Altruism: Why The Republicans Will Lose The Budget Cut Battle

April 15, 2011 06:44

Altruism confers ownership rights on the needy. Under altruism, if the haves withhold things from the have-nots, that’s physical force—it’s literal theft—and government force in redress is retaliatory force, seizing “stolen” possession to return them to their rightful owners: the needy.

By Harry Binswanger at Capitalism Magazine


It’s the oldest trick in the book: pass off a slowed increase as a cut. Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” budget proposal would raise spending, preserve and strengthen all the entitlements, and once again genuflect before “the safety net.”

Karl Rove:

Mr. Ryan would have the government spend $40 trillion over the next 10 years, $6.2 trillion less than Mr. Obama’s budget plan of $46 trillion. This an overall reduction in what the government plans to spend, not a cut from what it is spending today. [my emphasis]

It’s also easy to be taken in by statements about Ryan’s budget rolling back spending to 2008 levels. That’s not spending he’s talking about, it’s only one minor category of spending: “discretionary” spending. It’s not the entitlements. Spending, under Ryan’s plan, will go up, up, and up.

There’s no principle to protect you from the snowballing demands of ever more pressure-groups, all justified by the consecration of need, weakness, failure. And that snowballing is exactly the story of the last 130 years. At first a little “redistribution” it was to protect widows and orphans from starvation, now it’s to protect the middle class from paying full price for pills.

The Ryan budget proposal reveals a culture still caught in the death-grip of altruism. A culture trapped between “we owe to them” and “we can no longer afford to give it to them.”

Dr. Binswanger, a longtime associate of Ayn Rand, is a professor of philosophy at the Objectivist Academic Center of the Ayn Rand Institute.


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