Three years old!

Three years old!

This is the Consider This podcast, which recently passed its third anniversary, bringing you conservative commentary, and your feedback, in 10-minute-or-less chunks, since June 14th of 2012. I’ve left the terrible twos and am entering the thrilling threes! And just like the 1st and 2nd anniversaries, the time limit might just take a holiday for this episode.

I’ve got kind of a general topic for this anniversary. I’m going to explain, not why I’m conservative, but why I’m not a liberal. The launching point for this will be what seems to me the Liberal Utopia society would be, and why it doesn’t really work or why I believe that some features are really problems.

Mentioned links:

List of countries by energy consumption per capita

Consumption by the United States

The top 1% and what they pay

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Show transcript

I’m going to describe the liberal utopia in this anniversary edition. These are features that I see my liberal friends putting forth all the time. I just think there hasn’t been much thought put into them, and I hope to demonstrate that with a little humor. OK, and maybe a dash of sarcasm, but all buttressed by an understanding of people, history, and a “liberal” does of the facts.

In the Liberal Utopia, everyone with a job gets well paid, but everything they sell is cheap, in spite of the fact that labor is a significant component of price. Now, some folks think that if the CEO or the stock holders – you know, the ones who put up the initial money for the business, and took all the risk, and created all the jobs – they shouldn’t get to reap the benefits of the business they paid for or created. At the same time, they think that if they put their money in the stock market, or even the bank, that they should get the benefit of helping to finance a company, or allowing the bank to loan out their money. The owners and the money lenders are evil, until they are the owners and the money lenders. I can’t be a liberal, because these ideas are just so contrary to each other.

Does greed exist? Yes, in everybody, not just those in search of more, more, more, but also in those who say that you can’t have yours but I have a right to mine.

In the Liberal Utopia, the US would reduce our need for energy to at least the same level as the rest of the world.  After all, we use more energy per person than any country in the world. OK, except for Iceland. And Trinidad and Tobago. Oh, and Qatar. And Kuwait, Luxembourg, Brunei, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Canada, and Oman. But we’re right behind them. OK, well Americans constitute 5% of the world’s population but consume 24% of the world’s energy. So why are we wasting all that energy on things like a military that is constantly requested to help out in hot spots all over the world, and to keep staging bases in dozens of countries, so that we can respond to those requests quickly? I mean really! And what about all those medical miracles, especially those inventions that keep people alive, like pharmaceuticals or pacemakers, or even lighter and more durable materials used to make leg braces or junk like that? Does that really take more energy consumption than China?

Heh, well, no, actually China uses more energy than the US. And if you get a medical device, would you rather it be made in China or made in America? And even those items made outside the US, those invented in the US require energy for research and development.

Do we waste energy? Oh yeah, you know that’s right. But there’s a lot more to it than a blanket statement like liberals use to decry our energy usage and “waste-age”, as though no one else wastes it. I’d like to see us use more renewables, and reduce our energy footprint, but the world looks to the US for so many things that require energy. I can’t be a liberal, because I look at the whole picture.

In the Liberal Utopia, the rich pay their fair share of taxes, in spite of the fact that they’ve never actually say what “fair share” means. Should the top 1%, who makes nearly 19% of all the adjusted gross income, pay 35% of the taxes, as they do now? Is that fair? But in Utopia, we could always raise taxes on them, and always get more and more money, because raising taxes doesn’t change behavior. If you buy milk for $3, and we raise the taxes on it by $2, you’ll just keep buying the same amount of milk for $5, right? See, it’s simple.

I can’t be a liberal, because I know taxes change behavior, and you just can’t keep raising them, and until you tell me what is the “fair share” the rich ought to be paying, I can’t believe even you know what it means. When Democrats created a huge luxury tax on yachts, to try to soak the rich, the rich changed their behavior and bought fewer yachts. The people who really got soaked were middle-class boat builders.

In the Liberal Utopia, the medical community is united. They believe that homosexuality is the way you were born and simply cannot be changed. It is set in stone. They also believe that gender is fluid, and that plastic surgery, implants, and hormone treatments can make you the natural person you were meant to be.

I can’t be a liberal because such cognitive dissonance makes no sense, and the science doesn’t, either. If homosexuality –  for which a genetic components has not been discovered, and which is described mostly by preferences and feelings – is unchangeable, yet gender – which is clearly understood and clearly delineated in every cell, chromosome, and strand of DNA in your body – is a spectrum, it seems to me that reason has been shoved aside to make way for emotion. There may come a situation where emotion should be emphasized. This is not that situation.

In the Liberal Utopia, everyone loves everyone else, and helps everyone else, and works for the common good. That’s a utopia I can get behind, but I can’t be a liberal because I know human nature, and we’ll not see that utopia this side of heaven. Some people seem to think that humans tend to be good, but are taught evil by others around them. First of all, children seem to pick that up very, very soon. Heck, we all do, regardless of age. And second of all, it seems that in this world, there are so many teachers of this evil. No, I can’t be a liberal because I understand that human nature is not inherently good, unfortunately. The Bible talks about the “sin nature” of man, and it describes us pretty well. Perhaps its remedies are worth a look. I like journalist G. K. Chesterton’s comment on this. He said, “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”

(And yes, I do know that there are Christians who are both religious and liberal, and who agree with this sentiment. To me, though, many of the other reasons I can’t be a liberal have this as their foundation, which sets their views up with yet another cognitive dissonance.)

In the Liberal Utopia, guns are banned, gun-free zones are the norm, and so the criminal element has been forced to look to other means to threaten their targets. I can’t be a liberal because…that simply doesn’t make sense!

And actually, in the Liberal Utopia, there is no crime, because poverty is the root cause of crime, and as mentioned before, there is no poverty. The Great Depression was, therefore, the most lawless time in our history. Well, except it wasn’t. Poverty isn’t the root cause of crime. Human nature is, and human nature can’t be legislated out of existence. It has plagued us since the beginning, and thinking that we have it in ourselves to overcome it ignores billions of examples to the contrary over the entirety of human history.

Above all, that is why I can’t be a liberal. I look at history and learn from it. I want to know what worked, what didn’t, and why. When thinking about moving a cultural fence, I want to know why it was there in the first place. Some need to be moved, and some shouldn’t, and I don’t want to confuse fence moving with progress; sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t. I can’t be a liberal, because before I take a step, I want to consider this.

Filed under: Economics & TaxesEnergyGun ControlHomosexualityHuman SexualityMinimum WageReligionScienceSocialismTransgender