Unintended Consequences

Tension across Europe over population displacement has been growing for several years. Some countries on the continent have taken the unusual step of ignoring EU directives to accept refugees. Those nations where refugee settlement has been high have experienced a strain on social services accompanied by civil unrest. The generous social programs common across western nations are undoubtedly an attractive beacon to those fleeing unrest at home. However, the promise of welfare subsidies abroad is hardly sufficient to inspire millions to flee their nation of origin. War, famine and unrest are the primary motivators.

It should come as no surprise that the majority of refugees originate from countries where the United States government has been most heavily involved. The “good intentions” of U.S. government interventionism has a predictably poor track record. Neocons and progressives alike seek to spread western values and democracy across the world, invariably at the point of a gun. The argument is virtually the same regardless where intervention is undertaken: tyrannical leadership oppresses people and makes the world unsafe. The U.S. government comes to the rescue with bombs and boots. The result in nations like Syria, Libya, Iraq, and Yemen is a higher death toll and greater numbers of refugees.

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Running Out Of Money

The typical household labors under a number of constraints. This is true regardless of the household’s location, size, cost, value, occupancy, income, and condition. The inhabitants of the household contribute to its persistence by securing an income. The money and assets amassed are then applied to the upkeep and/or expansion of the household. When the occupants of a household exceed their ability to pay for upkeep or expansion, they can borrow money to maintain the level of existence to which they are accustomed or curtail spending, doing without the desired amenities. When the inhabitants of a household can no longer borrow money, they are finally forced to curtail spending.

In a federal republic like the United States, similar restraints exist on the individual states comprising the union. The inhabitants of the state contribute to persistence of the state through taxation. The money and assets amassed are then applied to the upkeep of the state and the services deemed necessary or desirable. When a state exceeds its ability to pay for upkeep or services, it can borrow funds, raise taxes, or curtail spending, doing without the desired services. When a state can no longer borrow money, it is finally forced to curtail spending, as is currently the case with Illinois.

In the second scenario, funds were amassed at the point of a gun via taxation and spent by progressive politicians on programs that will purchase more votes for those same politicians. Now that Illinois is unable to pay for the votes purchased by their politicians, will fiscal common sense emerge and who will pay for future votes?

Benefits of Self Improvement

A recent study in the U.K. drew a correlation between body building and conservative ideology. Since body builders value self improvement and are the beneficiaries of their own efforts, the outcome might have been expected. What is instructive is how the progressive media presents such information.

The headline implies that body builders are opposed to equality:

Men Who Visit The Gym Often Are Less Likely To Believe In Socioeconomic Equality, Study Finds

This theme was continued through the article, largely echoing the conclusions from those who conducted the study:

Research from Brunel University in London found that physically stronger men tend to be more right wing and are less in favour of social and economic quality (sic).

The negative connotations are to be expected: progressives equate equality with redistribution. Whether their actions support this or not, most conservatives would argue for equality of opportunity as a social goal. This is likely the position of most of the body builders in this study. However, the fact that people are equal in opportunity is never enough for progressive central planners eager to control every aspect of society. Equally unpersuasive is the fact that equality in outcome is completely unachievable. In the end, social and economic goals are merely tools for control.