Tuesday, February 15, 2005


I am struck by something which seems at least clear to me. In recent days the dems have struggled with the notion of why they lost the 2004 election - they have begun to think it is something about values. They have trotted out a couple of people who suggest that it is about values and that the value of charity - of shared nature of society - is something that they should be strong on. Unfortunately much of the rhetoric I see them advancing relates to shared but governmental values. Government becomes the facilitator of and transmitter of charity - there is very little recognition of allowing individuals to keep the fruits of their labors or to stand for their own responsibility. That is, of course, a stylized view of the world of course there are dems who do not fall into that trap - but in my mind no less compelling.

Bush's agenda includes a lot of government taking care of problems (more than I would consider appropriate) but also a lot of encouraging individual responsibility (not in Medicare) - the themes in a lot of areas(Social Security) seem to more clearly offer the positive prospect of individual's control over their own lives - as in line with the previous post about trends of authority. They also offer the potential of changing the argument - Social Security may not be a discussion of the third rail but of ownership. If it becomes that (and a lot of the media are trying to steer away from that) Bush wins.

Hayek said that economic man is always striving - becoming - a mass of wishes and aspirations. The dems definition of charity seems to ignore that simple concept.

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