Like a bird, the body politic needs a left wing and a right wing to stay aloft, but it also needs a brain to tell it why and where to fly. How about a " do what's Right" winger?
Essentially, the textbook difference between a Right Winger and a Left Winger is that a Left Winger believes that the Government is the appropriate tool to fix societal ills. The more disenfranchised, the better. The more expensive or difficult the better. Unfortunately, the list of ills and grievances is never ending, thus government falls down the slippery slope of expanding into authority over every facet of life. If it was a business, it would have a business plan that reads "to sell any and all sorts of goods and services into any and all markets". Like a business with that nebulous of a plan, the result is guaranteed to be dismal.
Interestingly, the philosophy of all-empowered government continues to enjoy great popularity and support worldwide despite the quantifiably miserable record that governments have racked up in the 20th Century. In that context, perhaps followers of this ideal are appropriately labelled "idealists".
The Right Winger, alternatively, believes that the power of Government should be used to effect moral behavior. Both wings have a desire to increase governmental power for avaricious reasons. How better to sell your particualr brand of crazy on a non-buying public than to force it through a legislature and judiciary firmly committed to advancing the power of the State?
One of the societal "ills" that the Left seeks to address is the non-normal distribution of wealth. Within this frame of reference, this fact is thought to represent a basic inequity in the systemn and thus, fixable. Given that most natural distributions are not normally allocated, such as intelligence, athletic ability, hair color, and ability to curl your ears, the value judgement is in calling it an "ill". In any case, this is regarded as a "problem to be fixed by the State".
The fact that some people are more capable or elect to take risks or were smarter (or dumber) in career choices is not germaine. You can be wiser, smarter, and work harder without societal penalty unless you are rewarded economically for your efforts. Musicians, Actors, Lottery winners and lawsuit plaintiffs and their attorneys represent a socially "just" path to wealth, if such a thing can exist, because it represents on one hand the cool folk that create wealth without trying (witness the intentionally commercial band epithet of "sell out"), and on the other hand, random chance on the one hand and redistribution from those that create new wealth towards the disenfranchised.
Those that serve in Government, with the possible exception of Ron Paul, are dedicated to growing the power of the State, just as my employees are dedicated to growing my company. Regardless of party, these folks are believers in the power of Government... so much so that they have dedicated their lives to its capabilitie. In todays world, both parties are bought and paid for by Big Business. For instance, let's take a hot topic about our industry currently in the news... Refineries... or rather, the lack of new ones in the US.
How does this happen? As in most cases of paucity of infrastructure development within industries, it comes from the practice of legally "grandfathering" older, less efficient, more polluting ways of doing things when we decide we are going to be "cleaner" or "more safe". Anyone who wants to get into a business is then faced with a a start-up and/or operating cost that makes it non-competitive with the pre-existing capacity. The pre-existing capacity gets more valuable because it represents the lowest cost provider, with a built in protection against competition that is saddled with having to comply with rules the old groups do not. In this scenario, the only time new capacity is added is when the long term demand is so strong that less profitable operations can be added economically because the profit margins are so high. So, different, more stringent rules on start-ups realtive to their competition. This is not Free Markets.
This doesn't only happen in cases of government interference. It is also a product of economic boom and bust cycles. Drilling rigs, and to a lesser extent, commercial office space is subject to the same vagaries.
The result is that those who amass capacity in down cycles, like buying $15 million rigs for $1 million as happened in our industry, can retard entrance of new players into the game when demand spikes. The larger the swing, and the shorter the cycles, the more likely a capital intensive "service" industry can be dominated by only a couple of players, who can be wildly profitable during upswings and load up to "consolidate" more in down swings.
Combine boom and bust cycles with the art of "grandfathering", and you have established industries without any of the health that a free market can provide. You also provide depleted uranium ammunition to those that disingenuously try to point out that undue influence of government by "evil corporations" is a failure of "free markets", rather than what it really is... a failure of government to act in the interest of all. The reason so much money flows in DC is because the power it possesses and the desire of people across the political spectrum to use that power for their own ends. Want to take the money out of politics? Then take the power away from government. It is that simple, and that impossible. As McCain-Feingold taught us, the rascals know how to beat any legislation proposed in this arena before they choose to vote yes on it.