Politics As Usual
- is it -
? Cooperation or Exploitation?

Abuse Of Power

Rigging the System

"If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner." - H.L. Mencken

Politics = Exploitation

We've all heard the refrain: "There is no such thing as a free lunch". Costs of expanding governments are immense and growing. At the start of the 20th century federal spending comprised about 3% of GDP. Now it’s about 33%. Where are those 'solutions' governments promised at great cost? Two of the most costly federally legislated 'benefit' initiatives are classic examples of getting less while paying more - Social Security and health care. How 'great' did those Great Society Programs turn out for the country? Did the War on Poverty end poverty? Has the Department of Education improved education outcomes? Has the War On Drugs worked? Wherever one looks results are disappointing at best.

Government Revenue in the United States has steadily increased from 7 percent of GDP in 1902 to over 35 percent today.
https://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com/revenue_history. Still, debt is at record levels. "You get the picture. It’s not pretty. The US debt rose by $1.6 trillion last year, almost $1 trillion more than the budget rose, because of “off balance sheet” debt obligations that somehow mysteriously show up as actual debt on the books but not in the official reporting budget. I would point out that if a public business were to publish its accounting statements in the same manner, the SEC would shut it down, and its management would go to jail."

“Rent seeking” is one of the most important insights in the last fifty years of economics and, unfortunately, one of the most inappropriately labeled. Gordon Tullock originated the idea in 1967, and Anne Krueger introduced the label in 1974. The idea is simple but powerful. People are said to seek rents when they try to obtain benefits for themselves through the political arena. They typically do so by getting a subsidy for a good they produce or for being in a particular class of people, by getting a tariff on a good they produce, or by getting a special  regulation that hampers their competitors. Elderly people, for example, often seek higher Social Security payments; steel producers often seek restrictions on imports of steel; and licensed electricians and doctors often lobby to keep regulations in place that restrict competition from unlicensed electricians or doctors.

Such "rent seeking activity on the part of government is generally believed to be bad for growth. The social cost of rent seeking activities is higher than the amount redistributed. Rent seeking activity, it is often claimed, is particularly damaging to innovative entrepreneurial activity, as new and rapidly growing firms are particularly susceptible to rent-expropriation."

All of this is done in the name of 'The Common Interest' but realistic objective assessment should cause people to ask if waste, fraud, abuse and failure really is a 'common interest'. Reports about bribery, theft, graft, kickbacks, political influence peddling, insider trading, criminal cover-ups and more are fairly common. Just whose interests are served by government action? Is it to your benefit or at your cost? Is government your solution or your problem? Would you be better off with less of it?

It's never enough. All sorts of schemes are invented to plug the leaks. One is a 'temporary tax'. Milton Friedman once said that “nothing is more permanent than a temporary government program.” However, it turns out that nothing may be as permanent as a temporary tax increase, either. According to a new report from the Urban Institute, many of the temporary taxes created to fill state budget gaps during the 2008 recession have stuck around passed their expiration date.

Voters want government favors but not the taxes to pay for them. A lot has to be borrowed to pay government bills. Debt is rising for governments at all levels. You can see the 'official' federal government debt here. Even in the happiest of scenarios, America will continue moving backward...while more realistically, America is almost sure to face economic, financial, and social calamity in the near term.

States, cities, municipalities and schools have debts as well. Some of them are now at or near defaulting on their debts. You can see examples here and here.

Government is a benefit transfer tool and a favor distribution machine. Big government is a big benefit transfer tool. This is what ‘We, The People’ want and vote for. But The Tragedy Of The Commons has arrived. Big government will have a harder time dispensing favors and redistributing people’s wealth as more of them resist the costs.

Government at all levels are fiscally strained and face the prospect of insolvency and debt default. That is when democracy has failed. To prevent debt default elected local governments are replaced with unelected 'fiscal control boards' representing the interests of creditors who naturally don't want to be fleeced by debtors. We, the People can still vote. But the money issues are decided by bankers. This may resemble a democracy - but it isn't.

Central bankers serve this function at the national level. In the US that is the Federal Reserve Bank. For Euro zone countries the European Central Bank decides what Greece will do irrespective of how the Greek people vote because Greek democracy bankrupted itself and is unable to pay the cost of benefits they voted for themselves.


Rationalizations come in many forms with different names and varied moral distinctions. But the results are still the same: 

The Common Interest becomes The Tragedy Of The Commons

How can Tragedy be a Common interest?

"A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take away everything you have." Thomas Jefferson

Click here for more.

Click here for examples of resistance, conflict and decline.

Click here for benefit examples.
Click here for small government solution examples.


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"I see the liberty of the individual ... as the necessary condition for the flowering of all the other goods that mankind cherishes: moral virtue, civilization, the arts and sciences, economic prosperity. Out of liberty, then, stem the glories of civilized life.” Murray Rothbard


Libertarian Party

- It's NOT Politics as Usual -


What is politics as usual?

How does Politics As Usual damage society?

Why is the Libertarian Party NOT Politics As Usual?


More stuff to look at!

FrogPrince Stop Politics As Usual!