We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
There are two ways of allocating capital: through politics, or through markets. Our progressive friends generally prefer to use politics when there is a choice, because they distrust markets, thinking them disorderly, irrational, vulgar, and prone to being dominated by the top-hat-wearing and bemonocled Mr. Monopoly cartoons that haunt their nightmares. Using politics is, in their view, more democratic. Most of the evidence is contrary to that proposition. In politics, it is quite easy for a small number of powerful people — wealth is only one form of power — to get their way. In politics, one rich guy can make a difference. The theory of progressive planning is that government intervention allows the aggregation of the interests of the non-wealthy and the non-powerful, but in reality central planning accomplishes the opposite...
Political institutions are incapable of rational economic planning, because they operate outside of the market environment and thus are cut off from the critical economic intelligence communicated by prices, and they are vulnerable to all of the temptations described by public-choice economics, because human beings do not cease to be self-interested once they win an election or are appointed to a highway commission or school board.
Most people understand and appreciate the difference between market performance and political performance in many areas, if only because they cannot help but notice that the Apple Store and the DMV are such radically different experiences. Poor, nonwhite people are as eager to send their children to private schools as are members of the country-club set in Greenwich, but political domination of the education system deprives them of the means to do so — and, cynically enough, purports to do so in their interests.
We readers are full of opinions about stuff like this, but we rarely do anything about it. I suggest that today would be an appropriate day to actually get away from the computer and accomplish something.... March Forth.
The fantasies of top-hatted robber barons are quite real, only in different form. Progressives like power to be in the hands of people like them, and are afraid when it is in the hands of people not like them.
Assistant Village Idiot
Central control of resources is crucial to political power and ultimately corruption. How can Bill Gates or Steve Jobs be corrupt unless government is invovled? The more control over sections of the economy politicians have, the smaller the groups required to keep happy. If you keep Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Tom Steyer, Babs, et. al, happy, you keep your position too. The crumbs left over reflect us commoner's political power.