Monday, January 3, 2011

The Problems with Liberal Politics

Let me begin by stating that I'm not anti-liberal, at least generally speaking. There are a few liberal ideals which I ascribe to, and I think generally speaking, liberal politicians have good intentions (if not good long-term vision, or appreciation of consequences). In fact, I would go as far as to say that if some of the most pervasive flaws in liberal political actions could be corrected for (say, in the framework of the government itself), I might be fairly comfortable with liberal politicians. The problems for me mainly stem from fiscal issues; I tend to side with liberals on social issues, and I think many of the ideals are good (eg: equal rights, taking care of people who are unable to care for themselves, etc.).

That being said, here are what I view as the top "problem areas" with typical liberal political agendas:
- Too much taxation
- Too much deficit spending, borrowing against future generations
- Focus on wealth redistribution, in various forms
- Trying to build a nanny state, and control various aspects of people's lives
- "well"-intentioned discrimination

Some thoughts, then, on how a more optimal governmental structure might deal with some of these issues, to make it more palatable for people like me to have liberals in government.

Problem: Incessant growth of taxation
- We could Constitutionally limit the amount of money taken from people, per year, as a percentage of either income or total wealth. For example, say the limit was 20% of income. The government would be free to institute whatever taxes/fees/etc. it wanted, but would be Constitutionally limited to 20% of income total.
- Side note: I would be inclined to limit the federal government to something like 10% of income or less, and allow states to set their own limits, and/or choose to give money to the federal government to pay for additional services. Money is power, and the corrupting and destructive growth of the federal bureaucracy and control is a testament to the danger of allowing it to collect and disperse wealth.

Problem: Deficit spending
- We should have stronger protections in the Constitutions, at a federal and state level, for limiting deficit spending. Ideally, government should not be allowed to borrow beyond the terms of the politicians voting on the borrowing, excepting emergencies (like land invasion, or civil war). This would need to be much stronger than it currently is, but is not impossible.

Problem: Wealth redistribution
- The government should be prohibited, in my opinion, from offering any services on a discriminatory basis with respect to income/wealth. If it's a government benefit, it should be available to all equally. This doesn't preclude offering services which would disproportionally benefit lower income individuals (for example, subsidies on low-end food basics), but at least there would be no income restrictions or phase outs. As a side benefit, this would also simplify a lot of government programs and tax laws, saving money.

Problem: Encroachment on states/individuals rights
- Ideally, this problem would already have been solved by the 10th amendment, but since the federal government willfully ignores it, clearly there needs to be a stronger directive. This, too, should not be hard to accomplish, but may need to be reiterated every couple of years so that politicians don't "forget".

Problem: Discrimination
- You wouldn't think that people would need to point out to liberals that discrimination is bad, but the sad reality is that liberals are just as bad about discrimination as conservatives (see: affirmative action, NAACP, etc.). The NAACP and the KKK and two sides of the same coin; let's see about ending both of them, so we can move forward as a less divided nation.

Well, that's my wish list anyway. Thoughts?