OT - I don't _hate_ McMansions

Von Fugal von at fugal.net
Fri Jun 27 23:22:17 MDT 2008

<quote name="Levi Pearson" date="Fri, 27 Jun 2008 at 22:32 -0600">
> 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.

You seem to be confusing me with an anarchist. Such is not the case. My
rights end where yours begin, right? If you misconstrue where your
rights begin, how is that any different from me misconstrueing where
mine end?

> 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.

Sure, making a contract where necessary to protect rights in some cases
may restrict other rights. Such as my right to walk wherever I want is
superceded by other's rights to have private property. Not the best
example because walking isn't really a right in itself, but I'm tired.
The important part is "where necessary to protect rights." Thus the
litmus test: what rights am I protecting? Is it necessary?

> Anyway, back to the roles of government.  Aside from ensuring the
> basic liberties, the government is entrusted with national defense.
Property and life
> 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
> activities.

Here's where I take issue. I don't think a safety net is a bad idea. I
think this particular safety net has served a useful purpose. *I* don't
*want* this safety net. I would rather build my own thank you. Alas I am
*forced* to pay for this safety net against my wishes. Such is the
predicament of one in the social contract. Such is also the danger of
not following the above litmus test. *My* right to property is being
violated, money is taken from me. In some cases this is necessary and
prudent, such as to protect the right to life, and whether or not I want
my life protected, it is important enough and necessary enough that the
social contract is justified. In the case of social security, my
property rights are being violated for what? What right is being
protected?? The right to not save? The right to be poor? The right to
live? Ah that last one sounds good, and this may help people to live. So
may charities, voluntary charities. So perhaps it fails the necessary
test. Hmm. This is what I want to see done with ALL laws. Put it to the
test. Does it protect a right? Is it necessary? Maybe social security is
necessary, maybe people aren't charitable in this day and age. So argue
that. Don't say "government is compromise, so you have to like the laws
I'm proposing."

> 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.

I appluad the flexible nature of the constitution. There have been many
great amendments since it was conceived. I dare say all the ammendments
are great. What we have now is complete and utter disregard for the
constition entirely. Nobody even bothers to make an ammendment anymore.
The just throw it out the window and pass laws willy nilly that fly in
the face of the constitution.

> 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.

Wonderful argument: government is corrupt, so we must let it be corrupt.
I love this country. I love our just laws and our constitution. I am
deeply grateful that it has been so incredibly resistant. All the more
reason I want to protect it so it is _still_ resilient and holding forth
for my grandchildren.

Yes, government is corrupt. All the more reason to insist on said litmus
test before supporting ANY law, bill, or other government action.

Von Fugal
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