Monday, December 13, 2010

Your color graph


The improvement in life expectancy and nominal average income that your color graph referred to was caused by the advance and application of modern science.

It has very little to do with tax rates or some nostalgic notion about freedom. A plains settler in the nineteenth century had plenty of freedom, and a hard, short, painful life.

The question of our era is: 'What is the social contract?' We live as a society of men, sharing the scarce resources of the planet in common, and expect others to labor, truck, and bargain for their survival. That is all good and well.

But if someone is disadvantaged by accident of health, birth, or the laws of men, will we choose to regard them without any sympathy? Do we really think that they have always failed strictly of their own accord, for lack of effort or discipline? Will we make no attempt to feed and cloth them, even if they are children?

Does the failure of the financial system to self impose a proper trading platform for derivatives mean that a child should go hungry? Or do you really live in an Horatio Alger fantasy world where a seven year old child should just get off his butt and sell some newspapers? Oh, I remember, you think there aren't any poor people. You think there is no such thing as involuntary unemployment.

While I was typing this, I got an email from the guy that laid the marble tile in 49's coach Bill Walsh's house several years ago. He's 60. He has worked hard all his life. Raised his kids. Lives very frugal. Hasn't been able to find regular work for the last two years. Is flat broke.

What do you want to tell this loyal American veteran? That not only do we have no work of any kind for him, but that the government will give him neither food stamps nor act as employer of last resort when some bozos on Wall Street train-wreck the financial system? Should he have known to take up another line of work when he was 20 years old?

What the heck, Jim. Do you even have a point?


Baxter said...

Post of the year.

terry said...

I agree!!! Great!!! you said what I been trying to aticulate for months and in such a human way it's outstanding!

Jim G. said...

The year is not over.

Sympathy enforced by the rule of law is not sympathy but coercion.

Sympathy, a voluntary act, is well and good but your friend does not need sympathy, he needs a job.

The achievements of our society which have brought an improved standard of living are clearly built on the foundation of freedom, to argue otherwise is silly.

Your point is that Unions, representing the best interests of workers have raised our standard of living? And not the companies that they work for?

The government created more prosperity than Microsoft? (Or Coke, St. Judes Medical, or East Valley Cardiology)? Are you serious?

And while leaving the very pertinent debate as to their effectiveness to another time, were do these institutions of "social contracts" receive their funding? The funding fairy?

Lastly, don't be insulting, let's have a debate, so I (representing Conservatives) know there are unemployed. Let's have less of them! The path to prosperity is not always easy. We should not have extended unemployment insurance for another year so folks would be forced to find a job, sorry it is just true, reality is sometimes hard.

My point is that the fantasy of your argument may sound all candy and spice, however at its basis is the usurpation of freedom (or in the Liberal case, the willing abdication).

The prairie man? On his back and the backs of many before him was our society built.

Baxter said...

Doc -

Are you a Libertarian or a Republican?

Good economic policy includes a strong safety net. It is not merely sympathy for the downtrodden. It benefits all of us.

Look at our society prior to Keynes and after implementation of the New Deal. We have accomplished far more, at a greater pace, with Keynesian policies. A boom and bust repeat of the 19th century would not have brought us more than we have today. In fact, it would likely have followed the Paraguayan model. We would be the Po' folk relative to Europe. Think Appalachia.

All of the companies you mentioned benefitted greatly from the policies of our 20th/21st century government. Especially East Valley Cardiology. It is the playing field on which we operate. A Libertarian or Laissez-Faire system would not have worked as well long term for any of the players, really. Perhaps, that is why the model has long since been ditched by the Western World.

You do not represent mainstream conservative thought, Jim. Your views tend to be anti-science and they line up well with the Christian right. I think you are best described as a Tea Partier. Your arguments do not have the philosophical heft of Buckley, Friedman or even Gingrich. Yours are more of the Palin, Hannity, DeMint variety. I think the far right movement peaked in November, but hasn't realized it yet.


Jim G. said...

could you please show just one of my "anti science" views? Just one?

If you plan to trot out the Global Warming nonsense, that is Scientific Analysis not Anti.

Eric, rereading your post, the scientific advances were not made by the commune by committee but by free individuals.

Baxter said...

Climate change and your ridiculous view that you know better than the atmospheric scientists because you are a cardiologist.

You do not understand and reject modern economic theory and instead take a 19th century view. Things today are just too dog gone complex...

Those are two items that come right to mind.