Saturday, June 15

Explaining Liberals' Disconnect Between Government Spending And Problem Solving

Did you ever notice that guys who own a welder, acetylene torch, and other “Hardcore Man-Tools”  tend to be conservative?  I would guess that there is at least about an 80% correlation.  Now I going to admit to all of you right now, I didn’t do any type of scientific study to confirm this, and I have absolutely no data to back me up.  It’s just something I noticed since the time that I was old enough to pick up on a person’s political ideology.  If you agree with me on this observation, that’s all the research we need for our purposes right here and now.  If you believe what I said is true, two questions might come to mind.  1) Why? and 2) Is there any significance to this?  

In order to answer the first question, I’ll start with another question.  Why does someone own a welder, torch, or other types serious industrial tools in the first place?  After all, most people don’t, and they get by just fine.  They just hire someone who does have the tools to take care of things for them when the need for such items arises.  The answer to the question at the start of this paragraph is hidden in the previous sentence - independence.  The first type of people in that sentence are dependent upon the second type for repairs that they cannot do themselves.

Independence - that’s a familiar word, if one is aware of principles that our country was founded upon.  There is even some document floating around that declared it, and another document that clearly states that strong country of free people must protect the independence of the states and the individual.

Some might think that I have made quite a leap here, equating welding a garden tractor frame with visions of our founding fathers, but there’s more to this than just that.  I’m talking about mindsets of people.  Someone without tools and the skill to use them doesn’t consider having repair work done for them is any different than going to the doctor or getting their hair cut - it’s just another thing that’s best left up to the experts.  Someone like this usually puts in their time each week at work and in their spare time, watches TV, plays golf, or does something that produces little tangible benefit, and can’t let fixing something get in the way of it.  Whatever it is that he does in his spare time, he doesn’t have much on the line, and the idea of success or failure might not even be part of the equation.

The hardcore man-tool owner is an entirely different animal. Whether he is building something himself, or fixing something for someone else,  his reputation is one the line.  That weld better look good and better hold or he will never hear the end of it.  The hardcore man-tool owner prides himself upon his independence and is constantly looking for ways to do things himself to save money, but more importantly, have the bragging rights to say he did it himself.  Instead of spending $50 and a Saturday afternoon at the golf course, he will save $50 by grinding the rivets off that hold two halves of an idler pulley together and replacing a $8 bearing.

The best golfer I know will never be able to make the transition from paying to play to getting paid to play, but the hardcore man-tool owner is making or saving money almost every day.  Every success is a victory, and every failure is a defeat.  Successes inspire him to take on new challenges and failures, well sometimes they can make for some funny stories, but one thing’s for sure, if there is any way to avoid them, they won’t be repeated.  Each success and each failure leads him to a higher level of independence.  All of this makes the hardcore man-tool owner highly attuned to the spending of effort and money and the resulting success or failure.

Occasionally, even he must hire out some jobs that are beyond his expertise.  These are among his most frustrating and humbling times, because now he must depend upon someone else.  When it’s time to put in a new septic system, he’s no better off than anyone else, and must act and think like everyone else.

Almost everyone, liberal or conservative, will deal with hiring a contractor in a similar way - try to find a reputable company that will do a good job at the best price.  Since customers are spending their own money, they are going to demand that the service is performed properly.  They will  feel angry and cheated if it is not, and will demand that things be corrected and will take legal action if necessary.  No one is going to just keep handing money to the contractor, hoping that eventually, he will do the job right.
No one considers their own problems solved, simply because they spent money on them, and no one continues to spend more of their own money doing the same thing if it hasn’t produced some sort of satisfactory result.  

Liberals understand this every bit as much as conservatives.  They can understand many things that affect them directly.  They resent people who during community projects, don’t pull their own weight but later, try to receive more than their fair share of the benefits.  They don’t like other people putting restrictions on how they live their lives.  They’re actually a lot more like conservatives than they would ever care to admit.

The problem with liberals is that they cannot make the same type of connections when it comes to government.  Those that have jobs, don’t understand that they are the ones paying for government programs.  Maybe they don’t care because they figure that those programs can be paid for by taxing the rich, but it’s easy for them to see social security and medicare taxes are coming right out of their paychecks.  If they took the time to look, they would see all the other ways the government gets their hands on working people’s money, from the cost of car registration fees to the hidden cost of taxes and regulations placed upon manufacturers that are passed on in the price of consumer goods.

Even if one could make the argument that social programs are paid for by the “rich” and the “rich deserve to pay their fair share”, the flow of tax revenue from the citizens must be considered a resource to the government every bit as much as a forest or an oil deposit is considered a resource, and wasting it is every bit as much a tragedy.

If liberals are concerned about the poor for example, why aren’t they upset about the fact that we have spent $15 trillion on the war on poverty and have not reduced the percentage of people living in poverty in this country at all?$15-trillion-and-nothing-to-show-for-it
Why aren’t they angry that spending all that money on a  problem that they claim to care about hasn’t done any good?  Why aren’t they demanding that the people of administering anti-poverty programs with such dismal failure rates be held accountable?

We are free to do whatever we want with our own money, be it wise or foolish, but shouldn’t there be a be a higher standard for people entrusted to spend other people’s money?  There is in the private sector, but not in government, our politicians and government bureaucrats have such a terrible record of foolishly spending money,  you would think that there would be a much louder call for their removal.  Since much of the waste occurs in programs that are supported by liberals, you think that they would be screaming loudest of all, but they’re not.  Why?

There are a lot of good-hearted liberals that are truly concerned about disadvantaged people out there, but they’re not the ones setting the agenda.  Those who are in charge of the liberal agenda are mostly concerned about maintaining a permanent voter base of disadvantaged people so they can stay in power and get their friends easy government jobs.  They have no interest in getting people out of poverty if that could mean losing their votes, and it absolutely would.

Government handouts do nothing to raise people out of poverty, they only allow them to barely get by.  In order to escape poverty, people need to become independent.  We simply cannot raise enough money to do it any other way.  Even if we could, we could not trust the government to spend the money wisely enough to accomplish the objective.

We’ve all witnessed the failure of government spending in attempts to stimulate the economy and help the poor and the only thing we have to show for it is a $16.8 trillion debt.  The ironic thing is that, what would do the most to alleviate all three of these problems would not cost the government anything - and that’s just getting out of the way!  Reduce regulations and other burdens on business, give them payroll tax breaks so they can hire people who are currently on government assistance, allow private companies to go after our domestic energy resources that are currently off limits, and repeal this monstrosity called ObamaCare.  You would think that just out of sheer desperation, the majority of Americans would be willing to give this a try.

I don’t believe that the people in charge of the liberal agenda are against trying this approach because they think it wouldn’t work.  I believe that they are against trying it because they are afraid it would.  If we attacked the poverty problem by allowing business to prosper and hire more people, those people would get a taste of independence and would inevitably crave more.  The more independent people become, the more they tend to be like the hardcore man-tool owner which would mean a loss of liberal voters.  Also any reduction in poverty that resulted from an increase in activity of private businesses would make more people question the value of government anti-poverty programs. This could mean a reduction in easy high-paying government jobs for friends of politicians.

The hardcore man-tool owner (along with other conservatives because of what they see in their daily lives) understands the formula:  Money and effort spent must bring about positive results or he must change his approach.  Most importantly however, he values independence, which is just about the antithesis of liberalism, and that is why you can tell which way a man votes, simply by looking inside his garage.

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