When “compassion” is the enemy

This is a theme I think about often: what is the place of compassion, mercy and generosity in the public realm. I will come back to it again and again over the coming months as the idea of compassion is used as a weapon to bludgeon sound thinking when it comes to public policy.

Since the president is the one who loves to sophomorically point out out all the false choices out there let’s talk about his own: you’re either for Obamacare or else you want poor people to live lives which are nasty brutish and short.

The idea of taxation for social welfare is another obvious one: you are either for paying more in taxes to the government or you are an unenlightened selfish bastard who cares only about yourself.

Of course the real debate shouldn’t even be on that planet but if the proponents of bigger government can force you to fight the battle there then they have already won. And all we have left to argue about is just how much control the state should have as opposed to whether it should be in the conversation at all.

That’s about what the 2008 presidential campaign was reduced to once it became clear that McCain was either unwilling or simply unable to debate Obama on ideas and assumptions.

The best thing about this year’s election, with the backdrop of a wheezing US economy and the imminent collapse of Greece and the Eurozone as we know it, is that finally the assumptions and other garbage that the left has spewed for decades is being challenged in a serious and fundamental way.

Of course we don’t know how this election will turn out but if one thing is clear from the vibrant urgency of the national debate it’s that it is not going away any time soon. The fight is on.

On that note there is an outstanding post that Zero Hedge is running this morning from Rex van Schalkwyk of Casey Research that everyone should read, if only to whet our appetites to think more about it. Here’s the conclusion:

If the hypocrisy of the pop stars is nauseating, the grandiloquent but meaningless oratory of the aspirant political “leaders,” of which much will be seen and heard in the coming months, is almost certain to produce results, the very opposite of what is pledged.

Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and others besides have fallen into the trap of bribing their electorates with promises that become ever more unsustainable. In each of these states, expectations have been created that cannot be met and that cannot now be undone. This is surely a recipe for social unrest.

These will not be the only countries to succumb to failure. The national debt, the unaffordable long-term cost of social security, health care and a myriad other entitlements and the mounting evidence of the insolvent state point to the same outcome for the UK and the US. Failure is ensured; the more pressing question is, what happens next?

And the link.

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