Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Battle Resumes

One evening while I was in class I observed the spectacle of two fellow classmates advocating -- and yes, in these explicit terms -- the government taking over the medical industry and the elimination of free markets. I am not accustomed to seeing socialist (or communist, or Marxist, or whatever) positions expressed out in the open, and I prepared to pose some Socratic questions to learn their justifications for these positions, but given the immaturity of one person and the potential hostility of the other I opted to stay out of the conversation and offer no body language (e.g. head shaking) that would incite a response. I am not afraid to support my own convictions in the open, but given how many rude arguments I have gotten into I prefer to be careful with whom I debate.

This situation does, however, light an incentive for me to resume posting on the current health care debate, though I'll be careful to make it an isolated issue rather than focusing on it as if it were the theme of this blog.

The excellent Paul Hsieh of We Stand Firm has written a detailed analysis of a presenter at the health care summit (?) and discusses why the debate must move onto moral grounds.

I forgot which author on NoodleFood stated this, but to paraphrase: Humans are willing to create hell on earth -- if they think it's moral. So long as we dwell on petty economic issues in the health care debate it will always be the man with the sanction of morality that will have the upper hand.

Do Americans truly believe that it is moral for non-medical expert politicians to dictate the actions of professional doctors? for the people who produce in industry to be taxed to pay for all this lest they be fined or imprisoned? for anonymous bureaucrats to decide which Americans can and cannot receive certain treatments? This is where we must direct our thoughts.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Saved? According to Whom?

According to Yahoo! News Obama has been reported as stating the now one-year-old stimulus package saved the economy and has helped avoid a depression.

Absurd. As has been noted before it is logically impossible for the government to stimulate the economy since it cannot create monetary value; only transfer it from here to there. If Obama is correct (and that is extremely dubious given his complete lack of credibility, as noted in Lies Against Reality parts I and II) that his stimulus plan has caused approximately 2 million people to retain their jobs then it is also true that he has caused approximately 2 million people to lose their jobs since the stimulus money is composed entirely of tax money. Obama's efforts are worse than useless.

Regarding Obama's statement that he has helped the U.S. avoid a second depression, I previously noted in Another Successful Reality Evasion Maneuver by Pilot Obama that one is at liberty today to say whether or not America has avoided a depression since the concept is not precisely defined; that is, it has not been given strict standards that give us the precise measurements that would determine when a depression is officially present. As of right now the concept is merely a vague approximation used to describe an economic situation that is more intense than a recession, though exactly how much more intense is what is unknown. For what we know we could be in a depression right now but not really aware of it since our present standard of living does not give away to national suffering so quickly.

Without objective criteria the line between a recession and a depression is very fuzzy.

These claims are without justification from logic or economic principles, and should be immediately dismissed. Let us not forget that the Great Depression lasted for over a decade when it could have died out as a recession in a handful of months, due to all the "stimulating" of the economy done by FDR. How else will Obama choose to "save" the economy during the rest of his term?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Dairy Police

Building upon what I stated about the proposed butter ban, humorous writer Tom Naughton (creator of Fat Head) writes about the various legal absurdities regarding the selling and purchasing of raw milk products.

Again, while such things may make us snicker (which is only exacerbated by Mr. Naughton's writing style) this is a thing we should take seriously: politicians, believing themselves to "know better" than their constituents, far too often go on to force their constituents to adhere to their judgment, or else.

I find this personally upsetting since, thanks to my local politicians, it is made harder for me to maximize my health by the means I judge most appropriate, and whatever means still happen to be available to me are more expensive than they should be. I've come to detest Michigan for both its cultural and culinary atmosphere.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Platonistic Consistency

If you can recall, over at my brother blog Musing Aloud I asked the question as to whether or not the philosophy of Plato might be to blame for politicians going forward with their agenda despite massive public opposition towards them. Myrhaf over at The New Clarion presents us with an excruciatingly insightful post titled The Perks of Power which is a good elaboration and further concretization of the points I mentioned in my own post.

In short, the "hypocrisy" that political commentators love to point out about certain politicians and public officials isn't true hypocrisy; it is entirely consistent with their worldview. By holding the belief that there is a specific individual (revealed by revelation) supernaturally ordained to lead, they believe themselves to be above the dictates of the rules they call for since they're the ones that make the rules. Since revelations aren't valid means of cognition, you end up with the result of multiple public figures believing that they had the revelation that they are the chosen one and therefore above the rules. (Paraphrasing Leonard Peikoff: how does such a person know his revelations are true? He feels it. How does he know his emotions have truth value? He feels it.)

Such "hypocrisy" is going to continue to be a regular occurrence in politics until bad philosophies are uprooted.