Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Back in 2010, during the debate over Obamacare, then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi did an interview on MSNBC pushing the bill (and demonizing its opponents).  In that interview, she said this:
Think of an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance or that people could start a business and be entrepreneurial and take risk, but not job loss because of a child with asthma or someone in the family is bipolar—you name it, any condition—is job locking.
The concept is that we should go beyond being a Nation that merely takes care of its disadvantaged Citizens by providing relief during periods of transition from unemployment or poverty to employment and a place in the Middle Class to one that allows its Citizens to pursue their hearts desire unencumbered by the need for employment that ultimatley benefits someone else. 

I can see the appeal of that.  I am a fairly talented Draftsman, but my craft has been taken over by technology and I am no longer able to get the creative satisfaction out of it that I did when I was pushing lead around on a blank sheet of paper.  I've recently taken up Thread Injecting (sewing for those of you unfamiliar with the terminology) camping gear and equipment and have a number of ideas that I, at least, think are marketable but am hampered from dedicating the time required to enhance my skills to the point where the quality of my work would be sufficient to provide a quality custom made product that the buyer would feel was well made.  As it is, I can spend a maximum of about ten hours per week in trying to get a straight line of stitching.  If I could dedicate thirty to forty hours a week in practice, and spend my weekends in the woods testing products and concepts, I might be able to achieve that goal.  It is therefore tempting for me to endorse an economy and a system of government that would allow me to do so.

But I won't.

That's because I am able to see the unintended consequences of such a society, and unselfish enough not to wish them on my fellow man.

The ideal, of course, is that people unencumbered by the need for employment would pursue art, or poetry, or crafts, or spirituality, or gardening, or making camping gear, or a host of other laudable goals and pursuits.  The reality is that in allowing people the ability to do those things, you also allow those with less laudable goals to pursue them.  Drug dealers have more time to devote to selling drugs, for instance, and drug users can spend more time getting high---whether they have children to provide for or not.  Child molesters can spend more time in the neighborhood. Alcoholics can stay drunk all day. Burglars can visit homes when the owners are at work.

And here is another example of what some people can do with their time if the State provides for most of their human needs, and how it continues in the aftermath.

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