Did you know that being married is like being nibbled to death by a duck?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Kids Are Smrt

So, today in my political science class, one of the many flavors of youth decided to chime in with some ever informative wisdom. The topic was the President's bullet points for the budget, one of which being the promotion of "social compassion" and "family values." The aforementioned expert on all things government says "That's wrong, the government can't legislate 'family values.' That's just Bush trying to push his Christian values on everyone." Ok, fair enough point. He doesn't want the government stepping in and promoting family values as he doesn't believe it is their place. Fine.
About five minutes later, the subject of welfare and poverty came up, and this same student says "It's so wrong that the government doesn't step in and do more for the poor. We're fighting a war but we can't get people jobs." Now, I'm not the smartest guy in the world, so I'm wondering if I am missing something here. In my mind (however twisted it may be), there seems to be a serious disconnect with this logic. On the one hand, the government shouldn't meddle in people's business, and on the other, it should step in and fix everything. Gotcha.

When described like this, it seems quite contrite, but the fact is, this is actually right along the lines with how a large number of people think. I am just throwing this out there in case there is someone reading who thinks that I am maybe missing something. I understand that there is a point where government involvement can go overboard (Cuba, I'm looking in your direction), and there is also a point where it can be totally absent (anyone know if Haiti is for sale on the open market, yet?). However, the middle ground is obviously something that people are only willing to go to for issues that they feel passionately about. I really admire people that feel convicted about a subject, as long as they are willing to see it through. Yet this is often not the case. More times than not, tunnel vision sets in and it becomes difficult to relate separate issue to one another (e.g. the rise of global warming and a lack of legalized prostitution. Think about it).

The overall point being (in addition to my question of me possibly missing something here), is that if I am not, then how do people miss the connection? How do people not see that the redistribution of wealth leads to complacency? Why do they not see that lack of response to threats leads to more tragedy down the road? And why, oh why, do people think that Shakespeare is relevant at all? I mean seriously, that stuff is wickedly boring and... oh, different topic.

Anyway, just a few afternoon thoughts.


Jonathan Scott said...

This subject has baffled me lately. I just finally figured that it boils down to your world view and is along the same lines as faith. Things with such deep roots are very difficult to debate. Factually oriented subjects can be debated, but it's near impossible to convince someone that their faith or worldview are wrong using logic.

I think if I could explain to myself why it is better for the government to stay allow a child without medical insurance to die rather than use government programs to pay for the child to receive medical care, than I would understand enough to talk to these people. That could be taken well out of context, but at the center of my statement is the fact that our founders placed an serious emphasis (bordering on reverance) on the idea of Self Government. Government had a distinct and very limited roll. Somehow, a line was crossed, and if it provides one service, than why shouldn't it provide for the problem that I have right now? (and this line of reasoning perpetuates until every aspect of our life is provided for by our Federal Government).

Got a little off point, but those are my thoughts. Good topic, Twisted.

~E said...


You got to the heart of the matter pretty quickly.. it's the idea that Government is the answer to all problems - economic, social, and moral.
Many people pay lip service to individualism and personal responsibility, but very few actually have the integrity of that conviction.

Mrs. WakeandaHalf said...

I think, too, most people don't think too deeply about this stuff. Poverty is bad, most grasp this without too much effort. However, the majority of poor children are living with single mothers. Huh. Maybe it would make sense to encourage fathers to stick around? So tax incentives for families (and also welfare disincentives for single parenting) IS a government program for poor children. There are other social benefits to encouraging families, of course, but it happens to be one of the best ways to ensure that kids don't grow up in poverty. But then we're "judging" people who were just doing whatever felt good and anyway, they weren't hurting anybody else and... whoa! THAT'S getting uncomfortably personal, so it's best not to think too hard about those kind of things, but anyway, government should leave people alone except when they are giving poor people money.