Big Government, Capitalism, China, Economy, Incompetence, Issues, Regulation, Socialism, Trade, Unemployment, Welfare

Government Ignores Human Nature – and Warps the World with its Ignorance


Socialism doesn’t work because it tries to root out human nature. Capitalism works because it harnesses it.

We are capitalists, conservatives and federalists in part because we acknowledge and understand human nature. Its possibilities – and its limitations.

They are Socialists because they are Utopian fantasists. They think they can remake humanity and the planet into a Heaven on Earth. And the vehicle with which they attempt this intercontinental, multi-billion-person fundamental transformation – is government.

Faith in government is itself a failure to grasp human nature. For several reasons. One of them is the Wallet Rule:

If you go out on a Friday night with your wallet, and you go out the following Friday night with my wallet – on which Friday night are you going to have more fun?

You’ll have a whole lot more fun on my wallet – because you don’t care what it looks like at the end of the evening.

Government always and only operates on other peoples’ wallets. It will never care about how the money is spent the way the people who earned it do. So huge tracts of wasted coin are inevitable.

So too are huge tracts of coin very poorly spent. If the money doesn’t matter – the results of spending it don’t either. We have more than a century of evidence that government money doesn’t help the private sector and the people who receive it – it warps and damages both.

Why Are Millions of Men Choosing Not to Work?: “The work rate for adult men has plunged 13 percentage points in a half-century….Since 1948, the proportion of men 20 and older without paid work has more than doubled, to almost 32 percent.…For 50 years, the number of men in that age cohort who are neither working nor looking for work has grown nearly four times faster than the number who are working or seeking work.”

And why is this? Government money.

“(Nicholas) Eberstadt does not say that government assistance causes this, but obviously it finances it. To some extent, however, this is a distinction without a difference….Largely because of government benefits and support by other family members, nonworking men 25 to 54 have household expenditures a third higher than the average of those in the bottom income quintile. Hence, Eberstadt says, they ‘appear to be better off than tens of millions of other Americans today, including the millions of single mothers who are either working or seeking work.’”

Human nature dictates that if you pay people to do nothing – why on Earth would they do something?

Human nature also dictates that if you guarantee people money to do something stupid – they will flock to do something stupid. Rather than risk their money, time and effort looking to do something intelligent. And it certainly ain’t just a domestic problem. Humans, after all, are humans.

Chinese Subsidies Soar, Sales of Their Stockpiles Loom: “U.S. trade officials announced that the United States was targeting China in an international trade case over the legality of its rice, corn, and wheat subsidies. The U.S. agricultural community cheered, as U.S. negotiators showed a desire to start rooting out the trade-distorting policies that are so manipulating world commodity markets.”

Yes, introducing some rationality anywhere into global farm policy would be great. They have for decades been complete strangers. Unfortunately, China responded with more of the exact same stupidity.

“The government decided to play hardball with its protectionist practices….Reuters reported, ‘the Agricultural Development Bank of China, one of the country’s main policy lenders, agreed to loan at least 3 trillion yuan ($450 billion) by 2020’ for the further modernization of China’s agriculture industry. In other words, it shrugged it shoulders and doubled down with HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS more of government money designed to give it an unfair advantage.”

With this much stupid government action – you get an equally stupid private sector reaction.

Government pays people to do certain things – so people do those things. Regardless of whether or not the market needs or wants them. China has dumped billions into crops – and, shocker, they have huge surpluses of those crops. Which they will now use – to further distort the market.

“Another Reuters story…stated, ‘After cotton and corn, China could sell sugar from state stockpiles.’ Reuters was correct. By October 1, China Daily reported, ‘Chinese authorities will release the first batch of sugar reserves this year to stabilize supply and prices, the country’s top economic planner announced on Friday….When the Chinese government uses phrases like ‘stabilize supply and prices,’ it really means ‘manipulate the market to subsidize its industry.’”

Get all that? Government thinks it can ignore human nature – and pays people to grow certain crops. Humans being humans, way too many people grow those crops – and they end up with huge, extraneous stockpiles. Marketplace warped.

Having screwed up the market with subsidies, government exponentially increases the subsidies – to bail out the farmers who didn’t make any money on the crops the government paid them to grow. Marketplace further warped.

And the government begins dumping their government-money crops. Driving down further still crop prices. Which will inexorably lead to more government money for farmers – because they can’t possibly make any money at the government-warped, much lower market prices.

Lather, rinse, repeat. And down and down they go.

China – and much of the rest of the world – should take note of what the U.S. has of late been doing.

“[T]he U.S. has repeatedly reformed farm policy, abiding by limits agreed to in the (World Trade Organization) WTO. By contrast, according to USTR, China has exceeded its maximum allowable support (the amount China agreed to when it joined the WTO), for corn, wheat, and rice by $100 billion in 2015.

“Let us put this in plain terms: the ENTIRE farm safety net spending for 2015 for the United States was about $12 billion, which is well below our limits agreed to in the WTO. Whereas, China went OVER its limits on just THREE crops by $100 BILLION in that same year.”

We should use the WTO to free trade away the rest of our subsidies. In exchange for places like China free trading away theirs.

It is far better than ignoring human nature – and continuing our subsidized slide into oblivion.

This is a guest post by Seton Motley Founder and President of Less Government
  • Enough

    While it is true that “capitalists, conservatives and federalists . . . acknowledge and understand human nature, its possibilities – and its limitations” these are NOT the basis of capitalism and to think this is to be manipulative and strained. The basis of capitalism is moral freedom: I own my property (including my time) you own yours, and we collectively decide to respect the freedom of others to do with their property as they elect to do. We freely trade or gift our own property to others by agreement and mutual consent. We may use the convenience of money to conduct such trade with those we know and those we don’t know, using honest weights and measures to conduct the trade. The use of compulsive force in a transaction is contrary to such freedom.

    We encourage others to talk about and establish a system that promotes the freedom of the individual to pursue the matters of God, faith, family, morality, prosperity, health and dreams in such a way as to protect the freedoms of each to pursue their priorities. We limit actions which basically cause or advocate adverse consequences to others, thus preserving their freedoms.

    The problem with government is it reaches a point where care and feeding of itself becomes more important than respecting the freedoms of those who formed it. Government’s willingness to exact by force more power and money than needed to provide the constitutionally limited mandate it has ultimately defeats the concept of the freedom.

    The desire for freedom motivates people to pursue their needs, aspirations and dreams: the rest is physcobabble.

  • Karll

    It’s simple enough. Human nature is miserable and is motivated primarily by two things:
    1- The avoidance of pain, both physical and mental/emotional.
    Emotional “pain” can include anger/disappointment/apprehension of losing something
    we have or NOT getting something we want.
    2- Self-interest

    WAY down the list is actual concern for our fellow man, besides those in our immediate families.

    THAT is why socialism/communism does NOT work. There are always those in charge who would
    subvert a socialist system for their own ends and become tyrannical, and that is ALWAYS what happens.

    Capitalism utilizes our miserable, selfish natures, and those that strive to succeed often provide
    employment for others. Capitalists are also the main supporters of our increasingly socialist
    system, which would collapse without them.

    • Robert

      You connect Communism with Socialism when they are as far apart as you can get. Socialism is alive and healthy in most of Europe and in Canada, I do not see them failing and they have been Socialistic just as long as the USA has been here and the combined GDP of the EU is higher than the US, and they rate higher in every aspect, medical, education and people’s happiness, if you want to cherry pick, like say Venezuela then you should do your homework and you will find that the USA supported a rebel army to overthrow the Governments of Columbia, Bolivia, and Venezuela and Brazil, because they did not want the rest of the world to see how successful a Balanced Democratic Socialist country can be.
      What you are calling Capitalism is no different than what they industries in Europe work under..
      Get a life, here will always be unfortunates in this world and the state should be responsible for taking care of them.

      • Karll

        Sounds to me like you should move to a socialist/communist country more to your liking.

        • Robert

          Most of the time it sounds like you have no idea what you are talking about just spreading Conservative Republican BS like the Democrats spread their BS, only opinions with nothing to back it up except talk.
          Get an education it would do you a world of good.
          HAVE A GOOD DAY

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