argument is that the only “fair” tax to pay for a public good, would be a flat one, since ultimately everyone benefits (you may not benefit from a particular business, or every business, but you benefit from some business). This of course assuming the structure of this “public service” remains as it is today (ie funded from taxpayers). But thats another argument.

I was addressing her claim that “businesses” somehow are the only ones who gain, at the expense of something paid for by “other people”. Thats what makes no sense. And that is the point of contention that those on the “left” always make; someone gains at the expense of someone losing.

Now, economists ought to be out there explaining why this isn’t the case (and do so without necessarily getting into moral arguments, because ultimately its not a moral argument).

Observer October 6, 2011 at 6:53 pm

since ultimately everyone benefits . . .

you just want some “the rich” to benefit more than others

Observer October 7, 2011 at 10:05 am

but you benefit from some business

may I count you among the supporters of Obamacare, since this is its underlying premise: everyone benefits from the availability of health care

Dan H October 7, 2011 at 10:07 am

No… because by distorting the market, my health care premiums have gone up because you’ve forced my provider to accept people into my pool who use WAY more health care than I do.

mcwop October 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm

If a firm trucks lots of goods, then they pay their fair share. Trucks use fuel that is taxed. Our road system is financed by gas taxes primarily. If you use sewer, or water you often get a bill for that too, and the more you use the more you pay, etc….. The problem with our tax system is it is based on income. Base it on fees for service, then people tend to become better watchdogs, and prices will better reflect the cost of things.

mcwop October 6, 2011 at 3:12 pm

I should qualify that gas taxes, vehicle taxes, and tolls cover 70+% of road costs.

muirgeo October 6, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Will calls her a pyromaniac in a field of straw men then goes on to his very next paragraph to say, ” Such an agenda’s premise is that individualism is a chimera, that any individual’s achievements should be considered entirely derivative from society, so the achievements need not be treated as belonging to the individual.”

That’s not what she or liberals claim at all. Mr. Will built more then one huge straw men in his piece and he’s shooting off a flame thrower.

mcwop October 6, 2011 at 3:01 pm

You did not read the article carefully:

Will writes:
“She refutes propositions no one asserts. Everyone knows that all striving occurs in a social context, so all attainments are conditioned by their context. This does not, however, entail a collectivist political agenda.”

muirgeo October 6, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Well he is wrong because the roads amd such are collectively paid for. He is the one making the statement that sounds like ALL efforts have NO input from public resources and HE is clearly wrong.

We have a mixed econo y…it always has been and always weill be. He has a vision unconnected to any reality. Warren is right… no one succeeded without some significant use of the collective… NO ONE… That’s simply a fact Willster is willing to forgoe.

Sam Grove October 7, 2011 at 12:25 am

Society and the market ARE collective terms referring to spontaneous cooperative AND VOLUNTARY human action.

Why do you advocate for the fascist state to supplant the above?

dsylexic October 7, 2011 at 1:47 am

you use the road probably far more than the rich billionaire who prefers to use his jet. YOU should pay more for the road.his fair share is lesser than yours

Ken October 6, 2011 at 3:35 pm

muirgeo,

The straw man is that libertarians and free market supporters seem to think that an individual built a factory all by himself. Of course, no such thing occurred. The owner of the factory cooperated with thousands of other directly and probably millions of other indirectly. The implication by you and Warren is that the result of these voluntary exchanges need to be undone by the force of the state because you and Warren don’t like the outcome or the “wrong” people got rich. Markets are the most democratic system on the face of the planet, yet you and Warren insist that these democratic exchanges are somehow bad.

The straw man that you and Warren erect is that many of the things governments do today can only be done by the government and everyone you and Warren don’t like should keep funding these projects. The reality is vastly different. Many of the things government does should be and has been done, and better, by the private sector.

As someone eloquently put it, is that your and Warren’s position is equivalent to your neighbor mowing your grass, then claiming that only he is capable, while you are incapable, of cutting your grass, then him forcing you to pay him to cut your grass. That situation is absurd, as even you would concede. But that situation isn’t too different from what government does.

Regards,
Ken

g-dub October 6, 2011 at 5:17 pm

The straw man is that libertarians and free market supporters seem to think that an individual built a factory all by himself.

There is a prevalent idea that libertarians are “rugged individulists” that one somehow goes out and drags home the 16 point buck on their own, with no need for interchange. I point out (to collectivists) that libertarian minded people are the most free trading, thus highly socially integrated, and in a certain sense dependent upon others and division of labor. I don’t think collectivists understand the drive to integration of free traders.

Randy October 6, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Yep. Globally interconnected, and well aware of it.

vikingvista October 6, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Somehow one or a few people forcing their wills upon everyone else is the socially conscious path to common goals, but millions of people voluntarily cooperating to further each of their own interests is not.

Ken October 6, 2011 at 6:51 pm

VV,

Did you not get the memo? Didn’t you know that the “entire premise “voluntary” “exchange” is a false one”? Or at least according to Observer. Not really sure what he’s “observing”.

Regards,
Ken

vikingvista October 6, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Ken,

Apparently I’m not on their mailing list. I seem to have been left out of the loop on a lot of their reezining.

Darren October 6, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Many things, even if there are legitimate reason for government to handle then rather (or in addition to) private enterprise, should be done at a more local level of government. One of the problems is not that government does these things, but that a hightly centralized and less accountable government does them.

Invisible Backhand October 6, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Markets are the most democratic system on the face of the planet

So instead of “one man, one vote” it becomes “one dollar, one vote” and the billionaire gets a lot more votes. Sounds fair.

Many of the things government does should be and has been done, and better, by the private sector.

Ergo, since the private sector keeps fucking up the economy…

Ken October 6, 2011 at 10:09 pm

“So instead of “one man, one vote” it becomes “one dollar, one vote” and the billionaire gets a lot more votes. Sounds fair. ”

Buying (voting for) a Coke doesn’t prevent others from buying (voting for) a Pepsi, nor does it force anyone else to buy a Coke. Additionally, in a free market if you have a dollar, it’s because you created a dollars worth of wealth. If you have a billion dollars, it’s because you created a billion dollars worth of wealth.

In a political system, voting for a social security system forces those that don’t want it to pay for it and receive whatever is left over after the political orgy of money grabbing occurs. The whole idea of politics is to force people to do act in a certain way, which is determined by whomever happens to have political power at the time and by useful idiots (e.g., you) who willfully hand over liberty because you love the idea of being a slave being unable to stand on your own two feet.

“Ergo, since the private sector keeps fucking up the economy”

Wrong. The government sees private sectors being very successful at things, just doesn’t like the way those sectors are successful. Using that logic, it takes them over and screws up royally.

The government got involved in providing public education due to the success of private Catholic schools. Well non-Catholics couldn’t have that, so they instituted laws to homogenize “education”. Ergo, we’re left with emotional midgets calling themselves teachers sucking at the tit of government without teaching children anything.

The government got involved in utilities during the Great Depression because it might not provide service to rural areas. Harold Ickes decided he didn’t like the electrification of the country by private entities, so took them over. The TVA is one of the greatest public works failures of government. Now the US is stuck with an antiquated electric grid and unresponsive power suppliers because those power suppliers are public/private, if not 100% public, entities.

In other words, the private sector does something well, providing a product or service that people enjoy and find useful. Then so they can claim credit, politicians and bureaucrats get involved, destroy the industry, then point the finger at everyone else. Prime examples are finance and housing.

Regards,
Ken

Ken October 6, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Other primes examples of privates successes screwed up by government intrusion are utilities and education.

Regards,
Ken

Methinks1776 October 6, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Nicely done, sir. Irritable Bowel won’t understand a word of it. You lost him at my buying a coke doesn’t prevent you from buying a pepsi.

Invisible Backhand October 6, 2011 at 10:26 pm
Ken October 6, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Methinks,

As is evidenced by his very next comment. Evidently, imgur is the repository of economic data for IB.

Regards,
Ken

Invisible Backhand October 7, 2011 at 9:53 am

@methinks1776

Hardly. Just the usual subject changing and non sequiturs

@RegardsKen

The private sector screwed up public utilities in the california electricity crisis. Ever heard of Enron?

Ken October 7, 2011 at 11:18 am

IB,

“The private sector screwed up public utilities in the california electricity crisis. Ever heard of Enron?”

I have heard of Enron. I also know that this is yet again a prime example of government failure. Are familiar at all with the rules and regulations surrounding the production and sale of power in California? Did you know that regardless of what it cost to produce and distribute power, the consumer price could only change with government approval.

Enron was involved in many markets outside of California, so if Enron were the problem, all these other markets would have failed just as badly as they did in California. They didn’t though. That’s because the California power market is an unholy Frankenstein monster composed of pubic/private “partnerships”.

Don’t forget that California is STILL subject to regular brown outs and rolling black outs. I’m sure you will, though. You never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

Regards,
Ken

Invisible Backhand October 7, 2011 at 11:32 am

You are not one of the smartest guys in the room.

“California had an installed generating capacity of 45GW, but at the time of the blackouts demand was 28GW. A demand supply gap was created by energy companies, mainly Enron, to create an artificial shortage.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_electricity_crisis

Ken October 7, 2011 at 1:41 pm
Ken October 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Edit:

“By keeping the consumer price of electricity artificially low, the California government discouraged citizens from practicing conservation. In February 2001, California governor Gray Davis stated, “Believe me, if I wanted to raise rates I could have solved this problem in 20 minutes.”[15]

Energy price regulation incentivized suppliers to ration their electricity supply rather than expand production. The resulting scarcity created opportunities for market manipulation by energy speculators.” Guess that was too far down the page.

So to sum up, government regulations distorted markets that short circuited prices because they didn’t reflect demand or supply, but government price controls. And despite this, IB, still insists on saying it was the private sector, not the government who created the problem.

Regards,
Ken

Invisible Backhand October 7, 2011 at 2:46 pm

It’s breathtaking how dishonest you are–skipping over the 22 instances of “deregulation” on that page for instance.

Good luck selling the poor innocent Enron story. Did you know Poland attacked Germany first?

Ken October 7, 2011 at 2:58 pm

IB,

I’m not claiming Enron is innocent. I’m (correctly) claiming that the California government enacted stupid power regulations allowing for serious gaming. The writers of the rules that got gamed are California politicians and bureaucrats. The games played by Enron could never have been played in a free market.

The “deregulations” weren’t deregulations either, they were simply rule changes. Stripping one rule and adding another isn’t “deregulation”.

The fault of the power sector failures in California lay at the feet of corrupt California government.

Regards,
Ken

Sam Grove October 7, 2011 at 12:27 am

Ergo, since the private sector keeps fucking up the economy…

Mal-interpretation.

Economic Freedom October 9, 2011 at 6:18 pm

So instead of “one man, one vote” it becomes “one dollar, one vote” and the billionaire gets a lot more votes. Sounds fair.

Huh? Under capitalism, someone — like Steve Jobs, for example — becomes a billionaire in the first place because billions of others who only have “one dollar, one vote” made him one. So, yes, it IS fair. Had consumers not thought so, they wouldn’t have bought his products.

You’re just dumber than a bag of rocks.

JL October 6, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Our taxes already paid for the roads, schools, etc. What more is demanded? Is she demanding that we are obliged to some future subservience because our our past payments?

muirgeo October 6, 2011 at 2:57 pm

You might have missed the $14 trillion dollar debt thingy… that money went to some one… some one needs to pay it.

Ken October 6, 2011 at 3:01 pm

muirgeo,

$5T of that $14T went to Obama’s crony friends. They colluded with Obama and congressional democrats to strip that money from American citizens and lined their own pockets. Saying that “some one needs to pay it” as if to imply the American taxpayers should just shut up and pay it only shows what a useful idiot you are.

Regards,
Ken

Anotherphil October 6, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Muirbot is far more idiot than useful.

Randy October 6, 2011 at 4:16 pm

That money went to politicians, and they should pay it back.

EG October 6, 2011 at 4:38 pm

??? Where did it go Muirgeo? Why did YOU spend it?

Don’t bother answering. These are purely rhetorical.

Methinks1776 October 6, 2011 at 5:04 pm

…some one needs to pay it.

You go right ahead. Nobody is stopping you. But, you won’t be able to force anyone else to do it.

muirgeo October 6, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Bullshit …short of default… someone WILL pay for it…sadly my children and theirs…. but in fact I think we and the world may be on the verge of at least a social revolution. Which should be unnecassary but its in our nature. Too many greedy power mongers out there that a free system allows to be co-opted by such oppurtunist scum bags. Hopefully society will be better for it and not turn MaddMax on us. Watching JP Morgan pay off the New York police is pretty frightening though

muirgeo October 6, 2011 at 2:53 pm

BOTTOM LINE: Put Warrens message in front of ALL the INDIVIDUALS in America and stand it side by side with the libertarians message…plain and clear with NO sugar coating…. and watch what INDIVIDUALS choose.

mcwop October 6, 2011 at 2:57 pm

What the hell is her message? That we need $1 trillion in military spending to get anything done around here?

muirgeo October 6, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Her message is the very words she said.

Put it up against the clear message of the libertarian to cut all social welfare programs, to privatize our roads and our national parks….and LET INDIVIDUALS decide which they want…. IT WILL BE A MASSACRE! Don’t pretend YOU are the purveyors of what INDIVIDUALS want.

Slappy McFee October 6, 2011 at 3:39 pm

You’re right — let’s put the message up to a vote.

On social security, would you rather:

A) Get all your money back now and never pay into the system again

or

B) Continue to wait your turn

I know what the results were when gallop asked the question and Ms Warren didn’t win.

You see, it turns out people only believe in the social contract when they are receiving the benefit. Once the bill comes, they never support it.

Fred October 6, 2011 at 3:48 pm

You can’t get your money back. It’s not there.
Well, that’s not entirely true. Some of it is there in IOUs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GSXbgfKFWg

Slappy McFee October 6, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Still doesn’t negate the fact that people care more about themselves than they do about the social contract that Ms Warren and the gud duktor espouse.

Itchy October 6, 2011 at 5:11 pm

I’m 31 years old … They can keep every penny I have already contributed, just please let me out now.

vikingvista October 6, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Itchy,

I’m with you. I’m quite a bit older, but started my career late and subsequently have little savings. If I could keep the amount I pay into SS/MC, especially if tax deferred (which SS is not), it would allow me to easily catch up to my retirement goals. And if I should drop dead before retirement, it would be a nice little (big understatement) pot for my family.

Ken October 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm

I’m with Itchy, and I’m *50.*

Fred October 6, 2011 at 3:05 pm

muirgeo discovered the Caps Lock.
How cute.
Maybe next he’ll learn to use the potty.

Anotherphil October 7, 2011 at 9:16 am

We all know candy-coated crap sells-especially to the greedy grubbers like you.

mcwop October 6, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Put an increased gas tax proposal in front of INDIVIDUALS and see what happens. The proposal would be MASSACRED cause the collective you talk about won’t actually put up for the things YOU and THEY use. I don’t own a car so I do not care as much.

Jim October 7, 2011 at 7:20 am

Nothing like activity based costing to nudge (that’s the latest Progressive term, isn’t it?) the people to decide what services they actually want.

Anotherphil October 7, 2011 at 9:17 am

If “activity based costing” is the latest progressive term, its stolen from a managerial accounting fad of 20-25 years ago. Figures.

Speedmaster October 6, 2011 at 3:47 pm

>> “Warren is a pyromaniac in a field of straw men.”

LOL!!! :-)

Randy October 6, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Agreed. Classic.

david nh October 6, 2011 at 4:31 pm

For those who like Will’s article, I recommend the (very short), beautifully written “The Abolition of Man” by C.S. Lewis.

Stephan October 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Very amusing. In the good old past the intellectual conservative was a paragon for his humble understatement in judging human affairs. Something I admire. Not so today. The conservative modern plebeians must resort to bombastic language always referring to the brilliant and outstanding opinion of like-minded plebeians. People who drive a Honda because of the lack of funds to drive a nice Mercedes but heap praise on their stingy paymasters for what? For some tip. You are really losers.

Greg Gilman October 6, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Warren did not suggest, as Will claims that “individualism is a chimera, that any individual achievements should be considered entirely derivative from society.” That is a very ironic characterization from someone purportedly alert for straw men.

She said that part of the achievement derives from society and part is owed to society. Is that really so controversial?

Gordon Richens October 6, 2011 at 5:55 pm

“Is that really so controversial?”

If you believe that payment for what is owed to society is embodied in the value of the good or service provided, then yes.

Darren October 6, 2011 at 7:02 pm

He didn’t say she did.

Such an agenda’s premise is that individualism is a chimera…

Henri Hein October 7, 2011 at 2:39 am

Yes, according to Will, Warren’s agenda. So how did he not say she did?

Henri Hein October 7, 2011 at 2:38 am

Agreed, Greg. I don’t get it either.

roystgnr October 6, 2011 at 6:44 pm

In Elizabeth Warren’s defense, she has personal, first-hand evidence that a great deal of the wealth of the richest Americans came at the expense of the rest of society: she helped take it from you and give it to them.

Darren October 6, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Regarding businesses using roads to transport their products and therfore should pay more. If consumers would instead have to travel to the place of production to trade their dollars for those products, would this mean the consumers would be the ones that should be taxed more? The roads (and other transportation infrastructure) are used to bring people and products together to foster increased trade. It doesn’t reallly matter which end of the trade is transported to the other end. This helps everyone.

mlewis October 6, 2011 at 7:22 pm

George Will is a national treasure.

kyle8 October 6, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Just saw that little marxist Robert Reich on the Kudlow show talking about the various Obama spending programs and repeating the mythical “Saved or created 3 million jobs” (funny how that amount begins to creep up right?)

Why the hell doesn’t anyone call him on this crap? That level of spending is over $200,000 per job! Hardly a freakin bargain!

Winfred October 6, 2011 at 8:14 pm

George Will’s us-them anti-government rhetoric ironically illustrates a reality contrary to his conclusion.

Ultimately, it is the us-them anti-government ideology which is in fact contrary to society, the social contract, because government and society are inextricably linked, particularly when and if that society is all about self-governance. Self-governance, we the people, is the quintessential value of this American society and experiment.

Summary: George thinks conservatives take society more seriously because they are, unlike LIberals, not collectivists.

George’s Fallacies today: Redherring, Begging the Question, and affirmation from negative premises, or affirming the disjunct, depending on how you read it.

George Will wrote: “Warren’s emphatic assertion of the unremarkable — that the individual depends on cooperative behaviors by others — misses this point: It is conservatism, not liberalism, that takes society seriously.”

Once again, George puts his thesis (conservatives, not liberals, gotz social contract) at the end, after his redherring rant about liberals being commies, because he can’t support it.

The point, which George misses and seems to be trying to refute, is actually one of Warren’s premises, not her point.

Warren’s premise is that Society and Government are one and the same. And they are. Government is an inextricable component of the social contract.

This puts George in a tizzy, because he embraces the us-them anti-government ideology.

For his redherring rant, George absurdly turns reality on its head, trying to redefine and counter the general perception and reality that liberalism is far more synonymous with American individualism than the right wing classism/nationalism/religiuosity bigotry. He conflates all of liberalism with communism, that liberals are *really* the commy collectivists who want to take take take take from you and eat your babies.

His begging the question redherring bigotry aside, this is not only absolutist idiocy, but it does nothing to support his apparent premise and conclusion (also begging the question), that conservative’s gotz the social contract bestest!

The us-them anti-government rhetoric, ironically illustrates quite the opposite.

George Will said: “Warren is (as William F. Buckley described Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith) a pyromaniac in a field of straw men: She refutes propositions no one asserts.”

LOL

A strawman argument is an informal fallacy, a redherring: i.e. it changes the topic. It typically comes in the form of stating an irrelevant self-evident fact in such a manner that it appears that your opponent was arguing otherwise.

Quite clearly, Warren’s simply making her argument for the social contract, and the social contract is not irrelevant.

George Will exhibits that classic right wing problem in which they are so accustomed to their own fallacies, so accustomed to their rhetorical illegitimacy, that when someone comes a long and actually arrives at a conclusions about something with relevant premises, presents a legitimate argument about something, they think it’s somehow fallacious, because they’ve come to believe that their fallacies are legitimate.

I suppose it’s quite handy though, to believe that any argument not in harmony with your delusions is somehow fallacious, thus not requiring you to refute it.

Methinks1776 October 6, 2011 at 8:28 pm

I suppose it’s quite handy though, to believe that any argument not in harmony with your delusions is somehow fallacious, thus not requiring you to refute it.

Well, you certainly seem to find it handy.

Winfred October 6, 2011 at 8:34 pm

I actually refuted George’s argument.

I know it’s hard for you, but try to keep up!!!

Methinks1776 October 6, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Sadly, I believe you think you did. However, sixteen versions of “conservatives are wrong and bad, lefties are right and good and George is in a tizzyt” is not a refutation.

Winfred October 6, 2011 at 8:51 pm

If that’s what you need to believe so you don’t have to refute me!!

I’m sorry I pwnd your messiah, but there’s no reason to make a fool of yourself too.

Methinks1776 October 6, 2011 at 9:35 pm

George Will is not my messiah and you pwnd yourself.

There’s nothing to refute. Your “refutation” of what you call Will’s “us against them” premise is merely an aggressive assertion that it is wrong and us is them and there is a social contract (with no evidence of such). Um…okay. Sad that you think that’s a refutation, but ultimately not my problem.

Dan H October 6, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Winifred,

Actually, you lose. You see, I reject your premise of the social contract. You assumed we would accept it. We don’t. Nice try. Go back to your introductory philosophy class, and try not to unintentionally use the word “pwn” in one of your papers. How’s freshman year going by the way? I know it can be tough. The college ladies usually don’t go for the Starbucks hipster who spends more time on his iPad reading blogs than at the bars. But hang in there! You’ll find a perfectly good young lady majoring in social work that is right up your ally!

JS October 6, 2011 at 11:23 pm

There is no right or wrong. George Will can easily be refuted on everything he writes about, as can everyone who bases an argument on ethics and values.

Society is the manifestation of power, or more directly put, the outcome of human nature.

For those confused here, try this on:

Collectivism is an outcome of individualism. In every social structure, there are winners and losers, rulers and ruled, masters and slaves, etc.

All one needs to do with regards to elizabeth warren is to describe what she’s doing, and the people who she does it for will like her and those whom she hurts will dislike her. But if one wants to make an argument that what she does will lead to greater impoverishment, it is a slam dunk. Socialism, and every measure that restrains human liberty beyond the boundary described as ‘the law of equal freedom’ serves to make us collectively poorer, as well as to enrich some at the expense of others. That can’t be logically refuted. Those who disagree ignore economic logical reasoning.

George will is right about Elizabeth Warren but for the wrong reasons.

Fred October 6, 2011 at 9:24 pm

You lost me at “social contract”.

For a contract to be binding it must be entered into voluntarily, and I don’t recall signing anything when I was born. Even if I did since I was under the age of consent it wouldn’t be legal.

Sorry, but your argument is a fallacy since it is based upon false premises.

Thank you for playing.

Please come again.

Winfred October 6, 2011 at 9:29 pm

“Sorry, but your argument is a fallacy since it is based upon false premises.”

See if you can discuss things like a normal/sane adult.

Support your indictment

Fred October 6, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Your “social contract” is invalid because it was not entered into by any voluntary action.

I can not be bound by a contract that is imposed under duress.

Your entire argument is based upon the premise of a “social contract”, a false premise, which makes your argument a fallacy.

Your implication that I am not “a normal/sane adult” does not refute my argument. Rather it falls into the fallacy known as an ad-hominem argument, or an argument against the person.

Thank you for playing.

Please come again.

Winfred October 6, 2011 at 9:38 pm

George Will’s argument invokes the social contract.

Are you saying it doesn’t exist?

Winfred October 6, 2011 at 9:45 pm

George says:

“This [government getting out of the way] is a sensible, dynamic, prosperous society’s “underlying social contract.”

Yet social contract is the defined as the relationship between individuals and their government.

You have to deny that government, and/or individuals, exist if you insist there is no such thing as a social contract.

Methinks1776 October 6, 2011 at 9:58 pm

If you define the social contract as the contract between government and the governed and view the constitution as an operating agreement of sorts, then Will is disagreeing with Warren’s understanding of this “social contract”.

It’s clear that the relationship between government and the governed is not what Warren meant by “social contract”. Will makes his case. You do not refute any of the substance of his argument. Instead you rant about commies and eating babies.

Winfred October 6, 2011 at 11:16 pm

MeThinks mindlessly babbed: “If you define the social contract as the contract between government and the governed and view the constitution as an operating agreement of sorts, then Will is disagreeing with Warren’s understanding of this “social contract”.”

LOL

You not only have no clue what I wrote, but apparently don’t even know what George Will was talking about.

Like I said before… there’s really no need for you to continue to make a fool of yourself.

;-)

George Will call’s Warren’s argument a strawman, unequivocally saying that he thinks her point is a fact which nobody is refuting. Then he says it a second time, calling her point an “unremarkable assertion”.

I’ll repeat that… George Will IS AGREEING with Warren’s no-man-is-an-island point.

Try to keep up!!

Allow me to summarize, again, what Will’s argument is… if you’d read what you’re messiah wrote, you’d know that he states his thesis, or conclusion, very clearly towards the end.

MeThinks went on to further blither: “Will makes his case.”

LOL

I will, once again, explain to you what your messiah is saying, and, again, refute it…. not that I expect somebody of your dishonest and juvenile caliber to do the normal/sane/adult thing and acknowledge what I’ve said.

George Will wrote: “It is conservatism [sic individualism], not liberalism [sic collectivism], that takes society seriously.”

George makes the case with a lengthy redherring argument (that liberals are *really* collectivists), and uses this to arrive at the conclusion that conservatives are the ones that more genuinely embrace the concept of society (Affirming the disjunct, or affirmation from negative premises).

There simply is no universal rule in which individualism = best for society and collectivism = bad for society

If there is any universal rule, it is that society is inherently collectivism.

Get a clue!

Dan H October 6, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Saying society is “inherently collective” is not a justification for “collectivist government”.

We may be inherently collective in the sense that we realize it is in our rational self-interest to trade our best talents with he best talents of other people. But that is voluntary association, not the forced collectivism that is modern progressive governance.

Dan H October 6, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Also, saying “society” is inherently collectivist is, umm, redundant, because a “society” is by definition a GROUP of people who associate with each other.

Is the individual inherently a collectivist? I know I’m not. My associations with people are solely for mutual benefit. If i derive no benefit from someone, I do not associate from them. I do not collectivize in groups of people for the sake of being in a group of people. I’m completely comfortable alone. Instead, I discriminate thoroughly on the types of people I associate (read “collectivize”) with.

Winfred October 6, 2011 at 9:30 pm

See if you can discuss things like a normal/sane adult.

Support your indictment

Winfred October 6, 2011 at 9:51 pm

“For a contract to be binding it must be entered into voluntarily, and I don’t recall signing anything when I was born. Even if I did since I was under the age of consent it wouldn’t be legal.”

So you’re admitting that you have no allegiance to America or our society.

Are you trying to illustrate why George Will is wrong when he says conservatives take society more seriously?

You’re doing a great job refuting George for me.

Thanks

Anotherphil October 7, 2011 at 9:21 am

Winbot:

That was indeed a windy harangue of insufferable proportions. (to appropriate a phrase I heard last night). Next time try coherence rather than length.

Winfred October 6, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Society is inherently collective.

It’s amusingly absurd to see someone make the case that collectivism is somehow contrary to the social contract.

kyle8 October 6, 2011 at 11:01 pm

no collectivism is all too much a part of human nature, the part that wants to control and demand of others. Freedom, on the other hand is sometimes a more difficult concept to grasp. But you should try.

Winfred October 6, 2011 at 11:23 pm

So society isn’t part of human nature?

LOL

You, like Will, are simply engaged in the fallacy of affirming the disjunct… yet again.

Bravo!!!

vikingvista October 7, 2011 at 2:06 am

“Society is inherently collective.”

So is a bag of marbles. Don’t you know what collectivISM means?

Winfred October 6, 2011 at 9:06 pm

When we look at the cognitive science, what we find is that conservatives are in fact far more inherently collective than liberals. Not only is it obvious in the fact that desire to maintain the status quo and resist change, but when polled regarding the four moral pillars, liberals and conservatives diverge significantly.

Conservatives, unlike liberals, significantly value respect of authority.

Does that sound like individualism… or sheep?

SweetLiberty October 6, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Here’s your homework assignment: Please define the difference between Conservative and Libertarian.

Here’s some hints.

1) Libertarians are NOT for the current status quo.
2) Libertarians want DRAMATIC change from the way government is now.
3) Libertarians respect most the authority of the INDIVIDUAL.

Does that sound like Conservative to you… or are you a sheep that still needs more help?

Fred October 6, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Wilfred has been taught that if you’re not a liberal then you are a conservative.

People who are adept at being taught things tend not to be good at learning things.

You are asking him to learn. I believe it is a venture doomed to failure.

Winfred October 6, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Why?

wel… Sure…

libertarians are virtual anarchists.

Conservatives are blue dog prolife democrats.

What’s your point?

vikingvista October 7, 2011 at 3:25 am

“libertarians are virtual anarchists.”

I wish.

Methinks1776 October 6, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Conservatives, unlike liberals, significantly value respect of authority.

Yeah, conservatives value and respect authority, but since when do liberals not value and respect authority? They’re always clamouring for an authoritarian state to force social and economic outcomes. Maybe they’re just too stupid to understand that’s what they’re doing. That must be it.

Winfred October 6, 2011 at 9:47 pm

What’s your point:

Sixteen versions of “liberals are wrong and bad, right wingers are right and good is not a refutation?

;-)

Greg Webb October 8, 2011 at 1:06 am

Winfred, there are not sixteen versions of liberals. There is only one – stupid.

muirgeo October 6, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Yeah… we are clamouring for an authoratarian state… we just love the authoratarians…. JHC…shut up and just check my spelling….. thanks

kyle8 October 6, 2011 at 11:04 pm

well uh actually yes that is the case, you are just too stupid to see that all of your actions lead inexorably to a lack of freedom and an increase in government control of the individual.

Fred October 7, 2011 at 9:06 am

we are clamouring for an authoratarian state…

Uh, yeah. You are.
If something exists then you want some set of rules imposed and enforced by a governmental authority.
A democratically selected authority is still an authority, for it imposes it’s will through force.
You want there to be an authority over everything, hence you want an authoritarian state.

SweetLiberty October 7, 2011 at 9:19 am

Sarcastically implying that you and other liberals are anti-authoritarian is like a fish stating it is anti-water. And check your own spelling, dumbass.

Ken October 8, 2011 at 1:02 am

Of course you’re clamoring for an authoritarian state. Tell me, do you support the freedom to produce and sell 100W light bulbs (soon to be illegal)? How about buy a Cuban cigar (illegal)? How about buying marijuana (illegal)? How about being able to smoke in a public restaurant (illegal in most states)? Do Americans have the right to drink milk from a cow that you own and milk (judge ruled no)?

Regards,
Ken

JS October 6, 2011 at 11:35 pm

Your sophistry amuses me.

Liberals live for authority. They use government to steal property. That sums up their ideology.

The religious right, who are the conservatives you are referring to as respecting authority, aren’t the ones arguimg with you here. The economic conservatives aren’t conservative in the sense that your describing–resisting change, etc. Again, your sophistry amuses me.

I hope this isn’t your best effort.

Winfred October 7, 2011 at 12:05 am

“The religious right, who are the conservatives you are referring to as respecting authority, aren’t the ones arguimg with you here.”

I never said they were. I hardly think you’re a blue dog prolife democrat.

You’re the right wing bearded lady freak show. An amalgam of psychotic paranoid delusions, cavalier cognitive dissonance, pious willful ignorance, and abject stupidity, brought to us by the republican brainwashing propaganda machine, appealing to lowest common denominators: fear, hate, ignorance.

You have no political principles or realistic and pragmatic visions.

You all are quite literally, and simply, the bottom of the political barrel… the dregs of humanity…

The modern era’s Brown Shirts, evoked to outrage, and whipped into one crazed frenzy after another.

Your traitors… you simply don’t believe in a strong and united states. You want to drown it in a bath tub and let the states go their own ways.

I wouldn’t call conservative, christian, liberal…

You’re simply pathetic and disgusting.

You people illustrate how in need of reform our education, media, and mental health care systems are.

Methinks1776 October 7, 2011 at 1:14 am

LOL!!!!!!

The visual image of your idiotic angry spew is of a chihuahua going nuts.

You know, I’m from a collective known as the USSR. I know way more about collectives that you, son.

I do hope that one day you get what you want and you get it good and hard. Really. You deserve it, pup.

vikingvista October 7, 2011 at 3:31 am

How can this be an interesting way for him to spend his time? One rant maybe. A few clever insults, I can see. But he’s a cornucopia of thoughtless rage. Maybe something tragic is happening in his private life and we are witnessing some sort of breakdown.

Methinks1776 October 7, 2011 at 7:21 am

I don’t know. The real question is whether it’s worth my time reading it. But, even skimming a smattering of his “output”, he is hilarious.

The real face of a bleeding heart liberal.

Observer October 6, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Will writes, “It is conservatism, not liberalism, that takes society seriously.”

Since 1975, with horrible consequences to society, the top 1% share of national income has risen from 9% to 25%.

Forget taxes. If conservatives take society seriously, what are they willing to do to correct this very unhealthy situation for society?

For example, are conservatives willing to support any step or action that will increase the leverage of 99% of Americans whose income has stagnated in the last 30 years?

Winfred October 6, 2011 at 10:22 pm

They don’t believe income inequality and us becoming a banana republic is a problem. They think it’s actually a virtuous moral imperative.

kyle8 October 6, 2011 at 11:07 pm

No I don’t like the banana republic part which is why I oppose Mr Obama, his party and their union thuggery and crony capitalism.

Winfred October 6, 2011 at 11:26 pm

LOL
Unions and crony capitlism in the same sentence. I think I’m going to keep that one for the wall of right wing shame.

Are you actually admitting, though, that income inequality is a bad thing?

Ken October 7, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Is ability heterogeneously distributed in a population?

Dan H October 6, 2011 at 11:27 pm

Winifred,

Umm, why do you think GM got a bailout?

Because unions also engage in crony capitalism.

Winfred October 6, 2011 at 11:33 pm

“Because unions also engage in crony capitalism.”

LOL

I’m guessing you’re not going to support this latest redherring idiocy either.

But giving you the benefit of the doubt… do you have an example of these union bosses being buddies with politicians and getting appointed to government offices?

I

Dan H October 6, 2011 at 11:38 pm

I’m not even going to respond to that because the examples are endless.

I see a bunch of phrases like “red herring”, “straw man”, “social contract”, “pwn”, and “LOL”…. seriously though, how is freshman philosophy class treating you? Made it all the way through your first rhetoric book, did ya? Congrats!

Winfred October 6, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Dan cowardly declared:”I’m not even going to respond to that because the examples are endless”

That’s what I thought.

Why even try to support your moronic delusions on the off chance you might learn that their just your moronic delusions…

But just so you know… us normal/sane people call your sort of idiocy ‘talking out of your @ss”

SweetLiberty October 7, 2011 at 9:33 am

do you have an example of these union bosses being buddies with politicians and getting appointed to government offices?

John Lund
William Boarman
Andy Stern

Crawl back into your delusional @sshole Winfred.

Dan H October 6, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Keep telling me what I think! You’re so omniscient!

Perceived omniscience… the arrogance of all statists.

Winfred October 6, 2011 at 11:31 pm

“Keep telling me what I think”

I suppose that’s a departure from your puppet masters, like George Will, telling you what to think.

Seriously… I’ve never seen the right wing psychotic stupids ever actually do any critical thinking.

And there are no shortage of examples here, one unsupported and delusional assertion after another.

But what I really want to know is why you all engage in your infinite regress of redherring inanity, piling on one stupid unsupported notion after another when the previous one is challenged and questioned.

Why such cowards?

It’s like you seem to know, in the backs of your lil’ minds, or have grown quite accustomed to the fact that you’re probably wrong.

Dan H October 6, 2011 at 11:34 pm

You want a drill in critical thinking, champ? Ok.

True or False: In the aggregate, production MUST come before consumption.

You answer, and we’ll go from there.

Winfred October 6, 2011 at 11:47 pm

No. I don’t want to drill in critical thinking.

I understand that I can’t fix your stupid.

But you’re welcome to examine how I have conducted myself for an example of how us normal/sane/ reasonable adults discus things with each other:

I’ve acknowledge George Will’s argument, quoting him, directly so there is no misrepresentation of what he has said.

I identify his conclusion, and his premises.

I’ve explained that his premises are not self-evident, universal, or verifiable facts, but in fact quite contrary to reality.

Irregardless of the validity of premises, they don’t even support or arrive at his conclusion.

Now… see if one of you bearded lady freak shows can support your fallacious brainwasher’s argument with something approaching a modicum of reason.

Best of luck with that!

Dan H October 6, 2011 at 11:57 pm

I’m not debating anything about Will… frankly I could care less what the guy says. He doesn’t think for me. I agree with a lot of his stuff, but he doesn’t think for me.

So… how’s you like my “critical thinking” trap? You lost. Just like everything else in your life. You lost. Actually, you refused to participate. You were afraid of the risk. You were afraid to fail. I know you’re type. That’s why you’re not a billionaire like Steve Jobs was: you’re afraid of risk. You’re probably somewhat smart, probably creative. But you have no confidence in yourself. You’re too afraid to fail, and furthermore you’re afraid that a single failure would define you. Instead of conquering your fear by crawling out of your mom’s basement and trying to make something of yourself, you try to rationalize your view that it’s ok to take from those that make something of themselves by taking risks. I pity you. I really do.

Ken October 7, 2011 at 5:29 pm

“But you’re welcome to examine how I have conducted myself…”

A cubic meter of cant and name-calling, just for starters. Another Internet tough…whatever you are.

kyle8 October 6, 2011 at 11:05 pm

What horrible consequences are those? Every group except for perhaps the newly arrived illegals is much better off than they were in the 1970′s. Don Boudreaux has done the work of proving that.

Jim October 7, 2011 at 7:28 am

Since 1975, with horrible consequences to society, the top 1% share of national income has risen from 9% to 25%.

Do you think market globalization helped Bill Gates get richer? Do you think TV helped increase professional sport salaries, which may have also limited some local sport salaries? What should we do about that? Are those higher sales and salaries adversely affecting our society?

Russ Roberts October 7, 2011 at 12:46 pm

I guess you didn’t bother reading the post. If you think all increases in inequality are the same you are a very unobservant observer.

Craig S October 7, 2011 at 1:40 pm

“Since 1975, with horrible consequences to society, the top 1% share of national income has risen from 9% to 25%”

Which horrible consequenes are you refering to? Better healthcare? Better cars? Better houses for all? Cheaper food? cheaper clothes? Advances like cable TV, the VCR, Walkman, video games, better cars, CD’s, cell phones, the internet, the iPod, the iPad?

“this very unhealthy situation for society?”

This thing that is unhealthy is the jealousy by statist over the wealth of others. More freedom and wealth for all of us, means less power for statist.

“the leverage of 99% of Americans whose income has stagnated in the last 30 years?”

Which Americans are those? Who do you know is making the same income in 2011 as they were in 1981? All those income charts are just a snpa shot of a moment in time. Some one that was 25 in 1981 is now 55 and has seen his or her income rise over time. That a 25 year old in 2011 is making the same in inflation adjusted dollars is a problem exactly how?

Wealth is not a zero sum game. Time for you statists to understand that simple concept.

Jay October 6, 2011 at 11:15 pm

I think Warren’s argument could really be summed up pretty simply: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

Winfred October 6, 2011 at 11:55 pm

Warren says no man is an island, that society helped them get where they are, and you see communism!!!

LOL

Check with your doctor about adjusting your medication.

Winfred October 6, 2011 at 11:35 pm

ROFLOL

This is !@#$ing great!!

I haven’t seen so many ideologically lobotomized psychotic stupids in one place at one time since the Intelligent Design movement lost it’s steam.

JS October 6, 2011 at 11:56 pm

I suppose we’ve been visited by another Peter Pan economist here. Let’s all wish for the creation of wealth. If we believe in the right egalitarian ideals, prosperity will abound.

Are you saying that unions don’t influence the poltical process and that the politicians they fund don’t comply with their goals?

The logical economic arguments against interventionism are irrefutable as well as non-ideological. Your stupidity is betrayed by your opinion that economics is ideology, rather than pure logic.

Your sarcasm about the intelligent design movement is hilarious because you don’t see how you subscribe to the same metaphysical thinking when the subject of economics is brought up. Your understanding of economics is ideological, or to put it in terms more familiar to you, religious.

If you want to debate your economics, be my guest, but before you sneer at ideological zealots, try arguing economics from a non-ideological perspective, but if course, you can’t.

You come to a scientific website and argue your religion. Get a life.

Winfred October 7, 2011 at 12:21 am

“Are you saying…”

LOL

That’s usually how the dishonest cowards and idiots start: simply have a debate with the lil’ voices in their heads instead of an actual person challenging them.

I’m saying I’ve never seen so many blithering morons in one place at one time since the intelligent design movement fizzled.

However…. you’re nowhere near as sophisticated as the creationists, who were quite skilled at nesting and layering their fallacious idiocy like some sort of gordian knot.

With the right wing bearded lady freak show, it’s mostly just an infinite regress of redherring inanity. You’re lucky if you get the occasional and slightly more sophisticated, though obvious, formal fallacy.

Sam Grove October 7, 2011 at 1:12 am

“LOL”

That’s a pretty boring habit.
I’ve never seen anyone use that so repetitively.

Winfred October 7, 2011 at 12:27 am

“Your sarcasm about the intelligent design movement is hilarious because you don’t see how you subscribe to the same metaphysical thinking when the subject of economics is brought up.”

LOL

Says the Austrian-Schooled tool (the Intelligent Design version of economics).

vikingvista October 7, 2011 at 2:10 am

“Austrian-Schooled tool (the Intelligent Design version of economics)”

Spontaneous order is now intelligent design? Does that mean the creationists have now embraced Darwin? So then what do you call central planning? Oh I know–moronic design.

Winfred October 6, 2011 at 11:38 pm

The irony here is that George Will’s anti-government inanity is entirely contrary to his conclusion that conservatives are supposedly the ones embracing the concept of society.

Ultimately, it is the us-them anti-government ideology which is in fact contrary to society when and if that society is all about self-governance. Self-governance, we the people, is the quintessential value of this American society and experiment.

George’s Fallacy Today: Begging the Question.

George Will wrote: “Warren’s emphatic assertion of the unremarkable — that the individual depends on cooperative behaviors by others — misses this point: It is conservatism, not liberalism, that takes society seriously.”

Once again, George puts his thesis at the end, after his redherring rant about liberals being commies, because he can’t support it.

The point, which George misses and seems to be trying to refute, is actually one of Warren’s premises, not her point.

Warren’s premise is that Society and Government are one and the same. And they are.

This puts George in a tizzy, trying to re-frame the two back into an us-them anti-government ideology.

George absurdly turns reality on its head, trying to redefine and counter the general perception and reality that liberalism is far more synonymous with American individualism than right wing classism and evangelism is. That liberals are *really* the commy collectivists who want to take take take take from you and eat your babies.

This is not only absolutist idiocy, but it does nothing to support his apparent premise and conclusion (begging the question), that society and government are separate things.

George Will said: “Warren is (as William F. Buckley described Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith) a pyromaniac in a field of straw men: She refutes propositions no one asserts.”

LOL

A strawman argument is an informal fallacy, a redherring: i.e. it changes the topic. It typically comes in the form of stating an irrelevant self-evident fact in such a manner that it appears that your opponent was arguing otherwise.

Quite clearly, Warren’s simply making her argument for the social contract, and the social contract is not irrelevant.

George Will exhibits that classic right wing problem in which they are so accustomed to their own fallacies, so accustomed to their rhetorical illegitimacy, that when someone comes a long and actually arrives at a conclusions about something with relevant premises, presents a legitimate argument about something, they think it’s somehow fallacious, because they’ve come to believe that their fallacies are legitimate.

I suppose it’s quite handy though, to believe that any argument not in harmony with your delusions is somehow fallacious, thus not requiring you to refute it.

Winfred October 6, 2011 at 11:53 pm

At what point do one of cowardly blithering contrarian idiots step up to reason? An actual debate??

You know!! When we normal/sane adults acknowledge what others have said, concede, refute, or provide a more compelling alternative argument, arriving at our conclusions about whatever with self-evident and verifiable facts (i.e. premises)???

Man up, freaks!

Dan H October 6, 2011 at 11:59 pm

I tried to engage you in debate. You refused. Or don’t you remember?

Fail.

Winfred October 7, 2011 at 12:09 am

Dan, you very clearly said…

“I’m not debating anything about Will…”

“How do you like my critical thinking trap…”

LOL

That’s the problem with you pathetic half-witted cowards… you think you’re going to loose, or I’m going to win… or whatever…

You’ve render yourselves incapable of contributing anything to any discussion about our society because you think it’s a game of wits where you simply try to flame bait, and offend the liberalz!!!

JS October 7, 2011 at 12:00 am

What would you like to debate?

Dan H October 7, 2011 at 12:05 am

It’s not worth it JS. Let’s not feed the troll. He’s obviously REALLY excited that he got an A in freshman philosophy and rhetoric and he obviously thinks it’s his license to omniscience.

Winifred… I have to go to bed, man. Because I have to work tomorrow. Because I don’t live in my mom’s basement, and I have to pay rent. And I also have a smokin’ hot fiance, and I have a wedding to pay for and a ring to pay off. So I’m going to go in there and get some action from my smokin’ hot fiance, then I’m going to go to bed, then I’m going to get up earlier than you so I can get ahead of you in the game of life. I have a feeling I’m already ahead.

G’night tool bag.

Winfred October 7, 2011 at 12:11 am

See my response to george will…

here… I’ll post it again, since it’s whipped the nutters into an amusing frenzy of redherring inanity.

George Wills us-them anti-government rhetoric is in fact ironically contrary to his unsupported conclusion that conservatives are supposedly the ones who are really embracing the concept of society.

Ultimately, it is the us-them anti-government ideology which is in fact contrary to society when and if that society is all about self-governance. Self-governance, we the people, is the quintessential value of this American society and experiment.

George’s Fallacy Today: Begging the Question.

George Will wrote: “Warren’s emphatic assertion of the unremarkable — that the individual depends on cooperative behaviors by others — misses this point: It is conservatism, not liberalism, that takes society seriously.”

Once again, George puts his thesis at the end, after his redherring rant about liberals being commies, because he can’t support it.

The point, which George misses and seems to be trying to refute, is actually one of Warren’s premises, not her point.

Warren’s premise is that Society and Government are one and the same. And they are.

This puts George in a tizzy, trying to re-frame the two back into an us-them anti-government ideology.

George absurdly turns reality on its head, trying to redefine and counter the general perception and reality that liberalism is far more synonymous with American individualism than right wing classism and evangelism is. That liberals are *really* the commy collectivists who want to take take take take from you and eat your babies.

This is not only absolutist idiocy, but it does nothing to support his apparent premise and conclusion (begging the question), that society and government are separate things.

George Will said: “Warren is (as William F. Buckley described Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith) a pyromaniac in a field of straw men: She refutes propositions no one asserts.”

LOL

A strawman argument is an informal fallacy, a redherring: i.e. it changes the topic. It typically comes in the form of stating an irrelevant self-evident fact in such a manner that it appears that your opponent was arguing otherwise.

Quite clearly, Warren’s simply making her argument for the social contract, and the social contract is not irrelevant.

George Will exhibits that classic right wing problem in which they are so accustomed to their own fallacies, so accustomed to their rhetorical illegitimacy, that when someone comes a long and actually arrives at a conclusions about something with relevant premises, presents a legitimate argument about something, they think it’s somehow fallacious, because they’ve come to believe that their fallacies are legitimate.

I suppose it’s quite handy though, to believe that any argument not in harmony with your delusions is somehow fallacious, thus not requiring you to refute it.

Dan J October 7, 2011 at 2:06 am

There was never a social contract for dictating. There was never a social contract for absolute federal govt resolve on all issues, large and small. Warren is only trying to be cute and clever in her attempts at justifying govt controls on all things, including Man’s behaviors from infringing on another’s natural rites all the way to the inaction of a man participating in actions. They are totalitarians.

Sam Grove October 7, 2011 at 2:06 am

Warren’s premise is that Society and Government are one and the same. And they are.

I do not accept your assertion. Make the argument.

Ken October 7, 2011 at 2:22 am

Winfred,

“Warren’s premise is that Society and Government are one and the same. And they are.”

Something I’m sure you shared with all your liberal friends with the government invaded Afghanistan, then Iraq. And when Bush lowered the tax rates for all tax brackets.

Regards,
Ken

Winfred October 7, 2011 at 2:36 pm

So if you don’t believe there is such a thing as social contract… which reality are you denying? That individuals exist, or that government exists?

Ken October 7, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Winfred,

Who’s talking about (the fantasy of) “social contracts”? Your claim is that society and government are the same. Since you think this is so, I simply asked if you pointed this out to your liberal friends with the government lowered all tax bracket rates, and invaded Afghanistan, then Iraq. Well? Did you? If not, why not?

Please, stay on topic and stop trying to change the subject.

Regards,
Ken

Observer October 7, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Ken

sorry that God gave you such a lack of tolerance for ambiguity

the answer is that society, culture, and government are the same and at the same time are not are not the same.

Ken October 7, 2011 at 5:35 pm

“Warren’s premise is that Society and Government are one and the same. And they are.”

Says who, on what basis, and (more to the point) on what authority?

“…the answer is that society, culture, and government are the same and at the same time are not are not the same.”

Aristotle just lurched up from the grave and cursed you, Observer. A cannot be not-A. (And no, I’m not an Objectivist, though I think Rand makes a pretty good stand-in for an Old Testament prophet.)

Ken October 7, 2011 at 6:48 pm

O,

the answer is that society, culture, and government are the same and at the same time are not are not the same.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Wait. What? You’re serious? You do realize that statement is complete nonsense, right?

Ambiguity is something liberals need though. This allows you to make whatever claim you like. Since everything is nothing and nothing is everything, you’re claim must be right. After all, you’re a liberal and just know things, even things that aren’t true, but turn out to be true because you thought them, amaright?

Regards,
Ken

vikingvista October 7, 2011 at 2:11 am

“What would you like to debate?”

I think he wants to argue the point that spontaneous order is the same as intelligent design. At least that’s what he’s been preaching.

JS October 7, 2011 at 12:06 am

If you aren’t educated sufficiently on economic principles, it’s unlikely you are educable to them here. It may be best if I gave you a reading list. Come back in 10 years when you’re qualified to make an argument.

Oh shucks, I think I’ll skip my way over to an astronomy blog site and speal out my opinions there. I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

I know you’re a fool on economics, so lets debate something else–like your ideology.

Dan H October 7, 2011 at 12:07 am

Good call JS. But I’m warning you, he won’t engage you directly. But good luck! I’m off to bed.

Winfred October 7, 2011 at 12:16 am

Again.. you’re welcome to respond to any of my points I’ve already made about collectivism, individualism, liberalism, conservatives, the social contract, your bigotry, us-them anti-government stupidity…. etc…

There’s a lot to work with here already.

Or present your own argument about anything, and I’ll discuss it with your.

Methinks1776 October 7, 2011 at 1:30 am

Or present your own argument about anything, and I’ll discuss it with your.

So, basically, you’ll do anything to get attention.

BTW, if you’re going to claim intellectual superiority, it’s best to sort out basic English first – like the difference between “lose” and “loose” as well as “you”, “your” and “you’re”. Next you’ll be saying “yous”. Otherwise, it’s kind of difficult to gleen your full genius in the midst of your poorly written mental vomit.

Anotherphil October 7, 2011 at 9:25 am

Next you’ll be saying “yous”.

Its actually Youz.

Tim October 7, 2011 at 11:17 am

That’s more a condemnation of Winifred’s typing/editing rather than his/her English ability, it’s really quite easy to make such mistakes when one relies primarily on spell check for editing.

For example, because “loose” is still spelled correctly, one might not catch such typos if one doesn’t carefully proofread one’s post.

I hate to defend some who writes a comment like Winifred’s, but I’ve been known to make such mistakes when I write longer comments and don’t feel like subjecting them to the same scrutiny I might give something like a resume or job application.

vikingvista October 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm

“That’s more a condemnation of Winifred’s typing/editing rather than his/her English ability,”

Perhaps. But people decide for themselves by the tone they choose, whether they will receive such deference.

i_am_a_lead_pencil October 7, 2011 at 10:42 am

“Or present your own argument about anything, and I’ll discuss it with your.”

Take a shot at the question Same Grove posed. You assert allot without making arguments as to why we should agree with the assertions. Sam pointed out your base assertion. It is the basis for your whole attack. Make the argument for it.

Peter McIlhon October 7, 2011 at 4:26 am

A bit off topic, but Georgie boy hits the ol’ nail on the head with this little piece as well about keeping the cap gains tax at around 15%. Most people just don’t realize that a higher tax rate on cap gains and dividens actually HURTS families.

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/586818/201110031835/Set-Cap-Gains-At-A-Permanent-15.htm?src=SeeAlso

Gordon Richens October 7, 2011 at 7:11 am

Warren knows that the further removed the source of funds for her populist programs are, the more opportunity for graft.

Scott October 7, 2011 at 7:52 am

It seemed like Mr. Will’s piece was as much an argument against a straw man as Mrs. Warren’s. She didn’t seem to be arguing that the rich have to give up all, or most of their money, just some portion of it. Hers is a silly position and a straw man for sure, mostly because the rich ALREADY DO.
But the stuff about a collective and malleable consciousness was nowhere to be found in this comment; is he addressing some other text of Warren that is not cited?
Lastly, I think he should have said libertarian and not conservative.

Tim October 7, 2011 at 10:42 am

Warren would have a point if taxes on the rich were quite low and if the government merely provided those public goods like law enforcement and infrastructure that benefit everyone.

The problem is that government today primarily spends money on entitlements, and its very hard to argue that the wealthy owe a portion of their wealth to those kinds of government programs.

The purpose of Warren’s argument seems to be to conflate arguably rational government spending on public goods with entirely subjective spending on “social justice” because the former is far easier to intellectually defend.

The logic of market failures, although their advocates often neglect the similar logic of public choice, is at least grounded in reason rather than someone’s subjective notion of what is “fair”.

Fred October 7, 2011 at 10:48 am

I’ve noticed that often times when someone argues against spending money on entitlements, the response is to defend spending money on police and courts.
Or when someone argues against the government regulating the economy, the response is to defend the enforcement of criminal law.
You argue A and they defend B.

Winfred October 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm

So far.. the closet thing to a refutation we’ve seen is several morons trying do deny the existence of social contract.

Aside from the fact that it once again illustrates that these right wingers abhor the concept of society… civilization….

Even if such delusional idiocy were so, it does nothing to support George Will’s conclusion and fallacy (affirming the disjunct with begging the question), or refute my rebuttal of George’s desperate vocabulary hi-jacking effort to turn reality on it’s head.

Fred October 7, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Here’s how I would define the “social contract”.

Throughout mine and my parents’ working years we have had part of our income confiscated so as to fund the retirement of previous generations.
This give us the right to, when we reach retirement age, have our bills paid by monies confiscated from the income of younger generations.
This gives those younger generations the right to have their retirement paid for my monies confiscated from the next generations, and so on and so forth.

My being forced to pay for their retirement gives me the right to force the next batch of suckers to pay for my retirement?

Does that about sum it up?

Winfred October 7, 2011 at 3:06 pm

“Here’s how I would define the social contract.”

This isn’t about making up your own version of the English language, although I know you right wingers practically have a formal dictionary of Orwellian New Speak.

Make a fact-based argument that Conservatives are more about embracing society than liberals.

Best of luck with that!

Winfred October 7, 2011 at 3:07 pm

By the way… equating *SOCIAL* security to confiscation is not only hyperbolic, but, once again, illustrating that you abhor society.

Fred October 7, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Having a portion of my income taken away from me to be given to a retiree without my having any say in the matter is not confiscation?

English… Do. You. Speak. It.

Winfred October 7, 2011 at 3:21 pm

you do have a say in it. It’s called voting.

You’re doing a good job illustrating that you don’t believe in democracy.

Ken October 7, 2011 at 5:37 pm

I certainly don’t believe in two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner, if that’s what you mean by democracy.

Ken October 7, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Try not paying the SS tax.

vikingvista October 7, 2011 at 5:52 pm

I sincerely wish he would.

Winfred October 7, 2011 at 2:47 pm

To put it in other words….

George is saying conservatives take society more seriously because, unlike the collectivist commy liberals, they’re individualists. The validity of the individualism/collectivism labeling, begging the question, aside, saying liberals or conservatives are one or the other does nothing to support the conclusion that one or the other is supposedly more synonymous with embracing society.

But ultimately, it’s absurd to declare as much in light of the fact that society is inherently a collective.

So… again… does anyone want to defend George? Something other than name-calling and labeling liberals this or that?

You know…. make the case that all your morons, who despite George saying it is so are rabidly denying there is even such a thing as a social contract , are in fact all about taking society seriously?

Winfred October 7, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Maybe that was too many big words too. Perhaps a grammatical error addled your short-attention span.

LOL

Allow me to frame the two competing ideologies here in the simplest terms.

Premise: The hallmark of civilization is that, unlike most animals, we care for our young, our sick, our elderly, the dying, and even our dead.

This is what sets our society apart from animal societies: Civilization.

So…answer HONESTLY…. which is more in harmony with civilization (caring for the young, the sick, the dying, and even the dead)? Liberalism or Conservatism?

It’s pretty hard to dispute the fact that Conservatives are not only anti-government, and view government with an us-them retardation that is unsettling to anyone who understands that the American experiment is all about self-governance, but conservatives, while mostly collectivists (nationalism/religion us-them bigotry) declare they have an economic every-man-for-himself ideology. Although, the reality is that they’re just classist bigots who fetishize wealthy and have nothing but contempt for the needy.

So…. give it a whirl.

Support you messiah, George Will….and… no… denying there is such a thing as a social contract is quite contrary to what you probably want to do.

Fred October 7, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Why do you assume that absent force of government, the “young, the sick, the dying” would not be taken care of?

Families take care of one another. Charities, churches and other voluntary associations of people take care of each other and even strangers.

Conservatives show compassion by taking care of their family in their home.
Liberals show compassion by dropping their family off at some home and letting the government pick up the tab.

Winfred October 7, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I don’t assume any such thing.

Do you think making personal indictments of me and putting words in my mouth makes your case?

I think it makes you look, yet again, bigoted and hateful

Dan H October 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.

I am my brother’s keeper. If my brother falls on tough times, I will gladly take him in and feed him until he gets back on his feet. I can also hold him accountable and kick him to the curb if I don’t think he’s making an honest effort to get back on his feet. I would do the same for all my family and close friends. And I actually have done such a thing on a few occassions for friends, as have my parents. But I am not YOUR brother’s keeper. I don’t know him. I should not be forced to take care of people I do not know and cannot hold accountable.

Winfred October 7, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Hey… that’s collectivist speak!!

;-)

Winfred October 7, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Not to mention particularly cliche, meaningless.

We’re not talking about me personally.

We’re not talking about you personally.

We’re talking about what OUR prescription should be, and how we should reasonably arrive at it.

Winfred October 7, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Again.. you’re welcome to go live on some rock out in the middle of the ocean if you are so opposed to the concept of government and society.

Winfred October 7, 2011 at 3:31 pm

That you all cannot even fathom making an argument with the first person plural is, again, doing anything but supporting George Will’s conclusion about you all.

Winfred October 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Since you hate America, well… civilization…… nobody is keeping you from leaving. Buy a boat and go live in international waters.

Be your own island!

Winfred October 7, 2011 at 3:25 pm

But you won’t.

Because you like and use the benefits of the social contract too…but like a selfish toddler, you simply don’t want to be obligated to what would be your end of the agreement

vikingvista October 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm

What did he agree to?

Winfred October 7, 2011 at 3:45 pm

When I was a kid, involved in various sports and organizations, there was always some sort of fund raising, selling raffle tickets, selling candy, soliciting donations….

When we were particularly young, we raced each other to cover the most affluent part of town, thinking we’d bring in the most money.

Not so.

If they even answered the door, 9 out of 10 were clearly offended and struggling to contain their frustration. There was a 50/50 chance you were going to get lectured about how they already donate to this or that charity. And curiously, they seemed to always ask if they could right it off their taxes (like a 10 year old would know).

Later, we got wiser, and raced to cover the trailer courts. These people would be raiding their change jars, delighted to talk to you about your team/activity, and never minding if their donations were meager, seemingly enjoying that they’re a part of it too.

This reality is backed-up by the science: The more affluent you are, the less likely you are to contribute to the greater good. The more affluent you are, the more anxious you get when talking with other people about their personal lives. The more affluent you are, the less capable you of reading body language and facial expressions.

Like a psychopath who has no emotional response to other people, so to are the affluent. They not only can’t understand and empathize with the plights of others, but they DON’T care.

And there is lies the problem….

You can claim you are you brothers keeper and what not, but the fact is that, in general, the affluent, at best, simply don’t care, and mostly are view the needy with contempt and hatred.

particularly when their own family members are in need.

Dan H October 7, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Stop putting words in my mouth. I do not view the needy with contempt and hatred. I view statists like you with contempt and hatred because you want to make my moral decisions for me at the point of a gun instead of giving me a choice of whom I decide to offer charity.

Winfred October 7, 2011 at 4:12 pm

I’m not sure if you’re being facetious, or if your stupidity is genuine.

Rugby1 October 7, 2011 at 5:56 pm

“The more affluent you are, the less likely you are to contribute to the greater good.”

Since you made this assertion, can you provide evidence for this?

Although “greater good” is a pretty ambiguous term, would you like to narrow the definition and refer to who gives the most charity? If so I would be very interested in seeing if you can back up that statement, I am betting you cannot.

Economic Freedom October 8, 2011 at 9:01 am

The more affluent you are, the less likely you are to contribute to the greater good.

Talk about self-involved, moral narcissism! Since when is a silly sports team, raffle ticket sale, or candy drive, a compelling example of “the greater good”?

Colleen October 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Winfred…
I feel compelled to say that I fell on this site by chance, and have been utterly appalled by your posts. You are one angry, delusional individual. You are of course entitled to your opinions, but that doesn’t make you correct. Your progressive ideology is a sort of strange illness that you and others like you all share. You are narcissistic, ominpotent, projectionary and clearly psychologically unstable. By your last post, I would guess because someone in your family is clearly successful and has benefitted in some way from a capitalist system, and you however, while clearly intelligent and capable of using big words and literary terms, are so blinded by jealousy of this person (who didn’t share the fruits of his/her labor with you) sit in your little cave screaming at the world that you (and others like you) are owed something. I could also infer that based on the timing of your rants that you are unemployed and probably living off the system, which probably scares the piss out of you, as people are waking up and no longer wish to foot the bill for parasites like yourself. The hypocrisy employed in your posts is nothing short of astounding. Blanket generalizations about a group of people is a tenet source of angst in your party, yet when employed by a Liberal, it is not only okay, it is used as a tactic for diversion from facts and truths. Go back to your Rules for Radicals book and leave the adults alone.

Winfred October 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Colleen,

I stopped reading shortly after you said I’m delusional, as you are clearly not going to explain or support your bigoted and hypocritical indictment.

I would like to keep you in play though, seeing how you apparently read enough of what I said that it forced you to rub your two working brain cells together to come up with an ad hominem red herring.

Speaking of blanket generalizations, how do you feel about George Will calling liberals collectivists based entirely on only one factor (economics)?

Is individualism and collectivism really so exclusively confined to economics?

Ken October 7, 2011 at 5:43 pm

“I stopped reading shortly after you said I’m delusional, as you are clearly not going to explain or support your bigoted and hypocritical indictment.”

Shorter Whinifred: “I can dish it out, but am manifestly unable to take it.”

Winfred October 7, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Yes… Yes… Yes….

You pathetic and disgusting bigots have made it abundantly clear.

It’s my fualt that you morons can’t explain why conservatism is all about society, more so than liberalism… because you all hate, anyone who doesn’t agree with you….you hate society.

By virtue of you hatred…. you supposedly love everyone???

ROFLMAO

Dan J October 8, 2011 at 12:19 am

One factor? If only… And as the elitists often do, regardless of party affiliation, they take one ‘factor’ and expand the definitions to encompass any and all behaviors. From determining how energy is manufactured to the kind of car you drive to habits you form and food you eat. It is none of the federal govts business.

Winfred October 8, 2011 at 2:56 pm

The federal government has no business making laws???

LOL

This is exactly the sort of stupidity which illustrates, once again, how wrong George Will is when you he says you all about the social contract.

Over and over you illustrate a clear and unequivocal rejection of the social contract with your absurdly absolutist anti-government inanity.

If you were serious about society, you’d be open to a discussion about what level of government is appropriate, not a complete rejection and pillorying anyone who does try to discuss it (e.g. Warren).

You all have been brainwashed to such an extent that the mere mention of ideas themselves are thought-crimes which evoke your violent outrage and demonization of the persons daring to speak of other ideas.

This whole thread… none of you actually discuss George Will’s thesis: that conservatives are more about making society better than liberals,

What you all got out of this was a Fetwah on Warren… and ridiculously so in light of the fact that George clearly states that her point is correct.

All you idiots do is attack people… hate people…

You are, quite literally, not only disgusting bigots who should be extirpated from society before you’d have it all destroyed, but the proverbial Brown Shirts of the modern era… scrappy hooligans who descend on discussions and meetings to disrupt them and intimidate and threaten anybody committing a thought crime.

Greg Webb October 7, 2011 at 11:07 pm

A well written, thoughtful analysis by George Will. Thank you for posting it, Russ.

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