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19 Comments

    • wootabega
    • Posted October 18, 2010 at 9:28 am
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    Free Parking rules have gotten complicated.

    • SJ Cottrell
    • Posted October 18, 2010 at 9:59 am
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    A real coffee-spitter, perfectly & accurately rendered. I’d be LMAO—if only it were NOT true….

    • Max
    • Posted October 18, 2010 at 10:31 am
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    Utterly brilliant!
    Perhaps your best ever, Zack.
    Congratulations.
    –Max

  1. The counterpart to this caricature is a return to serfdom.
    In real life, thanks to our political and cultural amnesia, as well as the easily misplaced sympathies of voters, we are living in a freakshow version of the Gilded Age, with comparable levels of inequality and this time without the optimistic faith in the future.
    Many have always been, and always will be, suspicious of government regulations. But the alternative is a movie we’ve seen before (or rather, our great-grandparents saw it), and the sequel has been in various stages of production development for decades, with such top-name producers as Ronald Reagean and George W. Bush at the helm. (A Mr. Bill Clinton was at one point attached to the project, as well.)
    Again, amnesia. People have come to take for granted, so extremely, the quality of life afforded to us by regulation and oversight, that they feel complacent in chipping away at the protections piece by piece.
    Whether the effort to undo the entire Progressive Era is conscious or unconscious among voters, Glenn Beck will make sure everyone understands how terrible it all was, since it has the word “progressive” in it.

    • geeknerd
    • Posted October 19, 2010 at 5:06 pm
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    You should actually read Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom” before using the same analogy.

  2. I scanned the book’s Wikipedia entry just now.
    Personally, I don’t see anything controversial about the idea that centralized planning can lead, in its most extreme form, to totalitarianism as Hayeki seemed to be arguing as part of his theory. That’s essentially what the Soviet Union was, besides being a hellhole of rationing and state-sanctioned fear.
    It’s long been accepted by many as a truism that if you go far enough left and right, you meet in the same place.
    I know that Hayek’s book is far more complex than any quick Wikipedia scan possibly indicate, but on that premise alone, I make no argument.
    I also stand by the use of serfdom as an analogy to underscore how the laissez-fare, wild west economic climate—created by the GOP and enabled by Clinton’s “third way”—is a fast track to enormous economic inequality and a sinking standard of living for those not only at the bottom but increasingly in the middle.

    In conversations like this, inevitably the ideological stalemate of “equal opportunity” vs. “equal outcome” gets brought up. Not being a communist, I don’t believe that “equal outcome” is either desirable or enforcable, so I’ll leave that argument to others. But as there are degrees of everything, so it goes with this. Just as we have no use for the stilted, stunted harshness of societies over-centralized from the left, we should be equally allergic to the Darwinian free-for-all party that came crashing down in 2008 after almost 30 years.

    (The ugliness of societies over-centralized from the right seems, to me, to be another conversation, since a big reason Hitler remained so popular in Germany throughout the 30s was that he made good on virtually all his promises—killing unemployment being top among those.)

    • geeknerd
    • Posted October 20, 2010 at 11:05 am
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    “Over centralized on the right”?

    Because of that, the correct term for what we should be fighting against is “statism,” instead of socialism, Communism, collectivism or even Orwell’s “oligarchical collectivism.”

    By the way, NAZI is a partial acronym for the “National SOCIALIST German WORKERS Party” (emphasis added).

  3. A misleading emphasis. The National Socialists used that word for their particular purposes (above all they needed to get the workers on their side, with populist language bent in whatever direction suited them), but socialists (and communists) were their #1 despised enemies, even before the Jews took that spot. Even before the Nazi Party was able to worm their way into being elected, their brownshirts were beating and killing socialists and communists in the streets.
    Socialism and Fascism are two completely different political movements/philosophies, their diametrical opposition probably being second only to that between Fascism and Communism. Both believe in a certain degree of centralized planning (in socialism’s case, how much completely depends on who the people are and what kind of socialism they believe in, whereas with fascism it’s pretty much the whole hog every time), but motivated by totally different goals.
    Only revisionists interested in rebranding Hitler as a leftist (ow, my brain…) take the “Socialist” in “National Socialism” seriously. It’s the equivalent of taking the “Democratic” in “German Democratic Republic” seriously. (You really have to wonder how on earth East Germany could have actually been called that. Did someone think they were being funny?!)
    It’s odd to me that people bother to do this, since no one in his right mind will try to deny that Stalin, modern history’s OTHER #1 brutal tyrant, was a leftist.

    • ProsperityOPS
    • Posted October 20, 2010 at 5:02 pm
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    The opposite of this is much more palatable when it’s only play money.

    I constantly find myself amazed at how conservatives support bootstrapping, and git-r-done work ethic, and fair days wage for fair days work, yet invariably vote for the people responsible for the policies which ship our manufacturing industry overseas and consolidate all wealth at the top of the corporate pyramid.

    • ikabod
    • Posted October 21, 2010 at 3:45 am
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    Creation of wealth does not come from manipulating the free market like the US has done since the creation of the federal reserve in 1913. Production creates wealth. Spending does not create wealth ESPECIALLY when it is in the form of so-called “stimulus packages”. The first one we just went through hasn’t done the trick since paying someone to dig a hole and have someone fill it up looks good for the administration but in the long run we pay for it, and it doesnt produce anything especially wealth. Just like the New Deal didnt get us out of the Great Depression. Nor did WW2. The cartoon that is above is nothing less than a warning. Redistribution of wealth is really taking wealth from the producers of this country and giving it to the non-producers. Let me put it another way. A Billionaire like say George Soros could do us all a great service by putting together a fund that injects money into a city like Detroit, to bring about vast new jobs. Ok, so he starts handing out money and everyone is real happy, and there is indeed a bump in the local economy as people start buying lots of goods. Yet eventually Mr. Soros gives away all of his money. Well thats ok, he’ll just barrow! Hes got good a FICO score! He injects more….. in the long rung though it all comes crashing down in the end. Since NOTHING is produced. The cause of the cities economic crisis is only masked.

    “The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.”
    — Vladimir Lenin

    So lets do another round of stimulus packages, we’ll just pay for it later.
    The bottom line is this government does not create wealth, nor does simply taking from those who have it and have the government then distribute it to the poor. Creation of prosperity and wealth comes from smaller government and private industry. Sorry kids we can “spend” our way out of this. We need to produce.

    • geeknerd
    • Posted October 21, 2010 at 4:51 pm
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    “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”
    – Lady Margaret Thatcher

    “The power to tax is the power to destroy.”
    – Lord Acton

    “I’ve never asked a poor man for a job.”
    – A former boss of mine.

    • wootabega
    • Posted October 23, 2010 at 11:31 am
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    IMO, when trying to make arguments about our nation’s economy and how it should be run, ‘Monopoly’ isn’t the ideal setting for a small-scale analogy.

  4. Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Will come back again – taking you feeds also, Thanks.

  5. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also.
    Keep working ,great job!

  6. I don’t usually reply to posts but I will in this case.
    my God, i thought you were going to chip in with some decisive insght at the end there, not leave it
    with ‘we leave it to you to decide’.

  7. I’m slightly confused by this cartoon. Is it meant to be attacking the left’s support for higher taxes on the rich? If so, tax money isn’t given directly from rich people to poor people, but is used to pay for public services. Unless taxation in America has changed radically since Barack Obama took office.

    • Steve
    • Posted November 6, 2010 at 5:55 pm
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    Richard-
    It is confronting the philosophy of redistribution of wealth,… also known as government theft of a citizens private property, given to less productive folks in exchange for their votes and endless dependency.

    There is a significant part of the US population that does not want their lives controlled by a central government. Recall events from the 1770’s ?… it is still very much part of our culture.

    Everything the US government tries to do is always lower quality, less accountable, more expensive, than what the private & free market can do.

    In your country (the UK ?), you are used to a much more invasive government and controlling government than we are.
    We have 85+ million owners of firearms, handguns… (for example), and where left unmolested by government meddling, our private industries produce goods & services far superior to anything your, or my government can do.

    Too many people are seduced into believing that if the government does not provide an entitlement, they are ‘left to die’, or some such fear mongering.

    I suggest you visit the website for the Heritage Foundation, to see what a free-market can do, and far better, than government provided services.
    http://www.askheritage.org/

    …and read a book from Milton Friedman, called, Free to Chose. It is also a TV series, and you likely can find it on YouTube, for free!

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  9. There is clearly a great deal to know about this. I think you made some beneficial points in Features also.
    Keep working , good position!


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