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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Self-Congratulation As a Basis for Social Policy.

I was watching George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh last night on PBS. I thought: "What great music! That famine really gave some awesome musicians a chance to get together and throw their hearts into quite a gig." But, did they really provide any long-term solution to that famine or have the Bangladesh Concert progeny done the same for famine and disasters in general?

The answer is "No".

These artists reacted with emotion to people in need, grasped the moment, raised some money and gave us a memorable concert. There have been so many disasters and so many concerts since then. But we see that the human toll is greatest after any disaster where the country is not economically advanced. Our Katrina is a case in point with the death toll around 1,000 from Louisianna. We were all expecting many multiples of that in the initial days of the hurricane. Such would have been the case almost anywhere else in the world.

The hard work in truly alleviating such suffering takes assessing the problem from all angles and implementing models that have worked. The free market model always wins in comparison to government solutions. However, the liberal mind-set is for government to present and administer the solution. That is where the incompetence, inefficiency and down-right corruption (with political spoils) lead to continued disaster.

A few posts down I referred to the subtitle of the Thomas Sowell book: Vision of the Anointed. The subtitle is Self-Congratulation As a Basis for Social Policy.

In essense this answers the question of why liberals often do not argue policy but instead pursue ad hominim attacks on their ideological adversaries. When choosing a position on any policy matter, the liberal takes the position that, on its surface, satisfies his moral ethic. Generally this means giving away money (and who originally earned it?). With great success they find ways to give away money to solve local problems like the homelessness, unwed mothers, hungry children or global problems like alleviating hunger or third world poverty. Naturally, helping these needy people is laudable.

However, immediate money for immediate needs is merely palliative. The long-term eradication of a problem or, at least, providing a real solution for some of the causes of the problems are missed due to the inherent affinity for mass programs only created and handled by government. They ignore the voluntary and individual approach. They ignore the free market approach. They see such proposals as not caring. And people who do not care as much as them are greedy and immoral (synonymous?).

Getting back to the "Self-Congratulations" concept, when your position is grounded in your own version of morality and your ideological opponent is immoral, there is no need to listen to what the opponent is saying. It is grounded in evil.

As a liberal, it took my eventual recognition that every Republican-conservative was never as mean or immoral as I had assumed. I began to listen to their proposals and whether any had a chance at success. By looking at conservatives as equally as interested in alleviating problems, I began to listen and read their proposals. Add in the record of the liberal welfare approach and I became convinced that the free market approach is one that will work.

I can deny "benefits" to people and offer alternatives that provides long-term sustainable goals and still know I am doing some good. I support social policy that enhances the individual and voluntarism. This is the plan that works.


At 5:47 PM, Blogger A Christian Prophet said...

Valuable thoughts! The Holy Spirit says on The Christian Prophet blog that it is a matter of who is willing to look beyond ideological blinders and see things closer to how they REALLY are. Apparently the Democrats are momentarily pretty hopelessly out of touch with reality, but Republicans are not too far behind.

At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not disagree.

At 2:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it! » »

At 1:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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