OT - I don't _hate_ McMansions

Levi Pearson levi at cold.org
Fri Jun 27 22:32:47 MDT 2008

Von Fugal <von at fugal.net> writes:
> <quote name="Levi Pearson" date="Thu, 26 Jun 2008 at 11:32 -0600">
>> Clearly, there's a balance to be struck between free market forces and
>> government regulation.  If you don't agree with that premise, I don't
>> know what to tell you.
> Please don't ignore our comments about proper government roles. I just
> want people to be suspicious of government involvement and to clearly
> show what rights stem their pet projects, thus identifying where
> government can derive authority to regulate. If you can trace your pet
> project to a basic human right then go for it! Don't just make blanket
> statements about compromise and balance without providing or using any
> guidelenes on just how to acheive said balance.

Your idea about 'proper government roles' is too narrow and
short-sighted.  Although securing the rights to life, liberty, and the
pursuit of happiness (or property, if you must) are and should be the
core of government, that doesn't mean that they are the *only* purpose
for government.  And the 'liberty' part that you are so fond of
trumpeting is clearly not meant to be *absolute* liberty, since the
concepts of laws and contracts contradict the complete freedom to
follow your whims.  I'm sure you understand this, I just want to make
it clear that liberty is necessarily limited by government even as it
is protected, but that the government receives the right to restrict
liberty by contract with the people.

Anyway, back to the roles of government.  Aside from ensuring the
basic liberties, the government is entrusted with national defense.
It is entrusted with regulation of interstate commerce.  It is
entrusted with protecting and preserving the environment and public
land.  It is entrusted with providing for the economic and social
security of its citizens to some degree.  This includes providing
social safety nets, providing education, and promoting cultural

Although you probably disagree, I say that all of the above are proper
roles of government, and more specifically *our* constitutional
government.  We live in very different times from when our
constitution was conceived, and it's a testament to the foresight and
compromise of the framers that our government has been flexible enough
to meet the needs of a far more complex world than they lived in.  I'm
sad that you seem to perceive all the progress that has been made in
our society and government for the past several hundred years as
backwards, but the evolution of our government has been both socially
and economically beneficial, whether you want to believe it or not.

Yes, our government as currently constituted is imperfect, and has
made some particularly bad decisions lately.  Please, name a time in
our history when we went for some great period of time without
struggle or hardship of some sort or another.  Name a time when there
was no corruption or when some politicians weren't dirty.  We're
actually doing *quite* well right now, all things considered, and
people running around screaming that the sky is falling are largely
irrelevant and ineffectual, but still annoying.


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