Obama Repeats LBJ’s Mistakes

Written by Patrick Krey on March 10, 2009 – 11:13 am -

From PJB at TAC:

History never repeats itself exactly. But Barack Obama is making the same mistakes today that LBJ made in 1965.

He has ordered 17,000 more U.S. troops into Afghanistan, as the situation deteriorates and the NATO allies pull out. He has no exit strategy. He has read a repudiation of George Bush as a mandate for a government seizure of wealth and power that exceeds anything attempted in the Great Society.

Fully half of the $3.55 trillion in spending Obama will preside over this year will not be covered by tax revenue but by red ink. The money will have to be borrowed from abroad or printed by the Fed.

Not only is Barack running a deficit four times as large as Bush’s largest, he has called for $1 trillion in new taxes on America’s most successful, who have already seen their savings and pensions ravaged.

He wants a cap-and-trade system to deal with a global-warming or climate-change crisis many scientists believe is a hoax. He is going to provide health care for all, including immigrants, millions of whom arrive uninsured every year. He is going to plunge scores of billions more into education, though education has eaten up the wealth of an empire, as SAT scores sink further and further below the apogee of 1964, before LBJ and the feds barged in. He is going to ask Congress for authority to spend another $750 billion rescuing the banks. More…


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Posted in Obama BS Update | 54 Comments »

54 Comments to “Obama Repeats LBJ’s Mistakes”

  1. Maximillian TresmondNo Gravatar Says:

    Obama is misreading the election returns. When America voted to cancel the White House lease of Mr. Bush, it did not vote Barack Obama a blank check.

    This is incorrect. Obama is reading the election returns just fine, thank you very much. In voting to cancel the lease of Mr. Bush, America demanded that Barack Obama:

    - Reverse restrictions on stem cell research

    - Extend unemployment insurance benefits and temporarily suspend taxes on these benefits

    - Invest in all types of alternative energy

    - Ban lobbyist gifts to executive employees

    Work to overturn Ledbetter vs. Goodyear

    - Create a White House Office on Urban Policy

    - Require new hires to sign a form affirming their hiring was not due to political affiliation or contributions.

    - Release presidential records

    - Direct military leaders to end war in Iraq

    - Extend and index the 2007 Alternative Minimum Tax patch

    - Create a foreclosure prevention fund for homeowners

    and so forth. (source: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/rulings/promise-kept/)

    Barack Obama has so far kept his promises to the American people. He isn’t misreading anything.

  2. Patrick KreyNo Gravatar Says:

    Really? 50,000 troops in Iraq through 2012? That’s keeping a promise? You peaceniks are easily satisfied I guess. When I heard chants to end the war, I thought you guys actually wanted him to end the war. My mistake…..

    Max, I thought you were a libertarian?! All those other things you listed are just more big government initiaves which have the opposite effect of what’s intended but make statists feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  3. Mike WalshNo Gravatar Says:

    Obama is just the newest manager of, take your pick: the corporate state, the establishment, the wealthy elites. They’re all the same thing.

    Most of the goodies given away in the latest round are peanuts compared to the bailouts and the defense budgets. It’s just designed to placate the lower and middle classes while the real work is to maintain the status quo.

    The big trick that both parties have been using for some time now is to fuel resentment between the middle and lower classes. It may not work much longer the way things are going.

  4. James OstrowskiNo Gravatar Says:

    Reverse restrictions on stem cell research

    There was none that I know of. There was a ban on using stolen federal tax dollars. Where’s the constitutional authority for the federal government to be involved in health care?

  5. James OstrowskiNo Gravatar Says:

    Create a White House Office on Urban Policy

    That’s hysterical. Federal intervention has already destroyed America’s cities including Buffalo. Before major federal intervention in the 1930′s, Buffalo was a thriving, livable, world-class city. Now much of it looks like a third world country.

    God help us from this new round of federal help.

  6. James OstrowskiNo Gravatar Says:

    Create a foreclosure prevention fund for homeowners

    Great, steal money from NYers and give it to people who bought big houses in Florida and California.

    Insane, criminal–I run out of words.

  7. Ray RobertsNo Gravatar Says:

    Don’t forget that Obama claims he’s a free market guy like Bush, which isn’t far from the truth since no one ever accused Bush of being a free market guy anyway—unless they’re an idiot.
    The guy has an Orwellian language all his own. All his spending sprees on corporate welfare, and dubious scientific research are called “investments”. Come to think of it, Bush had the same spiel.
    For his next act I’m waiting for Obama to claim that the age of big government is over.

    What’s worse? The promises he kept to the Boobus’s or the promises he didn’t keep. I say both since everything he’s done is going to blow up or backfire.

  8. Maximillian TresmondNo Gravatar Says:

    Max, I thought you were a libertarian?! All those other things you listed are just more big government initiaves which have the opposite effect of what’s intended but make statists feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

    Patrick,

    I think libertarians have a lot of useful ideas, namely privacy, peace and commitment to the freedom of inquiry and control over one’s own mind. I’ve said again and again that you guys have got the right idea about local government (that is, it should be decentralised with the emphasis on towns/cities). That being said, libertarians have the vice of being adamantly opposed to any government spending. Concluding that government spending has never been beneficial is to be on the wrong side of history. Virtually all of the technology we enjoy today is a result of government investment. The Internet, computers, etc. would never had developed without the work of the government. Stem cell research is likely to improve the human condition by saving lives and perhaps one day extending man’s lifespan to who knows how long. Doctors need money for this research and the free market doesn’t have the money to support them meaningfully. Spending money on stem cells is the smart thing to do.

  9. MaximillianNo Gravatar Says:

    Jim writes;

    “There was none that I know of. There was a ban on using stolen federal tax dollars. Where’s the constitutional authority for the federal government to be involved in health care?”

    Surely you must have heard somewhere that the use of federal funds was prohibited for embryonic stem cell research? “Stolen” federal tax dollars? Come on, you might not like the current tax system but saying that tax dollars are “stolen” is completely unjustified. A thing is only stolen in the context of the law. The Constitution grants the federal government to collect taxes (see below). If the Constitution permits it, it isn’t “stolen”.

    Regarding the question of constitutional authority:

    The United States Constitution

    Article I Sec. 8

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States”

    Amendment 16:

    The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

    There’s the constitutional authority.

  10. Michael RebmannNo Gravatar Says:

    I read the transcript from Ledbetter vs. Goodyear and am of the firm position that the court got it right. The MSM, the progressives and unionistas conveniently left out facts from the trial while trying to justify overturning the court’s decision via legislation.

    The piece of garbage legislation that Obama signed was nothing more than a payback for union political contributions.

  11. Michael RebmannNo Gravatar Says:

    Government paid stem cell research will turn into a big gravy train like cancer research. There is no profit incentive to come up with a cure as long as the government keeps paying hefty amounts to the researchers. It is a make-work program for people with college degrees.

  12. MaximillianNo Gravatar Says:

    Government paid stem cell research will turn into a big gravy train like cancer research. There is no profit incentive to come up with a cure as long as the government keeps paying hefty amounts to the researchers. It is a make-work program for people with college degrees.

    Mike,

    There’s no money in stem cell research right now. It costs more money than private organisations have to invest in the research. Looking at the facts:

    1. Tested scientific evidence strongly suggests that stem cell research will provide cures to diseases that have been incurable because these diseases require the reprogramming or replacement of damaged human cells/tissues/organs.

    2. Private organisations don’t have the necessary resources to develop treatments from embryonic stem cells.

    3. The federal government has the necessary resources to develop research in embryonic stem cells.

    4. People don’t want to suffer and die from currently incurable ailments.

    The rational decision, then, based upon the four above mentioned facts is to use federal money to develop stem cell research. The irrational decision in light of these four facts is to withhold federal funds to develop treatments and cures for heinous diseases because it might one day “turn into a big gravy train”.

  13. JoeNo Gravatar Says:

    Government spending on Stem Cell research will slow down progress, just as it has for the internet. The government monopoly on telecommunications and severe restrictions on radio technology greatly lowered the amount of competitive research that would have happened over the past 100 years. After the government reduced it’s involvement in running the core of the internet in the early 90′s, the internet really took off.

    Since there was effectively only one phone company before 1970, there was only one significant corporate telecommunications lab, Bell labs. That lab invented the transistor. If other phone companies had been allowed to exist, competition between multiple labs would have almost certainly produced the transistor significantly earlier. Fortunately the guys who invented the transistor realized the disadvantegs of working for a government monopoly, and left to create fairchild, which created the integrated chip. About 12 years later another private company, intel, invented the cpu. Multiple people from different universities created the concepts and electronics behind the first computers in the 30′s and 40′s. And the UK government tortured the most important computer pioneer, Alan Turing, for being a homosexual until he killed himself.

    So no, government involvement in the computer, transistor, cpu and internet didn’t help, it actualy hurt progress. A government can’t kill Alan Turing for goodness sake and then claim it helped with computer development! That would be like killing Einstein and then saying they helped physics.

    And the government is still actively preventing the development of a more advanced internet. It’s doing that among other ways by restricting the radio range of wifi and by the governments creation of ‘software patents’ in the 1980′s.

    Ever notice how physics particle and fundamental theory research took a turn for the worse after the government started building big colliders? That’s because if you give any one a government paycheck, including scientists, they will focus work on getting more political paychecks instead of what they supposed to focus on.

    Remember how the government declared war on cancer? When was the last time an NIH lab announced a breakthrough on treating cancer?

    Who finished the human genome project? It wasn’t the government, it was a private company, Celera Genomics.

    Government spending on stem cell research is a terrible mistake that will ward off hundreds of much more capable young bio graduates from starting their own competitive companies.

  14. JoeNo Gravatar Says:

    The spam filter blocked my last comment, so it may show up later. The reason anything is expensive is become someonw hasn’t yet figured out a way to make it less expensive. If government’s don’t dissuade young shoe string bio graduate enterprises by funding connected older scientists, than new thinkers will be free to solve the expense problem.

  15. James OstrowskiNo Gravatar Says:

    I don’t agree with Max’s expansive interpretion of the Constitution, wherein there is no scope whatever for state action, or true federalism, but it is instructive nonetheless.

    As Rothbard taught us, every mechanism to limit government gets turned around and used to make government more powerful: divide right of kings, constitutions, democracy itself.

    The Supreme Court, ignoring Madison–what did he know, have interpreted the general welfare clause just so.

    The 9th and 10th amendments are “truisms.”

    The Constitution has failed to limit government.

    Time to move on, or back to the Articles.

  16. Ray RobertsNo Gravatar Says:

    “Concluding that government spending has never been beneficial is to be on the wrong side of history. Virtually all of the technology we enjoy today is a result of government investment. The Internet, computers, etc. would never had developed without the work of the government.”

    Wow! That’s a stretch. Government investment didn’t create the Internet. All the individuals who came up with the ideas and technology that became the Internet were not financed by the government. Just because the government claimed a monopoly on their inventions for a period of time for government use doesn’t mean the Internet wouldn’t have come about without the government. The Internet didn’t explode with innovation and growth until the government gave up its monopoly and the private sector took over. If anything the government impeded the early progress of the Internet.
    Did the government have anything to do with the invention of the microprocessor? Nope. That was all developed by non-government guys without government funding. So how did the government have anything to do with the invention of the computer?
    And when has government largess ever cured a disease?

  17. MaximillianNo Gravatar Says:

    The reason anything is expensive is become someone hasn’t yet figured out a way to make it less expensive. If government’s don’t dissuade young shoe string bio graduate enterprises by funding connected older scientists, than new thinkers will be free to solve the expense problem.

    What kind of reasoning is that? People are dying as a result of heinous diseases now Joe. People are suffering from disabilities now. We don’t have the luxury of time to “wait and see” what will develop under a new government/economic order 100 years in the future. It’s now or never.

  18. JoeNo Gravatar Says:

    Max, if government spending is so great for science why didn’t communist China and the Soviet Union win all the nobel prizes that US scientists did in the last century?

    The answer is because it’s not.

    If a politician hands out money to scientists that doesn’t magically make the scientists more productive, by logic and the evidence of history that’s bound to make them less productive. They will work for ever more government grants and political fiefdoms as they have been doing instead of working to solve the research problems that are in demand to be solved.

    I spoke with some young entrepreneurs last year who started their own genetics analysis company. They did this with a few thousand dollars and invented a bioinformatics product that didn’t exist before and people are actually willing to pay for. Government grants built massive buildings in downtown Buffalo and cristened that a biotech complex, and what innovations has those millions produced? As expected from politically allocated dollars nothing that I remember.

    Why is it that every time I converse with someone caling for government spending they consistently rely on appeals to emotion and make claims without any stated evidence or deductive reasoning behind it?

    The answer is because that’s all government is, appeals to emotion for errored thinking, truth can stand on it’s own.

  19. Maximillian TresmondNo Gravatar Says:

    Wow! That’s a stretch. Government investment didn’t create the Internet.

    Oh really? Au contraire, the Internet is a product of cold war research conducted by the government. Did you ever hear of ARPANET? ARPANET – the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network and an agency of the United States Department of Defense was the first packet switching network in the world and the predecessor to the Internet.

    See: http://www.davesite.com/webstation/net-history.shtml

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARPANET

    Gentlemen, the Internet would not have come into existence without government research and funding.

  20. JoeNo Gravatar Says:

    And the most negative effect government spending has is that it interferes with the free market development of products. I met those young entrepreneurs in silicon valley California, not downtown Buffalo. There’s a fairly obvious reason for that, it’s because bio grads get big grant jobs here in NY, which inevitably waste those grads time by running in grant seeking driven circles. Put those grads in silicon valley were they seek investors and run their own business and it’s a whole different story. That’s what stem cell research needs, people making investments and decisions with their own time, money and work. That produced the cpu and it will produce the first stem cell heart. But it won’t happen in a Buffalo big government science gulag, as with the cpu and the genome project it will happen at a private company, as long as they aren’t slowed down by wasteful government interference like hiring young grads away.

  21. Mike WalshNo Gravatar Says:

    First of all, there was plenty of stem cell samples left for basic research and that research was being conducted. Don’t forget foreign research, also. A lot of this is hype and politically motivated on both sides.

    To blame Bush for people dying right now from lack of research is ridiculous. On the other hand, somebody who restricts stem cells for “moral” reasons while he sanctions war and torture across the globe is the ultimate hypocrite.

  22. JoeNo Gravatar Says:

    Max, did the government invent graph theory? The traveling salesman problem?
    Do you really think those 2 areas are less challenging than packet switching?
    Please tell me how it is that preventing anyone from starting a competitor to Bell labs helped the creation of the internet?

    Btw packet switching ideas originated with multiple people, arapanet was just the first application. And considering it the government made it illegal to run your own telecommunications business at the time, how exactly could anyone else but government workers do that? Perhaps in secret hoping to not get caught?

  23. Mike WalshNo Gravatar Says:

    Max, the little tweaks Obama has done is all well and good but it’s just minor.

    Where is the real “hope and change”?

    It’s just more of the same unless we see a few of the following actions taken:

    Bring our troops home from Iraq

    Start dismantling the global miltary empire

    Authorize a major Justice department investigation of the crooks who just tanked the economy

    Convene an economic think tank with economists from all schools instead of surrounding himself with the same people who contribted to this mess

    Convene a financial and tax think tank with the goal of rewriting and simplifying both the individual and corporate tax codes

  24. Michael RebmannNo Gravatar Says:

    Max, I’m disappointed at the emotional appeal you have presented as your argument. I thought you were above the typical progressive “tug at the heart strings” argument.

    People dying from disease does not position the government in the role of creating a beneficial solution. It only creates the atmosphere to dupe people into handing over more of their hard earned money to create a new group of leeches on society.

  25. Ray RobertsNo Gravatar Says:

    Max wasn’t born yet so he doesn’t know there was a functional online world that normal people and business’s were using while the gubment was still fiddling around with their boring ARPANET.

  26. Maximillian TresmondNo Gravatar Says:

    Max, did the government invent graph theory? The traveling salesman problem?
    Do you really think those 2 areas are less challenging than packet switching?

    ARPANET spawned the Internet, it doesn’t make a difference whether or not nongovernmental agencies make progress. That’s not the point. The point is that governments have contributed in developing technology you use today.

    Michael,

    I’m disappointed by your deflecting the facts by characterizing my argument as “emotional”. My argument is that the federal government is the only organisation with the resources to promote stem cell research at this time. The evidence clearly shows that stem cells will be able to regenerate organs and are probably the only way to cure most terminal ailments. A rational person who wants to see a cure for these diseases will support government funding of stem cell research. An irrational person will wait to abolish government and hope that an ungoverned enterprise 100 years later will come up with the money while they die in the meantime. It’s as simple as that.

    Your argument is emotional because it relies on a neurotic fear of the government to ever be put to good use which is nonsense. It also assumes that somehow, things would be a-okay without government and that utopia awaits us behind the shroud of government. That’s an attitude founded on many unproven assumptions and is, unfortunately, naive.

  27. Maximillian TresmondNo Gravatar Says:

    From http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa091598.htm

    “The Internet may fairly be regarded as a never-ending worldwide conversation.” – supreme judge statement on considering first amendment rights for Internet users.

    On a cold war kind of day, in swinging 1969, work began on the ARPAnet, grandfather to the Internet. Designed as a computer version of the nuclear bomb shelter, ARPAnet protected the flow of information between military installations by creating a network of geographically separated computers that could exchange information via a newly developed protocol (rule for how computers interact) called NCP (Network Control Protocol).

    One opposing view to ARPAnet’s origins comes from Charles M. Herzfeld, the former director of ARPA. He claimed that ARPAnet was not created as a result of a military need, stating “it came out of our frustration that there were only a limited number of large, powerful research computers in the country and that many research investigators who should have access were geographically separated from them.” ARPA stands for the Advanced Research Projects Agency, a branch of the military that developed top secret systems and weapons during the Cold War.

    The first data exchange over this new network occurred between computers at UCLA and Stanford Research Institute. On their first attempt to log into Stanford’s computer by typing “log win”, UCLA researchers crashed their computer when they typed the letter ‘g’.

    Four computers were the first connected in the original ARPAnet. They were located in the respective computer research labs of UCLA (Honeywell DDP 516 computer), Stanford Research Institute (SDS-940 computer), UC Santa Barbara (IBM 360/75), and the University of Utah (DEC PDP-10). As the network expanded, different models of computers were connected, creating compatibility problems. The solution rested in a better set of protocols called TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) designed in 1982.

    To send a message on the network, a computer breaks its data into IP (Internet Protocol) packets, like individually addressed digital envelopes. TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) makes sure the packets are delivered from client to server and reassembled in the right order.

    Under ARPAnet several major innovations occurred: email (or electronic mail), the ability to send simple messages to another person across the network (1971); telnet, a remote connection service for controlling a computer (1972); and file transfer protocol (FTP), which allows information to be sent from one computer to another in bulk (1973).

    As non-military uses for the network increased, more and more people had access, and it was no longer safe for military purposes. As a result, MILnet, a military only network, was started in 1983. Internet Protocol software was soon being placed on every type of computer, and universities and research groups also began using in-house networks known as Local Area Networks or LAN’s. These in-house networks then started using Internet Protocol software so one LAN could connect with other LAN’s.

    In 1986, one LAN branched out to form a new competing network, called NSFnet (National Science Foundation Network). NSFnet first linked together the five national supercomputer centers, then every major university, and it started to replace the slower ARPAnet (which was finally shutdown in 1990). NSFnet formed the backbone of what we call the Internet today.

    “The Internet’s pace of adoption eclipses all other technologies that preceded it. Radio was in existence 38 years before 50 million people tuned in; TV took 13 years to reach that benchmark. Sixteen years after the first PC kit came out, 50 million people were using one. Once it was opened to the general public, the Internet crossed that line in four years.” – quote from the U.S. Department report “The Emerging Digital Economy”.

  28. Michael RebmannNo Gravatar Says:

    Max, despite the economic meltdown, which, by the way, renders the government positioned only to cut spending, most of the major drug companies did very well in 2008, including 4th quarter profits.

    The drug companies are solvent and can afford research, the government is insolvent and can’t afford it. Your line of thinking plays right into the hands of big business by letting them sit on their profits while the government spends money it doesn’t have.

  29. Jim OstrowskiNo Gravatar Says:

    Government is God!

    You don’t even make arguments. You make assertions. Is your major premise “what Max says is true.”

    Are you familair with the concept of opportunity cost? Have you heard of the Public Choice School?

    Where is the old Max? Are you an imposter? Prove you are really Max!

  30. Jim OstrowskiNo Gravatar Says:

    Max, quick, name one economics book you ever read.

  31. JoeNo Gravatar Says:

    Again I have to ask, considering the government outlawed competitors to ma bell, how do you know that more progress wouldn’t have been made with competitive private companies if they had been allowed to build their own telecommunication networks?

    And how do you account for the fact that the internet grew much faster after private companies took over the backbone?

    I agree that Stem Cell research is an important area for r and d and even more importantly-production. That could scarcely be clearer. Why are you assuming that the government spending tax money for what it claims is stem cell research purposes will result in more progress than leaving that money with private industry to spend?

    And again why do you think that government projects should be given the money to hire away young bio grads from private companies? What reason do you have to think that the government beauracracies will make more productive use of those bio grade than private businesses? Do you think those government beauracracies will out produce Celera this time? Why?

    You see Max, deciding whether to let the government spend tax money on what it claims to be research is an economic question. History and logic is clear on the answer, a competitive free market will out produce political spending for the production of any product or service.

  32. Maximillian TresmondNo Gravatar Says:

    Please Jim, leave out the personal attacks. There are enough of those to go around for everyone. I see you didn’t address my point that government can and has developed useful technology that improved our lives. I gave you an argument and you won’t answer it.

    Here it is again.

    Argument:

    1. Stem cells are key to regenerating and reprogramming cells, tissues, and organs.

    2. Being able to regenerate healthy tissues and organs will cure diseases and increase the human lifespan.

    3. No private institution has come up with the money for stem cell research because they don’t have enough resources to devote to a major study of the field.

    4. Government has the ability to fund stem cell research
    ______________________________________
    Therefore, a rational person who wants to see stem cell research carried out soon will opt for the government funding of stem cell research.

    post script: Before you pass judgment on the University at Buffalo, you ought to look into who founded the Free State Project and see where he teaches.

  33. Maximillian TresmondNo Gravatar Says:

    Joe,

    You see Max, deciding whether to let the government spend tax money on what it claims to be research is an economic question. History and logic is clear on the answer, a competitive free market will out produce political spending for the production of any product or service.

    My point isn’t that things could have been different. Yes, development happens everywhere, in the private sector and the public sector. But the point is that it does happen in the public sector as it did with the Internet. Just because things could have been different doesn’t change the fact that the Internet evolved out of ARPANET, a government project.

    I agree with you on a lot of points, but here’s a question: Private enterprise had eight years to get something underway with respect to embryonic stem cells and very little happened. Why? The government didn’t prevent them from using private money to fund development.

    I suppose we can come back in a couple of years to see what was made of the government investment.

  34. JoeNo Gravatar Says:

    I made an argument based on logic and history that if there is a problem with stem cell research being ‘too expensive’, that problem is better handled by private industry. The straight forward logic is that people competing for profit from paying customers will be directly rewarded for success, where people who are competing for government grants, will be rewarded by getting more government grants, which is a political process. One group has to answer to customers who can go else wehere, the other is rewarded by playing politics better.

    Here’s a list of many companies worldwide that are already doing stem cell research, including 43 in the US:

    http://www.stem-cell-companies.com/

    I also don’t agree government has the ability to fund stem cell research. Why? For the same reason that government doesn’t have the ability to fund a berkshire hathway company, they lack both the incentive and information of profit and loss. If the government started it’s own stock investing company, that would be considered highly questionable, because it would seem obvious that politics would then be interfering in the stock market. It would also seem clear that government beauracrats would not be expected to do as well as professional stock brokers competing with each other with their own money. Now take that same scenario, and apply it to any other industry, including r and d. So this wouldn’t be ‘funding’ but rather by definition ‘political spending.’ Here’s the economics paper from 1920 that explains this:
    http://mises.org/books/socialism.pdf

  35. Jim OstrowskiNo Gravatar Says:

    It’s not an attack, it’s a plea to wake up.

    You don’t make arguments, Max, you make assertions. You seem to believe that your mere utterance of a proposition is proof of its truth.

    It’s hard to rebut an argument that is not an argument at all.

    You have not made an argument that any government should be doing research, let alone health research, let alone the federal government should be involved. You don’t seem to be aware of the Public Choice school of thought. You, like all liberals, have no theory of costs! You appear not to care where the resoruces will come from.

    Do some actual research. Do your homework. Come to the table with an actual argument. Then, we can have a reasonable dialogue.

  36. JoeNo Gravatar Says:

    A previous post of mine was delayed by the spam que.

    Development work of various types can be done by government employees. The question is, at what cost? If it took government employees 100 years and 10 billion dollars of tax money to make the next cpu while it took the amd versus intel competitive process 10 years and 1 billion dollars of investor money, than the competitive process is ‘better.’ However there is more to it than that, because taking taxes for and control of research by force is also a moral issue, in fact, that’s the most important part of this issue. This is also an important example, because Kurzweil and others have persuasively argued that exponential growth for a technology happens after it becomes a software/computer problem. Since stem cell technology is based on computationaly approachable genetics and biochemistry, it has great potential as a computerized technology.

    Honesty is always more productive, and in the case of research that’s even more true than other areas, because research critically depends on open, honest, none outsider influenced research papers and communication.

    The idea that individual freedom is more productive than central dictation wins on both the utilitarian and moral fronts, but the moral front is the superior one.

    Your question on why didn’t stem cell research go faster is a good one, but like all numbers specific economic questions, it’s impossible to give a precise provable answer. That’s because economic outcomes depend on the decisions of individuals, and the decision process of the human mind is yet to be quantified. Austrian economics isn’t based on ultimately fruitless attempts at precise economic forecast calculation, it’s based on logical deduction from the first principles of human action. This is covered in Mises book ‘human action.’ That also means that the utilitarian anecdotal type argument I gave above is not an example of a good Austrian argument.

    There are many possible reasons why stem cell research seemingly went slowly. The biggest reason is probably simply because it was a new field. For that reason the very question of ‘did it go slowly or not’ is hard to answer, even by a hypothetical person with the deep knowledge of bio and recent research history needed to even attempt to answer it.

  37. Maximillian TresmondNo Gravatar Says:

    Joe,

    You are clearly one of the more reasonable people on this board. Thank you for taking the time to address my questions and argument. You write, “Development work of various types can be done by government employees. The question is, at what cost?” I agree that private research leads to development is unquestioned and that stem cell research grew slowly because it was new field. I’d say that’s the perfect time to invest federal money to act as fuel for the fire, so to speak. That’s precisely how government should spend it’s money; helping to start up promising new market segments and not waste money on projects with no hope. Morality is an entirely different issue, but I don’t see government spending as being necessarily moral or immoral. Like private spending, it’s amoral.

  38. JoeNo Gravatar Says:

    The difference between private and government spending is that the government didn’t earn the money it’s spending, it took it by force from the citizens and businesses who earned it. If a government took %100 of everyones income and spent it as the USSR did, isn’t that a clear case of theft and thus morally wrong?

    Why do you think that government spending money in new market segments would help rather than hurt such development? Facebook and google were new market segments at one time, if the government had made it’s own search engine and social app at that time it would have hurt investor confidence in google and facebook. If government workers have a special ability to pick which new businesses to invest in that Sequoia Capital doesn’t have, why haven’t government workers used this special ability in the past? For example the US post office is notorious for being less innovative than UPS and Fedex. If government workers can make better investment decisions than private investors, and their spending doesn’t hurt more than it helps, why is long distance package delivery a better product than postal service mail delivery?

  39. Maximillian TresmondNo Gravatar Says:

    The difference between private and government spending is that the government didn’t earn the money it’s spending,

    That’s a highly subjective evaluation. An alternative explanation which more people would agree with is that “the government” was given it’s money by the will of the public.

    If a government took %100 of everyones income and spent it as the USSR did, isn’t that a clear case of theft and thus morally wrong?

    That’s irrelevant. The government didn’t take 100% of everyone’s income. What you’re doing is the same as arguing “If you take a whole bottle of aspirin you would die, therefore if you take the suggested recommended dose of aspirin you will die”

  40. Maximillian TresmondNo Gravatar Says:

    Why do you think that government spending money in new market segments would help rather than hurt such development?

    Because it has in the past with infrastructure, the Internet, computer development, etc. That’s not to say government spending is flawless and couldn’t go in the opposite direction, it certainly could. Private investors are unlikely to spend money on research they no little about, especially if those fields require more money than any one investor has. Government is a great motivator. It doesn’t make sense to compare two different fields (life science and postal delivery) with one another because those fields are staffed with professionals of different backgrounds and approaches. I always send my packages (especially overseas) by the US or Canadian post offices. The overseas packages arrive sooner than FedEx at a lower cost.

  41. JoeNo Gravatar Says:

    If there is such a thing as a ‘will of the public’, such an entity is not the same thing as an individual. Wealth transfers come from individuals not a ‘public will.’ Do individuals have a choice to give their money? Clearly the answer is no. They do have a choice to be one among millions to select one or two of the politicians who will then spend the money.

    What percentage of income do you think is morally acceptable for a central government to take? %90? %60? Thanks.

  42. JoeNo Gravatar Says:

    I would love to see the research paper or indeed any evidence that government spending in those areas helped more than they hurt. The sum knowledge of private investors, namely the entire free world, is larger than government workers. The logic of economics applies to cpu’s as well as pencils or any other products. In spam blocked post I mentioned there are 43 US stem cell companies.

  43. Maximillian TresmondNo Gravatar Says:

    What percentage of income do you think is morally acceptable for a central government to take? %90? %60? Thanks.

    Sorry, that’s a flawed question which has no answer.

  44. Maximillian TresmondNo Gravatar Says:

    Not only flawed, but invalid.

  45. Michael RebmannNo Gravatar Says:

    Max, if you can’t answer the question, how can you justify government spending. Are you saying the end justifies the means?

    How do you place a value on products born of ill-gotten goods?

    How do you know when just “enough” money has been taken from the people?

  46. Maximillian TresmondNo Gravatar Says:

    Max, if you can’t answer the question, how can you justify government spending. Are you saying the end justifies the means?

    Michael it’s a b.s. question.

  47. James OstrowskiNo Gravatar Says:

    Are there any scientific studies that show the superiority of government over market-sponsored research?

    Liberals have no theory of economic value or costs. If they had one, they would cease to be liberals.

    Instead, the pretend that costs do not exist.

  48. JoeNo Gravatar Says:

    OK, I’ll bite. Why is the question flawed, invalid and b.s. ?

  49. Maximillian TresmondNo Gravatar Says:

    “How do you know when just “enough” money has been taken from the people?”

    It depends on what your intended goals are. As with law, the morality of a particular tax is conditional.

    “How do you place a value on products born of ill-gotten goods?”

    You assume what you need to prove. Nobody but this group believes that taxes are “ill gotten gains”.

  50. JoeNo Gravatar Says:

    It sounds like your saying if a government has the right ‘intended goals’, than some level of mandatory taxation is moral.

    How do we know if an intended goal is right enough to be morally allowable?

    If an intended government goal is morally allowable, do you think there is any maximum amount a government may tax?

    Or perhaps your also saying that a moral level of taxation varies with the intended goal. Like for example if I’m running the government and I declare my intended goal is to build a highway, than I may tax at %20 but not %100?

  51. Maximillian TresmondNo Gravatar Says:

    I don’t agree with the way your framing the question Joe, it’s somewhat deceptive. Taxes may or may not be collected for a single purpose. Federal taxes are used to cover a wide range of programs. In my view, the morality of the decision to spend tax dollars depends on the morality of the program for which the tax dollars are consumed. Taxation like guns, law, etc. isn’t inherently moral or immoral. It’s amoral.

  52. Maximillian TresmondNo Gravatar Says:

    “How do we know if an intended goal is right enough to be morally allowable?”

    That depends on your interpretation of morality.

  53. Ray RobertsNo Gravatar Says:

    Max, you’d make a great dictator. You’ve got an excuse for everything. You’ve claimed the word “morality” has no plain English meaning, but is something abstract that can be interpreted in any way you want.

  54. JoeNo Gravatar Says:

    Are there any pro government spending people who believe the state should be limited in any way? Are there any pro government spending people who don’t believe morality is infinitely redefinable? It’s pretty hard not to conclude that the socialist-marxist agenda has completely taken over modern universities. Educated people literally don’t believe in morality anymore, nor any limits whatsoever on government.

    And the response to anyone who disagrees with that is the standard marxist one, use relativism to avoid any logical discussion of morality or economics, and appeal to emotionalism to push ones own agenda for more government spending. In the few weeks I’ve been actively commenting I’ve seen this several times. It’s not something I even wanted to admit, and actually went out of my way to avoid admitting. However the truth is undeniable. It begs the question if it’s a waste of time to try to have a logical discussion about economics, morality or the government with anyone who has indoctrinated by the sates schools. It seems the time of libertarian activists is much better spent reaching out to people who were lucky enough to avoid college.

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