Tim Carney of the Washington Examiner is a must-read columnist and expert on the pervasive corruption in Washington.
He’s also an insightful commentator on why freedom and morality go hand in hand, which suggests libertarians and conservatives should be strong allies.
But today, in honor of the holidays, let’s address a lighter topic. Tim has some helpful advice on how to educate your crazy statist relatives.
When Thanksgiving talk turns political, do you feel like you and your liberal relatives can’t communicate? It’s okay. I can help you. I was born in Greenwich Village to a lawyer dad and community-organizer mom. I used to live on Capitol Hill, and now I live in Montgomery County in Maryland. I even served a year as an MSNBC contributor. This is all to say, I speak liberal. …So let me offer my conservative and libertarian readers the first annual Thanksgiving Guide to Making Conservative Arguments in Liberals’ Language.
Tim shows how you can help them understand that regulation is misguided.
Your liberal relatives generally trust government regulations to solve problems. They don’t sweat the costs to the economy as much as you do. Throw in a healthy distrust of Corporate America — often even an unhealthy disdain for it — and progressives (this is what they call themselves these days) end up regarding regulation as a force for good. You can plant a seed of skepticism about regulators’ ability to do good, though, by pointing to the salad course Trevor brought. The organic, local, sustainable kale in it might be impossible to get after the Obama administration’s food safety rules go into effect. …At work here are two dynamics common to regulation: They’re called “regulatory capture” and “the overhead smash.” Obama’s food safety czar is Michael Taylor, former top lobbyist for Monsanto. (You’ll be amazed at the power of the word “Monsanto” with some of your relatives.) Industrial farms and major food processors hire the best lobbyists and thus get a seat at the table when the FDA writes the rules. Thus, the biggest players in the regulated industry have “captured” the agency that regulates them. “The overhead smash” is my phrase for the tendency of regulations to add to overhead — the fixed costs of doing business — which smashes smaller competitors while protecting the big guys. In the food safety realm, small farms are begging to be exempted from these rules that only big farms can afford.
Since regulation imposes a staggering cost on the economy, I hope Tim’s suggested approach is successful.
And he explains how you can open their eyes about the need for Social Security reform.
FDR is still probably a god to these relatives, so you’ve got an uphill battle convincing them Social Security needs reforming. Here’s one place to start: Social Security is funded by a regressive tax and it redistributes wealth from minorities to whites. Here’s a line for you: For every $100 that white beneficiaries pay in taxes, they receive $113 in benefits, blacks receive $89 and Hispanics receive $58. …Social Security’s redistribution isn’t due to some racist Republican rule change. …White people live longer and are less likely to be immigrants, so they earn more credits and collect for longer.
And since more than 30 jurisdictions around the world have implemented personal retirement accounts (most recently the Faroe Islands), we know that reform can be very successful.
But let’s not get all serious when there’s turkey and football to occupy our attention, so let’s close with some great cartoons.
We’ll begin with a gem from Henry Payne, who identifies the top turkey of the season.
Michael Ramirez then identifies a prayer that no longer applies.
Robert Ariail suggests that the wrong turkey got pardoned at the White House.
And here’s another one of his cartoons mocking the President’s reprehensible dishonesty.
Nate Beeler also has some fun with the notion of a White House turkey pardon.
This Glenn McCoy classic is probably my favorite from today’s collection.
Last but not least, we have another Ramirez cartoon, which also weaves in some Iran humor.
P.S. Looking through the archives, we had some good class-warfare cartoons last year.
P.P.P.S. We shared a serious lesson about incentives and private property in 2010, but also had some non-political humor here and here.