Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Left Must Stop "Feeling" and Start Thinking

Someone sent me a link for Alternet today, and while I had seen people post stories from there, I really never read many of their articles. I had a feeling it was a left leaning website, but had some interesting views, but I just never went there... until today that is.

I caught some interesting articles, and some had good points, but one common theme I seemed to find was the notion that the "rich" are "heartless" and corporations lack "compassion" and so on. The constant playing on "feelings" sounds whiny and pathetic honestly.

If your answer is don't cut Social Security because it is heartless... then cut it. If your answer is don't cut Medicare because it isn't compassionate... then cut it. If your answer is don't cut Unemployment Benefits because it is mean... then cut them.

You just have to do better than that. Those may be some of the worst arguments ever. Society can't make good policy decisions based on not being heartless anymore than based on Biblical reasons. Public policy just demands more thought on our part.

Social Security is a good idea not because it shows our heart, but because of a few reasons. First, it is a safety net for those who take risks and encourages risk takers to start new small businesses because they know that even if they fail, they will not be homeless. And those small businesses drive the economy. Second, it is good for business because no one runs a good business with homeless old people begging in front of their businesses. Third, it is good for government and taxes because it means old people don't get arrested for vagrancy and loitering costing taxpayers in jail time. Fourth, it is good for the economy because it doesn't drain consumers paying for their parents, so they can drive the economy in other ways.

Sure, it also has a heart, but that just isn't a good public policy reason for any policy. We need better policies. We need more thought in Washington and less emotionalism. Both sides would be better to learn that.

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