City Journal Spring 2014

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Spring 2014
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Nicole Gelinas
Government-Sponsored Looting « Back to Story

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"If law-abiding Britons aren’t happy with the results of central financial planning and social engineering, they’ve got to get their government to stop sending the wrong signals".

Sadly, it seems that our vaunted "democracy" doesn't stretch that far. What it adds up to is that every 5 years or so we get to put a tick in a box, to help choose between two or three ruling parties all of which have the same attitudes. We couldn't even stop our government going to war in Iraq, though a million people marched and millions more supported them. Writing to your MP gets a polite letter back explaining why what they are doing is right.

I'm not entirely clear how British citizens have any more political power than Libyan ones. Indeed, they may have a lot less - the Libyans were at least able to get rid of a ruling elite they didn't like.
Socialism always fails because t runs out of other people's money to spend.
Something wrong with "free markets" and "acquisitive society"? Maybe there's something wrong with your brain.

What are you babbling about. Pretend you live in mid 20th century China for a minute. No free markets or private property rights to worry about there. The government simply buried there problems alive with bulldozers.

Corruption has nothing to do with free markets or private property rights.

The fact that governments have been trading favors for votes is immoral.

Stick your Gemeinshaft" instead of Gesellschaft in your Poopshoot.
Leftist twaddle shaft.
It is interesting to watch Great Britain slide from a first world nation to the second world. It will be even more interesting to see it join the ranks of the third world. Of course, by that time the United Kingdom will have been separated into the People's Republics of Scotland, Wales, England, Northern Ireland and Londonistan
It's a little late, but I wanted to appreciate your observations, Nicole.

Well spotted.
A little factiod tossed off in an article about the riots in the Guardian yesterday explains it all...

"Out of the 1.7m cases heard in magistrates courts last year, only 3.5% were remanded to jail, and about 10% of violent crime cases get remanded."

Amazingly enough that didn't get the headline.

"http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/aug/11/uk-riots-magistrates-court-list#data
Middle class left in the pickle.
Beautifully written and well argued article, thank you.
The political "left" used to be labor. Then it turned into people whose income derives from the discretionary expansion of government -- transfer recipients, bloated education administration, and people with jobs like diversity compliance officer. (Not to be confused with people who work doing the legitimate functions of government.) In America, and probably Britain, the economic political spectrum is no longer investors on the right and their employees on the left. It's now a triangle, with government beneficiaries being the third point.

The investors and beneficiaries own a political party, the latter having taken the worker's party from them. From Wal-Mart greeters without health insurance, to LAN engineers who work double-time for no extra pay and will be out of a job when their project ends, workers are experiencing the price of political unconnectedness.

Which is why most politics today consists of telling the regular guy/gal why the other party is worse from him/her. The next fundamental political change will occur when workers tire of being given the "choice" between the party that transfers their income to idle rich, and the one that tranfers it to the idle poor.
Or maybe there's something wrong with "free markets" and the "Acquisitive Society."

Why not try "Gemeinshaft" instead of "Gesellschaft"; community, rather than
Limited Liability Capitalism that creates opulence here and starvation there.

Are we still here to dance around the Golden Calf? The Law is no substitute for Conscience
Nicole.

"So the looters, like the bankers, were a tiny minority of people who had become adept at exploiting the government’s policies..."

I can see your point, but theres one very big difference:

In the US, top bankers have been *part* of the government, whether Democrat and Republican, for decades. It thus has been very easy for them to exploit policies that they themselves have been so instrumental in forming.