The Danger Of Folksie Conservative Talking Points.

There is real danger to anti-big-government conservative slogans, and that danger is in… applying them to the function of the actual government.

There is waste and fraud and stupidity and nonsense in the government to be sure (as there is anywhere to some degree) and raging against it where it exists is fine, but these “government is bad, less government is good” generalizations are really dangerous, since most of the laws and regulations and government services we have exist for a reason, and when you apply this “less government is always better” or “government always equals less freedom” mentality across the board you do a lot of damage. 

Case in point, I just commented on a blog characterizing requiring people who watch over children full-time to be certified by the government as (paraphrasing) “Who do you want to decide who watches over your kids, the parents or the government?”

This is the kind of folksie stuff that you would expect to come out of the mouth of basically almost any conservative pundit or politician these days.  And if you don’t think about it it sounds sensible.  But if you think about it, it’s a nightmare.

My response:

A certification is basically a piece of paper saying you’re not a known child molester, felon, violent criminal, mental patient etc.  It is tantamount to a mandatory background check for anyone who wants to professionally tend to children which is an extremely good idea given that child predators swarm to such jobs and would do so much more without such protections.

This “who knows better, you or the government” folksie sarah palin joe-sixpack conservative talking point BS not withstanding, the government DOES know better than you who is a criminal and who isn’t.

——

The corruption in government is typically in things like nepotism and corporate contracts being given out quid pro quo to campaign contributors etc.  The bulk of what the government does though is actually beneficial and taking a hatchet to it out of some blind anti-government ideology is extremely dangerous and just retarded.  I want there to be more people who want to make the government better and more efficient and transparent and fewer people who want to make the government impotent and useless (or non-existent).

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About agnophilo

Nerd.
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24 Responses to The Danger Of Folksie Conservative Talking Points.

  1. The_ATM says:

    “It is tantamount to a mandatory background check for anyone who wants to professionally tend to children which is an extremely good idea given that child predators swarm to such jobs and would do so much more without such protections.”Sort of sounds like fear mongering. A government certificate is a false assurance. You assume the government is good at finding child molesters, but this isn’t really the case. Corruption occurs all over in government… most of it is just never exposed. It is the corporate contracts that are easy to discover.It is the false assurance given by a government certificate that will make responsible parents vet their day care providers less.

  2. agnophilo says:

    @The_ATM -“Sort of sounds like fear mongering.” If I were using a narrow danger to justify a broad ideology that would be a valid criticism.  But I’m not, I’m calling for each policy to be individually assessed.  I’m speaking out against such generalizations and calling for thought and nuance rather than the kind of knee-jerk reactions fear mongering is intended to create.”A government certificate is a false assurance. You assume the government is good at finding child molesters, but this isn’t really the case.” So barring known child rapists from working at your kid’s daycare is a bad thing because not 100% of child rapists have criminal records?  That is faulty logic.  Just because something is not fool-proof does not mean it’s a bad thing.  By this reasoning we shouldn’t have police because they don’t sucessfully catch 100% of criminals, therefore the police are useless.  And the fire department doesn’t stop all houses from burning down, so we should get rid of that too.  Etc.”Corruption occurs all over in government… most of it is just never exposed. It is the corporate contracts that are easy to discover.”And office supplies are stolen in every corporation in america, what is your point?”It is the false assurance given by a government certificate that will make responsible parents vet their day care providers less.”Only if they’re idiots. A government certification does not guarantee that someone is a good, moral, responsible human being.  No parent worth a damn is going to hand their kid off to someone with zero skepticism because they have a piece of paper.  And any parent that will doesn’t care about their kid’s safety too much anyway.

  3. TrekkieECH says:

    Agreed. If you reduce the size and power of government too much, you’re going to see the influence of corporations creep steadily into political interests. It happened when the British government came under the influence of the East India Trading Company before the revolution, and the tax evasion by and government catering to the EITC was a major motivation for the Boston Tea Party. The solutions are tighter restrictions on funding, limiting the ability of elected officials to pass legislation for causes in which they have a vested financial interest, and making campaign contributions blind, or even double-blind, by generating a single fund from which each candidate may draw an equal amount of campaign funding. The level of corporate influence in the government right now is appalling, and steps need to be taken quickly to curtail that influence.

  4. xplorrn says:

    hallaulah (or however you fucking spell it…) speak to me jesus…  reminds me of…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDd_ryixqyA

  5. I got so frustrated with all the “parents should be teaching sex ed, not the schools” comments on my abortion post. If parents were teaching sex ed properly, then the schools wouldn’t have to. Obviously not all parents are equipped/willing/able/qualified to do that. 

  6. “Let the private businesses take care of it” is not a platform. It’s an excuse.

  7. coolmonkey says:

    And ironically, calling for smaller government will not get rid of nepotism and shady corporate contracts, which is the core of the problem.  In fact, I think it makes it worse since you have fewer people with more power in their hands.  After all, the smallest form of government is a dictatorship.

  8. YouToMe says:

    @The_ATM - these safeguards/ background checks aren’t guarantees, I agree. There are going to still be child molesters/unfit slipping through cracks. But those checks are helpful and a deterrent for some at least.

  9. YouToMe says:

    Excellent, friend

  10. The_ATM says:

    @JulieDeer – I think people get too much false assurance from the government. Whenever someone suggests removing some government function there is always someone attempting to induce panic over something that would, in reality, be much less serious. In this case it is Agno. He suggests child molesters will swarm to daycare positions if we were to remove any such protections. In my state, we have licensing for daycare but it is not required to operate a daycare. I think most states are like this. I strongly doubt you see a much higher rate of molestation in day cares that are licensed as opposed to those that are not. I guess I just do not see the swarming.@GodlessLiberal – “Obviously not all parents are equipped/willing/able/qualified to do that.”Doesn’t mean it is not their responsibility.@TrekkieECH – ” If you reduce the size and power of government too much, you’re going to see the influence of corporations creep steadily into political interests.”If the government has less money to divide up, you will probably get less corporations coming to Washington to beg for a piece. I would like to end all subsidies to all companies.@agnophilo – “Only if they’re idiots. A government certification does not guarantee that someone is a good, moral, responsible human being.  No parent worth a damn is going to hand their kid off to someone with zero skepticism because they have a piece of paper.”I didn’t say ‘zero skepticism’; I said some parents would likely vet the daycare less. It will happen, I don’t think there is really any doubt about it. I think the question is how much.

  11. TrekkieECH says:

    @The_ATM – You’re missing the point. These corporations aren’t looking for grants from the government, they’re looking for influence in and control over the government. And they’re getting it too.

  12. @The_ATM – Fuck Da Po-Lice!!!

  13. The_ATM says:

    @TrekkieECH – “These corporations aren’t looking for grants from the government”Yes they are. Have you not read a newspaper? They lobby for subsidies constantly and they get them all the time too. They get subsidies and they get tax breaks.  Look at GE. They pay essentially no taxes and they get big government contracts–lo and behold they also spend huge amounts of money on lobbying. The other thing that they lobby for most heavily is regulation to keep the smaller guys out. Any power that government wields will be used for some special interest, whether it is poor people or corporations, good or bad. So the argument that bigger government of any sort would be good because giving the government power somehow takes power away from corporations is inane and demonstrably false. More than that, it is much worse than the folksie anti-big government rhetoric. It is the same set of ideas that empowered the government to bailout failing companies.”These corporations aren’t looking for grants from the government, they’re looking for influence in and control over the government. And they’re getting it too.”How does this make sense? If by gaining power and influence they are not able to 1) pay less in taxes, 2) get contracts or other subsidies, or 3) give themselves an unfair competitive advantage, what would be the point of power and influence?Reducing the size of government will most certainly have quite a few very positive effects toward ending corporatism. Can we agree on these?: 1) End tax subsidies for any large corporations or conglomerates. 2) Any time a corporation signs a contract with the government that is over a million dollars, they must also sign a clause agreeing to not lobby the government within a year of the contract. 3) Regulations must originate from consumer advocacy groups and not from the corporate lobbyists. ( the first two are practical while the third is very difficult to ensure holds true. )

  14. The_ATM says:

    @tendollar4ways – The usual profound statements from you. I think this would be the third time I will have refuted that same pile of crap you just took in the comments section. I will let everyone step around it this time… not my blog.

  15. @The_ATM – I figure ‘Fuck the Police” is straight to the point and basically says all I want to say in regards to your opinion on government. As I have explained to you before, your ideas are insane to me. If there is a problem with crime, your answer is to remove all police from the streets. If their is a terrible forest fire, fire all the firemen is your answer. I do think you are on the right track in some aspects but misguided in your approach to solve the problem. The corporations HAVE bought out the government (the Supreme Court is their most prized possession) and this is a huge problem. The answer however isn’t to eliminate the government altogether because that power vacum will be filled by those very same corporations. What you are suggesting is to eliminate the middle man. If this were Mexico, you would be for making the Drug Cartels the government. Your ideas would basically make the GE’s the Congress. You completely contradict yourself in your 3 “good things” with getting rid of government.1) End tax subsidies for any large corporations or conglomerates.Ok, done. With ya.2) Any time a corporation signs a contract with the government that is over a million dollars, they must also sign a clause agreeing to not lobby the government within a year of the contract.Whoooooooa now you Big Government Liberal blah blah blah…That would be regulation. Regulation bad say ATM. No way Jose.3) Regulations must originate from consumer advocacy groups and not from the corporate lobbyists.Who says what’s a consumer advocacy group? This is really silly semantics with this one brotha. Oil companies can claim to be consumer advocates for lower gasoline prices for consumers….green energy companies can claim to be consumer advocates for clean air, reduced dependance on inported oil…blah blah blah….Yea…..shouldn’t have wasted my time.”Fuck da Police” works better for your simple minded nonsense.

  16. The_ATM says:

    @tendollar4ways – “As I have explained to you before, your ideas are insane to me. If there is a problem with crime, your answer is to remove all police from the streets. If their is a terrible forest fire, fire all the firemen is your answer.”Yep, you got it. Nail on the head. lol. I am no pro-zero regulation or an anarchist.”The answer however isn’t to eliminate the government altogether because that power vacum will be filled by those very same corporations. What you are suggesting is to eliminate the middle man. If this were Mexico, you would be for making the Drug Cartels the government. Your ideas would basically make the GE’s the Congress.”This really doesn’t make any sense at all. For some reason, you think I want to end the election process or something. I can’t conceive you of why you think this would be the case. Anyway, it is your boy Obama that put the CEO of GE his economic advisory board. I am sure he gave Obama some good advice. Like “Give GE more contracts” and “Make more tax loopholes for GE.” It is Obama who keeps on praising GE for being such a good company.This is not Europe after WWII. There is not some predefined amount of power shared between government and corporations. If government was smaller, there would be no ‘power vacuum’ and any function that must occur will likely be taken up by localities. I mentioned the relationship between government having money and power and corporations lobbying for that power and money, you have made up some nonsense. How in the world am I not persuaded? Gee idk.”Who says what’s a consumer advocacy group? This is really silly semantics with this one brotha.”This is why I said it was not very practical. But it could be enforced through the ballot box assuming people could get the word out… the voter probably would do an ok job.

  17. @The_ATM – As I have explained to you before, your ideas are insane to me. If there is a problem with crime, your answer is to remove all police from the streets. If their is a terrible forest fire, fire all the firemen is your answer.”Yep, you got it. Nail on the head. lol. I am no pro-zero regulation or an anarchist.Ok…if we have an increasing crime problem, your answer is to take 80% of the police off the streets not 100%. My bad, I stand corrected. STILL, a Tea Bag, stupid idea. You are quite Definately a Republican.  Yep, you got it. Nail on the head. lol. I am no pro-zero regulation or an anarchist.“The answer however isn’t to eliminate the government altogether because that power vacum will be filled by those very same corporations. What you are suggesting is to eliminate the middle man. If this were Mexico, you would be for making the Drug Cartels the government. Your ideas would basically make the GE’s the Congress.”This really doesn’t make any sense at all. For some reason, you think I want to end the election process or something. I can’t conceive you of why you think this would be the case.When did I say shit about elections? To answer your next question……cuz you are all over this post and anyone on here who comments about why it makes sense?Anyway, it is your boy Obama that put the CEO of GE his economic advisory board. I am sure he gave Obama some good advice. Like “Give GE more contracts” and “Make more tax loopholes for GE.” It is Obama who keeps on praising GE for being such a good company.Obama sucks ass, he is Bush Lite, He feeds at the same troth….a complete and utter disappointment. I sell Sabic…formerly GE. I know GE.This is not Europe after WWII. There is not some predefined amount of power shared between government and corporations. If government was smaller, there would be no ‘power vacuum’ and any function that must occur will likely be taken up by localities.Mkay….GE goes into Gainesville, GA and builds a ABS reactor near Lake Lanier cuz they can use the water for cooling and they can just dump the waste back into the lake cuz they paid Will Greene 3 million for his 25 acers. Das de market. They Produce 100 MTs of product over the next 5 years and thanks to market manipulation that is possible since hell…why the fuck not…Jesus?? Hey…he Died on the Cross for our sins, I accept that, my ass is covered and since everyone is a sinner especially them Fags…. make a Fuckload of money. Then lots of folks die cuz the Lake is posion. Localities??? What the hell is a locality?? That is governent…that is evil….that is taxes…Collectivism…We don’t need no stinking Badges. So…Locality, that doesn’t exist cuz that is government and government is evil…is gonna deal with the dead people from dumping the reactor waste into the lake.This is not Europe after WWII. There is not some predefined amount of power shared between government and corporations. If government was smaller, there would be no ‘power vacuum’ and any function that must occur will likely be taken up by localities. I mentioned the relationship between government having money and power and corporations lobbying for that power and money, you have made up some nonsense. How in the world am I not persuaded? Gee idk.”Who says what’s a consumer advocacy group? This is really silly semantics with this one brotha.”This is why I said it was not very practical. But it could be enforced through the ballot box assuming people could get the word out… the voter probably would do an ok job.Glenn Beck was Canceled….Ass To Mouth needs to be canceled too.

  18. The_ATM says:

    @tendollar4ways – “Das de market. “No. It is not the market. Can you only attack an idea by misrepresenting it?”Ass To Mouth needs to be canceled too.”Ease off on the porn.

  19. @The_ATM – Hey…Da Market is your sides GOD not mine.Thou Shall Not Make False Idols BTW…Reagan????? HAHAHAHAYou guys are funny people.What is the market? What am I miss representing? How can you have a government by not having a government?

  20. The_ATM says:

    @tendollar4ways – You should read some Hayek. There are quite a few laws I am for. What I am not for is regulation that is applied at whim by bureaucrats. 1) because they do a bad job in general, as we saw in the housing bubble and 2) because they do not do the “main thing.” The main thing is that the law must be applied equally to everyone. Overregulation is a pretty big problem too, but obviously if a company decides to dump harmful waste in a stream, there should be a law against that. You are pretty much the only one debating that… and you are debating with yourself. It isn’t like it is the antithesis to libertarian principle, either, Hayek talks about this a little in “The Road to Serfdom”If the company is found breaking the law, they should be fully liable for any damages… I am against any sorts of liability caps (except punitive damages, those should probably be capped to limit the power of judges). I am against the government acting like your mom or your dad. The government shouldn’t defer the consequences of bad choices. The government shouldn’t put you in jail for making choices it arbitrarily (or even not arbitrarily) decides are bad unless they harm a third party.I am not a huge fan of Reagan… not because of principle but because of results.In no way do I think the market is God. But I do acknowledge the reality that no amount of government magic can make an economy prosperous (without creating a bubble). The thing that makes your treasured welfare programs possible is the market. The market is one of the two biggest factors that made life expectancy jump from 30ish to almost 70 (the other being scientific development). So in my view it is something that deserves a little credit. Take a look at the second video in this post discussing how the market evolved. Ok, it isn’t exactly about that, but it goes into it quite a bit.

  21. @The_ATM – Is there some regulation that is malicious? Of Course.Companies can lobby the government for regulation that is a barrier to entry (the market) to keep out competition and then they reap monopolistic rent on their wares. The answer is to eliminate this kind of regulation and reform government not eliminate the government all together. It is your side (Via the uber right wing Supreme Court) that has pretty much made it possible for unlimited amounts of $$$ to be spent in the election process and in lobbying activities. To say you have no credibility would be an understatement.You and your side say completely dishonest horseshit like….What I am not for is regulation that is applied at whim by bureaucrats. 1) because they do a bad job in general, as we saw in the housing bubble and 2) because they do not do the “main thing.” The main thing is that the law must be applied equally to everyone.The repeal of Glass/Steigal (regulation) was pretty much the cause of the Housing Bubble. I am sure you are refering to the CRA which was passed in 1977??? Dude….you have no shame do you. It was De-regulation in 1999 that cause the debacle. http://economicsofcontempt.blogspot.com/2008/09/oh-my-god-cra-didnt-cause-housing.htmlIf the company is found breaking the law, they should be fully liable for any damages… It annoys me how you speak out of both sides of your mouth. Law is another word for Regulation dude. You want to eliminate the government, eliminate regulaton (law) then if a company is found “breaking the Law” you on your moral high horse would have them be liable. But, you eliminated the government and regulation so…..it is just bullshit words.I am soooooooo tired of your sides horse crap. It is pure nonsense.

  22. The_ATM says:

    @tendollar4ways – “The answer is to eliminate this kind of regulation and reform government not eliminate the government all together.”For the 500th-ish time, I don’t want to eliminate government all together; I do not want privatized police forces. Why I have to repeat this over and over is a testament your stupidity in constructing the same strawman fallacy over and over.”The repeal of Glass/Steigal (regulation) was pretty much the cause of the Housing Bubble.”Do you even know what part of Glass/Steagall was repealed? And how did that actually contribute to the housing bubble, as compared to say, forcing lenders to lend to borrowers that it would have otherwise not lent to? How about implicit government guarantees on the vast majority of the housing loans in comparison? Why pick the think that has little to no logical connection over the many thing things that have obvious logical connections? Maybe because it supports your agenda?” I am sure you are refering to the CRA which was passed in 1977???”No, I was not. Greenspan, for example, is a regulator that could have put the breaks on the creation of credit. Instead, he kept interest rates low which was the primary reason (besides the fact they could actually get loans) people took out so many loans. The ratings agencies failed. There are so many more logical causes besides the repeal of Glass/Steagall that make much more sense, besides the fact that you clearly have no idea what you are talking about and are just repeating liberal talking points.”It was De-regulation in 1999 that cause the debacle.”Name one. Name one that actually could have contributed. Glass Steagall didn’t. Very few investment merged with commercial banks, and those that did ended up being more stable than the ones that didn’t. I am reasonably certain you have no idea what you are talking about. Quit invoking the specter of deregulation without providing any decent reasoning.More over, this whole discussion is hardly relevant to the comment to which you posted it in a response, because I didn’t mention CRA at all and mentioning Glass/Steagall as a cause completely ignores the fact that all kinds of regulators were in place that would have been able to put the breaks on housing bubble if they were smart enough.”It is your side (Via the uber right wing Supreme Court) that has pretty much made it possible for unlimited amounts of $$$ to be spent in the election process and in lobbying activities.”Maybe you should reasses that after looking at Obama’s, Hillary’s or pretty much any other liberal’s campaign. But then again, there are some laws that can be applied to reform campaign finance. Ultimately, it seems every politician who passes any law with respect to this does so in their favor. Many election laws do violate free speech… and so should be struck down on that basis.”Law is another word for Regulation dude.”No, it isn’t. Congress can pass law that is regulation, but generally the regulation I am opposed to involves the active intervention of a bureaucrat. It seems regardless of their qualifications, they do a horrible job and prevent little of what they were paid to prevent. But you want more of this in hopes that making the federal registrar another couple thousand pages will really fix things.Of course, this is another attempt by you to reduce a complex, multi-modal problems down to a black and white binary causes and solutions. Sort of like how you think because I think there are good solutions to some problems that involve less government, I must therefore want no government at all. Of course, you show again show your economic and civic illiteracy. If ‘more regulation’ was the solution to the problem, you would have not had the problem in the first place, because there was plenty of new regulation. De-regulation is just the knee jerk reaction of pro-government goons like yourself. Rarely, have I seen actually do any in depth analysis on it, and it has never been a better accounting than the people that consider the incentives and moral hazards the government provided.

  23. @The_ATM – The repeal of Glass/Stiegal allowed investment banks to get into commercial banking. With Glass/Stiegal you could do one or the other but not both. Not to mention Insurance as well.And how did that actually contribute to the housing bubble, as compared to say, forcing lenders to lend to borrowers that it would have otherwise not lent to? This IS the Horseshit CRA arguement….which you turn around and deny in the next paragraph?? You point out Greenspan and Credit Agencies (SEC didn’t do their part either) which failed to do their job. This is more semantics on your part. Basically there was no regulation. The gist of your arguement is because the regulators didn’t do their jobs we need to eliminate regulation. Same shit as the Police arguement. If there is a crime wave, the police are corrupt or lazy….your proposal to fix the Crime problem is to fire the police altogether. The way to fix the problem is get new police and have them do their job and address the problem. You are the friggin strawman builder homey.The Repeal of Glass/Siegal allowed Banks and Brokerages to merge. The Banks then could go out and lend a homeless person with no job an 800,000 mortgage (cuz there was no regulation that says you need to prove you can pay the money back…theres that evil regulation again). They could then in turn take this pile of dishonest shit which had an ARM of 10% which they knew wouldn’t be paid back but looked good on paper and bundle it with a bunch of likewise dishonest shit and securitize it and sell it round the world. They even insured their own shit knowing they would make money on both end. The house of cards came tumbing down….due to deregulation and largeness these firms became “to big to fail” and voila.No, it isn’t. Congress can pass law that is regulation, but generally the regulation I am opposed to involves the active intervention of a bureaucrat. It seems regardless of their qualifications, they do a horrible job and prevent little of what they were paid to prevent. But you want more of this in hopes that making the federal registrar another couple thousand pages will really fix things.Facepalm…more eliminate the police because some policemen don’t do their job in a crime wave vs get some police that will do their job. Typical Right Wing horseshit. How many ways can you say the same bullshit dude?

  24. William says:

    Although as expected your own phrases must be realisticmri technician salary | dallas modeling agency | photography classes online

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