Friday, October 17, 2008

Operating according to principles - Part I

Some have charged that liberal politicians "have no principles." The charge is usually stated something like this: "How on earth can so-and-so do such a thing? Doesn't he have any principles?"

However, I beg to differ with those that allege such things against liberals in our government!

Liberal politicians, in general, act according to a solid set of principles with an history dating back to the 19th century (at least).

In this post, I will try to bring forth some quotations out of the past that might shed some light on just how principled are the actions and words of those defamed liberal politicos. Let us begin.

On the Matter of Classes, Races, Minorities, and Their Struggles

While the American conservative approach to classes, races, minorities and the challenges they face is to give equal opportunity to them all insomuch as it lies within the government's power to do so, the liberal politicians in this nation seem to operate by another principle.

So much of the liberal politicians' rhetoric, so many of the liberal politicians' public policy, appears to be predicated upon pitting "rich" against "poor", "Black" against "White", "the minority" against "the majority", and so forth. They do this to obtain leverage, votes, and (of course) power.

On the one hand, the conservative principle was well articulated by Abraham Lincoln when he said, "That some should be rich, shows that others may become rich, and, hence, is just encouragement to industry and enterprise."

On the other hand, the principle that most clearly articulates the apparent thought processes behind liberal rhetoric and political action is this: "The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles."[1]

Obama draws the following distinction as the the difference between the "rich" and the "poor": "Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes, directly facing each other...."[2] Another way he positions this dichotomy is as the struggle between "Wall Street" and "Main Street." You will find that rhetoric used by other liberals in Congress, like Barney Franks, Chris Dodd, or Joe Biden is similar.

It was a Republican -- Abraham Lincoln -- that first freed the slaves from individual ownership.

It is ongoing liberal Democrat public policy that keeps minorities in the U.S. today enslaved, by and large, to programs that reduce their incentive to industry, commerce, and self-improvement. It is a further shame that such public policies and such ongoing "class warfare" is frequently encouraged by liberal-minded, power-hungry leadership within the minority communities themselves.

On Free-Trade and the Free Market System

Here, too, liberals have a general principle to which they adhere: "...Free Trade. In one word, ...exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation."[3]

Liberals, unfortunately, believe that in a market exchange, there must a "winner" and a "loser". They believe that the market exchange is a zero-sum action. If the "seller" gets a +1 out of the deal, the "buyer" must have gotten a -1 out of the deal. Indulge me in recounting an incident that, I believe, shows this is not the case.

A few years ago, I had two young sons. These boys wanted to earn some money, so they took on a couple of newspaper routes. They worked diligently -- getting up at 4:30 AM day after day -- for many months and saved their money. (This, by the way, is called "creating capital.")

When each of them had saved somewhat more than $100, they wanted me to take them down to let them buy new bicycles. Of course, I did so.

They shopped and shopped until each had found the bicycle that suited them and their budget. After they had made their purchases -- swapped their hard-earned cash for the bicycles of their choice -- I asked them: "Who just 'won' in the deal you just transacted? Did Pep Boys (where they had made their purchase) 'win', or did you?"

They both took a moment to think, then the younger of the two (maybe 10 or 11 at the time) replied: "We both 'won'."

I replied, "You're right! You each wanted the bicycle more than you wanted the cash. That is to say, you placed a higher value on the bicycle than the cash. However, Pep Boys wanted the cash more than they wanted the bicycles. They placed a higher value on the cash than on the bicycles. Everyone involved got their own view of higher value in the transaction."

There was no "exploitation" occurring in this transaction!

"Free trade" simply assumes that there is an equally powerful self-interest on each side of a given transaction. As long as there is no force and no coercion involved in the transaction, then each of the participants will (logically) make the decision that they believe is in their own self-interest. Self-interest is to take the option that gives the choosing party the maximum value as a result of the exchange. That decision could be, for example, to not accept the deal offered by the other party. That, too, may be a "free trade" or "free market" outcome.

Of course, if liberals could not define "free markets" and "free trade" as exploitive, how could they find the fodder they require for creating and renewing antagonisms between classes, races, and minorities? This redefinition of the "evils" of an unfettered economy is essential to their creation and maintenance of a "power base" predicated on "class warfare."

On Too Much Success

Back in the late 1990's, when Microsoft Corporation was being pursued by various state prosecutors for alleged abuses in the marketplace, one of Microsoft's lead product engineers was quoted with regard to the charges. I cannot now quote him exactly, but allow the liberty of paraphrasing his statements:

Apparently, success in the U.S. is like a dog race. At the beginning of the race, the goal of all the dogs is to catch the rabbit. However, if anyone actually catches the rabbit, they want to stop the race and start it over again.

One of the things that liberal principles cannot countenance is too much success! Their principle is captured as follows: "...there is too much civilisation, too much means of subsistence, too much industry, too much commerce. "[4]

"Too much civilization" means to liberals that Americans should not be allowed to have, through their own sweat, toil and sacrifice, an economy that causes other peoples to be envious. This thought persists even though no nation in the history of the world has spent more of their own son's precious blood nor put more of their own nation's capital at risk for the liberty of other peoples.

"Too much means of subsistence" is construed by liberals to mean that Americans should not be permitted to have and maintain an industrial and economic infrastructure that consumes 25% (or whatever number) of the world's present active supply of petroleum-based energy. More than this, the liberals have carried this further to say that we do not even have the right to use America's own known energy reserves to supply our needs.

And, "too much industry, [and] too much commerce" is the liberal principle to be applied any time they want to apply confiscatory taxes to tear down industry and commerce.

It has been a good year for Exxon-Mobil, there's no doubt about it! They are one of the companies that happened to be in the right industry at the right time to make better-than-average profits. The liberals appear to be appalled at the $11.7 billion reported on the firms 10Q.

However, allow me to point out some other numbers that the liberals do not talk about when they discuss Exxon-Mobil:

  • Exxon-Mobil has nearly $267 billion invested in their operations. Many of these assets are at risk world-wide because they must work in nations with tenuous or even hostile governments. With this investment at risk, their present profits represent a 19% return-on-assets.
  • In the three-month period reported on their 10Q, Exxon-Mobil paid $10,526,000,000 in income taxes. That breaks down to: $115,700,000 per day in income taxes; $4,800,000 per hour in income taxes; $80,000 per minute in income taxes; or $1,334 every second in income taxes! Still, the liberals want to extract more and more from this and similar companies while driving them to take additional capital risks by spending more money further exploring areas with doubtful reserves or investing heavily in "alternative energy" development.

It seems apparent that Exxon-Mobil is better managed than Fannie-Mae and Freddy-Mac, which were run mostly by liberal Democrat appointees. One thing we have not witnessed in those two firms is "too much success".

[To be continued]

-- Richard

[1] Karl Marx and Frederich Engels, The Communist Manifesto, 1888
[2] Marx and Engels, ibid
[3] Marx and Engels, ibid
[4] Marx and Engels, ibid


Brian said...

Way to paint a picture of bias so clearly that anyone reading this should see through the lack of criticism of conservative agendas to a degree that it nullifies any value in the counterpoint.

RDCushing said...

I'm willing to let the readers decide for themselves.