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  • It’s Worse Than Mere Corruption

    Posted by Shannon Love on July 9th, 2009 (All posts by )

    At USA Today via Instapundit:

    Counties that supported Obama last year have reaped twice as much money per person from the administration’s $787 billion economic stimulus package as those that voted for his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, a USA TODAY analysis of government disclosure and accounting records shows. That money includes aid to repair military bases, improve public housing and help students pay for college.

     

    The reports show the 872 counties that supported Obama received about $69 per person, on average. The 2,234 that supported McCain received about $34.

    The article spends a lot of time explaining that there is no evidence that the distribution of the “stimulus” money occurred owing to favoritism or political corruption. I think that is true. If nothing else, the stimulus was rammed through so quickly I don’t there was time for corrupt allocation on such a scale. 

    The real explanation is much, much worse.

    This pattern reveals that the Democrats have created a hardwired system that automatically takes from Republican-leaning areas and gives to Democrat-leaning areas. This means that people in those areas don’t have to be convinced with intellectual arguments to vote for Democrats, because they will do so automatically out of economic self-interest. People vote for Obama because they expect themselves and their immediate communities to receive money taken from areas that didn’t vote for Obama. 

    Corruption can be fought by bringing down corrupt individuals. A legal, hardwired distribution system that creates an incentive for one group of citizens to loot other citizens is a much more serious and intractable problem.

    [edit (2009-06-09 3:18pm) expanded quote to show per capita spending.]

     

    11 Responses to “It’s Worse Than Mere Corruption”

    1. Ginny Says:

      Isn’t it circular? (I’m willing to attribute the bad motive of encouraging dependence, which is, I think, your point. It is also, let’s be blunt, an immoral use of others, gaining power through developing dependents.)

      Married women vote Republican and unmarried mothers vote Democraric, those who expect the government to be Daddy & husbamd, vote Democraric; this becomes circular and systems that encourage dependence are rewarded because they demonstrate a neediness encouraged by government programs which stifle self-reliance.

    2. Stan Says:

      Isn’t some of this intrinsically due that democratic counties tend to be more highly populated in general as democratic strongholds tend to be in population centers? Correlation does not imply causation. I do agree, that this is not a good trend, whatever the underlying reason.

    3. jdm Says:

      I want to believe this article, but I thought I recalled that the blue-est of states have a net negative in monies sent to/from Washington – and that red states have a net positive.

      This could be different for stimulus monies, of course.

    4. Shannon Love Says:

      Stan,

      Isn’t some of this intrinsically due that democratic counties tend to be more highly populated in general as democratic strongholds tend to be in population centers?

      The statistic is based on measuring per capita spending so difference in population density would not apply.

      from the article:

      The reports show the 872 counties that supported Obama received about $69 per person, on average. The 2,234 that supported McCain received about $34.

    5. Shannon Love Says:

      Jdm,

      I want to believe this article, but I thought I recalled that the blue-est of states have a net negative in monies sent to/from Washington – and that red states have a net positive.

      The article looks at counties instead of states. It’s fairly common to have a deep blue city surrounded by blue suburbs even notionally blue states.

      Most of the asymmetry in federal spending between states is caused by difference in cost of living. High cost of living raises federal tax contributions but since federal outlays are calculated based on national averages a high cost of living state they don’t get the same back.

    6. Dan Says:

      Who here really expected anything else? The guy is a radical surrounded by political operatives from the corrupt world of Chicago politics.

      This isn’t going to end well.

      This guy is ENSURING that Nemesis pay him a little visit, and when she comes, it isn’t going to be pretty for Obama and his lost groupies.

    7. John Says:

      Corruption can be fought by bringing down corrupt individuals. A legal, hardwired distribution system that creates an incentive for one group of citizens to loot other citizens is a much more serious and intractable problem

      Yes, and it’s a problem that we can’t legislate our way out of. If the common view among citizens becomes that thievery is acceptable, then the republic cannot be saved.

    8. Russtovich Says:

      Anoter reason may be that Democratic run areas truly are that much more inept. They have little understanding of how to balance a budget (or work within the contrainsts of one) and thus they are the ones most likely to constantly be in need of extra cash from somewhere.

    9. Brett_McS Says:

      Ginny, unmarried women overwhelmingly vote Democratic. Getting married and having children reduces that bias to about an even split. Women as a whole are heavily Democratic voters. (John Lott, Freedomnomics)

    10. tk4212 Says:

      The per capita difference could also be cost inflation in cities. Building costs in NYC are maybe $600-700 per squre foot, versus, what, $50? $150? in someplace not densely populated

    11. Trent Telenko Says:

      >A legal, hardwired distribution system that creates an
      >incentive for one group of citizens to loot other citizens is a
      >much more serious and intractable problem.

      This only works as long as the people getting ripped off agree to be victms of the system.

      When they object with force, such systems comes apart.

      Please note the density of small arms ownership in “Red” verus “Blue” areas and consider the implications.