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July 19, 2012


Ron Bachman

Great post using the scenario planning tool for structured enlightenment. The overriding decision IMHO is do we want to create a dependency society or a productive opportunity society. By turning the safety net into a hammock, we implement an unintended equivalent marginal tax rate on a $30,000 income of roughly 30 percent or more as they lose their government provided health insurance, housing allowance, food stamps, welfare, free cell phone, and other public and charity assistance.

A families standard of living should be related to ones ability to produce goods and services others want to buy. We can't be compassionate and help the truly needy when we create loafers!


`from "safety net to hammock"! I love it. You should be a spin doctor Bo


I see evidence of government programs creating unintended dependence by bypassing the inner mechanisms that teach us all to look after ourselves. However a moderated view point is most helpful.

Humans are resource exploiters. It is the very definition of our species. We will exploit our own species to its detriment...or not depending on how survival based your philosophy. Point is everyone does it, the rich, the middle and the poor. Government is by definition the moderation of this instinct.

America is an interesting study because of its social complexity under a relatively simple governing premise.

I don't have a problem with dams or interstates, but I do take issue with poor public education and sub-optimal health care....both of which seem like systemic issues not resource issues. Arguing whether this is philosophically a government issue or not seems counter productive. Usually people agree on the desired results...once you exclude or marginalize the ones acting out of selfperservation...solutions will be forthcoming. There is no evidence that supports that 100% or 0% government involvement produces 100% or 0% satisfactory results...so why we have to constantly debate this is beyond me. In fact I think it gets in the way of real solutions...over and over and over again.

The Die Hard Fence Sitter.


Andy, thanks for the thoughtful comments. I wholeheartedly agree with your main points; though I have a slightly different slant on several. Indeed, referenced in this same post was a reference to a previous post on human instincts [See Primal Scream] wherein IMHO what we all care most about is the survival of the species; thus, endangering the next generation with our own profligacy should disgust enough voters enough to turn out an Administration that seems oblivious to effects piling $Trillions of new debt onto the old. I would also point to the overall framing, of this post's core question, in terms of its relevance to the status-quo: i.e., the issue isn't 100% vs 0% [government] it's more like should we continue to divert nearly 30% of GDP to the Federal gov't or return to historical norms [about 18%]?

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