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August 14, 2011

Blogging After America Day Three
Chapter Two - Undreaming America [ArthurK]

The theme for most of this chapter is The Govt. Is The Biggest Monopoly Of All - And They're Not Worried About Trust-Busters.

Optimism is a disease, After America is the cure! OMG, Rick Perry just slapped me silly for saying that!


P45 - "Nothing is more senseless than to base so many expectations on the state, that is, to assume the existence of collective wisdom and foresight after taking for granted the existence of individual imbecility and improvidence." - Bastiat

P46 - The western nanny state doesn't tyrannize - it enervates. For example, consider the war against lemonade stands.

P47 - The govt. is really into monopolizing stuff. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac took over the home mortgage biz, student loans are all govt. now. Kodak was seen as a dangerous monopoly in 1969. The market solved that problem all by itself.

P49 - In the 1950s, 1 in 20 workers needed govt. permission (licensing, certification). Today that's 1 in 3!

P51 - Where's the wealth? 7 of the 10 wealthiest counties in the US are in the D.C. commuter belt!

P52 - The most important monopoly for any western govt. is health care.

In most western nations the right-wing may be in office from time to time but they are never in charge. They just administer the super-state set up by the left. Just because a right-wing govt. is elected in Britain, they have no way to dismantle the health system in one term. It just keeps on going.

Musings - In the rest of the world, the state used to be like an all terrain vehicle. Now it's a train. The engineer can speed it up or slow it down but can't change direction. In America, we're still deciding.

P53-57 - Govt. by Technocrats. They're so arrogant that they don't even acknowledge that they have a worldview. A view implies that there could be another view. They have the truth and are confused that anybody could disagree. Consider Al Gore and how he talks about Global Warming skeptics.

It's not a ruling class, it's a ruling mono-culture. Some come in the Dem flavor, some in R flavor.

P58 - The technocrats go to Harvard and Yale. Palin's colleges are abhorrent! This is a new attitude. Truman didn't have a degree! FDR got the technocrat ball rolling with his brain trusts.

P60-62 - These technocrats love talking and planning. Doing - not so much. Bloomberg can regulate transfats but he's not so good at snow removal.

P63 - Princes thought they were destined to rule. Technocrats think they deserve to rule.

Dem politicians believe in two things and demand that belief in others. Diversity and Rights. But they've gotten Orwellian with those words.
Rights = Entitlements only. You deserve a check, you may not have a gun.
Diversity = Diversity in race, sex, sexual orientation and more except thought.

P66 - It's not just lefty words that get the Orwell treatment. "Small Govt.", "Individual Liberty" = Racist Codewords!

P67 - Liberal Debate = "Shut up", he explained.

P67-68 - For a govt. that wants control, ideological enforcement is job one. Example - Katrina 2005. Rescue workers headed to New Orleans had to go Atlanta first. For diversity and sexual harassment training. (note that this is before Obama. The rot has been in the system for a long time)

P69-70 - The Real Two Americas. A1 is the nanny state and it's subjects. A2 are productive citizens. The two groups make for a sharp divide in America but in most of the rest of the world the matter is settled - it's mostly the first category. In America, we're still deciding.

P73 - "It is never a good idea to send the message, as the political class now does consistently, that there are no democratic means by which the people can restrain their rulers." That's pre-revolutionary talk.

P79 - Rep. Conyers didn't need to read the health care bill because he is no longer a maker of law. Law rests on the principle of equality before it. But Obamacare was just a collection of special favors for the special few. UAW bosses - yes. Coal miners and their "cadillac plans" - no. McDonalds gets a waiver as do most anybody in Pelosi's district. Conyers didn't have to worry about how Obamacare affected the average citizen, he just had to make sure his supporters were covered.

P80 - Judges. The US is the only nation in which the rulers invoke the constitution for the purpose of overriding it.

P82 - Regulations and Agencies. "In such a world, there is no 'law' - in the sense of (a) you the citizen being found by (b) a jury of your peers to be in breach of (c) a statute passed by (d) your elected representatives. Instead, unknown, unnamed, unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats determine transgressions, prosecute infractions and levy fines for behavioral rules they themselves craft and which, thanks to the ever more tangled spaghetti of preferences, subsidies, entitlements and incentives, apply to different citizens unequally." Steyn goes on to give many examples.

P87-89 The War against lemonade stands and bake sales.

The rest of the chapter is mostly economics. Important but nothing really grabbed me like the earlier stuff so you'll just have to read it yourself!

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posted by Open Blogger at 04:55 AM

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