Does "Republican" Mean "F**k You?"

No, being Democrat does.

Editor's Note: This article does not conform to our usually cultured editorial standards; however, it makes a necessary point in response to repeated and recurring liberal attacks.  The reader stands warned of unseemly vulgarity within.

We at Scragged appreciate our readers' comments - yes, even the occasional vulgarity.  A recent comment stated that being a Republican is equivalent to saying, "F**k you."

Got problems?  Sick?  Got no insurance?  Hungry?  Got no food?  Got a baby and no husband?  F**k you!  You're on your own!

Relatively few people of Republican leanings are able to articulate the issues involved.  Their positions may seem to be as callous and as uncaring as "F**k you!" but the story isn't that simple.

Let's start with the extremes.  We know of no Republicans who believe that people should be left to starve in the streets.  America has a long tradition of private charity such that starvation has been essentially unknown since the founding of the Republic.  Very few Americans would say, like Ebenezer Scrooge, that the poor had best get on with dying and decrease the surplus population; America as a whole has never felt that way, nor has any political party.

Republicans don't believe people should starve.  The question is what's the best thing to do so that they don't.

Democrats believe that government is the solution of choice to just about any social problem; Republicans believe that people should be encouraged to work out their own solutions to their problems.  Republicans tend to believe that government is incapable of solving social problems.

We don't know any Democrats who believe that non-working people should live in McMansions and eat filet mignon at public expense - or, at least, we don't know any who'll admit to it - but as we've noted, our welfare system has resulted in a huge increase in the number of fatherless children on welfare.  This increases the agency budget to the joy of the people who work there, but isn't good for society.

The Ongoing Balancing Act

The difficulty is achieving the proper balance between individual responsibility and societal responsibility.  There are some things which government can do better than private enterprise - the military comes to mind - but very few.  The trick is to gain the benefits of government solving problems for which it is suited without having government spending and incompetence destroy the economy.

Private charity is far more effective at ending people's dependence than public charity because the incentives run the right way.  If a private drug counseling system guides people to avoid drugs entirely, the charity counts this as a success because success stories help them raise money from donors.

Unfortunately, incentives run backward in government agencies.  If a public drug treatment system doesn't cure the person and he or she comes back for more treatment, the agency can ask the legislature for more money because their client list is growing.

Lawmakers are far less interested in making sure that our money is spent effectively than private donors; all they care about is appearing to show that "they care" by funneling large amounts of your money to their supporters.

We see the same perverse incentives in education.  A private school depends on parents choosing to send their children there; students' success helps them find new customers to replace the ones who graduate.

Public schools, on the other hand, get to spend more money teaching summer school when they fail to cover the curriculum during the school year.  The worse job they do, the more money they make.  Similarly, government-run transit systems don't want more riders because they lose money on each passenger; profit-oriented private systems want every passenger they can get. 

Consider labor unions.  In the early 1900's, management's attitude toward labor was certainly "F**k you."  Labor unions were a natural, and arguably necessary, reaction to over-powerful, inhumane employers.

Those days ended with the "Treaty of Detroit" in 1950.  All major issues that unions fought for in the early days - worker safety, unemployment compensation, minimum wages, and health care for injuries on the job - are now the law of the land, equally required of companies both unionized and not.

In the years after the 1950 UAW contract, unionized workers increased their incomes considerably and workers in other industries gained pay as well.  Unionization of the private sector work force declined from 20% in 1983 to 12% recently, however.

If unionization is such a good deal for workers, why aren't more of them in unions?  Because workers have noticed that auto company employment is down 75% from its peak; the Detroit Big 3 may not survive.

Unions originally redressed the power imbalance between workers and management, which certainly needed doing, but over time the unions got too greedy, told management "F**k you," and killed their employers.  The Democrats seem to be poised to make it easier for unions to enter more workplaces which, modern unions being the greed-based organizations they are, will raise labor costs and destroy jobs in the end.

Welfare and the Counterproductive Mandate

The Democratic approach to welfare is to hand out money to any unwed mother and give her more for each child; the Republicans persuaded Mr. Clinton to make it harder to collect welfare so that recipients had to get jobs.  Even the Boston Globe recognized that the welfare recipients who got jobs were soon better off than they had been on welfare.

Some Republicans believe that welfare mothers should have to take birth control as a condition of getting the money so that poverty won't multiply as rapidly; our current stimulus bill has language which would eliminate Mr. Clinton's welfare reforms.

Remember the woman the other day who tearfully told Mr. Obama that she needed housing?  Wink News had a follow up which began, "Henrietta Hughes says she's not milking the system."  The article states that Ms. Hughes had a number of opportunities for housing, but held out for something better.

Why not hold out for what she wants?  She can get it, that's why we call such payments "entitlements."

How well-off should recipients of government payments be?  Were Republicans heartless for encouraging Mr. Clinton to make it harder to collect welfare?

Democrats patted themselves on the back for "doing something" when they passed the Americans with Disabilities Act, but the scientific study Hotchkiss (2003) says that a smaller percentage of disabled people are employed now than were employed before the act was passed.

Why?  Because the law says that employers can be sued unless they make "reasonable accommodations" for disabled employees.  Nobody knows what that means, but hordes of under-employed lawyers are eager to help anyone find out.

Businesses see disabled people as lawsuits waiting to happen and don't hire them.  Similarly, older workers found it more difficult to be hired once government "protected" them against discrimination due to age.

Democrats may feel good about "protecting" workers, but in the end, nobody benefits except lawyers.  Were Republicans heartless for opposing these efforts to protect workers?  They've cost a tremendous amount, and didn't help the people they were supposed to help - but they did make politicians feel better.

The elderly or handicapped person not hired by a lawsuit-fearing employer got a government-sponsored "F**k you!" courtesy of the Democrats - only you never hear about those.

Health Care

The basic issue in health care is extremely simple - if health care is free, how do you keep people from going to the doctor when society can't afford it?  Unless there's some mechanism to limit demand, costs become infinite.

Our leaders know this.  Hillary's health plan of 16 years ago limited treatment by way of strict treatment rules with the force of law.

If you were too old, for example, the rules said that you wouldn't get enough benefit from certain treatments to justify the cost, so you'd get a government-issued "F**k you!"  We're seeing similar rules in the parts of the new stimulus bill which relate to health care.

There's been a big argument in England over whether people will be allowed to spend their own money to pay for expensive drugs which the National Health Service payment guidelines won't give them.  Liberal politicians, who know that the system will always decide they should get expensive treatments even if non-politicians are excluded, fear that allowing people to spend their own money on drugs will create a "two tier" system.  They conveniently ignore the fact that there already is a two-tier system which benefits themselves.

The March, 2009 Atlantic had an article "My drug problem" which told how the author was cured of breast cancer by $60,000 worth of Herceptin on top of conventional treatment.  The article says:

Consider New Zealand. There, a government agency called Pharmac evaluates the efficacy of new drugs, decides which drugs are cost-effective, and negotiates the prices to be paid by the national health-care system. These functions are separate in most countries, but thanks to this integrated approach, Pharmac has indeed tamed the national drug budget. New Zealand spent $303 per capita on drugs in 2006, compared with $843 in the United States. Unfortunately for patients, Pharmac gets those impressive results by saying no to new treatments.

Herceptin was an issue in the recent New Zealand elections - the winning party promised to fund it.

Somebody has to say "no" to medical treatments; patients can't always have what they want.  Are Republicans heartless for pointing this out?

Or are Democrats sneaky for not admitting that bureaucrats will have to say "no" and for not pointing out that politicians already enjoy an extremely expensive health care system at our expense?  When they talk about "universal" health care, they don't plan to offer anything nice as their medical program.

What Makes Consumption Possible

The basic issues have nothing to do with money itself; they center on consumption.  The reason government wants tax money is not because the money benefits them directly, it's because of the things our money can buy.

Welfare recipients don't want money necessarily, they want the things money can buy.

Regardless of government policy, however, nobody can consume anything unless someone else goes to the trouble of making it.  If a welfare recipient wants a car or a microwave oven, someone else has to be willing to make the oven or the car and ship it to whoever wants it.  People won't do the work of making things unless they're paid.

Increased taxation and increased welfare reduce incentives to work.  The higher taxes and welfare benefits go, the fewer people are willing to work and the more people want to go on welfare.

If we end up with too many retirees, welfare recipients, convicts, students, bureaucrats, and other people who consume without producing anything, our society will collapse.  Are Republicans stingy for wanting to keep taxes and welfare benefits low enough that people want to work to make the things everybody wants to buy?

Who Gets What

We can't have everything we want; there has to be some means of allocating a limited supply of goods to the much larger number of people who want them.  Our market-based system uses price to allocate things - if you can't afford something, you're supposed to do without it.

If lots of people want something, the price goes up.  More businesses start making it which brings the price back down.  If taxes are too high, however, businesses won't bother making things and the price stays high.

Republicans believe that the more goods are produced, the more people can consume.  They also believe that you ought to have everything you can afford and that the government should organize itself so that you as much opportunity as possible to earn as much as you can.

The theory is that maximizing opportunity for businesses to profit by selling goods people want to buy leads to maximum economic welfare all 'round.  Our tradition of maximizing opportunity has led to the highest living standards in history, but it doesn't offer adequate scope for bureaucrats who delight in writing rules or for politicians who want to spend other people's money.

Democrats believe that government should give you whatever's needed to persuade you to vote for Democrats.  They believe it's OK to destroy jobs by taxing away wealth in the name of "fairness" and they believe in spending tax money to help get themselves re-elected or to support political allies.

We already know how that plan works out.  Government control of the Soviet economy led to some of the lowest living standards and shortest life-spans of any technological society.  The very nations whose national health-care systems American liberals point to as successful examples of how health care ought to be export well-off patients here to get care that they can't get in their own countries.

As John Adams said, "Facts are stubborn things" and it's a fact that government programs seldom deliver the promised benefits, if ever.  We've repeatedly asked for an example, any example, of something, anything, that our government actually does competently, anywhere from sea to shining sea.

Excluding the military, we've yet to receive a response.  Nobody can think of anything that government does well, yet people seem to want government to do more.  Democrats were elected on a promise to have government solve all our problems; Republicans don't think government can solve any problem.

No, being Republican certainly doesn't mean saying "F**k you", though it could be argued that there's a certain element of "You may f**k yourself if you really want to," which is somewhat different.

The trouble is that being Democrat means believing that the government should f**k everybody and make you pay for it.

Which is worse?

Will Offensicht is a staff writer for and an internationally published author by a different name.  Read other articles by Will Offensicht or other articles on Bureaucracy.
Reader Comments
Just what is it that liberals are so wrong about?

First and foremost, they are wrong about basic human nature. They tend to be Freudian thinkers and as such believe human nature is highly flexible and can be easily modified to meet their political purposes. Genetic research increasingly indicates that human behavior is in fact highly inherited and not so easily modified. Even the field of psychology now disputes many, if not most, of Freud's behavior theories.

Reference: Freudian Fraud 'The Malignant Effect of Freud's Theory on American Thought and Culture' by E. Fuller Torrey, M.D.

The theories of communism and socialism depend completely on those faulty Freudian theories as they attempt to ignore, circumvent, and suppress the role incentive plays in basic human behavior. This is why non-incentive based economic and political systems have always failed and always will. People won't do much of anything without genuine positive incentive -- that's just the way we are. Obviously, systems which derive their incentive from the barrel of a gun are simply opportunistic dictatorships and nothing else.

Being wrong about the role of incentive in basic human behavior is a critical mistake that can only lead to flawed endeavors no matter what they are. We are surrounded by the tragic results of non-incentive based systems. Public education may provide the best example of what can go wrong when a student can proudly claim honor status through inflated grades obtained in constantly dumbed-down irrelevant courses. Neither the students nor the teachers are bad people -- it's the system that is bad.

We are supposed to believe that liberal university professors are somehow more knowledgeable and wiser than other folks. In fact, these all-knowing people have self-appointed themselves to one of the greatest elitist cults of all time. The foundation of their cult was accidentally laid down by no less than Sigmund Freud. Around 1900, his wacky ideas about how human behavior can be molded like putty were enthusiastically taken up by writers and university professors across the U.S. These were the first "intellectual" elitists and set in motion a cult that survives and thrives to this day.

Freud's ideas suggesting that human behavior could be easily formed or reformed were also embraced by Karl Marx and all manner of socialists and communists The elitists, unfortunately, give a degree of respectability to the whole left-wing movement. It is no accident that university campuses look like little socialist enclaves. Genetics and not Freud helps to explain why every communist or socialist society eventually fails because -- guess what -- people's behavior can't be magically transformed into Marxist "to each according to his needs" systems. Realistically, nobody is going to change the mindset of the literary and university elitists overnight but a dogged and factual effort is a great way to start.

Left-wing political theory must be attacked at its very roots which is its derivation from flawed Freudian behavior theory. No amount of ranting over their lack of common sense or ridiculing their cult-like fervor will suffice. People have to understand that inherited human nature actually drives most of what we do in day-to-day living. It is indeed a daunting task to reform over 100 years of misguided thinking.

Scragged may be one of the few groups capable of carrying that flag into battle. Obama's stimulus package is only a small sample of what we will get if nothing is done. I hope it is not too late.


Andy Hokanson
Kansas City, MO
February 16, 2009 9:45 AM
It was stated as a comment in "Repeat after me: Tax Cuts do not cost money" that

Every $1 of tax cuts = $1.02 in economic activity.

$1 of infrastructure spending = $1.59 in economic activity.

This would imply that government spending is indeed the proper way to fix the current economic down trend immediately. However I am not interested in fixing the problem now. I'm interested in fixing the problem tomorrow and for the next decade.

If that infrastructure is useful then spending the money can indeed be a good investment for the future. However, that investment also has strong inflationary pressure. Money from the heavens is pouring into our economy and there are no additional goods for it to chase. More money, static levels of goods, inflation is the result. The GDP goes up... but it can't buy what it used to. Maybe the numbers look better but life isn't going to actually improve.

So while the tax cut may only generate 1.02 of economic activity it generates very limited inflationary pressure because that dollar is usually saved, not spent, by the upper class. Which doesn't help the economy today. But, money in banks or stocks doesn't sit there gathering dust. That money is loaned out to individuals or companies to create new jobs, discover new drugs, privately put man into space and anything else that is imaginable.

All economic activity requires large sums of money to be invested. No matter how good an idea I have I can not create a company without capital. When the government taxes the rich and redistributes it to the poor they are destroying the pools of capital that allow our country to progress and for new companies to be created.

That investment of capital also only adds limited inflationary, or maybe even deflationary pressure, because that money is creating goods and services for that money to chase. More money, more goods.

It is short sighted goals that got us into this mess. Banks loaned money to poor people for things that did not improve their welfare. $500 so a father could take his family on vacation, paid off in six months. In the short term this does indeed help the economy but in the long run that family can't spend as much money for this six months hurting the economy. And if something actually important comes up, like needing a loan to repair their car they won't be able to afford another loan because their income is already tied up repaying their vacation.

According to a program on NPR, during the boom the average american was spending more per year than they were making. That is not possible to sustain forever. This economic downturn is the hang over from a wild few years of partying. At some point the price has to be paid for our collective stupidity. We can pay it now, fix the real issues and move on. Or we can pop a couple soma and hope that it will be our children and not us who have to pay the price for our mistakes.
February 16, 2009 10:47 AM
"All economic activity requires large sums of money to be invested. No matter how good an idea I have I can not create a company without capital. When the government taxes the rich and redistributes it to the poor they are destroying the pools of capital that allow our country to progress and for new companies to be created"

February 16, 2009 11:18 AM
I'm sorry but I'm afraid I stopped taking this article totally seriously when the author implied a direct causal relationship between increased welfare benefits and increased rates of single motherhood. What Will Offensicht found was not a cause but a correlation. In confounding the two he has committed two logical fallacies, first confusion of causation and correlation, second post hoc. A.Welfare benefits improved, B.then single motherhood became more common place. Post Hoc says A caused B but offers no reason for it.

Further with his discussion on private charities being better than government programs, he offers nothing more compelling than hypothetical anecdotal evidence. He argues that private charities want to generate positive anecdotes to get donations. Exactly. Private charities count only hits, not misses. They thus commit observational selection, another fallacy. And then if someone doesn't get better, they are turned away and no one says anything. Private charities do not have incentive to give better treatment. They have incentive to cherry-pick cases that will probably succeed, crow about their successes and ignore their failures.
Also the entire argument about charities affirms the consequent.
1.If a treatment works, then the program offered the right incentives.
2.Charities offer the right incentives.
3.Charities work.

I'm afraid that's about all the illogic I can take in one sitting.

I don't think Republican necessarily means "F**k you." I do think it means "F**k logic!"

February 17, 2009 5:34 PM
In re Kate:

A discussion of determinism versus free will is beyond the scope of Scragged; suffice to say that human beings do respond to incentives. To name but one example, financial firms offer performance bonuses so that if people do as management desires, they receive huge amounts of money. To assume that financial traders respond to cash incentives and unwed mothers don't is ridiculous in the extreme.

Traditionally, a major fraction of females have sought to have a home and children. In days of yore, the only way a woman could have both was to get a husband who was willing to fund her home and offspring. With welfare, all she has to get is pregnant, which is significantly easier. Are you seriously arguing this change in how housing expenses are covered is utterly unrelated to increased teen pregnancy and single motherhood? Modern sky-high illegitimacy rates came after LBJ's Great Society, not before; recent drops came following Clinton's welfare reforms, which made collecting welfare harder.

Charities are successful precisely BECAUSE they are able to discriminate between those who are able to be helped and those who refuse to help themselves. Alcoholics Anonymous, which is one of hte more effective anti-substance agencies, decries the "enablers," well-meaning people who make it possible for alcoholics to avoid changing their damaging ways. By short-circuiting the usual consequences of alcoholism, enablers make the problem worse.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn argued that precisely BECAUSE they make social problems worse, well-meaning "enablers" are TRULY evil:

Modern welfare makes us all enablers and we see the result.

What's more logical than "Do what works?" In this vein, please point out for us ONE government program which was established on the principles of liberalism and which has succeeded in reducing the problem it set out to address.

Just one!
February 17, 2009 8:25 PM
Correct me if I am wrong Will but I do not believe this article was intended to provide an argument for why republicans believe what they do but instead to cover how what they believe relates directly to the insult often hurled at republicans that they simply do not care about the people whom their actions are seen to harm.

The argument then welfare increases single motherhood was made in a different scragged article. A link was provided in the above article.

I believe the essence of the article can be summed up with this:

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. (Democratic solution to hunger) Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a life time. (Republican solution to hunger)

The part where Republicans tend to get into trouble is that they believe it is important to allow that person to fail if they will not accept responsibility for themselves. Trying to teach a man how to fish but giving up and giving him a fish when he fails to succeed will only encourage him not to try. And will encourage the next person to not try either.

As he stated in the article:
"You may f**k yourself if you really want to"

And don't expect me to save you from yourself more than once.
February 17, 2009 9:14 PM
Thanks, jony, that was well put.

This dilemma was documented long, long ago. The Chinese had a custom that if you saved someone from death, as in rescuing someone from drowning, you were then obligated to feed that person for the rest of his or her life because you'd interfered in the gods' plan that that person be removed from the population.

We see echoes that view today in the casual Chinese attitude toward construction fatalities.

When the English poor laws were being revised hundreds of years ago, it was recognized that private charities which would not help those who were perceived as not helping themselves would overlook some deserving people whereas government programs which defined eligibility by rules would give to the undeserving.

Significant numbers of Democrats seem to believe that those who are helped will vote Democrat and therefore want to help them with other people's money.

As evidence for this view, we cite Mr. Kennedy's campaign against Mitt Romney for the US Senate. When challenged by Mr. Romney to list specific, concrete, beneficial accomplishments, all that Mr. Kennedy could do was cite government programs which had spent much money. No jobs created, no economic growth, nothing but spending.

Mr. Kennedy won the election, but Mr. Romney was later elected governor of Massachusetts.
February 17, 2009 9:42 PM
Kate said: "And then if someone doesn't get better, they are turned away and no one says anything. Private charities do not have incentive to give better treatment"

Yes, and that's a GOOD thing. The entire problem with government aid is that it has no feedback loop. Have more kids even though you can raise the current ones on your own? No problem, here's more money.

The money isn't the government's, so the government doesn't care about how it's used. Private charities have to work REALLY hard to raise the money they do. They can't write a few lines of legislation and collect an extra 50 million bucks like the government can. So it behooves private charities to get the best results which means cutting off those that don't yield positive results.

(Every causation beings with a correlation)
February 18, 2009 8:31 AM
Being a Republican IS equivalent to saying, "F**k you.
They really, really, do feel that way!
Republicans are like that. Really.
February 26, 2009 7:11 PM
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