Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Socialism Doesn't Work (a Rant)

I spent half a day at a ONE Massachusetts seminar a couple of weeks ago.

I knew I was going to have some, uh, issues with their philosophy when, within the first five minutes, they presented their Collective Value Proposition:
We want—and recognize that all Massachusetts residents deserve—healthy lives; healthy families; quality education; safe, vibrant communities; and broadly shared prosperity in a thriving state.
Yes! Absolutely! Agree 100%! GO TEAM!
These are goals we cannot achieve alone and can best accomplish by working together...
...through a participatory, democratic government.
Ummm... really?

The same participatory, democratic government that decided it would be a good idea to invade Iraq?

That has failed to win the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs, and the War on Terror?

The government that's spending about twice what was projected on "universal" health coverage that (oops) isn't actually covering everybody in Massachusetts and might be making health care here even more expensive?

The government that a lot of people believe is unfairly influenced by corporations and the rich (like the $250,000 loan to Sal DiMasi that's been in the news recently)?

It's the system, stupid. Power corrupts. Incentives matter. If we want healthy lives, quality education, and safe, vibrant communities then give the Power to the People, Man. Don't give more Power to the Man!

I suppose the "participatory" modifier is supposed to address that. But the goal of ONE Massachusetts is not to fix a broken system-- it's to "change public attitudes towards government by promoting a positive vision of government." The phrase "lipstick on a pig" comes to mind.

I feel a little guilty being critical; they did feed me lunch, showed lots of useful information on the state budget, and went over some "framing" techniques I could use to make an audience more likely to agree with me.


Anonymous said...

Being as I have worked closely with my local government for the past 2 years, I find all the seminars that I have been to more of a reason to "party" more than providing any useful knowledge... of course this may be mainly due to the fact that I am in Louisiana, and here when the local high school team goes to nationals... the whole parish (not county, as we have none), takes the day off to drink and celebrate! I think this has greatly affected my decision to leave politics completely, and go back to Kansas City missouri to raise my family again. But I say KUDO'S to you if you actually learned something of value at your seminars, the ones in the bayou have nothing but free drinks to offer!

Mark C Bell said...

Just in case you are curious, I started a blog of my own... not political, just thoughts of random dellusion... http://markchristopherbell.blogspot.com/2008/05/creation-as-everything-has-beginning.html