Why does the left love big government so much?

It took President Garfield’s assassination (cf. “Office seeker, disappointed”) to make that happen.

I’ll pretend that the OP was being serious and answer:

The left likes the government to do certain things because those things have been done by private industries and failed or were horribly abusive. My counter question to the OP is why the right can’t seem to learn the lesson that people need to be governed, and that that powerful can’t have a free hand to exploit the weak?

Seriously, we’ve tried unregulation. It failed. We’ve tried to give businesses the benefit of the doubt but they exploited people. We thought monopolies would make things cheaper. They didnt. Time and time again the right trots out the tired cliche about the market and time and time again greed shows the right that it is horrible if greedy and powerful people are allowed to wallow in their greed and power without control. How many recessions and depressions must the country go through before you people learn your lesson?


That’s pretty much it, to my mind. Certainly neutrality is also an issue, plus the matter of some amount of profit control, but oversight is the big one. I don’t trust, frankly, anyone in a position of power very much. I don’t believe that the government are more likely to think the right way on an issue than your average businessman, or that they are any more trustworthy. But at least with a government we have a greater ability to see what they’re doing. We have media, not to mention opposition parties, who can and do focus in on one particular group to see whether they’re acting in the right or not. Mistakes made are huge news. And when mistakes are made, I get my say in deciding what should be done in situations that affect me. And I like the conflict of interests - I like that there can be one group with many overall points of concern, in that they must (hopefully) at least attempt to do a good job at all of them, where a private business might well perform a single job better, but may do so to the detriment of other jobs.

Essentially, if I get the OP’s argument correctly, I would say the point is that hopefully, with government, we can avoid quite a lot of those unpleasant personal characteristics that might well screw everyone over.

At least government has to answer to the people (in theory). “If the Free Market had its druthers we’d still have slavery and child labor.*” Or in other words, The Grapes of Wrath, anyone?

*Thank you Sheila Jackson Lee

One current version of the American right wants government to have the power to torture, to indefinitely detain, to have broad scope for warrantless wiretaps, maybe to remove citizenship for certain crimes. The left is more inclined to regulation of business and public sector services. The second may employ more people, but the first is much more into the use of coercive power. Libertarians I get. The parts of the right that seem to say “You can start putting in place the framework police state so long as you don’t have a state health insurance program”–I don’t get them.

Please define “big government.” Since the 1940s the number of federal civilian employees has remained rather constant, hovering above and below the two million mark. On the other hand the official population of the US has grown from approximately 132 million to more than 300 million. So “big government” certainly doesn’t apply to the number of federal employees, even though politicians and corporate media often use them as scapegoats.

If you are talking about the federal budget, compare the figures yourself. Who decides these budget outlays? You do by the people you vote for and your active participation in your government. If you drop the accusations of Democrat, Republican, liberal and conservative, and limit your thinking to where those tax dollars are being spent, we all want our government to pay for it, it’s not our fault when it’s too expensive, and everyone else is at fault.

No, actually, I think it can be summed more succinctly without any loss of the OP’s semantic content as, “Why are liberals poopyheads?”

Curvy collectivist cutie Angela Davis-Fonda lists her favorite turn-ons as class struggle, self criticism, and, of course, “big government!..the bigger the better, I always say!” Size matters when you’re hot to Trotsky…

Open centerfold to see Miss Red October in flagrante dialectic

How does that prove an aristocracy. Those second generation Senators had to be elected didn’t they? They must have done something that resonated with the voting public. Aside from that, the only requirements for Senatorship are age and residency. Someone’s parent being a Senator makes no difference in someone’s right to run for a Senate seat.

As to second generation Presidents, the only one in 200 years has been George W. Bush. The only person he’s to the left of is Sarah Palin, so if anything, your cries of “the American aristocracy!” only make the right look bad.

This bit of big government nonsense isn’t new. It tends to happen a lot, enough to be noted by someone like Krugman:

He’s actually the second to be the son of a former president, and the third to be a direct descendant of a former president.

I think a better question might be:

Why did **pkbites **start a debate thread, but then not even attempt to defend his position?

Porn title!

First of all, the two large leaps in Federal power has been by liberals: Republicans 1861-1877 and Democrats 1933-1945. So yes, large government is traditionally the MO of the left. But today BOTH sides want big government, the left for a social welfare state and the right for a corporate welfare state. State sovereignty was killed off by *South Dakota v Dole *and not both sides of the aisle view their job as channeling tax dollars to their favorite cause. Bush had record deficits and Obama’s 2010 budget is even bigger. And rather than each side acknowledging their own role, it always the other side’s fault


One might argue that the attitudes of the Republican voters have not translated into their representatives’ actions, but the Democrats love for the big government is unquestionable.

Only if you conveniently insist on ignoring most of the aspects of the government that the Right likes, like controlling people’s personal lives, border control, handing out money to corporations and the military.

As for the “Republican voters”, just how many really want to lose their Medicare and Social Security and police protection and all the rest? They’re liars; what they really mean is that they want lower services for other people.

Yea. Try taking corporate welfare from the hands of farming states.

The left generally wants a larger government when it comes to infrastructure, a welfare state and dealing with threats posed by the powerful (large businesses, wealthy individuals). Education, health care, pensions for the elderly and disabled, regulations, progressive taxes, etc.

However the right wants a bigger government when it comes to cultural purity, domestic threats and foreign threats. Laws restricting sexuality, expanded powers for the police and military, flag burning amendments, de jure racial segregation (the SCOTUS overturning Jim Crow was the biggest GOP recruitment tool of the 20th century), etc.
So the left supports taxpayer funded universal health care while the right supports letting police stop, frisk and interrogate people with a low bar of evidence. By ‘the right’ I am talking about the authoritarian christian right, now the libertarian right.
So both sides want big government, just in different areas.

Not really… it depends on how you decide to define “big government” .

The examples for the left above all have to do with expanding the definition of “general welfare” and taxing and spending galore. Tax the rich, give to the poor, more unionized government workers…whoopee! That what the right means by big government.

The examples given for the right either cost relatively less (the cultural stuff) than the general welfare of the left… or are pretty clearly national defense issues which we see as clearly the realm of the federal government.

Why is the right loathe to acknowledge that they love ‘big government’ as much as the left, just different forms of it?

And I think the answer is, because decrying ‘big government’ been a deathless staple of conservative rhethoric from the days when Republicans like Goldwater actually opposed big government. You never quit playing your greatest hits.