Hang on a second while we grab that post for you.
In a fundamental way the film highlights what might be called the chasm between naked freedom and ordered liberty. When Bane says he will return the city to the people, what he’s really saying is he will hand Gotham over to whoever is strong enough to hold it. When you remove law — and law enforcers — from society, you don’t usher in an age of liberty, but an ecosystem of bullying. This is a very, very dark (and probably accurate) view of anarchy.
I’m reminded of a 20-year-old column by Peregrine Worsthorne (not on the web, as far as I can tell). In an essay (“How Freedom Enslaves Us All”), Worthsthorne recalled the terror of “free time” in school. “In class the bullies were kept in order by a master who was free to coerce them. Out of class they were free to coerce me. As far as I was concerned ‘free time’ meant only a different kind of coercion — by several bullies rather than one master …”
But let’s look at the whole context and let’s ignore that one sentence. He starts with a mocking reference to people who succeed — believing it might have something to do with intelligence or hard work….
So he is mocking people — a Korean immigrant working 16 hours a day in a candy store and builds it and sends his kids to college with … the money he finally makes 20 years later; or a physician in medical school who goes 60 or 80 hour weeks, works hard, and then in his 50s, begins reaping the rewards of his work.
Secondly, everybody he says who helped you along the way — it’s no accident [that] everybody in his example — is an agent of the government. It’s either a teacher, or a road, or a bridge, or the Internet, which he says, incorrectly, was invented by the government so it could create opportunities in the marketplace. So it’s all government. And this is his philosophy, that government is the root of American success — individual and national. It’s not individual enterprise. Yes, to some extent individual enterprise, but anybody who thinks it’s that — obviously is [crediting] himself in a way that is undeserved.
It’s the government. And that is the heart of his philosophy.
On Wednesday, NPR’s Planet Money had a very good segment that listed six policies that economists from all sides of the political spectrum could agree on but no politicians would ever dare to run with.
- Eliminate the mortgage interest tax deduction.
- End the tax deduction companies get for providing health-care to employees.
- Eliminate the corporate income tax.
- Eliminate all income and payroll taxes. All of them.
- Tax carbon emissions.
- Legalize marijuana.
Not sure about taxing carbon emissions but I’m on board with the others.
It’s a silly and specious strawman, and it doesn’t take into account that the business owner is already paying taxes to fund those roads, bridges, and other government services that his business benefits from. Obama seems to suggest that much more is owed to the government that makes all things possible.
As we see in New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin, the cure for the present economic malaise is not rocket science — a curbing of the size of government, a revision of the tax code, a modest rollback of regulation, reform of public employment, and holding the line on new taxes. Do that and public confidence returns, businesses start hiring, and finances settle down. Do the opposite — as we see in Mediterranean Europe, California, or Illinois over the last decade — and chaos ensues.
Nowhere is the Obama model of massive borrowing, vast increases in the size of the state, more regulations, and class warfare successful — not in California or Illinois, not in Greece, Spain, or Italy, not anywhere.
The problem is that the private workforce is not growing sufficiently, either to absorb laid-off government workers or to pay for the ones still working.
In the competition for the creepiest campaign material of 2012, we may already have a winner. It is “The Life of Julia,” the Obama reelection team’s cartoon chronicle of a fictional woman who is dependent on government at every step of her life. The phrase “cradle-to-grave welfare state” originated with Clement Attlee’s socialist government in post–World War II Britain. Back then, it was meant as a boastful description of a new age of government activism. Subsequently, it became a term of derision for critics of an overweening government. In the spirit of Attlee, the Obama campaign revives the concept of “cradle to grave” as it highlights Obama-supported programs that take care of Julia from age 3 to her retirement at age 67. (via A Nation of Julias - Rich Lowry - National Review Online)
The increasingly delusional nature of the state’s politics is best captured by the urgent political push to build a fantastically expensive—potentially costing as much as $100 billion—high-speed rail line that would eventually connect the Bay Area, Los Angeles and the largely rural places in between. Obama has aggressively promoted high-speed rail nationally, but has been pushed back by mounting Republican opposition. Yet in one-party California, Jerry Brown mindlessly pushes the project despite the state’s huge structural deficits, soaring pension obligations, and decaying general infrastructure. He’s continued doing so even as the plan loses support among the beleaguered California electorate.
It’s hard to see how these policies, coupled with a massive income tax increase on the so-called rich (families, as well as many small businesses, making over $250,000), can do anything other than widen the state’s already gaping class divide. Yet given the power of Californian ideas over Obama, one can expect more such policies from him in an electorally unencumbered second term. California’s slow-motion tragedy could end up as a national one.
Please take a moment to savor this hilariously breathless post from the Atlantic, the big scoop of which is that Mitt Romney has hired an old Bush hand as his foreign-policy spokesman, and the guy, Richard Grenell, is gay.
I can only guess what anybody thinks the relevance of Mr. Grenell’s sex life is to the Romney team’s foreign-policy stance. Imaginary conversation: “Iran? Terrible place to be gay. Iraq? Terrible place to be gay. Afghanistan? Terrible place to be gay. Pakistan? Terrible place to be gay. Libya? …”
Somehow, I don’t think the conversation will go like that.
The piece also notes that Mr. Grenell supports gay marriage, while Mr. Romney does not. Unnoted is that Barack Obama, who also has gay staffers, also opposes gay marriage.
On the “ABC’s of SNL” podcast, Jon Lovitz called Obama a “jackass” for claiming that the rich don’t pay enough taxes. When lamenting a practical 50% tax on the wealthy he said “isn’t that enough?”
My results, without looking at the extra questions.