Friday, January 25, 2008

Government Needs To Do Something!

Sherman Oaks, California

"We live in an age where a person with a $20,000 truck in the driveway of his $150,000 house eats a steak, surfs the net on his computer, and then sits down and curses at the politician he sees on his 50-inch Plasma screen TV because he thinks that the pol isn't doing enough to make his life better."

-- The Ten Most Annoying Things About The Race For The Presidency" by John Hawkins



Blogger Tom Salemi said...

That comment rings of elitism, but putting that aside for a second.

Here is the second paragraph in that item.

Put another way, the gloom and doom we hear is in many respects out of touch with the real world. That's reflected in the fact that "84% of Americans say they are satisfied with the way things are going in their personal life," but "only 27% of Americans said they were satisfied with the way things are going in the United States."

I have a wonderful life. I love my job, like my wife and kid (no wait, other way around). I have a nice house in a great community.

But I can have all that and still not like the way this country is headed.

Globally, I don't like the way we've waged wars, and in some cases I don't like the wars themselves.

Locally, I'm watching cities and towns slicing services that were once considered essential.

I understand that your vision of government isn't aligned with mine so you might be pleased with these reductions. That's fine.

But to suggest we should be pleased with the country's direction simply because we've got a truck in the driveway and a TV in the living room is condescending and, frankly, silly.

Your Pal,

1:19 AM  
Blogger Paul Karl Lukacs said...

You’ve been reading this blog for almost two years and haven’t figured out that I’m elitist and condescending? Maybe you should go back to school . . . .

But seriously,

The ideal government provides the minimum economic and physical security necessary to allow most people to live with maximum freedom. What people decide to do with that freedom is then their responsibility; if they screw up, they can look to family or private charity for assistance, but they shouldn’t be asking for forcible transfers of money from the rest of us.

The United States comes closer to this ideal than any other country. As detailed in Gregg Easterbrook’s book The Progress Paradox, quality of life for U.S. citizens has improved markedly over the last half century by every available metric (except release of greenhouse gasses).

Due to “the tyranny of the small picture,” Americans complain about minute inconveniences while missing the fact that, by global and historical standards, we are the wealthiest, safest and most comfortable humans who have ever lived.

But we’ve also become the most cosseted, and that was my point in quoting from John Hawkins’ column. We live so well that many citizens now demand government intervention to correct negligible problems.

But every quantum of power given to the government jeopardizes the individual’s retention and exercise of that same power. For example, leftists in California recently argued that the government’s provision of fire fighting services should act to prohibit individuals from contracting with private insurer-funded fire fighters.

My concern is that we Americans have, due to our immense wealth, become so intolerant of imperfection that we will ultimately cede to the government the very freedoms which allowed us to earn our wealth in the first place.

8:21 AM  
Blogger Tom Salemi said...

I see the disconnect. You're talking about California.

I'm talking about America.

As for Easterbrook, if he's the same jerkoff who hates the Patriots than he's a moron.


Okay, enough of that. We agree to a certain extent although I suspect our definitions of "negligible problems" differ slightly. (Health care, for example, is not a negligible problem by my reckoning.)

That said, I think it's human nature to never be satisfied with one's life. Anyone who is healthy, clothed and well-fed really shouldn't have much to bitch about in their own life. Yet many of us sadly are.

12:04 AM  

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