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  1. You should also thank government, for getting the ball rolling on computers and microchips and electronics miniaturization. None of this fancy technology stuff is what it is without massive government investment those areas.

    Comment by Levi — November 16, 2012 @ 3:06 am - November 16, 2012

  2. That would be the military-industrial complex you despise so much, Levi. Yes, I want to show my love for it at every opportunity. The right to buy weapons is the right to be free (to access the internet, read what I want, vote, etc.)

    Comment by perturbed — November 16, 2012 @ 4:44 am - November 16, 2012

  3. Thank the government, Levi?

    No.

    The key word here is POCKET. Government may have started some of that technology, but it was private industry that made it immensely more efficient, smaller, and cheaper. It was Apple that allowed me to store my entire music collection of thousands of songs on my phone, not government. It was capitalists that developed smaller, cheaper, and more powerful computers than anything the government ever dreamed of.

    So how about you thank the capitalists, hmm? They made your comments here possible.

    Comment by Evil Otto — November 16, 2012 @ 6:51 am - November 16, 2012

  4. Wait I thought the military was a bad way for government to spend money.

    I do often laugh though at older Sci Fi movies that envisioned super computers taking up entire rooms. Sci Fi didn’t do a good job of predicting the micro chip which technology wise was probably the most important invention.

    Capitalists though took that micro chip and made lots of wonderful things that we can put in our pockets.

    Shoot the phone in your pocket has more storage space and more capability than early computers did.

    Comment by Just Me — November 16, 2012 @ 7:03 am - November 16, 2012

  5. I was pondering (No Pinky, not about that) if Levi is from a single mom. I mean living in DC, he does seem to treat the government like a parent.

    @Just Me. I laughed when I discovered Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (a show I loved as a kid) was set in… 1986.

    Comment by The_Livewire — November 16, 2012 @ 8:03 am - November 16, 2012

  6. You should also thank government, for getting the ball rolling on computers

    No actually, that would be IBM, and the entrepreneurs of the old Silicon Valley (from when they actually manufactured silicon, which they don’t anymore – thanks, in part, to government).

    That would be the military-industrial complex you despise so much, Levi.

    But he doesn’t despise it. He worships it. He’s a fascist at heart. To him, government is all. It occupies the place in his heart that God occupies, for the religious.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 16, 2012 @ 10:17 am - November 16, 2012

  7. Quick note – Twinkies Shrugged: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-11-16/twinkies-ding-dongs-maker-hostess-liquidates-following-failure-resolve-labor-union-a

    Unions destroyed the company.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 16, 2012 @ 10:19 am - November 16, 2012

  8. I like that, Jeff. If I blog on that, I’ll call the post, Twinkies Shrugged.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — November 16, 2012 @ 11:12 am - November 16, 2012

  9. You should also thank government, for getting the ball rolling on computers and microchips and electronics miniaturization. None of this fancy technology stuff is what it is without massive government investment those areas.

    What did government have to do with any of this? It was all built out by private enterprise. It wasn’t even paid for by government: government has no money of its own; it has only what private citizens and their private businesses (which in the end are only agencies of those private citizens) allocate to government via the taxes they pay.

    All government did was broker the deals and redirect all that private (tax) money. This is no small deal; the brokering is an important function. But it takes no big government to do brokering, and there is–there cannot be–”massive government investment.”

    Eric Hines

    Comment by E Hines — November 16, 2012 @ 11:37 am - November 16, 2012

  10. This reminds me of the bumper sticker I used to see in the school parking lot while I was in law school. “Capitalism: The Predatory Phase of Human Development”. Stuck on the back of an Acura. Which always made me want to sharpie underneath that “which it possible for me to drive this luxury car Mommy and Daddy bought me.”

    I recognize that I’m probably significantly to the left of many readers of this blog on a lot of issues, but I’m a big fan of capitalism.

    Comment by Neptune — November 16, 2012 @ 11:42 am - November 16, 2012

  11. *which MADE it possible…

    Brain working faster than fingers again. :)

    Comment by Neptune — November 16, 2012 @ 11:42 am - November 16, 2012

  12. What did government have to do with any of this?

    As I’ve said before (and I believe you would agree, EH; I’m only pointing it out For The Record): government did provide protection from criminals and from hostile nations; that is, protection for individual rights to life, liberty and property, which is government’s rightful function.

    It wasn’t even paid for by government: government has no money of its own; it has only what private citizens and their private businesses (which in the end are only agencies of those private citizens) allocate to government via the taxes they pay.

    Indeed. Except that government can print money. But even that is effectively a tax (looting the purchasing power that people and businesses have stored in their savings accounts and balance sheets), just a stealth tax.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 16, 2012 @ 12:58 pm - November 16, 2012

  13. Democrats see no political downside to taking country over fiscal cliff.

    Comment by V the K — November 16, 2012 @ 1:49 pm - November 16, 2012

  14. …I believe you would agree….

    Yup. Although those functions, too, are paid for with citizens’ money, allocated via taxes to government. I’d even make the argument that it’s private citizens, whether volunteer or drafted, who carry out the defense and the law enforcement, albeit they’re acting in the government’s name. But since, in a consensual government system, that government is an employee of the citizenry, or in a Rousseau-ian sense the government is the people, even here, that government is brokering an activity, not engaging in it itself.

    I was, though, just addressing the narrow context of the original comment.

    Eric Hines

    Comment by E Hines — November 16, 2012 @ 2:49 pm - November 16, 2012

  15. That would be the military-industrial complex you despise so much, Levi. Yes, I want to show my love for it at every opportunity. The right to buy weapons is the right to be free (to access the internet, read what I want, vote, etc.)

    Defense spending has a research component, as well, and that’s where virtually all of our computer technology is derived from.

    Comment by Levi — November 16, 2012 @ 3:12 pm - November 16, 2012

  16. Defense spending has a research component, as well, and that’s where virtually all of our computer technology is derived from.

    Comment by Levi — November 16, 2012 @ 3:12 pm – November 16, 2012

    Which is funny, because Levi and Barack Obama consider all defense spending to be “wasteful” and instead want to spend the money on alcohol, adult babies, and abortions.

    This is why whenever Obama supporters like Levi scream about “investments”, what that translates to is “buying votes”. They don’t really want to invest in infrastructure or research or anything like that; they just use it as an excuse to purchase votes.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 16, 2012 @ 3:37 pm - November 16, 2012

  17. Wonder if Levi thinks Hostess should get a Federal bailout like GM. (Crony capitalism — OK when Democrats do it.)

    Comment by V the K — November 16, 2012 @ 4:13 pm - November 16, 2012

  18. Thanks for posting this, and refuting the special-needs troll who thinks that government spending gave us transistors or integrated circuits.

    Comment by Marty — November 16, 2012 @ 5:57 pm - November 16, 2012

  19. Gov. Defense Spending brings the ATOMIC!! Bill Shockley, eh – what’s not to like? A-Wikipedia-lot: Shockley’s attempts to commercialize a new transistor design in the 1950s and 1960s led to California’s “Silicon Valley” becoming a hotbed of electronics innovation. In his later life, Shockley was a professor at Stanford and became a staunch advocate of eugenics.[1] Yay for eugenics, a Progressive’s favorite cause!! And Bell Labs!! Government and Industry working in perfect synchronicity…

    Comment by NotClauswitz — November 16, 2012 @ 6:24 pm - November 16, 2012

  20. it’s private citizens, whether volunteer or drafted, who carry out the defense and the law enforcement, albeit they’re acting in the government’s name. But since, in a consensual government system, that government is an employee of the citizenry, or in a Rousseau-ian sense the government is the people, even here, that government is brokering an activity, not engaging in it itself.

    That is a great point, which I’m going to dwell on for a bit here.

    Government is an abstraction. Abstractions don’t do things. People do things. Perhaps acting in the name of the abstraction, but still, the abstraction has no physical existence and is not what acts.

    For simplicity, we anthropomorphize the abstraction, saying it does this or that, as if it has a physical existence. But it still doesn’t.

    Government-worshippers exploit that linguistic loophole to try and make us think “Government did that”. But you’re right: EVEN IF government agents collected and paid (re-distributed) the funding, it was still PEOPLE which “did that”, and the private sector which provided the funding.

    So, for yet another (and deeper) reason: No Levi, government didn’t do that. No.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 16, 2012 @ 8:45 pm - November 16, 2012

  21. His comment, “You should thank government”, implies that a powerful, real entity is there to thank. Again, like God… because to him, government is God. But there isn’t any real entity, there to thank.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 16, 2012 @ 8:48 pm - November 16, 2012

  22. You know, if Government invented all that, it would be free, and we wouldn’t need greedy capitalist corporations.

    Comment by Average Democrat Voter — November 16, 2012 @ 9:02 pm - November 16, 2012

  23. To state it more positively: To the extent that government activities contributed something in terms of some of the research base or whatever… we have *the taxpayer* to thank for that.

    Taxpayers are real entities (people) who actually do something (give taxes from out of their own pocketbooks, and thus give jobs to government agents).

    Levi wants to reify government. Which is tantamount to deifying it, and which in any events hides the true actors whom we have to thank. And that’s what left-wing ideology is all about: Obscuring, denying, ‘blanking out’ the productive individual who actually makes things possible, the better to rape him of his pocketbook (and life).

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 16, 2012 @ 9:08 pm - November 16, 2012

  24. Private Enterprise puts into your pocket; Government takes out of your pocket.

    Comment by fit2post — November 19, 2012 @ 10:20 pm - November 19, 2012

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