Monday, January 16, 2012

A Government Luther??

Where Are the Liberals? -

It is amazing how liberal a guy the NYTs puts up as their "conservative" -- Brooks voted for Obama.

Here his thesis is basically "liberals are right, but they have fouled the pool" ... so they need a "State Martin Luther" to clean it up ... Luther cleaned up the church, now we need a state version of Luther. Neat.

Some thoughts:

-- Luther moved the western church to BIBLICAL principles, not some "Catholic cleanup". It is true that he WANTED to reform the Catholic Church, but what he did was essentially give the Bible to the people (German translation) ... a cause that was also helped by Gutenberg. Luther applied "technology" (printing press) to Christian faith, thereby basically decentralizing the control of faith and creating an explosion of churches. The Catholic Church survived, but it never again had the power it had pre-Luther. 

-- If one was going to apply Luther to government, it would make people MORE self governing, which would make the Democrats even more wrong than they are now.

-- Rent seeking,  profit,  market share, competitive advantage, we won the election, currying favor, political influence, inside information, etc, etc. Those are all HUMAN ideas ... and they are pretty much the same thing. Luther didn't make himself Pope, King, Chief, wealthy, or anything -- neither did Christ. Our founding fathers were very successful people that took huge risks (including their lives) to give us liberty. A "government reformation" would operate on WHAT set of "transcended principles"??

-- The idea that "capitalism failed us" relative to the sub-prime crisis is like saying "technology failed us" when there is a car or plane crash, nuclear plant problem, power outage, or discovery of large defect in some product. **ALL** our systems --- government, private, military, corporate, non-profit, religious, educational, etc, etc are HUMAN designed, built, and operated. They are **ALL** subject to failures great and small. Government is pretty much the bottom of the barrel on quality of systems because:

  1.  It's primary motivation is short term votes. In the long run, the politicians at hand are out of office.
  2. It plays to constituencies, not science, principles, results (other than votes), efficiency, etc. 
  3. It can't be destroyed by "lack of profits" or "measured failure", or consumer dissatisfaction like any other business. 
Making government work "better" is much like building a bigger H bomb or tiger, or fuel tanker. There may or may not be an UPside, but there is ALWAYS a DOWNSIDE!!!

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