Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Power to the People!

You have to give the people of Iraq credit, and yes, you have to give the Americans credit as well. I can't help but feel the election and turnout were amazing and wonderful. This has to be Bush and Blair's finest hour. They had better savor this moment, because it's going to be all downhill from here. Also, I wouldn't overestimate the gratitude from the people of Iraq, they're probably anxious for the Americans to leave, and I believe they will, by way of Iran.

I think the issue that many people, mostly on the Left, have with America is that it is the most powerful nation that ever was, and that it can and will take over everything by force. Well sorry, that simply could not happen. The world isn't that small and people can be pretty unwieldy no matter how friendly the territory is. If that is in fact what the NeoCons have in mind, they need to be stopped, because they are insane. One country cannot run the whole world, stupid.


I'm not sure if I'm still a social liberal or an economic liberal. My position may be a little more clear by this article on MS-NBC about the Republican Party trying either to change, or dispense with, Social Security. If it is really about sticking it to FDR, the New Deal, or the Left in general, the kindest thing I can say about it is that it's pretty small-minded. I believe that the New Deal was a monumental achievement, but like most good ideas, it was taken too far, and it was necessary to scale back some of the social programs, but God forbid we should trash any and all social programs.

For me, the definition of classical laissez-faire liberalism was: no welfare, and the law simply did not apply to shop owners or even managers, and the government simply did not want to get involved in any way, financially or otherwise, in people's private lives (but could spy on them if they wanted). If that is what the NeoCons want to bring back, it's one more reason that they have to be stopped. Back to me, I am a little old-fashioned (for one thing, I would like a little restraint in public discourse as I did not say how I really felt about undoing Social Security), and most of my values are in agreement with the Right, but if they start talking about spiking all social programs altogether, I may lose my own sense of restraint.

Here's to Vox Poplar, for being the first person to comment on my blog. For that, he gets his own spot on my sidebar, and I would like to buy him a drink if we ever should meet in person. Traffic around here has been kind of slow lately, and I have been demoted to a "Lowly Insect" from my peak of being a "Slimy Mollusc". Actually Vox, I noticed that you are a "Crunchy Crustacean", which is what I was in the first few months of being in the TLB Ecosystem. Like you, I responded in canadiancomment (see sidebar) and got added to their blogroll. Unlike you though, it must have been before I subscribed to the TLB search engine, so that is probably the difference between a microbe and a crab. I often wonder if Mr. N.Z. Bear knows anything about evolutionary theory or he just makes up the rankings. Having just checked his site, he hasn't written anything since 18 January. Is he hibernating? Anyone?


Dana said...


I think you're going a bit far on your neo-con destroying social security thing.

Bush is only suggesting that a portion of future payments going into the system instead be diverted to individually controlled accounts.

One can debate how necessary his proposed reforms are at this time, or how far they should go, but most social security systems in developed countries are giant pyramid schemes with people like ourselves at the bottom. Germany, Italy, and France are sitting on timebombs that they are too afriad to deal with.

America's system will be in crisis some day. 10 years? 20? 50? Who knows but in the long term the system like ours is unsustainable.

Better a little pain now than a lot later is the way I see it.

Looney Canuck said...

I do realize that Social Security, and in our case, the Canada Pension Plan (?), and in other Western countries as well, are approaching a crisis point with the baby boomers getting closer to retirement, becoming infirm, or becoming senior citizens.

I wrote that post before I saw Bush's State of the Union address but (I think) a day after I saw an episode of "The Daily Show" (yes, I know it is a fake news show with a pronounced liberal bias, they make no secret of that) where a woman came on saying that we should scrap Social Security altogether, get the government out of it, and put all the funds into the private sector. That scared me frankly.

I would agree that some changes should be made, because I do believe there is a possiblility that the government could go bankrupt and thus lose all funding for social programs, but I just don't trust the NeoCons, or the private sector. I guess it's a game of "Who do you trust?", but to me, I just trust Big Business less. Also, the American government could go bankrupt pretty soon for reasons having less to do with social programs, if you know what I'm getting at. ;)

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