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Wait: The Government Is Incompetent, So We Want it To Do *More*?

The feds can't pass a budget or do much very well, yet a record level of Americans want it more involved in our lives. That's not as crazy as it seems.

Ron Sachs/CNP/AdMedia/NewscomRon Sachs/CNP/AdMedia/NewscomBy now, you know the score: A couple of weeks have passed, so there's a new deadline looming for a budget agreement to keep the federal government open until the next continuing resolution can be hammered out, maybe after a brief government shutdown, during which members of Congress might even have to bring their own towels to the House gym (the horror, the horror).

The deadline is Thursday, so lots of luck, fellas. You've been getting along so well lately, this shouldn't be a problem at all. Oh wait.

Since the late 1970s, when new budgeting rules were passed, the government has only passed a budget four times before the fiscal year covered by said budget begins. This time around, there's a debt limit looming, too, with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin saying that the government's credit line will be exhausted by February 28. That's sooner than originally expected, due to the not-at-all-surprising result of the tax cuts passed in December. Lower taxes generally result in lower revenue, after all.

Further down the road—all the way to March 5!—is the end of the Obama-era program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which allows immigrants who were brought here illegally as children to stay in the country. Last year, President Trump extended DACA, giving Congress time to pass a legislative fix to the issue. DACA was at the heart of the recent government shutdown, as both sides made different versions of immigration reform a condition of the budget process.

And oh yeah, the market is showing jitters, at least partly because of estimates that the budget deficit is going to zoom to $955 billion this year, or nearly double what we borrowed last year.

NBC/WSJNBC/WSJWith all that incompetency and dysfunction as a backdrop, consider this: A new NBC/WSJ poll finds a record level of Americans agree with the statement that "Government should do more to solve problems and help meet the needs of people." Fully 58 percent of us agree with that notion, versus just 38 percent who believe "Government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals." In December of 1995, the first time this poll asked that question, 32 percent though the government should do more and 62 percent said it was doing too much. As recently as 2014, 50 percent of Americans thought government was doing too much (versus 46 percent who thought it should do more). It's worth pointing out that Gallup, which asks the same question, yields different results. Last September (the most recent results reported), it found that 50 percent of Americans think government is doing too much and 41 percent think it should do more. But even if the totals are different, Gallup's results run in the same direction as those from NBC/WSJ, with more and more people saying that government should do more.

What gives? You'd think that as the government reveals itself to be less and less capable of taking care of its most basic tasks—such as passing legislation that allows it to function—we'd be washing our hands of it, right? I think the answer lies in declining trust in public, private, and nonprofit institutions. Americans also trust individuals less than they used to. Across virtually all aspects of our lives, confidence in most institutions is down from where it was a couple of decades ago. None of this is surprising, given the parade of highly misleading statements and scandals coming out of government (remember when the Bush administration fixated on "WMDs" as the cause to invade Iraq? Or when Barack Obama swore up and down that you if you liked your doctor, you could keep your doctor?), businesses (Volkswagen, Enron), and others (United Way, the Catholic Church) over the past few decades.

NBC/WSJNBC/WSJTo the extent that we are shifting from being a high-trust country to a low-trust one, it is predictable that we are turning to government for more, even as we know it will disappoint if not defraud us.

In "low-trust countries," write Philippe Aghion, Yann Algan, Pierre Cahuc, and Andrei Shleifer

citizens "support government regulation, fully recognizing that such regulation leads to corruption." As an example, they point to differing attitudes toward government-mandated wages in former socialist countries that transitioned to market economies. "Approximately 92 percent of Russians and 82 percent of East Germans favor wage control," they write, naming two low-trust populations. In Scandinavia, Great Britain, and North American countries, where there are higher levels of trust in the public and private sectors, less than half the population does.

Hail Mary passes aren't just for the Super Bowl, it turns out, and thinking the same government that can't be trusted will save you is the worst kind of Hail Mary.

What can be done? In the current political climate, it seems very unlikely that partisans from the president on down will make any moves toward fiscal and governmental responsibility, but that's exactly what needs to happen. Ironically, and despite a generalized hostility toward government, libertarian-leaning members of Congress such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), and Rep. Tom Massie (R-Ky.) could well set the proper tone. They are among the few officials who routinely break with their party to stay consistent with higher principles than simple partisan advantage. Pulling out of the worst sort of hyper-polarized, hyper-partisan politicking that we take for granted is what we need and it's going to take credible ambassadors to sell that message.

Related: "The Government Is Going To Shut Down Again (and That's Bad)"

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  • Rebel Scum||

    That's a concerning percentage of people who want the government to do more than it currently does, which is already at an unconstitutional level of "doing" things.

  • Don't look at me.||

    If you watched the SpaceX launch today, you will see how private can enterprise can out do government by a wide margin.

  • hello.||

    Yeah all you need is a total monopoly guaranteed by regulation and for the entire apparatus of a huge government department working with your company.

  • hello.||

    That's a concerning percentage of people who want the government to do more than it currently does

    Pay no attention to the fact that blacks and Hispanics are the most in favor of bigger government. Conchita the Mexican maid who saved Mrs. Gillespie from the horror of ever seeing her own child's shitty diapers is what makes America great!

  • MJBinAL||

    And here we have a HOME RUN from "hello"!

  • ||

    If you're incompetent, you have to work harder.

  • BYODB||

    Since everyone has figured out they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury, it's only understandable that people would vote for the person who promises them free money right?


    Where is the incentive for the average person to stop voting themselves free money? Sure, the house of cards will implode but until then they're getting theirs. We already spend more money on transfer payments to residents than we do on little things like our entire military, and that trend will almost certainly continue upwards in at least the short-to-mid term.


    After all, if you cut even one dollar from those programs you're literally killing people. You don't want to kill people, right? So the only possible answer that remains is 'give the government every dollar you make and have them make all your decisions'. If you listen closely, this is what most of the left truly believes. The right believes it to, albeit in a more limited fashion.

  • silver.||

    :(

    Yep.

    And there's absolutely nothing to disincentivize politicians from promising ever-more. These days they can commit impeachy-worthy offenses and be re-elected.

  • silver.||

    Also read this good article at American Thinker about how the structure of the executive branch is supposed to be. All the three-letter agencies are to be beholden to the president and thus the voters (or ideally, not even really exist), but the bureaucracy is so entrenched that there's just no way to keep them from doing whatever the hell they want.

    And like SQRLS always plugs his anti-FDA platform, I like to plug this article about the wealth of the "deep state".

  • BYODB||

    The Deep State ate your link.

  • silver.||

    Whoops. Damn federales!

    (I messed up the syntax, thank you!)

  • BYODB||

    Once it becomes generally accepted that cutting spending murders people, children, and puppies it's a foregone conclusion that the direction of spending will only go upwards as a matter of course.

    The most recent tax reform shows that there is close to zero political will to alter that trajectory. Since you can't tax enough to sustain that without eventually eating up everyone's money, all anyone is actually talking about is the rate of sliding to hell. That is the conversation.

    So it's lost, at least for now. Real pain will probably be required for anything to actually change. If Trump didn't clue people in, nothing will. Changing from Trump to some more palatable brand of tyrant isn't the 'real change' people think it is. And say what you will about Trump, but he was the lesser of the two tyrants last time around by a significant margin. Let that sink in a moment, and then the real fear might begin.

    Que some retard to come in and say that Hillary was way better, which of course misses the point entirely but it's the more comfortable argument over acknowledging that a vote between Stalin or Hitler matters very little in the end. Voting for the lesser evil is still a vote for evil, after all. Again, changing a rate rather than a destination.

  • silver.||

    This is a good summary. I've been cognizant of politics since Baby Bush, and libertarians have been saying the whole time that both parties are functionally the same. The talking points are different, and a lot of times they aren't indicative of realistic citizen views (i.e. politicians are against x simply because the opposition is endorsing it).

    I agree that something catastrophic is going to have to happen before anything changes. Unfortunately this probably means that some facet of the state that's bred dependence is going to have to collapse. Ironically, people are actually going to die when that happens, but the politicians (and corrupt businessmen and bureaucrats) will be long retired and enjoying life in their lakeside mansion/SF penthouse/ranch, completely impervious to the peril they induced.

  • Barbara Yarhead||

    And when it does crash, we can finally get to utilize the real benefits of the second amendment.

  • BYODB||


    Ironically, people are actually going to die when that happens...

    Yes, but if you bother to mention this people look at you like you've just spontaneously grown a second head right in front of them. "As if we could ever run out of money!" they say, as they hold the gas pedal down on the printing presses.

    Of course, you can literally watch the value of the currency diminish at an ever increasing rate but as long as you have 'investments' you can insulate yourself from the slings and arrows of government debasement.

    Until, of course, they need to take those investments from you since you're wrecking the system.

    Same as it ever was. It's just another brick in the...Tytler Cycle? Lets just call it a 'wall' for now.

  • ||

    As long as the Chinese and others keep buying US paper, the party can continue. By the way, most of the money isn't currency or even 'account balances'. It's entirely fictional, like the 2.5 billion Mr. Bezos made by sitting on his butt last week. When the fictional money vanishes (as it can instantly) and the banks are nailed shut, the paper currency may come in handy, at least for a while.

  • Rebel Scum||

    Since everyone has figured out they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury

    The public treasury has become the public trough.

  • Zeb||

    Where is the incentive for the average person to stop voting themselves free money?

    I don't know. What's the average person look like? There are a lot of people like me, who are near or a bit above the median income level who don't seem to get any more back when taxes go up (especially when they don't have kids). If I could figure out how to vote myself more free money, maybe I would (no, I wouldn't because I'm that much of a stick in the mud, but if I could literally vote for someone to give me a big box of cash, I would).

  • EscherEnigma||

    What's the average person look like?
    In America?

    Average man is about six foot, one eighty pounds, brown hair, brown eyes, wife, 2.5 children, probably a dog or a cat, rents a house. Makes about $30k a year, the wife makes about $20k a year. Has less then $10k in savings, lives in the state he was born, has a high school diploma but no college degree. Increasingly likely to have "some college", but not quite there yet. Drives a car that's five to ten years old.

    'course, a problem with "average" is that we also think symmetry is beautiful, so when you average out his face he'll end up "prettier" then average even though the individual features are average, so it's probably safest to not talk about specific facial features.

    Oh, and he's really bad at long-term planning and economic math.

  • completely impervious||

    many of your averages are off, not by a lot, but enough to make me wonder where you got them, since they aren't close either

  • EscherEnigma||

    I got them from "vaguely remembered ballpark figures". So frankly, I'm happy if I get within a standard deviation.

    That said, I am wrong on the height. That's (still playing by memory) the average for a white American man. When you add in everyone else it drops down to the 5'9 territory.

  • vek||

    The one advantage of shit tons of illegal Mexicans and Asian immigrants... I've gone from being a few inches below average, to basically average height! Someday I might even be above average! :/ But I'm above average in every other way (IQ, I'm pretty damn sexy, certain other measurements men are interested in...), but I got screwed on the height genes because my mom was only 4'11"! I guess I'm lucky I'm not 5'3" or something, but I suuure would have preferred to have got a little more of my grandpas 6'3" genes!

  • Zeb||

    You take things awfully literally sometimes.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Hyperbole's worst enemy is taking it seriously.

  • silver.||

    This is troubling. I had thought that maybe it just seemed that people were willing to relinquish more control to the government because so many of my peers have only recently become active in politics but are still young and idealistic. The over 65 group is especially troubling. They're the ones saying that this election was the worst (or perhaps the worst since Nixon), yet are the group most clamoring for it?

    I've always been politically alienated, but these days the blows are really taking their toll. I think a lot of people have just given up. I can't think of any other reason why when we have so much good data available to us, people seem more ignorant than ever.

  • BYODB||

    It is bat shit insane for someone to claim that Trump is the reincarnation of Hitler himself and then turn around and say he should be empowered to do more. That is anti-reason that only arises when people fear their countrymen more than they fear anything or anyone else.

  • EscherEnigma||

    And folks complained that Obama was a socialist dictator forcing his will on the people and then whining that he was a mom-pants wearing push-over who was super weak and ineffectual.

    If you're looking for consistency in political commentary, you won't find it in the fields of hyperbole.

    Sides. Everyone assumes that next election the right folks will get elected (meaning their folks), so everything will be okay again.

  • Zeb||

    I don't know about everyone. Not everyone has any "folks". I just assume that some asshole who shouldn't be anywhere near political power will get elected.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Fine. Everyone†.

    Happy now?
    ________
    †Or at least a super-majority. I'm making a freakin' generalization here about the American condition, of course it doesn't perfectly capture the nuance of every single person in this 300,000,000+ country.

  • Barbara Yarhead||

    Never understood the Obama hate. I personally liked him even if I never voted for him. He was no more left wing than Clinton. Sure, the government grew under his watch, but it grew under W as well.
    If he would have let the big banks fail and provided demand side bailouts to slow the fall of real estate prices, he could have been the best president since Reagan.

  • hello.||

    He was no more left wing than Clinton.

    Bill Clinton would be castigated by the Democratic Party as a right wing thug today. You're fucking loony tunes.

  • vek||

    Seriously. Obama was waaay to the left of Bill. Bill would definitely be run out of the Democratic party if he held the same views he did in the 90s.

    Maybe when the SJW insanity blows itself up in the next few years the Dems will go back to being at least somewhat sane... It's probably wishful thinking, but a man can dream right!! Optimally I'd want the political spectrum to be a debate between something approaching 80s era Republicans as one major party, and hardcore libertarians being the other. The political center would be juuust right in that situation.

  • MJBinAL||

    Clearly Barbara, you were not paying attention.

    To Obama's politics (socialist)
    To Obama's mentors (socialists, communists, racists, and terrorists)
    To Obama's religious beliefs (a mix of Jeremiah Wright racist psuedo Christianity and Islam from his early life)

    Bill Clinton is, and always was, more of your garden variety political crony trying to get rich and have sex with beautiful women while in office.

  • silver.||

    I did have one liberal friend start to come around when Trump was elected, albeit he's only currently acknowledging that Obama made far too many sweeping EOs; I've always known that this friend would be libertarian because we agree on essentially 90% of issues, and he's a real miser.

    "You can't set precedents like that because the next guy could be a complete idiotic psychopath."

    Yesss. Bingo. Finally.

    Disappointingly, it seems some Republicans weren't paying attention to this phenomenon during Obama's tenure, however, this is one election where I'll forgive the lesser of two evils mindset. I felt it was more important than ever to vote against the partisan big-government status quo, but not everyone has such an interest in theoretical civics. Actually, basically nobody else does outside of the libertarian party.

  • hello.||

    The libertarian party ran to the left of Hillary Clinton on taxes, regulation and war in 2016.

  • ||

    As did Trump, sort of, to the extent you could tell.

  • MJBinAL||

    Yep, after all, the Libertarians Vice Presidential candidate was busy fawning over Hillary as the best choice.

    But the usual "journalists" here were, and continue, to tell us how they selected "experienced" people and we should have all voted for them because of that. Pffft.

  • Ron||

    without the theater of shutdowns how do you keep the people interested in their hate for the other guy

  • Citizen X - #6||

    So, basically, when people feel they can't trust any institutions, they'd prefer to deal with one major corrupt institution that keeps the others in line.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Partly that, but I think it's more like, yes the institutions are bad now, so they need to get to work righting themselves. If you think the government is corrupt, what are you gonna support - the government doing nothing? Some of us freaks conclude that, but unless you see the problems inherent in centralized control, it's natural to conclude that the problem can be fixed through more work and better personnel. Corruption is one more problem for the government to address. The next time Nick repeats this spiel, he should consider appending the positions with: "low trust in government now" and "the government should do more to fix its problems." That might not be the questions asked by pollsters, but how might it change the logic and our explanation of the responses?

    Sussing out causation in social studies is always difficult, but this looks like one that's particularly perilous. I mean, in making this low-trust argument, we all see that there are a whole lot of problems in pointing to people in former-communist countries still believing that wage controls can work, right?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Yeah, there does seem to be a level of unwarranted optimism involved.

  • hello.||

    Some of us freaks conclude that, but unless you see the problems inherent in centralized control, it's natural to conclude that the problem can be fixed through more work and better personnel.

    Lol. Yeah not everybody is as independent minded as you and your sock puppet who don't believe in central control except when a cake baker or florist needs a good beat down.

  • Hugh Akston||

    We already know that people want the government to do more. They keep voting for Democrats and Republicans.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    People hate voting for the lizards, but if they don't vote for a lizard, the wrong lizard might get in.

  • hello.||

    If only they would have voted for the Libertarians who wanted to confiscate guns, launch humanitarian wars, ban burkas, introduce a new national VAT, and force Jewish bakers to make cakes for Nazis.

  • Rockabilly||

    If only Hillary got elected, then the climate, guns, and the internets would be controlled.

  • DajjaI||

    Government creates vicious cycles that only increase dependence. For example, old people get Social Security and thereby alienate their own families knowing they'll be taken care of. This only makes them more dependent on government.

    The key is to recognize and explain these dynamics, like you do on these pages. When people are aware of it, they are less likely to get excited about the guy who promises more, more, more.

    Another example is how Trump disparaged the FISA court. Unfortunately it was too late for the renewal vote, but no doubt would have affected it. Again, people will be less motivated for the guy who promises to use 'every tool' to fight 'extremism' or 'sex trafficking' or whatever the latest boogeyman is. Sounds boring but so is broccoli. Sue me.

    Still Shillin' for Jill 2020 approves this message.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Yeah, this makes sense.

    Government has always been about "forcing" people to behave "correctly" when you can't "trust" them to behave "correctly" on their own. Face it, if no one ever stole anything, you wouldn't need a law against theft. We only have laws against it because we don't trust folks to not do it.

    As for folks not trusting "government" there's two things to remember.

    First, representatives are always far more popular in their own district then they are in the nation at-large. So while "congress" has ratings in the tank, Congress-critter XYZ is pretty popular back home. So even if folks don't trust "government", they probably trust their guy in "government".

    Second, most folks perceive (rightly or wrongly) that they have influence over politicians because they can call, write, and vote to influence them. So while I may not be happy with what congress-critter XYZ does, I can always vote for the other guy next even-numbered year.

    So yeah. Forcing folks to do what you don't trust them to do is normal. Trusting your own politician even as you don't trust "government" is also normal.

  • LynchPin1477||

    So while "congress" has ratings in the tank, Congress-critter XYZ is pretty popular back home.

    I'm not convinced. If this is a representative sample, then I expect lots of people don't even know who their representatives or senators are.

  • silver.||

    I expect lots of people don't even know who their representatives or senators are.

    This is probably very true. I've made casual suggestions that ballots remove the "R" or "D" (and "L") next to candidates' names, and the way people (of all types) respond is absolutely incredible. You'd think I'd just suggested that we murder babies.

    And I admit, more than once (though not often) I've gotten to my voting box and seen a race that I didn't even know was happening. I always wrote in my government professor when that happened because I'm 100% confident that he's more qualified than either of the choices.

    Of course, equally appalling is the number of campaigners forcibly shoving "sample ballots" in my face at the polling place, so I'm sure absent party markings, citizens who don't really care would just follow their preferred sample ballot. It's very disconcerting.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Well, I'm not invested enough in what you are or are not convinced of to dig up polls, articles and studies to convince you, so have fun.

    I am curious though. If you think that congress-critters are not popular "back home", what's your explanation for the fairly reliable incumbency advantage? I mean, congress has such a low favorability rating (what, in the twenties at the moment?) that if that reflected on the individual congress-critters you would think they would lose every primary and general election. But they don't. Being the incumbent is about the biggest advantage a politician can have in a race.

    So yeah. I'm curious how you explain that.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Few things:

    - This poll (I assume) was randomly selected, and so includes lots of non-voters.
    - A quick Google search turns up poll results indicating that something like 35-40% of people can name their representative or senators. That's on par with the 2014 turnout but lower than the 2018 turnout, so mid-term voters might know who they are voting for, but it's a fair assumption that during presidential years, a decent chunk of people are voting party line.
    - So a decent number of people who actually vote might know and like their congress persons but that doesn't mean everyone back home does.

  • MarkLastname||

    I don't know who my congressman is, but I'm sure I hate him.

  • Don't look at me.||

    AaAw1111q

  • silver.||

    You'd make a good politician.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Never been so insulted in my life. ( IPad went all squirrel on me )

  • BYODB||

    The problem with this is that you're conflating things like 'don't kill or murder' along with things like 'we're going to tax soda by half it's cost because we think you should eat less sugar' under the same banner of forcing people to behave 'correctly', but those are not in the same category except at the broadest possible level which is notably past the level of useful analysis.

  • Sevo||

    Daddy! Daddy! Help me!!!!

    Maybe if more of the electorate grew up, we'd be better off, but that means taking responsibility.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "That's not as crazy as it seems"

    Yes. Yes it is.

  • Brandybuck||

    He keeps using that word. I don't think it means what he thinks it means.

  • MiloMinderbinder||

    To the extent that we are shifting from being a high-trust country to a low-trust one,

    Must resist urge to make comment about immigration.

  • LynchPin1477||

    So the actual questions asked in the poll were

    Government should do more to solve problems and help meet the needs of people.

    Government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.

    Given that, I think I can understand what's going on. People have low trust in government and other institutions because they think they're failing, and they want them to work better, i.e. they want them to do more to solve problems and help meet the needs of people. It's not just do more, but it's do more to help.

    It would be interesting to ask a follow up question like "How confident are you that government will do the right things to solve problems and help meet the needs of people?" or "What do you think government should do to solve problems and help meet the needs of people?"

  • I'm Not Sure||

    So the actual questions asked in the poll were

    Government should do more to solve problems and help meet the needs of people.

    How about asking, instead...

    " Yes or no... Would you support having your taxes raised so that government can do more to solve problems and help meet the needs of people?"

  • vek||

    When similar questions are asked, peoples minds change a LOT. This is well proven. When asked "Do you think your government should give free puppies to orphans?" everybody always says yes... But once you mention things cost money, the answers always swing against.

    The terrifying thing about this is that it implies most people are so fucking retarded they don't even consider the OBVIOUS fact that taxes must ALWAYS be raised to pay for more shit, or at least debt must be taken on. This is the first thing that pops into any sane persons head, but apparently not a lot of swing voters...

  • Alcibiades||

    Historic Heavy Falcon launch in around 10 mins:

    http://www.spacex.com/webcast

  • Don't look at me.||

    A real inspiration.

  • silver.||

    Sometimes we all need to watch the amazing things humanity is doing wayyy outside of the DC metro area.

  • hello.||

    Crony capitalists with exclusive contracts from NASA with its 20 billion dollars of federal tax money and teams of government-employed scientists. Way outside the beltway on that one.

  • vek||

    All true... But just losing a little of the government stupid they've managed to cut launch costs per pound by, what, like 10 fold I think? With the Falcon Heavy I think they were projecting even further. Can't remember, too lazy to google, but it's fucking VASTLY cheaper than government designed launch vehicles... Because these crony capitalists want to leave enough money left over to get loaded. Even crony capitalism is more efficient than outright government programs!

  • Alcibiades||

    Fucking incredible.

    ULA (RIP)

  • flashgordon||

    Interesting article. Nick is a very positive guy, God bless him. I am getting very worried. Young people are socialist, women lean left. The women thing confuses me. i know women who can do the accounting for very large corporations to the penny, but when I ask them whether it's fair to beggar future generations by deficit spending, they just give me a blank stare. And it's one thing to vote for JFK or Hubert Humphrey but quite another to vote for Bernie Sanders. I don't know how Trump won the last election but to me it looks like the males (and according to that chart, white males) against everyone else. If Sanders has some sense we end up like Britain in the 50's, if he goes off the deep end we end up like Venezuela. Why go in that direction at all? Especially when progress has been so great http://humanprogress.org/blog/.....er-in-1916 and if we waited just a little longer we would be so wealthy maybe nobody would have to work if they didn't want to.

  • vek||

    Well, it's not PC to mention... But the truth is that women voting is exactly what ruined America. It's undeniable factually speaking. At every turn women vote for protection, welfare, security in lieu of freedom. This is why no female dominated society has ever amounted to anything in the entire history of mankind. Women think with their hearts instead of their heads to juuust a degree more than men, which is enough to sink the ship.

    Thinking it through logically, and applying objective standards, men are overly harsh. Look at all the brutal things male societies have done. The truth is we need to rebalance things. Female thinking has dominated the last few decades. This is how we got baseball games without scores, no dodge ball at school, and the welfare state! So things need to swing back towards the masculine mindset, but hopefully not so far as to land at Genghis Khan.

    Libertarians who can't accept statistically provable things about differences between the sexes are fucking retarded. It's not the way you want it to be in your head (or mine), but it is reality. You cannot ignore reality, for if you do the consequences will still fuck you no matter what you believe.

  • ||

    when the fed govt is shut down, in that time frame it can DO NO HARM.
    and if those COMMUNIST DEMORATS do it again, THEN NO PAY FOR THEM PERIOD.
    BUT FUND OUR MILITARY.

  • jerbigge||

    Doesn't help that we have the most corrupt government of any developed country. Effectively we now have a plutocracy where the big corporations effectively now run the government. When the Speaker of the House gets a big check from the Koch Brothers, you can see that the people no longer effectively control the government.

  • BYODB||

    It's empirically false that we have the 'most corrupt government' of any developed country. As evidence I submit the entirety of the EU.

  • hello.||

    When the Speaker of the House gets a big check from the Koch Brothers, you can see that the people no longer effectively control the government.

    What if the check comes from Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and George Soros? It's all baseball and apple pie then right?

  • Wearenotperfect||

    Fuck Ryan!
    Fuck McConnell!
    Fuck Schumer!
    Fuck Pelosi!

  • Don't look at me.||

    I wouldn't bang that woman with your dick.

  • Wearenotperfect||

    Thanks! Greatly appreciated!

  • simplybe||

    Why would anyone, with the exception of welfare recipients want more Government. We don't need more Government. We don't need less Government. We need no Government. I am 71 years old and have seen only 3 politicians that I had any respect for. Esinhower who tried to warn us about the Military /Industrial complex. Kennedy who tried to rein in the CIA. And last but not least Ron Paul who has pretty much said that everyone in Washington DC are a bunch of corrupt bastards. And while I am on the subject, why do we need a standing military. If business wants to steal other countries resources let them hire mercenaries. I know some people would say we they because otherwise someone would take us other. My question is what would that someone do. Would the tax us. Our government already does. Would they spy on us. Our government already does. Would they setup a ruling class of the rich. Our government already has. Would they create a Police State. Our government already has. So I will ask again why do we need a Federal government at all

  • SQRLSY One||

    "So I will ask again why do we need a Federal government at all"

    Because the Government Almighty protects us from non-prescribed "lung flutes" and the like!

    If the FDA isn't properly and promptly funded… WHO, I desperately ask, WHO will protect us ignorant peons from hurting ourselves, by using devices to help us cough, or blow our noses?!?!?

    If'n ye think I am being hyperbolic, about the FDA protecting us from such things… Please be advised that we can barely scratch our asses these days, w/o a Government-Almighty-licensed physician's approval! "Coughing" with mechical assistance via cheap plastic flute? Don't go there, w/o yer doctor's written permission! Ditto any electromechanical, electromucousal, assistance! See "lung flute" and "ear-popper" via The Google (Who Knows and Sees All!!!), or, at web site www.churchofSQRLS.com

  • Kratoklastes||

    Typically shit survey design, since it is possible to agree to both propositions without being inconsistent.

    "Government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals": absolutely.

    "Government should do more to solve problems and help meet the needs of people": absolutely.

    Imagine this: imagine that government only
    ① did stuff that had genuine public-goods aspects (i.e., all government policies ameliorated some or other externality); and
    ② did so in ways that minimised market distortions (i.e., policies were only pursued until the benefit-cost calculus was positive - including the opportunity cost of the taxes levied/debt raised to pay); and
    ③ did literally nothing where all benefits and costs were internalisable (i.e., where property rights were properly established).

    The result would be a government 99% smaller than it is, but which would still do vast amounts "more to solve problems and help meet the needs of people". It would also result in far fewer dead brown babies in places most Yanks could not find on a map, and far less subsidy to despots and invaders (e.g., Saudi Arabia and Occupied Palestine).

    As Thomas Pynchon sagely wrote in Gravity's Rainbow: "if they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't need to worry about the answers".

  • hello.||

    Imagine this:

    Yes, imagine if your substitution of reality was actually reality. But then you're an anti-Semitic moron who unironically uses the term "Occupied Palestine" so reality isn't a friend to you.

  • Kratoklastes||

    You're a purveyor (or at least a supporter) of Bronze Age tribal fantasies as determinative mechanisms for land ownership, and you want to talk about relationships to reality?

    That is funnier than you can possibly imagine.

    The Red Sea Pedestrian Master Race has a long record of going too far and getting the indigenes offside[1]: as it stands, your claque risks reducing "anti-Semit[e|ic]" to a hackneyed meme that nobody takes seriously.

    That would be bad: it makes it harder to identify people who advocate religious violence: I want violent anti-Jewish people to be as identifiable as nutballs like Ovadia "kill gentile babies" Yosef and the depraved authors of King's Torah.

    Watch the future unfold - the "final solution" (lol) will be one state without religious qualifications. It will be called Palestine, as it has been since the Egyptian Middle Kingdom - 600 years before the ahistorical fabricated genital-mutilation-cult nonsense in the Old Testament.

    Palestine has been occupied before - sometimes for centuries, but never permanently.

    The good thing is that when they win, the Palestinians will not visit violent retribution on the current invaders: the Palestinians are a warm and hospitable people. This explains why Palestinian Jews - actual Semites - have lived alongside their non-Jewish Palestinian kin since pre-Roman times.

    [1] a good example is the 1933 anti-German #BDS (exemplified by the Daily Express headline of March 24, 1933: "Judea Declares War on Germany").

  • Colossal Douchebag||

    Yep, we all know the government cut back waaaaay too much over the last 20 years.

    Time to make up for past austerity, and start micromanaging every last fucking detail of our lives. It's the only way.

  • hello.||

    Lower taxes generally result in lower revenue, after all.

    Wrong.

  • hello.||

    Notice that blacks and Hispanics want more government than any other group. It's a good thing that has no influence at all on the size and scope of government and blacks and Hispanics aren't just a massive lockstep Democratic Party voting bloc as Reason has assured me.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Fuck off you dead thread-fucking troll....

  • vek||

    Well thank god white men still exist for now, huh fellow libertarians?

    Oh wait, I forgot... I'm not supposed to point out the fact that White Males are the only ones that actually support limited government...

    So let's just continue to ignore the fact that demographic realities exist, because in our non existent perfect world we don't want them to exist.

    But fuck that. I will continue to oppose mass immigration unless and until non whites learn to believe in limited government. If I have to choose between protecting international freedom of movement, OR every other right I hold dear... I'm going to go with doing the practical thing to protect every other right.

  • vek||

    And as for my non white libertarian friends out there (I identify as being white mostly, despite being part Native American and Mexican), fix your people! If Mexicans were even middle of the road a lot of people would have a lot less of a problem. That and learning English. NOTE how nobody minds the slightly too tan to be "proper" white people Italians anymore? They speak English and aren't a monolithic left wing voting block. I think it'd work for Mexicans too.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Could it be that White Males are the dominant group that actually supports government (supports as in paying the bills type support)?

  • vek||

    That's probably part of it. But the one that always trips me up for that theory is Asian men. Men in general are more conservative/libertarian than women, but Asian men still tilt strongly left from what I've seen statistically... DESPITE having higher incomes, and getting screwed on taxes.

    I honestly think a lot of it is hand me down white American culture they haven't accepted. All the newer white immigrants got worked into the English tradition the founding fathers setup... But nobody else since has. Not one group. They all view themselves as an other, and didn't absorb many of the great American ideals, and hence have been against everything that makes this country great.

    So far this has never changed, and every new group just keeps staying an "other" and voting way to the left of white Americans. I keep praying that Asians will join our side since they get screwed as hard as anybody, but it hasn't happened yet.

  • Mark22||

    What a tendentious and misleading way of polling and reporting. "Government should do more to solve problems and help meet the needs of people." does not mean ""Government should do more".

    How about "Government should do more to solve problems and help meet the needs by eliminating waste, fraud, and cronyism; by doing more good with less spending."

  • BigChiefWahoo||

    The people who want government to do 'more' don't care if that 'more' is done competently or not, so long as 'more' gets done. For the people who support 'more' government, the actual government services provided are secondary. The point of 'more' government for them is maintaining and expanding control, and maintaining and expanding their political power.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Volkswagen

    Nobody outside of a few enviro-loons really, in their hearts, cares about Volkswagen faking emissions data. In every state that mandates emissions testing and inspections, everyone would falsify that data if they could.

  • madam margaret||

    do not believe polls… can't wait to see a whistle blower tell us how deeply bullshit they actually are

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