Monday, April 14, 2014

Why I'm Not A Socialist

Socialism helps only those in power, who walk on whomever they can and must in order to stay in power:
A fascinating article by Francis Wilkinson appeared in Bloomberg View last week (h/t Instapundit). Wilkinson detailed the fact that income inequality between whites and blacks is worse in leftist cities...

Now to someone like me — a former liberal who became a conservative, in part, because I saw the devastation wrought on poor black neighborhoods by leftist policies — this is no surprise, not even all that interesting. What I did find riveting though were the desperate attempts by presumably left-leaning social scientists to explain the discrepancy away.

See, leftists think when government gives money to people, it’s a form of charity. It’s not. Charity ennobles the willing giver and creates responsibility in the receiver. When government confiscates one man’s wealth to give it to another, that’s a subsidy. Subsidy increases the thing subsidized. Always. Every time. Everywhere. Subsidize poverty, you get more poverty. Subsidize illegitimacy, you get more illegitimacy. Subsidize black victimhood, guess what? More black victimhood.

Blacks are poorer in leftist cities because of leftism. End of story.

16 comments:

muckdog said...

Agreed. Always. Every time. Everywhere. No exceptions in the history of the universe.

Anonymous said...

My Dad always said, "if you want less of something, tax it; if you want more of it, subsidize it" - that was 60 years ago and he's still right

maxutils said...

You do realize, I hope, that the vast majority of people receiving welfare/food stamps / government aid ... are white. Right? I agree with your concept: our aid programs disincentives work. I'll also agree that there is a culture that tends to perpetuate that -- but it isn't 'black' it's human. You do what is best for you. Why wouldn't you? That means, we tweak the system, not dismantle it. To suggest that it is a 'black' problem is ridiculous.

Mike Thiac said...

Max, I've often said the worse president we've ever had is Lyndon Johnson, for, among many things, federalizing welfare. When the war on poverty was started black illegitimacy was less than 10%. Now it is around 70%. Anyone who knows the way to get out of poverty is fairly simple. Finish high school, do not have children before marriage. But thanks to the liberals in the country we have replaced a father with Uncle Sugar.

I’ve been a cop for 16 years and I drive Houston’s 3RD and 5th Wards routinely. It is over 95% black, filled with generations of people who only know nothing but getting born, getting knocked up as a teenager, getting on relief, into public housing, etc (female). For the males (I refuse to call them men) they are born, learn to prey on other people, knock up the women (“Baby’s daddy”) and feel no obligation to support the children they have fathered. In the past (Pre Johnson administration) there was a since of shame of being on relief. Now it’s a lifestyle.

And yes, there are while people with similar issues but we don’t have over half the white children in this country being born out of wedlock.

Darren said...

Andrew Klavan's epiphany came from observing the effects on black Americans. That the effects happen to others as well doesn't affect either his epiphany or the correctness of his observation about socialism in general.

maxutils said...

Wow. First, if either you (Mike or Darren) think I'm arguing in favor of socialism, you are way off base. Mike ... LBJ the most socialist President? Are you KIDDING me? How about FDR, with the New Deal, Social Security Medicare ... or Obama, with health care? LBJ did none of that ... he got civil rights legislation through, which Kennedy would not have. And he didn't run for re-election.
Darren ... I don't know where the last sentence of your post came from, but ... after having read the original post from the idiot economists? do you really want to argue that Chicago , San Francisco, and Berkeley are not well integrated? That's what the author did.
Socialism isn't good. When it works... it still doesn't. It's just better than the alternative. BUT the safety net is good for everyone ... provided that there is a clear incentive not to stay there, and a benefit to work.
What I fin wrong is to categorize this as a 'black' problem. It's a people problem. Yes, the rate of single parent households /unwed mothers is substantially larger in the African -American community -- but that is a separate issue. Taking advantage of government programs designed to keep you alive, and help the economy overall -- short term... is not race based.

Anonymous said...

Capitalism helps only those in power, who walk on whomever they can and must in order to stay in power:

Darren said...

Typical leftie tripe. Repressive governments harm people, open markets don't.

That's not a call for *no* government--you lefties can have the anarchists.

Darren said...

As usual, Max, you're (probably intentionally) ignoring the author's point. He's not saying it's a "black" problem, he's saying that the failure of socialism was made clear to him by its effect on black Americans.

maxutils said...

I'm absolutely not ignoring it. Why focus on blacks? Doesn't the same policy affect poor people of all races? Combine that with the fact that more 'socialist' aid goes out to non minorities ... I find it curious that 'blacks' would be so emphasized.

Darren said...

He focused there because he was a *liberal*, and that's where *liberals* focus. He woke up and realized that such so-called help wasn't doing them any good.

maxutils said...

You missed my point. That isn't true only of blacks. Maybe there is a larger body of work that I am unfamiliar with ... but to focus on one element, maybe out of context ... SEEMS racist, to me. And you know me well enough to know that I'm not hypersensitive. So, I agree with the general principle, but I think the focus on blacks is misguided. And yes, racist ... at least whe presented in a vacuum. The same policies hurt all poor people.

Darren said...

This isn't about what you think, it's about what he thought--and what, specifically, caused him to change his thinking.

He noticed that socialism wasn't working for *blacks*. No, it doesn't work for most people, but he noticed it specifically regarding American blacks. Why you keep trying to twist this into some racist thing is far beyond me.

maxutils said...

I'm not twisting. I'm reading your blog and his work, and telling you how I reacted. I know you aren't racist, but this piece made me feel that way. If I'm wrong, okay ... but if I felt that way, I'm pretty sure that others did as well.

Mike Thiac said...

Wow. First, if either you (Mike or Darren) think I'm arguing in favor of socialism, you are way off base. Mike ... LBJ the most socialist President? Are you KIDDING me? How about FDR, with the New Deal, Social Security Medicare ... or Obama, with health care? LBJ did none of that ... he got civil rights legislation through, which Kennedy would not have. And he didn't run for re-election.

One, I didn't call him the "most socialist president", I called him the worse president in the history of the republic. You want a reason, I’ll start with 58,000. Their names are on a wall in Washington DC. Oh, Medicare was not part of the New Deal but the Great Society. LBJ had Harry Truman at the signing ceremony. To his credit, and this is one of the few times I’ll complement the man, he got the Civil Rights Act of 64 though. With the help of the Republicans. And why didn’t he run for election? I think because he would, after winning in a landslide, knew he would lose in a landslide.

maxutils said...

You are correct about medicare ... my apologies. I don't disagree with you that the problem of unmarried parents is one of the primary problems in continuing poverty ... and that it begins with lack of education. But it isn't just a black problem, it's a poor problem. I was barely alive when LBJ was President, so I can't really appreciate the gravity of him being bad; I vaguely remember my dad almost getting drafted; I know my mom detested Nixon and that we went on a very long (for me) peace march. So I respect your opinion ... but I think Obama is FAR worse, and I think Carter has to be right up there. And our recent Presidents have also not done a very good job of keeping our soldiers out of lost causes.