I wanted to thank reader and commenter John Vigil for his contributions. John is a self-described Non Partisan which sounds from his posts absolutely right. He is fair minded and willing to have a conversation which is to be applauded imho.
But his posts do have that fundamentally conservative vein of cynicism directed toward government. Dissent and protest is of course bi-partisan and John is right to watch over, criticize and work to improve government, but we shouldn’t work to weaken it just…. because. I see and understand the arguments behind ideas like term limits and voting to balance the partisanship of the different branches of government, but I find that they are used by conservatives to fundamentally transform our society to this libertarian utopia where private concerns rule.
Above is a chart from Wikipedia on 2010 Governmental Spending as a percentage of GDP. Most people are not chart people I realize, but charts are such an effective means of conveying information. What this chart shows is the US economy is like other countries including Russia, China and Mexico is heavily weighed toward private industry. The heart of this difference of course is health care, all other wealthy industrialized countries have decided that universal health care should be an essential part of civilization. We’ve bucked that trend. But it isn’t just health care, it’s a national argument that conservatives and Republicans are winning that the private sector runs most everything better than government. They contend government, bureaucrats, politicians, etc are bad words because they are inherently inefficient and usually corrupt.
The truth is government can run many institutions of our society much more equitably and efficiently and these organizations and institutions and individuals are no more corrupt that those in the private sector. In fact I would argue that we tend to focus on the corruption of government and politicians largely because they are accountable to us and their misdeeds get attention. A recent TS article quoted a HumCo Sheriff saying we are probably only enforcing 2% of the local illegal marijuana trade, and that is the illegal private sector, think about how much nonsense goes on in the legal private sector that we never hear about.
But any conversation critical of the private sector is difficult to have when framed by terms like Socialism, Communism, and the latest addition, Tyranny.
So when John says Freedom, Oppression and Tyranny I think we tend to think about Government’s tyranny over us. My thoughts based on a lifetime’s worth of experience of the more subtle tyranny of the private sector. Here is a visual representation of one type of tyranny that no one is mentioning. It is from only very indirectly related story in the New York Times a couple of days ago.
John, I hope that was fair. I really appreciate you contributions and hope we can continue the conversation. It’s not fair that I get to posts the posts with all the pictures and charts, but I’m happy to continue the conversation on your blog too or whatever.