Even a cartoon rat can recognize the problem is government

Pearls Before Swine, by Sephan Pastis

Generally speaking, there are two reasons why the cost of doing business is as high as it is: Lawyers arguing that people are too dumb to make good decisions, and a Government who is willing to make legislation agreeing with the lawyers.  Because lawyers have convinced enough juries and legislators that people aren’t and shouldn’t be responsible for their own stupidity, we who are equipped with common sense and a sense of responsibility bare the financial brunt of idiots.


  1. And corporations have successfully inspired people to smoke cigarettes, a practice that is disgusting, dangerous, and expensive. We can’t underestimate the power ofarketing to influence people against their will, or at least against their interests.
    Also see check cashing stores, fox news, pyramid schemes, and the lottery.

    You’re right but it’s only one side of the story.
    On the subway, there are warnings : “stand back from the train”.
    I think they should say: “Do what you want. The train will be fine.”

    • Jason

      I’ve never been compelled to buy a product I didn’t already want no matter how compelling the advertising. In fact, if company’s advertising were as powerful as you suggest, we’d all be smokers and drinkers of every brand of alcohol and tobacco.

      But I do like how you somehow made Fox News to be part of the problem. But at least you didn’t ‘ChrisMathews’ me.

    • Oh, and if you really want to blame Amtrak for some idiot who gets hit by a train, then you really must think people are idiots who should probably be under constant supervision. Trains run on tracks, you can predict where the train will be coming with amazing accuracy.

      You should probably have a chaperone.

  2. The problem is with the laws that are passed, not with the government. If you don’t like the laws that are in place, then you are saying the lawmakers are making bad decisions. Who elects the lawmakers? The people. Who can change what the lawmakers do? The people. By identifying the government as the problem, rather than the people who elected the government, you are basically saying you do not agree with democracy. You are starting down a very perilous road, my friend. Democracy is by no means perfect, but I’d much rather in a nation ruled by imperfect laws (that can be changed) than a nation where the rule of law does not apply.
    -Anthony Mannucci

    • Anthony, I understand the electoral process and it’s likely the best — though flawed — system the world will ever know. However, it is very disappointing to know that somewhere there is a “Homer Simpson” voter out there cancelling out my reasoned vote. It’s very depressing.

      However, I would say my most undemocratic belief is that voters should have to at least know what they’re voting for. For example civics testing.

      • Thanks for your reasoned reply. I understand your point. The burden of democracy is that we need to keep educating people. It is like the burden of freedom: eternal vigilance.

        I never think about people cancelling out my vote. I tend to believe that those who are clueless don’t vote. The fraction of those who vote is pretty low.

  3. Anthony,

    ” I tend to believe that those who are clueless don’t vote. “

    May I refer you to those who voted for Obama in ’08, and those who try to insist he’s still worthy of a second term. But this only strengthens your premise, with which I agree. I often speak of how the condition of our nation is our own fault for not paying close enough attention to the people running for office, and to those who already have been voted in.

    • Make no mistake, we always get the government we deserve. Anthony, I don’t know if you’re a Christian, its not necessary to make my point since it applies to most demographics. But a good number of Christians who are of voting age are either not registered or are and don’t vote. My memory tells me that almost a third of voting age people aren’t registered and almost half who are don’t vote.

      I have always thought of voting as a duty, not a right.

  4. Marshalart,
    I don’t it’s a fair argument to say “obviously clueless people vote because those who voted for Obama will vote for him again.” Not everyone agrees with you about Obama. I am really surprised that you think Obama as a failure is a “slam dunk.” For one thing, what about his success with Bin Laden? For another, the economy is definitely getting better recently. Look at the economic collapse that GW Bush caused. Obama has not caused such a collapse. I like Obama’s push to create a private space industry. There are things I don’t agree with, but I certainly think he has a more balanced approach than GW Bush. Has Obama started wars? Even though he hasn’t I don’t think we are in more danger of being invaded now. In fact, I felt less secure overall when we were fighting in Iraq because 1) Bin Laden was still at large and 2) our military resources were being stretched thin. I think Obama is a more compassionate and balanced individual than GW Bush, who, by the way, vastly increased our deficits. Obama inherited big deficits and increased them further. GW Bush inherited surpluses and created massive deficits. The economy was not strong under Bush. Bottom line, I am very suspicious of those who state “if you don’t agree with me, it is obvious there is something wrong with you.” That is not a stable basis for democracy. Are you sure you believe in democracy?

    • OK Anthony, I’ll bite.

      The economy is not anywhere near getting better. We have had 8%+ unemployment for practically Obama’s entire tenure. At best that shows a stagnant state of affairs, but only if one doesn’t know better. The only reason the number is so low is because of all the people who have left the workforce. If all the people who left the workforce since Obama has taken office stayed, unemployment would be over 11%. The only reason the rate is lowering is because so many have dropped from the workforce. In fact, the number of jobs “created” doesnt even keep up with the number of new people becoming working age. Food stamp recipients have increased by 50% and spending on the program has doubled. More people are going on social security disability than finding jobs. We are about to get the third quantitative easing further increasing inflation making the dollar more worthless. In fact, interest rates right now are lower than the rate of inflation meaning those investments actually lose money. In three and a half years the federal debt increased 60% to 16 trillion. Under Obama we entered Afghanistan militarily, yes he started a war. After 9/11 no further terrorist attacks occurred under bush, however our embassies are burning right now and a US ambassador and 3 diplomats are murdered. Embassies are considered US soil, this is a down played act of war. The average income of the average family is down 3,000 a year, not as a result of inflation, but as a result of being underemployed. The US credit rating has been downgraded resulting in higher interest payments to countries willing to lend to us. Bin Laden was killed based on intelligence gathered under Bush by means Obama decried. Sure he gave the go ahead, but any president would have. It was leaked that Obama also had a press release ready just I case things went bad indicating it wasn’t his decision. The CBO has projected worse unemployment and worse inflation starting in 2013 if the policies currently in place, stay in place. The sad thing is, there’s even more I could highlight.

      Please tell me more about how Obama has been a success.

      I just saw a cute graphic on Facebook this morning. Obama 2008 shame on you, Obama 2012 shame on me.

      • G W Bush left a real mess. If you look at http://ycharts.com/indicators/gdp you will see that just prior to Bush leaving office the GDP took a historic nosedive. GDP is now on the path upwards again. Unemployment is definitely lagging, but consider the alternatives: Republican policies that created the greatest recession since the Great Depression, or Democratic policies that restored economic growth. Let’s not forget Clinton’s statistic: nearly twice as many jobs created under Democratic administrations than under Republican. Although unemployment remains high, the GW Bush job creation numbers are not impressive. Obama has created more jobs, but that could be because so many jobs were shed because of the Bush recession. You may not agree with Obama, but there is certainly reason to give pause about Republican economic policies.

        • GDP took a nose dive because the housing bubble collapsed. A Carter policy which forced banks to lend to people they knew couldnt repay loans with the community reinvestment act. Bush was unsuccessful at curbing the bad policy because Maxine Waters, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd et al. refused to budge and called him and anyone who wanted to reign in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac racists because doing so would hurt people of color. Right now GDP is at about 1.5%. Sure thats technically upwards, but its also the lowest “upward” trend in the history of recoveries. Carter left Reagan with a worse recession and economy than Obama inherited but he never spent his first term blaming him. He simply fixed it. By his third year he was at 7% GDP and creating a million jobs a month. Clinton’s stat is misleading because most democrat presidents were working with republican congresses, (the branches which make the laws) and vice versa. So its democrat law makers who seem to hinder the process. The fact that Bush’s job creation numbers are actually a plus for him. For every year except his last, the country was in full employment. He averaged 5%, which means everyone who wanted a job could get one. It’s difficult to creat jobs when everyone who wants to work, is already working. Notice when the economy began to teeter under Bush, in about 2007. What happened in 2006? Democrats took the house and senate. Just a coincidence, I’m sure. Republican policies have worked, and demonstrably so. Obama had his first two years with a full filibuster proof house and senate to pass anything he wanted, and he did. with democrat policies in full effect, we see that they are inept, otherwise, the recession would have been over rather quickly. In fact, Obama and the democrat’s policies which they were pushing through caused the people to institute one of the laegest changes in congress in history in order to shut them down.

          • I believe the housing bubble had willing participants on wall street who took large risks and created lots of toxic debt. The derivatives they created were not forced on them by the government. The government probably created an environment conducive to excessive risk taking and the crash. That the crash occurred is the result of private decisions, not the government. Where is Lehmann Brothers today? You are telling me they had no choice but to self-destruct, that the government forced them into it? I don’t believe that. Much money was being made as these companies piled on the risk, and the government looked the other way. At the very least, these “best and brightest” should have seen what was going on and put a stop to it. They were making far too much money to do that. Integrity and character fell victim to naked greed.

            As someone who plans to vote for Obama again, I am trying to let you know there is another side to things. It is not the case that I am clearly an “idiot” because I will vote for Obama again. I have my reasons, and I think they are reasonable. I don’t recall the exact numbers, but I do recall the economy under Bush was not particularly strong. Growth was anemic, and the tax cuts did not create strong growth. It did increase our debt substantially, however.

            I don’t really care which house is in power. If democratic presidents create more jobs for whatever reason, I’m going with that. Democrats want jobs. They are the only ones who even try to keep jobs in the US. Bush also had both houses on his side during his presidency. It was not that great as I recall. When voting patterns shift, it’s a reaction to what has happened. Ask yourself why the Republicans had both houses and the presidency and then lost their majorities. If their policies are so great, why did that happen? Because things weren’t that great. (Please don’t blame the “liberal media” for why the Republicans lost the House and Senate. Fox was broadcasting all during that time also).

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