Monday, February 17, 2014

Addictions in Politics

America's politicians have an addiction problem. It is not an addiction with drugs or alcohol (at least not that I am aware). Despite the consequences, politicians return to this addiction. The addiction of which I speak is that of subsidization.

It's not just those stinking Democrats either. The Republicans would just as well like to support their agenda by subsidy. For instance, the Republican party supports subsidies for the nuclear industry.

Today, I would like to examine a laundry list of reasons that this addiction to subsidies is as painful as any other addiction.

1. It is redistribution at its worst
The money that the government is giving to these industries doesn't just come from thin air. It is taken from the US taxpayer. As previously mentioned, the US citizen gives this money to the federal government for a specific purpose which does not include giving handouts to any industry no matter how noble the government politicians think or profess it to be. This idea opens the door to all kinds of corruption.

2. It diverts resources
Newsflash: the federal government does not know what's best for the United States citizens. Over the past few years, we have seen this repeatedly. The rollout of a burdensome "one size fits all" healthcare plan has shown that the government doesn't know how to cope with the individual needs of all families in the United States. Yet when the government subsidizes certain industries, it is trying to determine which corporations should receive money and should thrive to be available to the American citizen. They are trying to decide what we need.

3. It encourages lobbyists
Subsidies are bound to be given by politicians, and this is a known fact. If you then are trying to make an investment in a risky venture, you might decide that instead of risking your own money directly, you would try to risk the money of the US taxpayer. Then all you have to do is lobby politicians to receive the handouts in the form of a subsidy. It is simple and easy. This highlights that decisions regarding subsidies aren't even being made with our best interests in mind in the first place, but rather with the interests of the politicians themselves.

4. Subsidies rarely go to small businesses
Small businesses are rarely seen or noticed by politicians. This life source of the US economy then is neglected by the government in favor of already established businesses. These large businesses themselves are not evil corporations, but how is a small business supposed to survive against any business that can lower their prices significantly below market levels because of the money that small business and other hardworking US citizens are paying to the large corporation? Small businesses are attacked twice: once through taxes and another time through the artificially lower prices of their competitors.

5. Subsidies provide ways to avoid political pressure
In the end, subsidies make life easy for politicians. Instead of confronting real issues, they can write a check to some industry and tell them to fix it. In this way, politicians can appear to solve the problem without doing anything at all. Nuclear regulations are too strict and are constricting investment. Here have some money. Healthcare regulations are killing health insurance. Here, Americans, have some free government sponsored healthcare! We see then why politicians are so addicted to such a harmful subsidy regime. It allows them to avoid any real responsibility for their actions. 

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