Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Liberalism's Spending Problem: A House Built on Sand


The dogmas of modern liberalism rely on socialist ideals that use taxes and borrowed money in order to "pay" for social programs. (I put the word pay in quotes, since nearly every social program invented by the US costs more than it produces.) The results of such spending are liberal structures that cannot stand on their own unless propped up with more and more taxes. These structures, in turn, create dependency on government as more and more services that used to be provided by the private sector are taken over by government. The end result is a statist government that has the power to enslave its people, neatly wrapped up in the bonds of "social welfare."

To see how the dogma of spending works, here's an analogy:

Let's say we want to build a house. To start that project, a modern conservative would look for proven technologies to construct it, relying on past experience to guide the design based on proven principles. The conservative would get cost estimates and begin construction only when the project could be fully funded.

On the other hand, a modern liberal would start with the most innovative and forward looking architectural plans he could find, with no regard to the architect's past abilities, to sound construction principles, or especially to the costs. Estimates on the costs would not really matter, since the principle concern is on the "progressive" design, rather than based on any pragmatic values.

The conservative builds his house so that it provides the basic necessities: it protects from the weather, it is utilitarian, and it will last a long time. The modern liberal, however, takes one look at the conservative's house and laughs at how ugly and backwards it looks. "Your house isn't friendly, it doesn't feel good, and it doesn't even allow wheelchair access."

The modern liberal's house, from the outset, runs into cost overruns because of its poor design. "That's OK," reasons the liberal. "All we need is to put a some more money into it and it will work." Then, because the architect paid no attention to past designs, the foundation of the house doesn't support the walls. "That's OK," says the liberal. "The idea is a good one. We'll just keep putting more money into improving the walls so they'll stand up without a foundation." Then, the roof leaks and doesn't cover the whole house. "That's OK. We'll just keep adding more layers of roof on top until we cover everything."

Under the weight of a top-heavy structure, the liberal's house becomes unstable and crashes to the ground.

What does this have to do with government? The allusion to spending should be obvious enough, along with the idea of continuing to pump money into the house in the hopes that somehow the structure will improve. The lie that liberals tell themselves is that progressive thought is far better than retrogressive thought (or as liberals would put it, "regressive"). Then, when progressive thought doesn't achieve the desired results because of basic, structural flaws, liberals always blame not having spent enough money.

Here are some examples of flawed liberal programs. See if you recognize a few of these:
Progressive teaching means looking at how many dollars are spent for each child. As long as the dollar per child ratio is high, the education process must be working. If a student performs poorly, the implication is that the school didn't spend enough money per child to create success. 
Progressive welfare means making sure welfare recipients have enough money to be able to live comfortable lives. There is no relation, in progressive welfare theory, between unemployment and welfare handouts. 
Progressive laws create programs to try and solve social problems. If a city contains too many drug dealers and prostitutes, the city needs only to spend more money to improve itself and to improve the lives of those who live there. 
If teen pregnancy grows, progressive laws spend money on education programs and abortion outlets. Teen pregnancy isn't seen as the problem. Lack of sufficient funding is.
All of these examples contain the core of the problem with liberal dogma - government spending makes people's lives better. While that may be true in certain circumstances, with certain individuals (usually those who are politically connected with the left), no amount of government spending can salvage structures with bad foundations.

Liberal dogma is like a foolish man, who built his house on sand, and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house. And it fell, and great was the fall of it.