Monday, November 26, 2012

The end justifies the means?

"In collectivist ethics it (the principle that the end justifies the means) becomes necessarily the supreme rule; there is literally nothing which the consistent collectivist must not be prepared to do if it serves 'the good of the whole,' because the 'good of the whole' is to him the only criterion of what ought to be done."  F. A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom [pps.166-167]

During a presidential debate in 2008 moderator Charlie Gibson asked candidate Barack Obama why he supported raising capital gains taxes in light of the historical record. Raising capital gains rates has resulted time and again in a net loss in tax revenue to the government Gibson explained.  Mr. Obama’s response was entirely consistent with his collectivist ideology.  He said, “Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.”  In other words the end justifies the means.  For Mr. Obama the end is “fairness” no matter what it costs.

“To impose a tax (capital gains tax) that actually impoverishes our communal bank account (the U.S. Treasury) is ridiculous. It is nothing but punitive. It benefits no one, not the rich, not the poor, not the government. For Obama, however, it brings fairness, which is priceless,” Charles Krauthammer

When viewed through collectivist glasses the motivation for President Obama’s economically destructive policies become a bit clearer.  Consider his subsidies for “green” energy projects like ethanol, wind turbines, solar panels and the like that have wasted taxpayer money hand over fist.  Why do the president and his allies in Congress keep throwing tax payer money at these green losers?  Answer, the end justifies the means.  The end, in this example is green utopia.

President Obama’s “Affordable Health Care” bill (aka Obama Care) will drive costs up for consumers because it eliminates competition.  Mr. Obama’s government-controlled-health-care law comes with a whole bunch of new taxes and includes penalties for those who don’t want to buy health insurance.  Government-controlled-health-care will reduce services and it is going to cost the American People a fortune.  Obama Care sacrifices cost, quality, and availability of health care for the sake of “fairness.”  Obama Care makes no economic sense so why did the president push it through?  Because the end (in this case fairness), in the collectivist ideology, justifies the means.
How does an individualist view this means justifying the end principle?  F. A. Hayek says it best; “The principle that the end justifies the means is in individualist ethics regarded as the denial of all morals.”
Mark VanSchuyver

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