Skip to content

Oh Yeah?

© Stuart Carlson

Is turnabout fair play?

UPDATE: This post hit the front page of social news site Reddit, and some pretty ironic flaming is going on over there.

What I find amazingly ironic is that most of the arguments are over whether government is good or government is bad, like it could be purely one or the other. In a representative democracy, the government is us. We voted for these clowns. As Pogo famously said, we have met the enemy, and he is us.

Would you argue about whether the American people are good or bad? Obviously, some are good and some are bad (sometimes, the same people are both good and bad, occasionally at the same time). The same thing is true for government — some is good and some is bad. Which we get is up to us. As much as I love to bash Fox News, the problem is not Fox News, the problem is all the people who believe their bald-faced propaganda.

If you claim that government is purely bad, does that mean you want no government at all? No police, no fire department, no military, no laws, and all transactions done by barter? If you claim that government is purely good, does that mean you want government to do everything? Own all property, decide what you read? I’m sure there are nut-jobs at both ends of this spectrum, but most people understand that we need some government. The issue is not, for example, whether or not to have regulations at all, but what regulations actually work and what regulations don’t work.

The real message of Obama (as he frequently said himself) was that we shouldn’t trust him, that he can’t fix everything. If we want to have a good government, we have to be involved, we have to make sure the government works for us, not the other way around. When did we become a nation of victims, bleating on and on while not actually doing anything constructive?



  1. James Hudnall wrote:

    The problem is, everything is already over regulated, but the government is doing a poor job of it. None of the financial crisis would have happened if the government did their job. But then, the government encouraged a lot of the Wall Street problems in the first place.

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 10:00 am | Permalink
  2. Jon wrote:

    So james, If it’s over regulated, but the gov’t isn’t doing it’s job…then I guess it’s not really regulated is it?

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 10:05 am | Permalink
  3. Dave wrote:

    Jon, you seem to misunderstand what is happening with their regulation. The government has more to gain on Wall Street by regulating than they do in letting the market take care of itself. Too big to fail? Nothing is. Let it fail, others will move in.

    Either way, Nashville is doing pretty well on their own in handling the floods.

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 10:19 am | Permalink
  4. jimbob wrote:

    What makes you think the government can be trusted?

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 10:25 am | Permalink
  5. Brian wrote:

    What makes you think the corporations can be trusted more than the government?

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 10:43 am | Permalink
  6. TimTim wrote:

    So if things are overregulated and government isn’t doing their job, and if the banks and corporations can’t be trusted to do things fairly and not fuck up the economy, then what do we do? What’s the answer?

    And Dave’s answer of letting it all fail will simply crush the majority of America and we’d lose what we barely have left of a standing in this world. So there’s no answer there.

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 10:46 am | Permalink
  7. Jonny wrote:

    What makes you think corporations can be trusted? It seems quite clear to me that corporations are driven by money and money alone, and they will do what it takes to maximize profit. At least the government is concerned (ideally) with protecting it’s citizens. I trust the government far more than I trust corporations.

    Also, what happens when we let institutions fail? Did we not see what happens in the great depression? People made runs on failing banks who didn’t have the money to pay them, and people lost a lot of money. The market taking care of itself has enormous effects on innocent people. I think that when money is your sole concern, all other things fall to the wayside and the end result is not good, so it is necessary to have a third party to keep you in check.

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 10:54 am | Permalink
  8. Dave wrote:

    The government is a corporation, its unique status is we accept it breaking up or forming other corporations, and to employ a standing army for internal and external affairs.

    They all answer to money and power, as they are all ran by individual human beings.

    I don’t think corporations, be they direct (what we call corporations) or indirect (what we call governments) can be trusted, because their incentive is in money and power, as it is there to be gained. Keep them all on a short personal leash, diversify your investments, and do your best to rely on no one.

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 11:38 am | Permalink
  9. tim wrote:

    What makes you think people can be trusted? The only way to change anything is to do it yourself.

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 11:39 am | Permalink
  10. T-Dawg wrote:

    Without government meddling in the business world, there’d be no such thing as “evil corporations” because there’d be no corporations, period. (A corporation is a legal fiction, created by the government.)

    So governments create corporations, then the corporations get so evil that governments have to step in and take control of the business/financial systems to “stop those evil corporations.”

    The way I see it, pretty much all of our problems with corporate shenanigans would disappear if we were to drop the idiotic notion of “corporate personhood.”

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 11:42 am | Permalink
  11. Daniel wrote:

    Dude. Corporate misconduct is about as American as Budweiser, football, and a Colt .45 (both the malt liqour and the revolver).

    If you want no regulations on big businesses, then you must have a lot of faith in people. Especially people that have that much power and money. I personally don’t think banks and Wall Street have my best interests in mind. But I sleep at night hoping that the government holds them accountable if they try to fuck with my money.

    Oh wait, they didn’t. Silly me.

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Permalink
  12. Morrius wrote:

    If we had to get up and make a positive change in our lives, we might lose our jobs for missing work, or even worse, miss “Dancing With The Stars”.

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Permalink
  13. Yeager wrote:

    thank you. very clear-headed. posted your quote for others to read.

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Permalink
  14. mike wrote:

    Great comic, but don’t let the idiots at Reddit bother you. I’m a firm believer that many of those posters at paid freepers doing what they can to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt.

    After all, no one is really that stupid. Right?

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Permalink
  15. Rob Whited wrote:

    We the people, fought for and died for, are subdued by entertainment – TV,internet and sports. But also by the quotidian lifestyle of sleep,work, and little else. We are slaves to money for 8 hours a day, and then slaves to what is presented as “relaxing” or “exciting.” What is relaxing and exciting is the idea of working very little, and having time to be with friends and family. Overcome this slavery.

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Permalink
  16. sean wrote:

    “We voted for these clowns. As Pogo famously said, we have met the enemy, and he is us.”

    maybe we did vote for them, but we can only vote for the options that are given to us…and we ultimately don’t elect people FOR elections.

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Permalink
  17. Hassan wrote:

    The problem is that the government must do its limited role to enable a just, corruption free, free market. When it fails to do that, instead of fixing it to do what it supposed to do, it assumes more power in promise of doing what it is supposed and capable of doing in the limited power. Hence it keeps growing without actually doing something, and when eventually it does something, it has created more problem in its course.

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Permalink
  18. GuyFromCanada wrote:

    Don’t you live in a Republic??

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Permalink
  19. Iron: Upvoted you on Reddit, of course. I hope your servers can take the strain!

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Permalink
  20. Dee Kat wrote:

    W Bush et al spent 8 years forcing good government workers out of their jobs and replacing them with hacks (good old Brownie). They were told not to get in the way of business. Wow, what a surprise that our government doesn’t work.

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Permalink
  21. anomk wrote:

    we voted for them, but I’m sure that all the money paid to politicans by special interest groups, corporations, lobbyist, etc.., is also taken into account when ruling this country. So it’s a little more than just our votes.

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Permalink
  22. thezeus18 wrote:

    So far I think maybe ten people from Reddit have read past the comic.

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Permalink
  23. Iron Knee wrote:

    To be fair, I added the UPDATE after the biggest surge on Reddit.

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Permalink
  24. russell wrote:

    So, um, why did the government BAIL OUT the “investment” banks?

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Permalink
  25. Syd wrote:

    Not to mention…


    being paid a minimum wage to support your family

    not being a sweatshop laborer thanks to working condition laws

    having time to spend at home thanks to a 40 hour work week (or at least paid overtime)

    Safer food and water thanks to environmental and health regulations

    prescription drugs that actually do their job

    Friday, May 14, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Permalink
  26. anon wrote:

    the problem isn’t lack of regulation, it’s enforcement of existing regulation

    Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 12:15 am | Permalink
  27. Gary Owen wrote:

    problem is, much of the regulation is wrong-headed. If your representative does not know you and your concerns he/she can not represent you. YOU must watch what they do, communicate with them, support them if you (mostly) agree and (work to) kick their sorry a**’s out if you do not.
    It is the inalienable right of the American to *itch, but if that’s all you do you are not worth your salt…oh yeah, the sorry a**’s are trying to take that away too.

    Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 3:11 am | Permalink
  28. Stonehawk wrote:

    The problem is that there is a particularly vast quantity of idiots who don’t realize that THEY ARE THE GOVERNMENT, think the government is evil, and then purposefully vote incompetent, greedy imbeciles into office in order to make the government as ineffective as possible–but all they’re doing is making it DANGEROUS! We’re lucky we have even a SLIVER of competence in our president right now. By no means am I saying he IS competent, but that he’s got at least a glimmering ghost of it, unlike the LAST guy. Blood and ashes, these idiot legislators are KILLING us! I wish my fellow americans could wake the hell up and start voting for some actual -intelligence-!!

    Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 11:54 am | Permalink
  29. woof wrote:

    If all these things are such big problems, why do we give them money? Coal is mined because we use the shit out of it, as is oil, and Wall Street banks shit the bed and we get angry about it because we have given them billions of our dollars. If we’re so “outraged”, why continue giving them money? BP didn’t magically become the 4th largest company in the world. It’s there because people want oil and they sell it. No one really gives a damn about sea animals or West Virginia miners, we just say we do because it sounds like a good thing to be angry about, but if a large number actually cared, these companies would go bankrupt from lack of business. The government will slap them on the wrists and then shake hands and smile for the camera and then we’ll give these companies billions more each year because no one really gives two shits. If you’re truly angry, do something.

    Otherwise, don’t draw people wearing plaid shirts. It isn’t the 90’s.

    Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Permalink
  30. Iron Knee wrote:

    I wear plaid shirts!

    Friday, May 21, 2010 at 12:00 am | Permalink
  31. Eric wrote:

    All of the big-government supporters here are just being ridiculous, as is the comic. I see no lack of regulation in each of those accidents/disasters especially the most recent. There were and are plenty of government agencies that were “supervising” these corporations. The problem is many were in bed with the corporations and succumbed to corruption. Government rarely performs the way it’s supposed to, as evidenced by the BP spill, so why does anyone think that making more of it will help? This proves government is the problem, and big government is an even bigger problem.

    Thursday, May 27, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink
  32. Iron Knee wrote:

    Eric, so when government fails, it is evidence that government is the problem, but when corporations fail, it is evidence that government is the problem?

    Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 10:41 am | Permalink
  33. Justim wrote:

    Thanks man for sharing this attractive post with us. Keep rocking.

    Thursday, June 10, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Permalink
  34. lynx wrote:

    When you say “In a representative democracy, the government is us” you’re either being disingenuous, naive, or both. The problem with corporations and the government isn’t that the government is failing to do its job and regulate the corporations, the problem is that our government is a wholly owned subsidy of corporate america that does exactly what it’s told to do. And that’s not an accident, it’s by design. When James Madison declared during the constitutional convention that the primary role of government is to “protect property from the majority” he meant it literally – the role of the government in America is and has always been to maintain the power and privilege of the wealthy elites that own and run it.

    The system isn’t broken, it’s doing exactly what it’s designed to do. And you’re a fool if you believe for even one second that the puppet show they call democracy means a damn thing. Republicans and Democrats take money from the same corporations. They pass bills written by the same corporate lobbyists. They serve the same people. The only difference between the american dictatorship and other brands of fascism is that in America the ruling elite is smart enough to maintain the illusion of choice.

    You are a slave. You were born a slave and you will die a slave. Deal with it.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Permalink
  35. Iron Knee wrote:

    Lynx, you saw through my lame attempt to be cheerful and empowering. I’ll try not to do it again.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 11:50 pm | Permalink