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« Protester spits at soldier who lost leg in Iraq | Main | James Baker says ‘Give (surge) a chance’ »

January 30, 2007

Comments

Kevin

Chuck Hagel is not left, and not right. He's a scumbag politician, nothing more. He's brave like a mouse. As meaningful as mold. His message? "I want votes. I'll screw our troops for votes. I don't care, because I want votes." That's about it. I hope my comment won't be deleted for saying the f-word, but FART him.

I'm sorry for being so vulgar.

Frank, please do a post supporting 60's style liberalism (socialism), because I'm packin'. Or even better, a discussion on the idea that the government has any right to protect us from ourselves. Milt Friedman is involved... does that pique your interest?

You know I'm going to use it here anyway, so why not post your views first? Love you like a brother, but trust you like my brother as well :(. Especially when wallets are in play.

Heh, the last parts read like an ultimatum, but I hope you know it's really just a request.

Frank Warner

Kevin, every government on Earth manages a mixture of socialism and free markets. Some are more socialistic than others. Some encourage much more free enterprise.

Generally, I favor free markets, except in those cases where it's impossible for the average human to have all the information necessary to make safe and healthy consumer decisions.

To me, political freedom is the key to progressive economics. With regular elections and other democratic institutions, the people have a government that can adjust national economic tools according to the circumstances.

A telephone monopoly might look good one year, but with enough debate, we might decide it's a bad idea. Regulating the price of natural gas might look good one year, but with enough debate, we might decide to let gas find its own price.

All along, free debate drives the decisions. Free speech, a free press, free opposition parties and free elections will hold the decision-makers accountable.

The worst thing would be for any one group to have total power over politics or economics. Checks and balances, experimentation and freedom guarantee progress in both politics and economics.

Kevin

Sometimes you are no fun at all, Frank. I need to find a strong proponent of socialism and hoped (well, dreaded, actually) that you were one, so we could duel :). I think I can prove that capitalism is the fastest way for everyone to get ahead, and that the least socialistic capitalist countries have the best record of their poor getting ahead.

It's not completely fleshed out though. I can't find 40 year per capita income on European nations or China.

jj mollo

Frank, That was a wonderful response. It may be off topic, but I couldn't agree more, particularly with the last paragraph.

The worst thing would be for any one group to have total power over politics or economics. Checks and balances, experimentation and freedom guarantee progress in both politics and economics.

I have to say that good politics don't necessarily make for good economics. Ignorance of Market Mechanisms has caused us a lot of troubles in the past, but if you don't have the freedom to discuss it, you will never find the right answers.

Kevin, Let me say that I am inclined to avoid Socialism as much as possible, but I don't think that Capitalism is the answer to every problem. Laissez Faire will often lead to disaster. The actions of the State must be informed by sound knowledge and good judgment, not just ideological purity.

I believe, for instance, that the late 19th century was a terrible time for Americans because of the unfettered power that the major capitalists were able to wield. I also think that today's trend toward increasing disparity between the poor, even the middle class, and the wealthy is very dangerous. I suggest that we should adopt more egalitarian values to keep the country united, to keep it a good place to live. Concentration of power is not just dangerous; it is wrong.

No Child Left Behind was partially created to address this problem. I'm not sure Bush took the rest of his party along on that trip, though, because no one was willing to fund it adequately. The educational disparity between the haves and the nots is a guarantee for future economic injustice. The State can, through judicious social programs, address that problem while remaining mindful of the unforgiving laws of the Market. Of course, the State can also screw it up too, but it doesn't have to.

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