Gargantuan Government

Matt Perman summarizes Patrick Lencioni’s criticisms of Socialism.  Lencioni writes a great critique, and we’d do well to burn these simple, yet profound points into our heads the next four years.

An excerpt:

First, it just doesn’t work. At least not for very long. That’s because people are flawed and, outside of a family, a religious order, or a small group of friends, they will not continually work hard for the ‘greater good’ if they do not receive the fruits of that work themselves. As an economics major in college, I learned that this theory had a name: ‘the free-loader effect’. It is the natural tendency of people to do less and less work when they realize that they won’t see a proportionate increase in what they can get for it.

Over time—and this is an inevitable consequence of the free-loader effect—socialist societies experience decreasing productivity, risk-taking, and innovation, along with increasing tax rates, promises of government programs, and expectations from citizens about what they can get from those programs. When the economy inevitably falters under its own weight, those expectations cannot be met.

I’m no economics expert, but I’ve observed that the size and control of our government is growing at an alarming rate.  When POTUS can fire the head of GM, that’s telling.  What is growing right along with that is our expectation that the government provide for us.  Neither are good for the our nation’s wellbeing.

Some reply that what Lencioni describes is not Socialism, but Communism.  What do you think about that?

3 responses to “Gargantuan Government

  1. That concept is so foundational to human nature but liberals deny it again and again.

    Once when teaching a Junior Achievement class where the exercise was to create a society on a fictional deserted island, a 7th grade girl was adamant that people who did extra work should not get extra food or supplies. I gave her several attempts to reconsider her position but she held fast.

    At the end of the class I was passing out candy to everyone. I gave the same amount to everyone since the class as a whole was well behaved enough that day (I’m such a liberal!). But guess who insisted — with all sincerity — that she should get extra candy because she participated more than others? Yep, our resident liberal. I kindly pointed out the inconsistency to her. Hopefully the lesson sunk in.

  2. Pingback: The free-loader effect « 4Simpsons Blog - Eternity Matters

  3. Socialism is (was?) an interesting experiment in human nature. Some people talk about it like it’s inherently evil, but it’s actually quite idealistic. Unfortunately, it’s never seemed to work on a larger scale than a big commune.

    It’s not a concept that exists in a vacuum – it’s on the extreme end of a continuum which runs from no interference from the state (anarchy) to heavy influence – which, in some cases is socialism, and in other cases, is authoritarianism.

    A lot of people who discuss our President and socialism in the same breath are parroting right-wing talking heads without really understanding what socialism is. In a poll of 1,000 adults conducted Apr. 6-7, Rasmussen Reports found that 53% of Americans said they prefer capitalism to socialism, while 20% said they prefer socialism. More than one-quarter, 27%, said they’re not sure which system is better. Another poll conducted this month by found that M 70% of self-identified conservatives consider Obama’s political philosophy “Socialist” or “Marxist,” with 11% calling it “Communist.” Hahaha … what?

    People who actually call themselves socialists and advocate for change in that direction “believe the class that produces the wealth should own and control that wealth.” They laugh off the idea that what’s happening now resembles socialism in the slightest way.

    “American socialism” is a caricature, a farce; the word is used because it calls to mind the symbology of a time when we were locked in an idealogical mortal combat with a nuclear opponent.

    I’m not very happy with how our present government is handling the current economic crisis, either. However, the hypocrisy of Republicans who discuss the Obama administration in terms of large, restrictive government is stunning. The [former] party of fiscal conservatism and minimal government interference – who grew the size and scope of the federal government many-fold and imposed wiretaps on its citizens, now whining about big government and hands-off policies, is just laughable. The irony of conservatives who drink it in and then babble it back out as if the past eight years never happened is simply breathtaking.

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