Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama's speech

One paragraph struck me in particular as I was listening. My comments are in red:

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them — that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply.

I am a cynic and I do understand that the ground has shifted. The stale political arguments still apply more than ever.
The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified.

The size of something has an impact on its performance. An SUV may be more powerful, but it also consumes more resources than a subcompact. Are you using that power effectively? If not, then you are just wasting resources. Sure, the SUV still "works" in that it gets you to point A to point B, but just because something works does not make it the best solution.
Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end.



Tim Zank said...

Nice speech to the Choir. He won't close or stop one frickin' program.

The elephant in the room is contained in the second paragraph you cite..

He says it's the governments responsibility to
A. Get you a good job & a raise.
B. Find you a doctor & get you checkups and prescriptions and help you pay for it.
C. Give you a pension.

Three things the founders of this country could never have envisioned, or any American for that matter until we abdicated any sense of being responsible for our self.

In 1980 at his inauguration, Ronald Reagan said "government is not the solution to the problems we face, the government IS the proble.

Today, Barack Obama declared at his inauguration that government is indeed the answer to our problems.

The complete "about face" this society has made from self reliance and personal responsibility to having the government provide for us is appalling.

Libertarians, and true conservatives should be absolutely livid that we have allowed this country to become a socialist bastion of mediocrity.

Doug said...

The problem is with assuming that "government" is a monolith. It's not. Some parts are good and useful, some parts are bad and wasteful, and other parts (probably most) are a mixed bag.

The trick is to determine whether a particular part of the government does more good than harm and generates more benefits than costs.

Robert Enders said...

I do agree with what you said, Doug. I do try to criticize specific government actions rather than make sweeping generalizations, with this post being a notable exception. As a general rule, businesses and private charities tend to operate more efficiently and achieve better results than government institutions.

Tim Zank said...

All "sweeping" generalizations aside, aren't either one of you the least bit troubled to hear the newly elected leader of our nation pledge to effectively socialize our country? He just said, out loud, the government owes you a job, a doctor, and a pension.

Based on that, why excel at your job, take care of your health, or save for retirement?

We are so farked.

Robert Enders said...

Every president since FDR said that the government owes you a pension. I think he was blowing smoke about the whole "creating 5 million green jobs". I am worried that a bureaucrat will be in charge of my healthcare before the year is over. Oh well, America survived worse.

Tim Zank said...

Just because America has survived worse doesn't necessarily mean we should just lay back and "enjoy" it, though.

I'm honestly worried about the over-all "entitlement" mentality Robert. It seems like nobody has the desire to do anything for themselves anymore, and there is always someone else to blame for everything. Call me an old fogey, but I think we're rapidly becoming European style wussies.

Robert Enders said...

There certainly was an entitlement mentality among a lot of his supporters. There was an entitlement mentality among a lot of Republicans: remember the TARP bailout? I'm confident that one of the following scenarios will take place over the next four years:
1. The economy recovers in spite of the best efforts of the Democrats.
2. Republicans remember their fiscal conservative roots and retake the House.
3. The Republican Party crumbles and the Libertarian Party takes its place.

The best advice I have for the GOP right now is that they cannot defeat Democrats by imitating them.

Tim Zank said...

Yes Robert, I remember the TARP fiasco and all the other ridiculous spending the "Republicans" engaged in, it makes me physically ill.

Of your choices listed, I suspect #2 is the most probable, similar to 1994. I have a sneaking suspicion that about half way through this administration the adults will wake up and see the light. I hope.

Tim Zank said...

As an afterthought, i don't think it was as much an "entitlement" mentality on the part of Repubs, but more sheer greed and pandering to special interests while lining their pockets and buying more power, which obviously backfired.

The democrats seem to really believe the entitlement nonsense, while the repubs don't necessarily believe in it, they just like to take advantage of it.

Both sides have been thieving bastards IMO.

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