The Big Think

February 6, 2012

Quoth

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 2:51 pm

“The failure of communism should have been, after all, not just a turning point in geo-political power – the ending of the Cold War and the break-up of the Warsaw Pact – but in modern thinking about the state and its relationship to the economy, about collectivism vs individualism, and about public vs private power. Where was the discussion, the trenchant analysis, or the fundamental debate about how and why the collectivist solutions failed, which should have been so pervasive that it would have percolated down from the educated classes to the bright 18-year-olds? Fascism is so thoroughly (and, of course, rightly) repudiated that even the use of the word as a casual slur is considered slanderous, while communism, which enslaved more people for longer (and also committed mass murder), is regarded with almost sentimental condescension.”

Janet Daley

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Maker or Taker?

Filed under: Business — jasony @ 12:41 pm

“In today’s America, government benefits flow to large numbers of people who are encouraged to vote for politicians who’ll keep them coming. The benefits are paid for by other people who, being less numerous, can’t muster enough votes to put this to a stop. Over time, this causes the economy to do worse, pushing more people into the moocher class and further strengthening the politicians whose position depends on robbing Peter to pay Paul. Because, as they say, if you rob Peter to pay Paul, you can be pretty sure of getting Paul’s vote.

But the damage goes deeper. Sykes writes, ‘In contemporary America, we now have two parallel cultures: An anachronistic culture of independence and responsibility, and the emerging moocher culture. ‘We continually draw on the reserves of that older culture, with the unspoken assumption that it will always be there to mooch from and that responsibility and hard work are simply givens. But to sustain deadbeats, others have to pay their bills on time.’ And, after a while, people who pay their bills on time start to feel like suckers.

I think we’ve reached that point now:

* People who pay their mortgages – often at considerable personal sacrifice – see others who didn’t bother get special assistance.

* People who took jobs they didn’t particularly want just to pay the bills see others who didn’t getting extended unemployment benefits.

* People who took risks to build their businesses and succeeded see others, who failed, getting bailouts. It rankles at all levels.”

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