Conservatives spend beyond their means, too

Posted in at 12:47 by RjZ

A long but worthy read. The New York Times offers no answers as to why, for example, the conservative south relies more on government handouts, while complaining loudest about the government.

People won’t resist government handouts, arguing that they have already paid for them, yet they want the government to stop collecting so much taxes to cover future demand. In typical tragedy of the commons fashion, citizens use common goods and services to death with no concern about their impact on resources, yet they will vigorously protect what they believe to belong to them or their tribe.

Perhaps U.S. citizens differ today from fifty years ago, not only in our perceived need to have a cell phone and cable television, but also our looser knit sense of community. Where the internet brings people closer together, a farther reaching media has shown us the actions of those we have no connection with, many of them engaging in decidely anti-social behavior, like rampant law suits and fraudulent medical claims. It make us feel that if we don’t do likewise, we’re not getting our fair share.

Economists may have an answer where politicians do not. We need a tighter cost signal. We must recognize the cost of our actions on us, our tribe, and our nation. Instead of complaining the government is spending too much, responsible conservative politicians must remind us that we are spending too much. But that’s hardly a good way to get votes, is it?

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