Sunday, February 25, 2018

Valuing collective above all unsustainable

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for January 24, 2018)

Like most people, I enjoy fiction; books, movies, and television programs. Fiction can be entertaining, educational, and inspiring as long as you don't confuse it with reality.

As a child I loved re-runs of "Gilligan's Island" and dreamed of being marooned on a deserted tropical island.

The older I became, the less realistic their situation seemed.

The lack of variety in their diet, the constant parade of accidental transient visitors who never sent back help, the clothing which never wore out, and the near magical technology built from coconut shells by people unable to build a simple boat. The better I understood reality, the more I needed to suspend disbelief to enjoy the show. Eventually it became too much.

Now I prefer things which are a bit more realistic, unless I want to let my brain snooze.

This is why I can't buy into politics. Especially the socialism promoted by both of America's "mainstream political parties".

Socialism-- which comes down to the belief that people with political power can dictate how, or if, individuals will be allowed to use their property and the products of their labor -- isn't realistic or sustainable. It is based on poor understanding of how things are connected, and a denial of human nature. It can't work without violently forcing everyone to comply and forbidding anyone to opt out; an idea so good it must be imposed by threats of death.

One popular idea currently pushed by one faction of socialists is what they call "Universal Basic Income"-- money paid to everyone for simply being alive. This ignores basic universal economic reality in favor of wishful thinking.

Where does this money come from? Coconuts? Is it stolen through acts of taxation, or is it counterfeited by the Federal Reserve? Either way, it will make the economy worse and hurt the people who believe they will benefit. It will cause greater inflation, because eventually-- and probably fairly quickly-- this basic income level will become the new "totally broke" as prices rise in reaction. People will then demand more and the cycle will repeat. That's without even taking into account the economic damage of new taxes or the accelerated influx of debased money.

Any ideology which places a collective-- be it a nation, society, or political party-- above the individual is the same. It is unsustainable; based on a happy fiction which can't work in the real world, no matter how desperately people wish it could. Welcome to Gilligan's Planet.

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Government "ethics"

That's a phrase that amuses and bewilders me: government ethics.

How can a criminal gang have ethics? Now, I would argue they can have morals-- worthless, harmful morals. But, actual ethics? No.

What kind of "ethics" leaves room for "taxation", kidnapping, mass murder, prohibition, slavery, and other forms of archation? Only government "ethics".

You might as well be talking about the ethics of muggers or child molesters.

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