Thursday, January 21, 2010
Is such a question appropriate, let alone "necessary?"
I learned by accident the other day of a book titled, Are the Rich Necessary? According to the web site of its publisher, Axios, the book is:
An introduction to economics for laymen, the book covers both sides of the great economic arguments of our day. In an always lively, point-counterpoint style, he challenges conventional positions on both sides of each issue.Fair enough, but I'm having a hard time getting past the urge to prepend, "For Whom," to the title of the book. By what right can one ask whether another human being is "necessary?"
Lest you think I'm jumping the gun, Axios continues:
[Hunter] Lewis proposes a new way to bridge the extremes of super rich and poor, of free markets and safety nets; a solution that would involve a massive expansion of the nonprofit sector through tax credits. His solution is to build up the nonprofit sector so that it will become a full partner of government and the private sector and be able to provide real solutions in the areas of social services, health, housing, and education. Lewis's solution offers a forward-thinking alternative to the bitter and often sterile debate between friends and foes of "big" government regarding taxing the rich and creating economic equality.There is nothing "forward-thinking" about the government continuing to loot private property and set up redistribution schemes.
Does the question posed by the title of the book ever segue into a discussion of how the productive incidentally benefit everyone else as they deploy massive amounts of capital in the pursuit of their own self-interest? If so, it would seem that Hunter Lewis quickly loses sight of that very real and very necessary side-benefit of the right to property -- and never even considers the idea of individual rights.
Nail, meet coffin?
Barney Frank may have scuttled the various scenarios I have heard floated over the past few days for how the Democrats might attempt to pass ObamaCare despite the election of Scott Brown to the Senate yesterday.
I feel strongly that the Democratic majority in Congress must respect the process and make no effort to bypass the electoral results. If Martha Coakley had won, I believe we could have worked out a reasonable compromise between the House and Senate health care bills. But since Scott Brown has won and the Republicans now have 41 votes in the Senate, that approach is no longer appropriate. ... [O]ur respect for democratic procedures must rule out any effort to pass a health care bill as if the Massachusetts election had not happened.That's the good news. The bad news is that Frank is now on the bandwagon to do away with the filibuster.
Philip Klein of The American Spectator elaborates on how damaging Frank's remarks are to ObamaCare and goes on to say that, "it will be difficult for Democrats to revive Obamacare after tonight." I hope he's right.
Update: Frank later backed off from these remarks. I had been on the very brink of thanking Mr. Frank for respecting the voice of the people. Oh well.
Quote of the Day
"[F]or the first time in my life, I am proud to live in Massachusetts. Today, many of us have actually deserved to walk on the hallowed ground of Lexington and Concord." -- SB
With the commentariat in overdrive after the Brown election, one might expect to be hard-pressed to find anyone who has any doubt that Americans reject Barack Obama's far-left agenda -- until one checks with Obama himself.
We'll have to think through this next year from the standpoint of tactics but in substance the mission can't change.Well, then! It looks like three more years of "ideological clarity," as John Lewis might put it. Let's not waste them.
Today: Minor edits.