July 2, 2012
Conservatism 101: Big vs. Big
My father and law were having a discussion the other day over some pretty good scotch, which naturally led to the subject of politics and the private sector. It seems that whenever lefttist politicians are seeking to "do something" about whatever the scare du jour happens to be, they inevitably invoke some corporate boogeyman to create an us-versus-them dynamic perfect for whipping up outrage and hysteria.
It doesn't really matter what the industry is -- Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Insurance -- any one of them will make a suitable scapegoat. After all, all these greeeedy corporations want to do is rip off Joe Citizen and bank their obscene profits at the expense of The PeopleTM. The implicit message is that Big Government is looking out for you, while Big Business only wants to screw you.
History, however, tells a different story.
To wit: How many people has Big Business killed over the centuries? Sure, you've got your various and sundry accidents and fits of sheer incompetence that have caused deaths (anybody remember the Ford Pinto?) -- but I'm talking about incidents when a company has actually gone out and killed somebody on purpose. Outside of a John Le Carre novel, I'd be hard pressed to think of many.
Now ask yourself how many people governments have killed. Communism alone is estimated to be responsible for over 100 million deaths. Throw in the crimes of the Nazi regime, just to name one other, and the numbers go even higher.
This is not to say that corporations are run by angels, because they're not. They are flawed institutions populated with flawed human beings -- but by and large, they exist to serve consumer needs and are responsive to the desires of their customers. Governments, on the other hand, too often exist to serve the needs of those who rule. It's why our Founding Fathers sought to limit the powers that government has, and made the liberty of the individual paramount.
So the next time some lefty tries to convince you that government can be trusted more than business, see if you can set him straight -- after you stop laughing, of course.
Hatched by Korso on this day, July 2, 2012, at the time of 12:54 AM
The following hissed in response by: MikeR
Good point. I've heard a similar point made by Dennis Prager: Liberals think that the difference between them and conservatives is that conservatives trust big business. Totally not true. The difference is, liberals mistrust big business, but conservatives mistrust both big business and big government. We don't see the one as a solution to the other.
The following hissed in response by: mdgiles
Maybe it's because we recognized - at least before Obama came along - that businesses who didn't meet the needs of their customers were doomed. Looking at "2001" the other day, and noticed that the airline taking the charachter up to the space station was "Pan Am". I had to explain to my grandchild who they were, and they were not just a made up company for the movie.
The following hissed in response by: Dick E
There’s a subset of big business that sometimes comes in for extra calumny. Remember how eeeevil the oil speculators were a few months ago? Not a peep about them recently, ‘cause gas prices are coming down.
And you can bet your bippy that the winners on the way down are mostly the same folks who made money on the way up. They call it the smart money for a reason.
The following hissed in response by: Bart Johnson
Which category does Rachael Carson belong in? Perhaps she is worthy of her own.
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