The Big Think

January 23, 2010

Middle Class

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 8:25 am

It’s clear that the middle class is the great enemy of collectivism. Only they have the combination of voting power, money, and economic self-interest to see the growth of government as undesirable, and provide effective resistance. They generally view their interactions with government in a negative light – they’ve all spent time in the Department of Motor Vehicles mausoleum, spent hours wrestling with tax forms, or been slapped with a traffic citation they don’t think they deserved. They understand the inefficiency and emotional instability of government, and instinctively resent its intrusion into their lives. A health-care takeover is the best chance collectivists will ever have of persuading the middle class to vote itself into chains… but for the better part of a century, they’ve been able to hear the hammers of the State ringing on the metal of those chains, in the forges of taxation and regulation…

The middle class is frustrated because they understand the basic concept of fiscal responsibility, and they know they – and their children – will be expected to pay for these titanic solutions…

The President says “I have every interest in seeing a unified country solving big problems.” The rest of us have an interest in being allowed to pursue our individual solutions to those problems, according to the liberties our Constitution says belong to us as absolutely as our souls. We can see the wreckage of those “unified” solutions strewn through our past, and littering the rest of the world.

Our frustration is born of intelligence and moral strength, not stubborn blindness.

read the whole thing.

Understand that my opposition is not to a black president, or to a democratic president, or anything so shallow or stereotypical. It is also decidedly not based in ignorance of the issues, or a backward, “flyover-country” view of America. My opposition is to a worldview that says “we’re from the government and we’re here to take care of you”. It is a visceral, responsible opposition to a historically, demonstrably, provably irresponsible government (of both parties) that long ago relinquished the moral authority to be trusted with the public purse. It is an opposition built on the simple high-school skill of following a descending line on a graph and saying “we can not afford to do this”. It is a responsible, adult, opposition to a comment I saw recently online that said “even if it bankrupts America, it is our moral obligation to provide every person within our borders with health insurance”. Oh really? Balanced your checkbook lately? What’s the state of your credit report? Even if it bankrupts America? I’ve never heard a rational response to the obvious question: what then?

As in all things, moderation going forward is the key. Neither a wholesale conversion to collectivism nor a total abandonment of the less fortunate will solve our fiscal and societal problems- either extreme will make our problems worse. But we must- must– maintain the fiscal health of our country if we have any hope of staying strong. Or even staying together. America is not an eternal guarantee.

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