Instapundit reader Dave Ivers almost gets it:
“Having just had a discussion with a close friend on the Left, I truly believe that Obama and probably all of the Left think that 3.5% GDP growth year on year is some sort of natural phenomenon and that no matter what they do it will happen. They then proceeded to trash the things that make that 3.5% growth happen.”
It’s not a case of thinking that “3.5% GDP growth year on year is some sort of natural phenomenon”. It’s a case of thinking that nothing people can do affects the existence of wealth. It’s the worldview of the hunter-gatherer-scavenger tribe: food (wealth) exists Out There Somewhere and can be found, but nothing they can do will change what is available to a sufficiently alert and diligent searcher.
You can’t even call it “belief” as we generally use the word. Even the most rock-solid believer has his/her belief in the conscious or semiconscious support of his/her mind, and can be induced, de minimis, to assert that it exists. Nobody “believes” in gravity in that sense. Things fall down, and our every conscious moment is underlaid by that assumption. Belief, as such, requires thinking about it. We don’t think about gravity when we take a step, or lay an object on a table instead of simply releasing it.
Leftoids take production for granted in the same way. It happens out of sight and out of mind, by processes and under the influence of forces that are not comprehended, not comprehensible, and in any case not affected by anything they do. They are therefore free to make whatever changes they care to make in the processes and forces that they can see and affect, because since nothing they do affects the existence of wealth, by definition if they can do it it doesn’t change anything important.
The hunter-gatherer-scavenger tribes of North America had a large hand in exterminating the woolly mammoth. They set up plunges where they could drive herds of animals over a cliff, kill the ones that were only injured, and feast on the abundance, because it didn’t matter — mammoths came from somewhere beyond their control, and nothing they did could affect that. Autoworkers are free to demand higher pay and play silly tricks on the production line, because the Company has money and nothing they can do on the shop floor affects that. Woolly mammoths reproduced slowly, so killing off whole herds of them reduced their population below replacement levels and increasingly desperate hunts for the few survivors finished them off; auto companies get money by selling cars, so making the product increasingly expensive and of lower quality eventually means consumers go elsewhere and the Company has no money.
It’s at least possible that a sufficient number of sufficiently diligent time travelers could convince the tribes of North America that their hunting techniques did, in fact, affect the supply of woolly mammoths and should be changed. I see no prospect of convincing modern leftoids that they’re shitting in their own messkits; so long as there are herds of “the rich” or even a few lonely survivors they’ll continue to hunt them down and feast. If they were the only ones affected I, personally, would be pleased to let them go about it and suffer the resulting famine. Unfortunately the rest of us are in it for the duration as well.