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How to Create Conflict

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Bob D. (La) View Drop Down
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    Posted: 12 Jun 2019 at 2:39pm
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Walter Williams: How to Create Conflict

By Walter E. Williams | June 12, 2019 | 8:48 AM EDT

U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. (Screenshot)
We are living in a time of increasing domestic tension. Some of it stems from the presidency of Donald Trump. Another part of it is various advocacy groups on both sides of the political spectrum demanding one cause or another. But nearly totally ignored is how growing government control over our lives, along with the betrayal of constitutional principles, contributes the most to domestic tension. Let's look at a few examples.
Think about primary and secondary schooling. I think that every parent has the right to decide whether his child will recite a morning prayer in school. Similarly, every parent has the right to decide that his child will not recite a morning prayer. The same can be said about the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag, sex education and other hot-button issues in education. These become contentious issues because schools are owned by the government.

In the case of prayers, there will either be prayers or no prayers in school. It's a political decision whether prayers will be permitted or not, and parent groups with strong preferences will organize to fight one another. A win for one parent means a loss for another parent. The losing parent will be forced to either concede or muster up private school tuition while continuing to pay taxes for a school for which he has no use. Such a conflict would not arise if education were not government-produced but only government-financed, say through education vouchers. Parents with different preferences could have their wishes fulfilled by enrolling their child in a private school of their choice. Instead of being enemies, parents with different preferences could be friends.
People also have strong preferences for goods and services. Some of us have strong preferences for white wine and distaste for reds while others have the opposite preference β€” strong preferences for red wine. Some of us love classical music while others love rock and roll music. Some of us love Mercedes-Benz while others love Lincoln Continentals. When's the last time you heard red wine drinkers in conflict with white wine drinkers? Have you ever seen classical music lovers organizing against rock and roll lovers or Mercedes-Benz lovers in conflict with Lincoln Continental lovers?
People have strong preferences for these goods just as much as they may have strong preference for schooling. It's a rare occasion, if ever, that one sees the kind of conflict between wine, music and automobile lovers that we see about schooling issues. Why? While government allocation of resources is a zero-sum game β€” one person's win is another's loss β€” market allocation is not. Market allocation is a positive-sum game where everybody wins. Lovers of red wine, classical music and Mercedes-Benz get what they want while lovers of white wine, rock and roll music and Lincoln Continentals get what they want. Instead of fighting one another, they can live in peace and maybe be friends.

It would be easy to create conflict among these people. Instead of market allocation, have government, through a democratic majority-rule process, decide what wines, music and cars would be produced. If that were done, I guarantee that red wine lovers would organize against white wine lovers, classical music lovers against rock and roll lovers and Mercedes-Benz lovers against Lincoln Continental lovers.
Conflict would emerge solely because the decision was made in the political arena. Again, the prime feature of political decision-making is that it's a zero-sum game. One person's win is of necessity another person's loss. If red wine lovers win, white wine lovers would lose. As such, political allocation of resources enhances conflict while market allocation reduces conflict. The greater the number of decisions made in the political arena, the greater the potential for conflict. That's the main benefit of limited government.
Unfortunately, too many Americans want government to grow and have more power over our lives. That means conflict among us is going to rise.
Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.
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steve(ill) View Drop Down
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The greater the number of decisions made in the political arena, the greater the potential for conflict. That's the main benefit of limited government.
Trump Is Not A Lib or Conserv, He's a "Pragmatist." (someone who is practical and focused on reaching a goal. Has a straightforward, matter-of-fact approach and doesn't let emotion distract him or her
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DiyDave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2019 at 5:42pm


New School Program Raises Awareness Of Things Kids Didn't Know They Were Supposed To Be Offended About
June 12th, 2019

U.S.β€”The Federal Government is rolling out a new school program that will help to raise awareness in kids about what they need to be so upset about. The new program, "W.O.K.E." (Woke and Offended Kids Education) will help to bridge the gap widening between millennial parents' desire to be offended by just about everything and the current generation wondering what got their parents' underpants in such a bunch.

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W.O.K.E. representatives will visit schools weekly to teach kids about the constantly growing number of things they should be outraged by and to discourage them from any sign of gratitude or joy. Flashcards will be held up with images of things like white males, the Chick-Fil-A logo, and Chris Pratt. Kids will then be encouraged to burn the entire school to the ground the moment they see an image that should rightfully awaken their tempestuous fury.

"Kids are starting to think things aren't that bad in America," said W.O.K.E. spokesperson Troy Henson. "That's the kind of backward thinking we want to put an immediate stop to."

At one of the first W.O.K.E. presentations, six-year-old Kevin Johnson asked the W.O.K.E. representative, "It seems like things are going pretty good and everything is headed in a fairly healthy direction when you just sort of sit back and look at how normal people act rather than sitting around on Twitter all day. Do you think maybe you're being kind of a baby about all of this?" Johnson was immediately sent off to one of WOKE's unique new reeducation camps where kids sing songs, do crafts, and are riled up like a pack of rabid wolves.

W.O.K.E. plans to roll out other hip and cool features such as an animal mascot (an easily spooked possum named Trig) and a catchy theme song that will whip unhealthily complacent children up into a blind rage. 

"We all have to do our part to combat the growing lack of victimhood and petty outrage in today's youth and instill them all with a strong, iron-will of entitlement and unshakable resentment," said WOKE representative Anne Kennison. "It's not easy to navigate the complicated matrix of perceived injustices we all must embrace. That's why I'm so proud of what we are doing."

"With our efforts, addiction to being pretty happy and content will be a thing of the past."Wink

Edited by DiyDave - 12 Jun 2019 at 7:15pm
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