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Those Who Can’t Believe in Change

March 22, 2010

Every single public policy initiative which is now unambiguously understood to have advanced civilization — from the emancipation proclamation to womens suffrage to the decision to enter both world wars to social security to medicare to civil rights — has been greeted by hysterical claims by a backwards, malingering segment of the population likening it to whatever bogeyman that haunted our national consciousness at that particular moment. And every one of those actions, without exception, has enhanced the welfare of our nation, strengthened the social fabric and saved millions from abuse. More importantly, each of those reforms fulfilled the constitutional mandate “to promote the general welfare.” This consistent reaction from our more retrograde countrymen begs the question: could it be that there’s a segment of our population that would prefer that we live in a world of enslaved African Americans, barefoot & pregnant women, a thousand year Reich, starving senior citizens dying in the streets and rampant institutionalized bigotry?

As a nation we are taking another of those important steps in distinguishing between goods & services which can be left to market forces and those for which markets alone are inadequate. Nothing could be more natural to the process of advancing society.

For people who can’t seem to stomach the idea that our country should grow, and for whom the idea of collective solutions to collective problems is anathema, I would make a modest proposal: opt out of ALL of the above-mentioned  reforms and live with no protections whatsoever. Find one of the many places in the world where tyranny is unchecked, the disempowered left to their own devices,  elites allowed to manipulate social structures to protect their own interests, and any effort to manage the inherent complexity of an advanced society ignored. (Some candidates: Afghanistan, Russia, Burma, Paraguay, Iran, North Korea) Go live there for a while and see if you still shriek that the sky is falling when a majority of your countrymen decide to take a step in the direction of a little barbarism and a little more civilization.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Deborah permalink
    March 23, 2010 3:02 pm

    Here, here. You wrote that perfectly.

  2. Dan permalink
    March 26, 2010 2:51 pm

    As a perfect republican paradise, where they can live their endgame now, I suggest Somalia.

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