I just read a thought-provoking article written by Theodore Dalrymple. Truth plainly spoken, but spoken in a way many will not be able to handle. To paraphrase Jack Nicholson: “Many can’t HANDLE the truth.”
Here’s an excerpt:
The ferocious criminality exhibited by an uncomfortably large section of the English population during the current riots has not surprised me in the least. I have been writing about it, in its slightly less acute manifestations, for the past 20 years. To have spotted it required no great perspicacity on my part; rather, it took a peculiar cowardly blindness, one regularly displayed by the British intelligentsia and political class, not to see it and not to realize its significance. There is nothing that an intellectual less likes to change than his mind, or a politician his policy.
The riots are the apotheosis of the welfare state and popular culture in their British form. A population thinks (because it has often been told so by intellectuals and the political class) that it is entitled to a high standard of consumption, irrespective of its personal efforts; and therefore it regards the fact that it does not receive that high standard, by comparison with the rest of society, as a sign of injustice.
BTW….this CAN happen here….just substitute “American” for “English” and “British”
Remember that saying: give a man a fish and you feed him one time, but teach him how to fish and you feed him forever? I saw a variation of that today and it said: give a man a fish and he will riot for free fish. If you believe that all of those young folks rioting in London are merely “disenfranchised” youth, think again. Many are, in all likelihood, involved with anarchist groups or being used by these types of groups as “useful idiots.” Creating chaos is their goal, not seeking justice.
The sad thing to me is that we’ve taught entire generations of people that they cannot do anything without the help of government. No wonder they feel “helpless.” They’ve been told over and over again in a myriad of ways that they are incapable of effecting any change in their lives. There ARE people who REALLY do need help and we should help them, but, to quote Reagan: government isn’t the solution, it’s the PROBLEM.
An article that supports that statement: Widespread Policy Failures...is worth a read too.
Another article worth reading is: Years of Liberal Dogma….
Update August 12: Here is information on some of the looters….their backgrounds might surprise you.
“Teach a man to fish” = yeah sure, but what happens when he goes to fish and the lake is all fished out (or poisoned by a toxic spill)? Dalrymple and all these pontificators ignore one very hard cold fact: there just plain aren’t and won’t be enough private sector jobs out there anymore to support everyone at a decent livable invome.
Automation, productivity gains, globalization and overpopulation have worked to create this harsh reality. This past week I saw the conservative mouthpieces all over the media tossing out terms such as parasite, freeloader, lazy, bloodsucker, loafer, etc. to describe our fellow citizens who derive their sustenance from public spending. This is a grave insult to many good people who are desperate for a decent job but have nothing available to them. It also impugns the very large segment of our society who work coscientiously at public sector jobs, as well as jobs dependent on public spending.
Reagan may have said “government isn’t the answer” to pander to the base, but his actions speak to what he really believed = a massive increase in government spending to energise the economy, and record deficits despite his support of 11 tax increases.
Reagan, Nixon, Ike, the Bushes, and their economic advisors were cognizant of a significant reality: public spending has been and is a critical foundation of our prosperity. That is why they did nothing to dismantle the programs of the New Deal and Great Society, or curb spending, despite their lip services to the conservative mantra.
The reality is that government IS the answer, and has been since the Great Depression. It is foolish not to recognize that it has served as an effective engine for redistributing our national wealth more equitably, providing jobs directkly and indirectly, expanding the middle class hugely, putting more disposable income in the hands of more people and fueling the explosive growth of the consumer economy (retail and services).
In attacking public spending, the Republican cynics and Tea Party misanthropes not only are insulting many good folks, but are trying to lead us down the path to economic disaster. Look at Perry’s supposed job creation recod in Texas: since 2008, a net loss in private jobs circa 37,000, but this was offset by a net increase in public sector jobs of 115,000 (good chunk of it related to stimulus funds). Perry either is a hypocrite or a fool, but either way he is dangerous.
I just watched an economist (Chinese guy, many international awards) from Cambridge, UK on Book TV. Although he has no dog in our political hunt, his responses to questions pretty much showed the “cut social programs” agenda to be a canard that will inflict much suffering to no appreciable benefit. He pointed to Greece and Ireland, where massive cuts in the “welfare state” programs resulted in economic deflation. The attendant loss in government revenues meant these countries made no headway in reducing their debts, which was the purpose of the cuts.in the first place. The only real result was public hardship and civil unrest.
Your man Dalrymple is something else, characterizing the basic subsistence afforded by the dole as a “high standard of consumption”. Why, besides, food, clothes, and a roof over their heads, those criminally decadent scum actually have tellys and fridges, too. The utter cheek! He is right, at least, in recognizing that public spending cutbacks helped fuel those riots. And you are right that they could happen here.
If people find their unemployment benefits have ended, theirs saving wiped out by Wall Street shenanigans, their honestly-earned pensions scuttled by “entitlement cuts”, their service/retail jobs gone because the economy is collapsing, and private sector jobs are few and far between. Then welfare is made unavailable or inadequate to live decently, WHAT DO YOU THINK PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DO?
Throughout history, the “economic adjustments” pretty much have amounted to migrate, starve
or pick up your weapons.
Government redistributing wealth and providing jobs has been and is the answer. Government isn’t the problem, CORRUPT GOVERNMENT is the probleem, The wealthy oligarchs have used campaign financing and media control to hijack the vehicle to serve the interests of their class rather than that of the nation as a whole. Their apparent goal is to roll the clock back to the glory days of 1890s predatory capitalism when “the right people” could live “with proper style” and the masses knew their places, the bloody rabble upstarts!
In 1979, the top 1% held 10% of our national wealth. In 2009, that top 1% held 23%. This diversion of wealth back to the richest members of society is primarily the result of tax cuts which benefitted the upper tiers, as well as financial and other deregulations which enabled the wealthy to “game the system” so that wealth flows to wealth. During this period, there was no significant economic growth or increase in private sector jobs despite the supposed Creators” having more to invest, giving the lie to all those trickle-down apologists.
Tea party should be focussing on term limits, lobbyist restrictions, ethics pledges, and campaign contribution limits, not cutting programs that provide food and shelter to the needy, healthcare to seniors, and jobs to so many. Lets raise taxes on the wealthy as Warren Buffett suggests and use that to pay down the debt while maintaing our economic public/private engine that has brought us unprecedented widespread prosperity. Those willing workers needing jobs and those healthy unerqualified folks on welfare – there’s a lot of infrastructure that needs upgrading and public service that can be done …..
Pat, we clearly have different world views. Let me try to clarify my view for you as well as ask you some questions.
First, what conservative mouthpieces used terms like: freeloader, bloodsucker, lazy and loafer? I know a couple of talk show conservatives who use extreme language, however to paint an entire group of conservatives in this light is, again, beneath you. You are doing the very same thing you accuse them of doing. For the record my world view does not approve of rhetoric such as that and neither do the vast majority of others who hold my world view. It is interesting to note also that there are “trolls” who appear on social media who try to pretend they are “Tea Party” supporters who purposefully post hateful rhetoric on Tea Party pages. I personally have tracked a couple of these folks. Their pages disappear when you confront them on it. I have found LOTS of hateful rhetoric on progressive leaning sites and in the news. Do you also condemn those actions?
Second, your entire second paragraph displays your world view in clear terms. You assume that because those who hold a different world view believe there are other answers other than government that this is somehow denying reality. Believe me we know there are problems. We just believe in keeping “government” (which translates ultimately to the “elite”) in a limited role.
Third, “they did nothing to dismantle the New Deal and Great Society” in some cases because they, in reality, were and are big government Progressive-minded folks. Not many people have the courage to point out the destruction these programs have ultimately wrought on the very communities they purport to assist. The mantra is “we the elite” know what’s best, you the people don’t know what’s best so just let us decide. Our Constitutional Republic was built and structured to keep that from happening. That’s why the efforts to undermine the integrity of our system of government is so distressing to me. We need to be a nation of laws not of men. Have you read New Deal or Raw Deal? I recommend it.
Finally, we do agree that corrupt government is the problem. That is why we need to get back to our founding documents. Our government is not and never will be perfect. I just believe that a Constitutional Republic offers the best chance at maintaining our liberties and preventing the atrocities that occur when the “elite” wield power. Those elite who believe they are the only ones qualified to make decisions are the very people who exacerbate the problems. In some cases they have actually created the problems for their own ends. Uncle Saul says the ends justify the means. They seek something that sounds really great, “social justice,” Our founders sought “equal justice.” Progressives follow the Uncle Saul method of evaluating the two systems. If you can find any fault with the free market, capitalism, and individual liberties then that means you gotta tear it down and replace it. The burning question is replace it with what?! “Gaming the system” is gonna happen whatever system you have in place because it’s members are HUMAN! We want a system that can do everything possible to prevent any one group of people becoming all powerful. Your statement:
What in the name of all that is holy do you think the progressive elite will do if they obtain control?! Utopia?!!
Oh, and one more thing. The Tea Party does focus on the things you mention. It does not, however, advocate eliminating programs that provide the truly needy with assistance. You’ve been sucked in to the demonizing of the opposition if you believe that. I do try to listen to opposing views and read things from the Huffington Post, etc. When I find reasoned debate I consider it. However, what I generally find is information that consists of personal attacks and obfuscations. And….before you get your knickers in a twist, yes you may find this coming from the other side too. We, however, don’t have a rule book that says ridicule is a great weapon. 🙂 And, more importantly, we are willing and able to admit that we don’t totally agree with those we select as our leaders. If we take demonization and Rules for Radicals out of the process we’d find we have more in common than we think.
Pingback: Bookworm Room » It’s Watcher’s Council voting time
Pingback: NoisyRoom.net » Blog Archive » Watcher’s Council Nominations – Magical Misery Tour Edition
Pingback: Watcher of Weasels Magical Misery Tour Edition | Restoring Honor Starts Here
Pingback: Watcher’s Council Nominations Magical Misery Tour Edition - August 17, 2011 | Virginia Right!
Pingback: Watcher’s Council Nominations – Magical Misery Tour Edition | Maggie's Notebook
Pingback: Watcher of Weasels » Watcher’s Council Nominations – Magical Misery Tour Edition