Monday, April 26, 2010

What is the Tea Party all about

You will never understand the Tea Party movement from reading the mainstream press--their ideological bias is too great to let them see it clearly. I thought this take from the New Ledger (which I have not previously read but may add to my reading list) got it about right:
Here’s what the TP itself really fears, in an inchoate way that for most of its members doesn’t rise to the level of clear understanding, but is still intuitively very powerful: the US is embracing central planning as a governing theory, as fast as our legislative processes will allow.
Central planning has a long record of failure, but Americans have always believed that we know how to succeed where others can’t. That leads to the hubris of people like Barack Obama, who says “YES WE CAN!”
Central planning has two primary flaws, when compared with economic freedom: it misallocates resources, and it magnifies the impact of corruption.
Socialism starts with the goal of equality, but once implemented it leads inevitably to rigid hierarchy, a structure not unlike the class system that free markets overthrow whenever they are allowed to function.

On a somewhat related note, I have been reading Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior by the Brafmans. I thought this passage on p 123 showed a lack of perception:
Hosking first became fascinated with Russian culture during the time of Khrushchev; he is especially interested in why socialism was ultimately unsuccessful in Russia.
I suppose the answer that socialism is a very poor economic system measured even by its own goals never occurred to them.

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