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Friday, November 16, 2007

Choices

Something my son emailed me. Let me tell you ahead of time, I got every answer correct. Somehow, I just knew the correct answers as soon as I started reading question 2. Some might say I'm psychic, and who am I to argue? But my theory is that I'm just really, really smart. Both can be true. I wonder why I keep having to point out how smart I am. It's about time you start telling it to me.

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A little history lesson. If you don't know the answer make your best guess.

Who said it?

1) "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."
A. Karl Marx
B. Adolph Hitler
C. Joseph Stalin
D. None of the above

2) "It's time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few, and for the few.... And to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity."
A. Lenin
B. Mussolini
C. Idi Amin
D. None of the Above

3) "(We) can't just let business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away from some people."
A. Nikita Khrushchev
B. Josef Goebbels
C. Boris Yeltsin
D. None of the above

4) "We have to build a political consensus and that requires people to give up a little bit of their own ... in order to create this common ground."
A. Mao Tse Dung
B. Hugo Chavez
C. Kim Jong Il
D. None of the above

5) "I certainly think the free-market has failed."
A. Karl Marx
B. Lenin
C. Molotov
D. None of the above

6) "I think it's time to send a clear message to what has become the most profitable sector in [the] entire economy that they are being watched."
A. Pinochet
B. Milosevic
C. Saddam Hussein
D. None of the above

Comments has the answers, which I got right away and which you got, if at all, much later. Well, no need bothering to look. Hillary, of course. And not way back in the distant past of her primordial ooze haze-days at Berkley or Wellesley or where ever. Current. Just recently her chief economic advisor, Gene Sperling, stated during a National Press Club panel discussion, "The question is, should we be giving an extra $120 billion to people in the top 1 percent?" Talking about taxes, of course. Did you know that "we" "give" people "extra" money?

There it is. Citizens don't earn their money. They are given money by the government, in the form of not-being-taxed. It's actually not a very subtle point. Gross, even. Clear cut. One side thinks it's our money that we "give" to the government (under threat of coercive force), the other thinks it's the government's money some of which they let us keep, maybe.

Economics is not one of my themes. My understanding is basic. I don't know whether free trade or tariffs is better. I understand the arguments, insofar as I've heard them, but I don't know the evidence. Reality is what matters, and reality changes.

Government, American government isn't about making people be good. It's about keeping them from doing evil -- along with paving roads and securing borders. There is an agency in public life charged with the task of shepherding our souls. That would be religion. So rich people, by a conservative understanding, have the right to be pigs. Selfish, I mean, not rude. They have the right to be rude, too, but so do we all. As we all have the right to be selfish. When we come out from behind the benevolent authority of our parents and act as autonomous adults, we can stay up late and eat ice cream for dinner and not share what is ours with anyone else, if we so choose. No government has the right or the legitimate authority to require otherwise.

That's why Hillary is a problem. Just another leftist who wants to be our mommy.

Sure, I'd like to be rich. Money is power, and power is how things get done. I'd buy a classic car for myself, something from the early fifties or very late forties. I'd hire a maid. That's about it, for myself. I'd set up some trust funds for some extended family members. I'd invest in efficient and effective companies. I'd fund research into topics that interest me. I'd find admirable charities and smooth out the way for them. I'd play around in politics. If some other rich guy just wants to buy toys and date loose woman, that's his business. Hillary should keep her pug nose out of it.

Even rich fools spend money, which keeps the economy humming. It's not like it's all in a mattress somewhere. There aren't really a whole lot of people like me, idealists who value competence, but there are enough to keep the world from going straight to hell. We certainly don't need some bureaucratic theorist to define reality for us. Reality, in such cases, always seems to be a lot of farmers or pedestrians or Bible students lined up on the painful end of a bunch of guns. The government will always have guns, whether or not citizens do. How else would they collect their money?

I think there is an equal and opposite correspondence between the right and the left, in this: as fervently as most conservatives want to retain their right to bear arms, just that forcefully to liberals want to raise taxes. You heard it here first.


J

3 comments:

Jack H said...

Answers

(1) D. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/29/2004
(2) D. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 5/29/2007
(3) D. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(4) D. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(5) D. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(6) D. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 9/2/2005

Will C. said...

Only took me one question to know...

Jack H said...

Lies! Lies! Do you have ANY idea of who you're dealing with? I thought not.

Apology accepted.

J