The Government is Not a Super Parent: Author James Payne on Six Political Illusions

"The first thing [children] think about of government is that it is like a super parent," says author and Reason Magazine contributor James Payne. Payne points out that seeing government as having the virtues of a parent - wisdom, responsibility, money, unlimited funds for whatever you need - has lead to illusions about what role the government should be playing in our lives. 

Payne sat down to talk with Reason TV at Libertopia 2012 in San Diego, Calif. to discuss his book, Six Political Illusions: A Primer on Government for Idealists Fed Up with History Repeating Itself. 

Approximately 4:36 minutes. Interview by Zach Weissmueller. Camera by Alex Manning and Zach Weissmueller. Edited by Weissmueller.

Scroll below for downloadable versions and subscribe to Reason TV's YouTube channel to receive automatic notifications when new material goes live.

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  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    This is way, way off topic, but would it be possible to consolidate the comments for the blog post about the article with the actual article itself? It just seems like this should be possible.

  • Sevo||

    ...“People don’t stop to consider that government agencies are staffed with ordinary human beings, who have all the usual human failings.”...

    I would posit that they tend to have more than the average; they know full well they won't be expected to produce anything of value when they take the job.

  • np||

    "Fuck you, cut spending?" meet UK Uncut:

    Starbucks Tax Row: Protestors Occupy Stores

    Campaigners stage demonstrations at Starbucks coffee shops, turning some into refuges, creches and homeless shelters.

    The store was transformed into a domestic violence refuge as the protest sought to highlight the "disproportionate" effect that the coalition's cuts to the public sector are having on women.

    Lisa Stewart, a 30-year-old UK Uncut activist, said: "Women are bearing the brunt of these cuts, and if they (the Government) made tax-dodgers like Starbucks pay that would bring in £25bn a year.

    "Think of all the spending cuts that we could cover with that."
  • Agammamon||

    What's amazing about these people is that they continually fail to process the idea that Starbucks *DOESN'T ACTUALLY OWE MORE IN TAXES THAN THEY PAID*.

    By HMRC's own admission, Starbucks paid the taxes they owed in full. All Starbucks has done is arrange their affairs to minimize that tax - they're not doging out, they're paying their fair share.

  • ||

    There's no such thing as a "fair share" of money stolen from you by a criminal gang.

  • ||

    It's not their money, it's "everyone's". Meaning: hers. These people are graspers; they will claw at your (and everyone else's) ankles until they pull you under with them. And they will never stop.

  • ||

    Do you think they are the endoskeletal variety of Terminator or the liquid metal model? They're Brits, so they can't be the cutie cyborg.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Which one had worse teeth?

  • ||

    Funny you mention that. The T-800 didn't have Ah-nold's infamous gap tooth after the organic tissue bit the dust. The liquid metal fella T-1000 had great teeth, so probably the T-800.

  • Sevo||

    These people are going to get very pissed blaming everyone else for their troubles before it dawns on them *they* caused it.
    Remember Lewis' book on Islam: "What Went Wrong"? He mentions that it is commonly seen in Muslim countries as 'who did this to us?'. Well, finger-pointing ain't restricted to Muslims.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    You assume they're willing or capable of acknowledging their part, or in accepting any share of blame. It's not THEIR fault, after all, they're the Top Men! It's everyone else's fault for taking too long to jump after they call out, "Frog!".

    The core tenet of the Left Wing's Sisyphian ideology is that the fault of EVERYTHING lies in the reduction of government and taxes, which can only be remedied by an injection of more government and more taxes.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    It's a death spiral.

  • Sevo||

    ThatSkepticGuy| 12.8.12 @ 8:20PM |#
    "You assume they're willing or capable of acknowledging their part,[...]"

    There's a very good chance that my optimism is misplaced; there is no lack of those who are so enamored of 'free stuff!' such as to make them totally blind to the results of their demands.
    I can only hope that when the money runs out that someone looks around and says 'maybe we can't have stuff for free'.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    By HMRC's own admission, Starbucks paid the taxes they owed in full.

    Yes, buyt HMRC think's that companies should pay more taxes than HMRC demands, only paying the amount required is immoral, you see.

  • ||

    What would you think of someone who just wanted to do the minimum?

  • ||

    Fuck those people, they are scum.

  • ||

    made tax-dodgers like Starbucks

    Hmm, has the poor bird never heard of FATCA and double-taxation treaties?

  • Juice||

    Their signage lets you know that women and minorities hardest hit.

  • SweatingGin||

    Also interesting is that they paid some extra.

    It's got interesting implications -- it may lower their taxes in other countries, "hurting" them.

    Also sets a bad precedent if companies start being expected to pay extra. How much is the right amount extra? Is it a tip for a job well done shaking them down?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Victimhood is your license to illogic.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Heh. I went to college with that Kris Engsov fellow--for a year, anyway.

  • Cytotoxic||

    These people should be shot.

  • Turd in the Punchbowl||

  • ||

    The sound for this video is not playing on my computer.

  • ||

    Working for me.

  • Paul.||

    Set your Soundblaster to interrupt 16...

  • Calidissident||

    We have a few regulars, and over 500 members of Congress, who would disagree with the title

  • ||

    Speaking of that title, it's a tad ambiguous: Does it mean "Super" either as outstanding and fantastic, requiring a big "S" and cape complete with exo-undies, or the Big Gay Al variety?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Is this a trailer for a new Sam Waterston/Jeff Goldblum movie?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Law & Order: Jurassic Park Unit.

  • Thane of Whiterun||

    Producing the nation's forthcoming best and brightest!

    Would bang, except I don't want herpes.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    She's a regular whore, and an attention whore.

  • Xenocles||

    Slut shamer!

  • Thane of Whiterun||

    Yeah the "slut shamer" nonsense really gets on my nerves (and "slut walks").

    I mean it's a valid criticism when someone gets into "she had it coming, look at what she was wearing" territory, but the insult seems to have expanded to encompass pretty much anybody who thinks any chick, in any situation, just might be a slut.

  • Thane of Whiterun||

    "Whore"?

    How dare you suggest such an awful thing!

    She doesn't charge to have sex in the library!

  • ||

    The next building I chose to desecrate with my perverse ways

    A woman after my own heart.

  • ||

    Would bang, except I don't want herpes.

    What's surprising, given this is some sort of Berkeley student newsletter, is that the comments following the article pretty much mirror our comments here: she's an ugly, Marxist attention whore.

  • Thane of Whiterun||

    meh, I don't actually think she's ugly

    but all those other characteristics, yeah, uh, no

    she's not ugly IMO but OTOH certainly not attractive enough to get over her terrible personality and sluttiness

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Can anyone point me to a competent review of "He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special"?

  • Sernylan||

    "Can anyone point me to a competent review of "He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special"?"

    I'm not angry with you, I'm just...just, dissapointed...

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Asking for a friend.

  • ||

    Depends on what you want. For customer reviews, Amazon and IMDb have serious customer reviews.

  • ||

    For a review by someone who habitually reviews entertainment, some place called DVD Verdict offers a serious though lighthearted review. For a more well-known reviewer, IGN has a serious review as well.

  • SweatingGin||

    Plinkett (red letter media) needs to do this.

  • Robert||

    That's how I figured the planet Krypton got blown up, regardless of their propaganda. I figure they were a bunch of super guys who do what the super usually do: go around conquering & subjugating other planets...until they pissed off one civiliz'n too many. Not so super now, huh?

  • waaminn||

    Should be quite interesting to see how that all tunrs ount.

    www.GetAnony.tk

  • Sevo||

    Anonobot can't spell?

  • ||

    John programmed him.

  • Mr N.||

  • General Butt Naked||

    Did you read the story on the side about Ice-T and Coco?

    Dang man, Tz gonna fuck somebody up.

  • Hyperion||

    The Government is Not a Super Parent

    It isn't? Better try telling that to the government and it's hordes of freepers and griefers.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Good news: President Fatface of Venezuela can't seem to get rid fo his cancer and is going back under the knife.

    http://ca.reuters.com/article/.....0U20121209

    See you in Hell Hugo.

  • Mr N.||

    He's off to Cuba, the greatest healthcare system in the world.

  • ||

    I very strongly suspect his physicians are not Cuban. Most likely German.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Because the Cuban physicians have all been sent to Venezuela.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Where they can dole out oodles of antibiotics and hope they work because if they don't then they don't know what to do.

  • Hyperion||

    Fer some reason that I still haven't figured out, having been conquered 500 years in the past, makes people want to hate whitey and be commies. I don't get it. Ok, I get the hate whitey part, sorta, but the commie thing puzzles me.

  • ||

    It is the tribal mentality. Tribes are communist in nature.

    As for the hate, success breeds envy.

  • Cytotoxic||

    A lot of those countries are moving to capitalism. There was the 90s Reform Phase. The deeper the reform, the more sustained the reform. The nations that failed to reform-like Venezuela-have slouched to the left. Cato saw this coming back in '96. It's in an eerily prescient paper.

  • ||

    I honestly don't think he was ever in total remission. Based on the information that was initially posted WRT to his first reported occurance of cancer (metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma), I gave him about six months to live and I'm not surprised he's relapsed. This round might actually do the job, depending on how much of his pelvic floor is left and to where the cancer has metastasized.

    If his condition is as bad as I suspect it is, he's probably not long for this world. Tsk, tsk.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Those people were commies before the Spanish came, who were also Commies.

  • Hyperion||

    I don't think so. Spain was a monarchy. Cortez was one crazy mofo. I don't see any hints of communism in 1500s Spain.

    Back then demanding your fair share of other people stuff or telling the wealthy that they aren't paying their fair share would get you on the wrong end of some Toledo steel.

  • General Butt Naked||

    It was kinda the opposite back then. The rich stole from the poor, through taxes, to live a life of leisure.

  • ||

    Well, don't forget they employed old-fashioned way of making money and dating: Finding a novel, Spanish-naive village and sacking the blazes out of it, seeing their enemies driven before them, and hearing the lamentations of the wimminz.

  • hotsy totsy||

    They did get a bunch of gold from the New World, however. Pizarro captured the Inca chief and held him ransom for a room full of gold. After it was paid, he killed him anyway. That's the legend.

    And Spain had just kicked out the Muslims in 1492, so at least a part of their wealth was confiscated.

  • BlueBook||

    Not just gold, but silver, sugar, tobacco, cattle etc. Then their inbred nobility squandered a lot of it and, to recall Dave Barry, they decided to get drunk and become a second-rate world power.

  • Sevo||

    BlueBook| 12.9.12 @ 7:05AM |#
    "Not just gold, but silver, sugar, tobacco, cattle etc"

    And they mistook the metals as wealth rather than an accounting medium. So they thought they were getting rich at the same time they were driving a hell of an inflationary cycle.

  • Paul.||

    I don't think so. Spain was a monarchy

    Make no mistake, Lenin and Stalin were Kings of the Soviet Union.

  • ||

    You think Brezhnev, Kruschev, Andropov, and Gorbachjov were ever broke?

    Sheesh, the only way to eek out anything close to an opulent existence was to work for high level government.

    Much being a pub-sec employee...

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Looks like a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight will never happen now.
    PacMan can concentrate on becoming president of the Philippines.

  • ||

    Looks like a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight will never happen now.
    PacMan can concentrate on becoming president of the Philippines.

    I know little enough about boxing that I don't understand how this fight can't happen, given the payday for anyone involved.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Royal prank DJ's on suicide watch - "We have genuine concerns for their state of mind" http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/u.....js-1480485

  • ||

    Greig and Christian face possible extradition to the UK after Scotland Yard contacted Aussie police to say they may want to interview the DJs.

    I wonder why they suddenly came down with an acute case of the madness.

    Dobroj utro, Archduchy! -)

  • Ted S.||

    The only reason for the outrage is that the intended victim (Kate Middleton) is somebody the chattering classes like.

    If you don't believe me, look at the reaction when Scott Walker or Hoserland PM Stephen Harper were the victims of similar phone pranks.

  • ||

    What a ridiculous ridiculous bunch of bullshit.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Syrian rebels make a fully contained light armor vehicle with mounted machine gun for only $10,000. The gunner is not exposed to fire because there is no gunner. The machine gun is operated by remote control (probably a game console controller). There are 3 cameras in front and 2 in the back and 1 for the machine gun. It can withstand up to 23 mm rounds. Probably better bang for the buck than the US military gets. Mondo cool!

    http://english.alarabiya.net/a.....54154.html

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Similarly; when Libya invaded Chad (on and off, between 1978 and 1987), the people of Chad resisted Libya's Russian military equipment with armed toyota pickup trucks.

    When a commander of the Chad forces was asked (presumably by a typical Media Pillock) whether such tactics would have worked against a first rate army, he replied "Fortunately, we didn't have to fight one."

  • tarran||

    Ha!

    Technicals would be suicidal fighting against an enemy that could field helicopters with machine guns. Or tanks where the crews actually practice their gunnery.

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