The root of where liberals and conservatives diverge
Liberalism has no limiting principles, especially when it comes to growing the size and scope of government and the welfare state. Conservatism, on the other hand, wants the economy to grow unimpeded. The only obstacle in its way are taxes and regulations imposed by the government. This is where competition originates between the public and private sectors – bigger government or bigger economy – that pits the two sectors against each other. One wants as many people as possible on the government payroll, whereas the other wants to see as many people as possible employed by private enterprises.
Everything about the Democrats flows from this premise. Those who think they are the party of compassion and the underdog are sorely misguided and deluded by decades of the deceptive ideology of liberalism.
From the book Never Enough: America’s Limitless Welfare State by William Voegeli: “Liberalism, as we have seen, not only lacks a limiting principle but is fundamentally hostile to the idea of formulating one. An accommodation with conservatives that does anything beyond trimming the welfare state at the margins will be one liberals are pre-programmed to detest.”
It’s no mistake that liberals have such an affinity for socialism, because it boils down to nothing other than the state’s control of the private sector. This is why Democrats are veering farther and farther left. Implementing socialism would give the state the victory over the private sector the Democrats so desperately want to see.
As for conservatives desiring the continuous growth of the economy, it is at the mercy of economic policy coming out of Washington. This puts the private sector at a big disadvantage against the public sector. But as long as Republicans can forcefully argue for pro-growth policies, as Donald Trump has been doing (and implementing them with a fair amount of success), it just might be possible to keep the ravenous wolves of the left from winning the competition between the private and public sectors.
From the inside cover of Never Enough:
It explores the roots and consequences of liberals’ aphasia about the welfare state’s ultimate size. It assesses what liberalism’s lack of a limiting principle says about the long-running argument between liberals and conservatives, and about the policy choices confronting America in a new century. Never Enough argues that the failure to speak clearly and candidly about the welfare state’s limits has grave policy consequences. The worst result, however, is the way it has jeopardized the experiment in self-government by encouraging Americans to regard their government as a vehicle for exploiting their fellow-citizens, rather than as a compact for respecting one another’s rights and safeguarding the opportunities of future generations.
Neither side seems to understand how much is too much in validating the pre-eminent value of our time: bigger (and more) is better. Never Enough explores the question: at what point does the welfare state reach its endpoint, where its benefits and entitlements have been optimized?
The answer is simple: there isn’t one. This is because, once again, liberalism by definition doesn’t have any limiting principles. The one principle liberals do argue for is limiting how much a person or a company can make; however, this is a red herring because taxing a wealthy person’s or a company’s income is simply redistributing it – as welfare or as luxurious benefits and pensions.
Although one might say “bigger is better” when it comes to both the public and private sectors, one should know the difference. The difference is that with government, personal freedom is reduced because of the government’s powers of taxation, confiscation, and regulation. Chalk that up against the freedom that comes for a person to make as much money as he can through ambition, hard work, talent, and dignity.