Why does the left love big government so much?

I am in favor of stronger “bigger” government because I want the biggest, meanest organization to be something regular people can control. If a pharmaceutical company was stronger than the government, they would fuck us. If a bank was bigger than the government, they would fuck us. Ditto for any private company. If a private organization has nobody to answer to, they WILL poison us and lie to us and steal from us and murder us and exploit us. The only sure thing history has taught us is that if an opportunity is available to exploit people, SOMEONE will take that opportunity. The only way to prevent it is for the majority of people to have the majority of the power. The only way for common people to have the power is for their government to be democratically elected, and stronger than any private interest.

We do not have a free market health care system, and we haven’t had one since Medicare was created.

I can see that a lot of people here lean towards statism.

You put such a sneer into that word.

You’ll find that a lot of people here consider libertarianism just one step removed from Objectivism, which a lot of people here consider one step removed from mental illness (monomania, sociopathy, etc.). Personal freedom is a good thing, but safeguards and safety nets are also good things. Regulation is a safeguard, to prevent corporations and industries from reaming us without lube. I’m more afraid of corporatism than I’ll ever be of statism, at least in the US.

I’m hoping either you or the OP (or somebody else) will eschew the talking points and make some more specific arguments if you think this is a bad thing, or a psychological feature unique to people on the left.

Brawndo: It’s got what plants need! Electrolytes!
To put it in as simple terms as the OP: right-wingers believe the government does not do anything better than private corporations. Left-wingers believe the government does some things better than private corporations. Ergo, lefties want a bigger government than right. This is not a de facto mockworthy stance. And even that’s not accurate, because plenty of saner right-wingers at the very least want the government to handle the military, and the preferred military budget is very nearly as large as all the social programs the left-wingers want put together.

It’s not so much why lefties want bigger government so much as it is why lefties don’t want the same things righties do.

It’s not a matter of trust; it’s a matter of them needing guns to do their job. A sword armed army would fare rather poorly in modern warfare. If you want to eliminate as many guns as is practical, that still leaves the people who genuinely need them. There’s also acknowledging the fact that they don’t need guns to oppress me; they have numbers and organization. So whether they have guns or not has nothing to do with whether I trust them.

Don’t bother, then. I won’t.

I do think it’s a matter of trust that goes beyond that. It’s just something I’ve observed in gun control discussions: people on the left who are uncomfortable with anyone else owning a gun and consider them totally unnecessary (including a few who would be happy to see them banned entirely) don’t bat an eyelash at police having them because they’re police and know what they are doing. Cops don’t have to be armed.

As has already been brought up, right-wingers think the government does a better job of imposing morality than the people. There are of course examples of this on the left, but there are examples of pro-government spending on the right as well (corporate welfare, military spending).

When is the last time you voted for teacher, cop or DMV clerk? The government is mostly people like this, with high level direction given by those elected by the majority of voters. You have a problem with democracy? Very few government workers answer but remotely to elected officials, and stay in their jobs no matter which party wins. Contrast this to us in the private sector who answer to CEOs named by usually one or two people, who have no real accountability unless they piss off majority stockholders. You can’t tell the difference between a standard CEO election and one in Cuba.

The right historically loves big government as much or more as the left - they just lie about it in campaigns. Oh, and they will cut government jobs and programs by outsourcing them to Haliburton for 10 x the cost - and shocking showers.

I do not like Ayn Rand. I think she had some good ideas, but some of her views were ****ed up, and she reeks of a cult figure. I do not think that selfishness is a virtue.

In a nation awash with guns and gun culture like America they do. They are simply much too likely to run into people who also have guns and the willingness to use them on cops.

The left is willing to expand government to do what they want.

The right is willing to expand government to do what they want.
I’m not sure what the debate is.

I think the debate is, “Why is the left so wrong and the right so, er, right?”

I understand that and I’m not going to argue about whether or not police should be armed. I am saying that some people on the left, even those who like to imply that anyone who carries a gun is an insecure wannabe cowboy, don’t mind if cops (who could be the same type of person, just with a uniform) carry guns all the time.

In the words of one Teabagger, “Keep the government’s hands off my Medicare!” :slight_smile:

It doesn’t. It loves things like Social Security and universal health care and protection of the environment so much, and it would like some other things like good mass transit and high-speed intercity rail. But these things are public goods which the market isn’t going to produce, any more than the market could have produced the interstate highway system or the Apollo program, so if they’re going to be done, the government needs to do them.

‘The left’ doesn’t want big government per se; it’s just that certain things it thinks would result in a better country would require a government role to bring about.

Actually, there’s one area I can think of where a good number of lefties (Duncan Black (Atrios), Matt Yglesias, Ryan Avent to name a few) are practically begging for a little help from libertarians in fighting the heavy hand of government regulation, and that’s zoning and land use laws and regulations. Limitations on building heights, parking requirements, setback requirements, zoning that segregates business and commercial areas from residential areas, all militate against walkable urban areas, both in existing cities and anywhere in the suburbs that might be a logical place for an ‘edge city.’

I’m pretty sure that this is by design. You don’t really want all your bureaucracy to change when a different party takes power.

The same can be said for many of the recent tax cuts. Instead of collecting the money in the form of taxes we have borrowed that same money in the form of treasuries.

Of course it is. Between Jackson and Chester A. Arthur we had the spoils system - to the victor, goes the spoils. It was finally figured out that this wasn’t a good idea.