Thursday, August 18, 2011

Progressive Message

I think there are a bunch of problems with the progressive message and how it is delivered. Progressive policies are fine (no doubt could be better, but as they are they're quite good), but the message is poor. When questioned in private people will support the policies indicated above, but are less willing to defend these choices when arguing in public. The reason for this, is in part, because good arguments have not been spread around.

For example on taxing the rich. Large majorities favor it in the polls, but when confronted with opposition in a public debate the charge is made that raising taxes on the rich is no more than theft. The counter argument, I believe, is that this is nonsense. The rich benefit mightily from several government programs such as incorporation and copyright. The income of most of these wealthy folks' labor is inflated hugely by the government via these institutions. Raising taxes on these people is merely raising our prices, prices that are far too low already.

Much has been made by progressive of the absurdity of the conservative talking point that the government needs to reign in spending like any household or small business. The progressive arguments that I've seen is to claim that the government is not like a household and then get into very wonky discussions about how the government is different. But one of the big differences is that no household would be so foolish as a federal government run by conservatives to spend the past ten years trying to operate on the principal that it must not charge its customers money for the services the business provides. And if one were so foolish, the first thing to do when financial trouble came would be to raise the prices.

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