“This makes a tremendous difference in the lives of Americans.”
– Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on government health care
We don’t yet know the half of it, baby!
Needed: PR training for the GOP
Stephen Combs in Orlando, Florida
This argument is a loser for Republicans, at least in the short run. Not because they stand on the wrong side of the issue, but – once again – because they have failed to sell the message. Anything they say comes across as heartless. This will be a made-for-TV moment for Democrats. “Senator Foghorn voted to take away your unemployment benefits,” the commercial will blare. “This is the same Senator who didn’t want you to have health care. What will Republicans do next, grab your child’s lunch money like they and Ronald Reagan did in the 1980s?”
The transfer of cash from taxpayers to the unemployed seems, on surface, to be the compassionate thing to do, and something a prosperous economy can afford. Most Americans probably agree with this practice in the short run, the casting of a temporary safety net for people who are willing and able to work. But the grasp of graduate-level economics is not necessary to understand that longer-term assistance breeds eventual dependency. Now your compassionate Democrats just want to extend unemployment benefits up to 99 weeks, and those heartless Republicans want to keep all the money for themselves. Quick, raise your hand. Who in the room thinks the lefty-libs intend to hold this welfare scheme to 99 weeks?
The only way conservatives will ever ultimately prevail in the marketplace of ideas is through education – not the leftist ideological indoctrination practiced in too many of our public schools and in practically all of our colleges, but education in economics and in the ideas that spawned our founding. Until that day arrives when parents take control of their children’s education – that is to disenfranchise the teacher union indoctrinators and their school board enablers – we will continue to scream back and forth with nobody listening. In the meantime, the great mass of uneducated, uninformed and ill-informed voters will continue to take its cue from the obsolete but still dangerous “mainstream” media. The cycle truly will remain endless unless we collectively decide to do something about it.
The late Garrett Hardin was Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University of California – Santa Barbara. He devoted much of his working life to explaining the connections between science and society to nonscientific audiences. In his essay “Lifeboat Ethics: The Case Against Helping the Poor,” he correctly argued that a rich society is like a lifeboat. When it tries to take on everyone who needs help, it eventually sinks and everyone drowns. Such is the case now with our American economy, heading to certain, irreversible collapse under Mr. Obama’s Marxist policy of “to each according to his needs” – that is, unless we stop this cruel aggression dead in its tracks. We can only do that at the ballot box in November, and we can only do that with a strong commitment to education.
Dr. Hardin’s essay concerns rich nations and poor nations, but his premises can easily apply to the macroeconomy of the United States. Lifeboat ethics are harsh but necessary for survival. The lifeboat must not take on more than it can support. Just as continued illegal immigration will eventually sink us, so too will endless transfers of wealth from the haves to the have-nots. To keep the lifeboat afloat, firm but fair policy must prevail.
Statists – people of the Left who believe in the Divine Right of Government – will argue that keeping some off the lifeboat isn’t fair. “The concept of blame is simply not relevant here,” Dr. Hardin writes. If one were to place blame for the high jobless rate we now have, one need look no further than Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and their eager followers. It is the reckless spending, government seizure of private industry and the threat of higher taxes that keeps consumers from buying and business from hiring. In the meantime, permanent unemployment benefits are not the answer. They do nothing to encourage the search for work, and eventually, pound by pound along with the other government spending, they will sink the boat.
We will post this week’s quotes on the website sometime over the weekend. The website, we are ashamed to say, is nothing short of a mess. An old Letter appears where the homepage should be. To get the homepage, click on “Friday Home” at the right. Subscribers get the first edition of the Letter several hours before it is posted on the webpage. The webpage edition includes corrections, amplifications and additional comments.
See more at www.fridayletter.com. We will follow this story with updates over the weekend. Our home page does not appear as the home page. It is necessary to click on “Friday Home” for this. We have some technical problems with the website and really need some good volunteer help here.
#100326 Year 2, Continuous Issue No. 66
Please send subscription information (Name, town and email address) to email@example.com. Please see our website www.fridayletter.com to post comments. Letters may be edited for brevity. The website is under construction and is not complete. Please click on Friday Home at the right to see the current letter, and Archives for last week’s post.
Subscriptions are free, and we do not share subscriber information with anyone. Please forward this letter to your email contacts and invite them to subscribe to The Friday Letter. Subscribers receive the Letter by email before it is posted to the website. . We do not send this unsolicited. The website is updated over the weekend with additions, clarifications and corrections Readers are invited to quote from it, with proper attribution.