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orinjade wrote: I like to say that the difference is that liberal ideas may *sound* kind, but they aren't because they aren't realistic. Conservative ideas may sound harsh but they aren't because they are based on human behaviour. In short, we are the grownups, talking about how the world *is* not teenagers talking about how the world *should* be.

Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!

This is what I keep telling my librul son. Government can't pass laws to make people be what you want them to be. The practical reality is that except for heroic actions on a battlefield, human beings act first in their own enlightened self-interest all the time. They do so in good times and they certainly do so in bad times.

For example, when a taxpayer voluntarily gives money to charity, he feels good about it. When a taxpayer involuntarily gives money through taxes that are then redistributed to the less fortunate, she doesn't feel good about it; he feels exploited by a wasteful government.

There's a well known psychological phenomenon that "feelings follow action." Example: if you go to a party when you're not especially excited about attending, but you "put on a happy face," you'll soon find you're actually enjoying yourself because you acted like you're enjoying yourself. (Of course, the opposite can occur.) This is what the Civil Rights Act accomplished. When we force people to treat others equally, they soon come to viscerally accept that people deserve to be treated equally.

Not so with heavy taxes that the government wastes. What follows is class warfare and national division. Why? Because people act first without fail in their own enlightened self-interest. It's not the government's job to mold its citizens very far out of how human beings really are: concerned first with their own survival and that of their loved ones.
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