Thursday, May 22, 2014

Why the Democratic Political Platform Creates Poverty

While one may describe this meme as propagandistic and one-sided, it carries an important insight.
The Democratic Party has always been notorious for employing the strategy of machine politics to maximize their influence. Andrew Jackson instituted the spoils system where the government provided political privileges to voters in exchange for their support.
The Democrats were able to perpetrate such blatant fraud with impunity because this country was significantly more corrupt than it is now. However, the increased political transparency compelled them to merely refine their strategy as opposed to abandon it. In other words, they simply discovered subtler and less conspicuous methods for achieving the same objective.
Instead of explicitly handing out government positions to the most steadfast party loyalists, they reward supporters by expanding government programs that benefit them. Two obvious examples of this phenomenon include the invidious "military-industrial complex"  and the aggrandizement of welfare programs.
While both appear benevolent because they have the potential to generate income, they are problematic because they disincentivize the private and the public sector from contributing to economic growth. Today's welfare state can hardly be described as anything but a spoils system in disguise: it hands out special privileges to the underclass in exchange for their support. Although this course of action diminishes the incidence of extreme poverty, it does little to provide its beneficiaries with resources necessary to enter the middle class. In part because of this, the government has an incentive to increase rather than decrease the poverty rate. For this reason, the image cited in the opening sentence provides relatively accurate description of the frequent consequences of the Democrats' long-term political triumphs.
While government contracts for large corporations create jobs, they are fundamentally anti-competitive because they allow these organizations to thrive without outperforming their rivals in the market. As a result, economic growth is stifled because these institutions reward alliances with the government more than efficiency and innovation. As a result, higher barriers to market-entry are created and the surviving enterprises often produce fewer jobs than the genuine victors in market competition would. This clearly contributes to poverty because government contracts eliminate more jobs than they create.
Since FDR's New Deal, the appeal to pity has always been the centerpiece of the Democratic political platform. However, it is a little known fact that this rationale is fallacious and famously so: it is known as the logical fallacy of argumentum ad lazarum. It is always a mistake to assume by default that acts motivated by the intention to assist the most unfortunate are morally justifiable. While very few could reject the moral premise that it is commendable to help the poor, there is a gap between people's actions and intentions. That is why the ostensible acts of compassion that the Democrats profess to engage in frequently lead to disastrous outcomes.

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