A Simple Plan

Tom Smith provides what may be the simplest, most easily digested critique of liberalism that I've seen this year:

I ... just don't believe that if you take money away from people who were smart, energetic, focused and maybe even ruthless enough to make it in the first place, and give it to politicians and bureaucrats to allocate to projects they have a notion are good ideas, that will somehow create wealth. I worked in government and with government for about six years, long enough to realize it's difficult to get government workers to do anything simple on time, let alone come up with some new way to make money. Forget about morality and incentive effects -- how likely, how plausible is it that doing this will create wealth? And assuming this is a big waste of money, which it is, how can wasting money be anything but, well, a waste of money? With apologies to my literal scriptural friends, when I read Krugman or somebody else talking this way, it's like listening to the people who say, oh no, the dinosaurs were created six thousand years ago and were all vegetarians until Adam ate that apple, at which point they started killing and eating each other. That is, my jaw drops and I think HTF can they actually believe that? You take money from millionaires, give it to people not smart enough to do the same, they keep part of it and give the rest to their pals, and this makes us all richer. Right.

The funny thing is, I think even many liberals don't believe in liberalism. Oh, that doesn't mean they're not liberal. Of course they are. They'll get weepy over some injustice, and then demand that the government Do Something until Doomsday. But, they must know in the backs of their heads that liberalism as it has been practiced since the days of the Great Society is a hopeless, expensive mess that does little more than launder money through the government. How else to explain their often frantic manner in which they denounce those few conservatives willing to point out that their numbers simply don't add up?

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