What is a liberal? They Like to Talk About Greed, But Want Your Money

This is the fourth installment in my intermittent series of articles that answer the question ‘what is a liberal?’ The previous three articles are these:

What is a liberal? They hide from reality
What is a liberal? They’ll say anything
What is a liberal? They like diversity, sometimes

Liberals love to finger-point about greed. President Barack Obama puts it this way:

We’re not, we’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money…We didn’t become the most prosperous country in the world just by rewarding greed and recklessness.

So what?
Greed is defined as ‘excessive or reprehensible acquisitiveness’. The adverbs might lead to a discussion about what’s excessive or reprehensible, and the definition also begs the question “acquisitiveness of what?” Money, power, or trophies like Super Bowl rings?

For a liberal, the gold standard (pun intended) of greed is probably the Koch brothers: plutocrat capitalists that contribute to right wing causes. On the liberal side, with little publicity and no objections we have Michael Bloomberg, George Soros, and less known figures like the Steyer brothers.

What’s wrong with the Michael Bloomberg, the Kochs and the Steyer brothers? They built great companies that enriched their investors, helped develop the country, and provided gainful employment for thousands of people, along with contributing to left wing and right wing political causes.

And what’s so bad about greed? As an attribute of a person or a business, it’s private behavior and really no one’s business. I assume Greed Corp obeys the law, and none of us is forced to buy Greed Corp products, or work for Greed Corp. Why should anyone care about the moral nature of Greed Corp, Mr Koch or Mr Bloomberg?

Regarding private greed:

  • Assuming behavior is legal, then motivation is no one else’s business.
  • If you feel that George Soros or Greed Corp are unsavory, you’re free to take your friendship and patronage elsewhere.

However, in the public sector greed can be a big deal. Private citizens can’t ignore government attorneys and the tax laws. A greedy public sector can suck resources out of the private sector, and use powers like escheat laws and eminent domain to confiscate private property. We face a greedy public sector today. They never have enough, they incorrigibly waste what they have, and use their power to abuse private citizens. With greed, rather than the people Pres Obama had in mind, it’s liberals and government we should look at.

Hoarding and selfishness
If by ‘greed’ we’re talking about selfishness, the numbers point to liberals.

Although liberal families’ incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).

— George Will

Living off the fat of the land
If we’re talking about living off the labor of others, the numbers point to liberals. Government employees tend overwhelmingly to be liberal, and they do quite well. Six of the ten richest counties in America are in Virginia and Maryland, clustered around Washington, D.C.

It’s a cliché that once you get a government job, you’re set for life. A USA Today story in 2011 reported ‘When job security is at a premium, the federal government remains the place to work for those who want to avoid losing a job. The job security rate for all federal workers was 99.43% last year and nearly 100% for those on the job more than a few years.’

Government employee pensions are crippling cities and states across the country. The cities of Stockton, Vallejo, San Bernardino and Detroit have all been pushed into bankruptcy. The National Bureau of Economic Research recently put the level of unfunded pension liabilities for the 50 states at $2.5 trillion.

Rep Jim Moran (D-VA) was quoted in 2001, referring to a disaster relief package: ‘It’s an open grab bag, so let’s grab.’

It’s never enough. The US Federal budget has doubled since 2001. In fiscal year 2014, federal government revenue reached a record of just over $3 trillion.

Regardless of record budgets, there were accusations that the Ebola crisis was exacerbated by cuts. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) said “There’s no doubt that the deep health care cuts that we’ve seen have made it more difficult to respond in a rapid and comprehensive way to the Ebola outbreak”. However, according the Cato Institute, “Between 2000 and 2014, CDC outlays almost doubled in 2014 constant dollars, from $3.5 billion to $6.8 billion.”

It should be no surprise that there is significant waste in the CDC budget. A 2007 US Senate report found ‘a pattern of mismanagement, a lack of oversight’ in CDC management. A news story said the Senate report pointed to lavish employee facilities and a new visitor center including ‘a greenscape with a stream running over artificial rocks into a pond, limestone bridges, waterfalls, Japanese gardens and fountains and a $200,000 fitness center with saunas and zero-gravity chairs.’ Also, ‘a statue of a woman made of vegetables’, intended to encourage visitors to eat healthier foods.

Whose money is it?
Why is it that corporations or private citizens are greedy when they try to keep money they’ve earned? At what point is government greedier than a typical restaurant owner? Who is more entitled to the restaurant’s profit: government or the owner?

Greed implies that money is not put to its best use. It’s easy to argue that it’s better to build a school than another yacht for Larry Ellison. However, forced redistribution is also bad, because there’s a taking involved; because of waste through inefficiency and corruption that always occurs in the process; and because of misuse and incompetence by the recipient.

It’s your money. You earned it.

Bottom line

Greed in the private sector seems harmless. Turn around and walk the other way, it’s between that individual and his God.
Public sector greed however, is omnipresent, omnipotent, and unavoidable.

The voter fraud smell test

The mainstream media doesn’t talk about it. The left wants you to believe it doesn’t happen, but it’s part of US history. Remember the story of how elections were won in south Texas in the 40s, documented in Robert Caro’s biography of Lyndon Johnson. It worked this way: count the votes, while holding back the returns from a couple of precincts. Once you know how many votes you need, stuff the ballot boxes as needed, then turn in the votes from those last few precincts. Presto, you win. Also remember the dead voters in the 1960 Presidential vote in Illinois that put JFK over the top.

That’s all ancient history, and we’ve reformed since then, right? ‘We don’t do that kind of stuff anymore.’ Well, I actually don’t see what’s changed. If voter fraud was a popular tactic fifty or sixty years ago, why not now? I don’t know of new laws, new law enforcement programs, nothing. What’s changed?

The left of course mocks the whole idea that voter fraud is a real issue. A recent article in the New York Times is a good example. In Voter Fraud Is Rare, but Myth Is Widespread read about a Wisconsin judge who found ‘virtually no voter impersonation occurs’ in Wisconsin state, and went on to say ‘no evidence suggests that voter-impersonation fraud will become a problem at any time in the foreseeable future.’ However, the article’s author writes, ‘many voters there believed voter impersonation and other kinds of vote fraud were widespread’.

The Times article continues by noting that the partisan worries about voter fraud do not occur among election officials. Surprised? It makes sense for two reasons. First, election workers are government employees, and thus likely to generally echo left wing views, including that voter fraud is mythological. Second, they’re self-interested. Since they’re election workers they have a career interest in the system, and are reasonably likely to testify their system is fraud-proof.

What evidence can I show that voter fraud is common? No absolute evidence, but persuasive anecdotal evidence. I did a web search for each of the fifty states, and in 45 of the 50 found recent news articles covering accusations, charges, or convictions for election fraud. My favorite headline is ‘WOMAN CONVICTED OF VOTER FRAUD HONORED BY OHIO DEMOCRATS’. In four of the other five states I found no news stories, but there were records for those four states (DE, UT, SC, KS) in the Election Fraud database, meaning that there were at least charges filed. Vermont came up absolutely clean. Congratulations, Vermont!

Alabama Three Alabama women accused of felony voter fraud
Alaska State of Alaska Ignores Voter Fraud…Again: Illegal Alien Cop Skates on 41 Felonies
Arizona Bennett: Nine new cases of voter fraud in Arizona
Arkansas Vodka for votes: Arkansas rep, operatives await sentencing in fraud scheme
California California state senator gets jail time in voter fraud case
Colorado Arapahoe DA charges four after voter-fraud investigation in Colorado
Connecticut Connecticut Democrat Rep Faces 19 Voter Fraud Felonies
Delaware Election Fraud database
Florida Fraud: Local NBC Investigation Discovers Dozens of Illegal Voters in Florida
Georgia 12 former officials indicted for voter fraud
Hawaii Hawaii’s voter fraud troubles
Idaho Illegal voters fined, sentenced
Illinois Cicero candidates accuse each other of voter fraud
Indiana Election Fraud in the 2008 Indiana Presidential Campaign: A Case Study in Corruption
Iowa Final report: 117 fraudulent votes found in investigation
Kansas Election Fraud database
Kentucky Drug money funds voter fraud in Kentucky
Louisiana New allegations of Port Allen voter fraud
Maine Maine election-fraud probe to move forward
Maryland Maryland Democrat quits congressional race amid vote fraud allegations
Massachusetts Mass. lawmaker will plead guilty to voter fraud
Michigan Four GOP House Staffers From Michigan Indicted for Election Fraud
Minnesota Voter fraud probe in Minnesota state legislature (Democratic) primary
Mississippi Massive voter fraud in Cochran-McDaniel primary
Missouri Missouri Rep. John Joseph Rizzo’s relatives admit to voter fraud
Montana Media Trackers Uncovers Massive Ballot Irregularities in Montana
Nebraska NE: Special report — Some counties have more registered voters than adults
Nevada Illegal immigrant arrested for Nevada voter fraud
New Hampshire AG probes voter fraud in NH after activists get ballots as dead people because they weren’t ID’ed
New Jersey Judge charged with voter fraud for improper voting in Middlesex County, prosecutor says
New Mexico Voter-fraud inquiry now involves 64,000 cases
New York Officials Plead Guilty in New York Voter Fraud Case
North Carolina Election Audit Reveals Thousands of Cases of Voter Fraud in North Carolina
North Dakota Medical Marijuana Voter Fraud in North Dakota
Oklahoma Election fraud allegation in District 2 Commission Race
Oregon Clackamas election worker gets jail time for election fraud
Pennsylvania Philly Election Board Worker Arrested for Voter Fraud
Rhode Island Rhode Island Democratic Rep. Cicilline Accused in Massive Voter Fraud Scandal (Video)
South Carolina Election Fraud database
South Dakota Ex-Senate candidates charged with perjury, election fraud
Tennessee Tennessee Voter Fraud Conviction
Texas Texas Vote-Buying Case Casts Glare on Tradition of Election Day Goads
Utah Election Fraud database
Vermont No listing
Virginia Evidence of Widespread Voter Fraud Found in Virginia Governor’s Race
Washington Seven charged in vote-fraud scheme
West Virginia Men sentenced in Lincoln County voter fraud case
Wisconsin Prosecutors in Wisconsin charge 10 people with voter fraud
Wyoming Six accused of voter fraud

The bottom line
Common sense says that if voter fraud existed in the past, it exists today. Scanning recent news articles confirms the suspicion. Remember this smell test, and be skeptical of claims that trying to secure the electoral process is inappropriate, unneeded, or some kind of racist witch-hunt.