Shut Up And Take It: We Can Steal From You, But Don’t Rally For It Back!!!

Posted on October 29, 2010 by

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There is a new stimulus bill and Governor Mitch Daniels is asking the Federal Government for $435 million of this additional money according to the Kokomo Tribune.  It is curious how the big government Democrats and Republicans are calling the little government Democrats and Republicans “hypocrites” for asking for a pittance of their tax money back.  I support Mitch Daniels in this regard, though I have a caveat in the last section of this blog, and I think it is a mistake to allow Keynesians at the Federal level of government, in newspapers, universities, and blogs, successfully rally to have the productive people of our country fund the unproductive and tout the success of the latter at the expense of the former.

What do a Hillsdale Senior, a blogger at Grist.com, and the Center for Public Accountability have in common?  They all want you to “shut up and take it.”  They want you to work hard so their fearless and omniscient leaders, Obama and or Bush, can plan the intimate details of your life.  However, if you stand up against this tyranny, if you talk out against this mess, don’t attempt to recapture any of the labor they have stolen from you because.. because that would make you a…. hypocrite?

Sure, money is either being devalued and or taxed from Indiana, or borrowed from future taxpayers in order to pay for this “stimulus”, but you have NO RIGHT to ask for a menial portion of it back because you were against the theft to begin with.  If you’re going to get raped by a thug, asking for a condom would elicit taunts of “hypocrisy” from these folks.  Being the victim of a robbery is bad enough but the insult of “hypocrisy” that comes with accepting some of the stolen goods back is too much for rationality to cope with.  Yet this taunt is rationalized.

It’s not only Mitch Daniels who speaks out against spending while proactively seeking it for his constituents.   Ron Paul, for example, voted against earmarked bills that he himself earmarked.  He even voted against his own “End The Fed” bill because it was captured in another bill in an attempt to logroll his support.  Much more than an act of hypocrisy, Ron Paul and Mitch Daniels are showing true courage by speaking out against what they stand to gain from.  They have the foresight to know that legal plunder does not ultimately cause wealth.

Hillsdale Senior weighs in

According to Hillsdale Senior Calvin Freiburgur, Ron Paul’s earmarking somehow amounts to Ron Paul being a “Fair-Weather Spending Foe” who should be cast out of society.  In truth, however, Ron Paul’s tactic adds to the Federalist dynamic of our government and the transparency of these spending bills.  Earmarks also reduce the executive branches powers and give more authority to locally elected legislators.  Earmarks aren’t the problem, spending is.  Freiburgur’s arguments don’t make sense.  Furthermore, this Hillsdale wonder kid wishes the Doctor from Texas would “shut up and take it” (not an actual quote).  It would make things much more convenient for government sycophants if all liberty lovers would just “shut up and take it.”

Students at Hillsdale now promote an increase in the Executive Branch’s discretionary power at the expense of the ability of Congressmen to earmark bills and take accountability for the appropriations they vote for or against.  Even unsubsidized colleges become centers for the promulgation of power concentration in the hands of a single person when the times suit them.  Wesley Messamore, a blogger for Young Americans for Liberty, does a good job laying Freiburgur’s arguments to rest.

Sarah Goodyear, a writer from grist.com, took a stab at Conservatives who complain about the “recovery” act while at the same time rallying for a sliver of it in their own state, town, or district.  Her argument, and the argument of the “Center for Public Integrity“, is that if you are a Conservative in the legislative branch speaking out against incredible spending, you should shut up and pay your taxes.  Your impoverishment will be another town’s success story (which ironically happens to be Hazlitt’s “Economics in One Lesson” lesson).

Of course, if you click on the link provided above, Goodyear is touting the success of Kokomo Indiana, my recent hometown, where it is perfectly okay to plunder the rest of society for the benefit of a few due to the Democrat status of the current Mayor, Greg Goodnight (new blog post coming soon about this fiasco). When Mitch Daniels, however, railed against such spending and let it slip that he is not a Democrat, all hell broke loose from busybody state lovers.  He should shut up and take it (according to this argumentation).

I’ve heard quite a few arguments like this through the years.  It is the claim that if you are against a certain government expenditure then you are a hypocrite for participating in the benefits of that expenditure.  If you believe roads should be privatized then to hell with you!!!  If you drive on roads you are a hypocrite!  If you believe that subsidies to universities should end AND you go to a subsidized school AND you accept the same Federal aid that you rail against, that if declined would price you out of the market, then you are a hypocrite!  Leave it to the pedantic scholars to think a little deeper, to notice the price inflation in highly subsidized higher education, to understand that being priced out of a market is an effect of such subsidies which perpetuate the need for more subsidies and more loans.  But don’t worry, if you work for the state your loans will be forgiven.

Leave it to big government Republicans and big government Democrats to make the claim that those who benefit from government looting should vote, en masse, for those who passed the bills.  All soldiers should vote for warmongers, welfare cases should vote for progressives, farmers should vote for protectionists, unions should vote for whomever.  If there is an interest group there is a bureaucrat stealing from the productive to give to the unproductive in the hopes that the productive members of society are in small enough quantity to be marginalized into oblivion come Election Day.

Hypocrisy of driving on roads?

It is easy to call someone a hypocrite while maintaining a naive view about how society and the division of labor work.  A libertarian who uses publicly funded and monopolized roads is still a libertarian in belief and action.  His belief about how a market could more accurately meet the subjective needs and wants of society is not destroyed by the mere fact that he must use property that was stolen in the name of the public good for public use.  His action asserts his belief in the value of markets and the division of labor DESPITE the roads not BECAUSE of the roads (article about roads and the division of labor here).

The title of this blog says it all.  Sarah Goodyear and the “Center for Public Integrity” are telling you to SHUT UP AND TAKE IT.  Deal with the harm that comes from these flawed policies and don’t ask for any of it back unless you enjoy being flogged as a hypocrite.

Concerning Governor Mitch Daniels

I am no fan of Mitch Daniels.  His “major moves” project represents a total lack of understanding in the ability of markets to meet the needs of self-interested people.  However, I don’t think I could ever criticize him for accepting Federal money from a bill he spoke out against.  It is a mark of true integrity and intelligence when a welfare case speaks out against welfare, a soldier speaks out against pre-emptive war, a college student speaks out against education subsidies, and a stimulus recipient speaks out against stimulus spending.  This is not hypocrisy but the attempt to assuage the insult that will inevitably come with the injury.

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Posted in: Keynesian Lunacy