Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Warren Meyer looks at the categories of people enumerated on Barack Obama's web site. There is no category that describes Warren, or me:
I officially have no place in Obama's world as a white male physically able straight business owner of limited faith. From analysis of his other policies, I suggest a category for me called "Milch Cow," to include productive non-whining folks like myself who are unable or unwilling to portray themselves as victims and who are most likely to be forced to pay for Obama's pandering of all the other groups.
Well, "non-whining" except as it pertains to "progressive" politicians, but I get the point.
Statists appeal to people who are not ashamed or too prideful to admit that they need help from the state. There was a day when such people were very much in the minority in this country, but now they are a majority. That is why both parties promote one or another version of the nanny state, and Republicans compete with Democrats to appeal to people who perceive themselves as victims. Shame and its more beautiful sister, pride, have their virtues, including that they are both prerequisites for small government.
During the Great Depression an old lady I know worked at the church giving out food to the poor. As these people who owned nothing walked forward, they would go through the boxes and give back anything they didn't need. That was just a few generations ago, and millions of people carry on their traditions. Unfortunately, too many spend their lives blaming others for their failures and demanding compensation for "losing lifes lottery".
Statists appeal to people who are not ashamed or too prideful to admit that they need help from the state.
They also appeal to those who find taking responsibility for certain aspects of their lives to not be worth the hassle - not only of actually handling your own affairs, but of becoming sufficiently well informed and savvy to do so effectively. Why bother with all that when you can outsource the job to the state? There's obviously no guarantee that the state will handle your affairs optimally - far from it - but the same is true for DIYers.
When it comes to nanny-statism, never underestimate the appeal of convenience, and the strong desire to not have to think about life's unpleasant possibilities, much less make an effort to prepare for them. It is the one and only factor in which the collective approach has a strong inherent advantage, but for many folks that factor trumps all the others.