Notes Book

Small Government Liberal

George Bush and his friends are big-government conservatives. So the opposition should be small government liberals, right?

Perhaps we should define some terms. To me a conservative is a rich guy who wants to conserve his money. A liberal is a poor guy who wants to liberate the rich guys money.

Or perhaps we should just say that the political struggle is primarily between the poor and the rich.

For some reason the poor have the idea that they can use the government to take money from the rich and give it to themselves. Despite the fact that this has never worked, they still try.

The rich seem to think that if the government would just leave them alone, they would be better off. Despite the fact that most of the rich get richer because of the government, they still claim to want to shrink it. But that may be changing. More and more of the rich seem to be starting to see the government as their personal cash cow. That's how we get big-government conservatives.

For every action, there is a reaction, and the logical reaction to the rich embracing the government, is for the poor to reject it. But can we rely on the proletariat to be logical?

Logic may be coming to a poor person near you soon. Never have so many learned so much from the Internet, Blogs, email, cell phones, video cameras, and even TV. The price of information is falling rapidly. Lies are exposed today in months or weeks that would have stood for decades a century ago. Maintaining political power by controlling information is becoming more and more difficult. Doctors, lawyers, college professors, and bureaucrats are starting to feel the pinch. Perhaps Google, or its successors, may replace them.

But we don't have a small-government liberal presidential candidate yet. Instead of proposing increasing taxes on the rich, a small government liberal would be pushing for tax cuts for the poor. Instead of advocating for more regulations for corporations and rich people, the small government liberal would be pushing to remove laws that plague the life of the poor, like drug laws, child support laws, zoning laws, and laws that favor landlords over tenants.

Maybe libertarians come close. Some advocate doing away with the government completely. That would help everyone equally. But it seems unlikely that the government will disappear overnight. Since most of the libertarians have been recruited from republican ranks, it seems likely that a libertarian regime would eliminate the laws that irritate rich folks first.

Everyone should wake up to the fact that the person who hires a robber is unlikely to get much of the proceeds from the robbery. Anyone who is willing to resort to violence to get money will almost certainly also be willing to resort to violence to keep it.

Hiring the state to take money from the rich only makes the state rich and everyone else poor.