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  An American Manifesto
Monday December 22, 2014 
by Christopher Chantrill Follow chrischantrill on Twitter

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Roberts Hands a Poisoned Chalice to the President The Folly of Obama's Politics

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Injustice, American Style

by Christopher Chantrill
July 10, 2012 at 6:00 pm

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DON’T bet on ObamaCare, writes the excellent Jay Cost. It’s not going to turn into a political winner like Social Security and Medicare.

Because Social Security and Medicare do not discriminate between citizens, there has yet been no political coalition powerful enough to alter them. Everybody expects to benefit from them, so it has been impossible to implement even common-sense reforms.

But ObamaCare is different.

Obamacare has no such insulation from reformers because it discriminates between classes of citizens. Indeed, Democrats played all kinds of favorites[.]

Some people do better from ObamaCare, and some do worse, writes Cost.

But the bigger problem is the middle class already has health insurance. Most people will do worse under ObamaCare.

That’s the trouble with universal government programs. You start out with a simple concept, like universal health insurance, and you end up screwing the majority to serve the favored few. Some people get a special deal because they are helpless victims, others because they are powerful special interests. Pretty soon everyone is gaming the system.

You end up with injustice. It’s nobody’s fault; not really.

Justice requires that equal people be treated the same and different people differently, yet no government bureaucracy has the bandwidth to cater to all the different needs. Fortunately ruling elites have developed a solution to this problem. They tell us rubes over and over that their simplification and centralization schemes are just wonderful, and that the problems could be solved if only the rich paid their fair share. But eventually people start wandering off and discovering nasty things under the rocks.

Let’s look under a couple of rocks, just for practice. How are things with the young? The ruling class says that it does wonders for the young, protecting them with child labor laws, giving them free education, dosing them with subsidized student loans, forcing insurance companies to keep children on their parents’ health insurance until age 26. But then, the ruling class would say that, because it is seeing like a state.

We know better. We know that many children, especially the children of the poor, suffer because of child labor laws and compulsory education. If poor kids could legally quit school at 13 and start work, then maybe fewer would join the only other game in town: gangs. Then there are student loans. They have buried today’s generation of students in an ocean of debt while colleges rack their fees into the stratosphere. And the young still can’t get jobs.

What about the workers? The ruling class is immensely proud of all the social gains it has legislated for workers. Pensions, Medicare, unemployment, workmen’s comp, disability. Imagine what would happen if all that were taken away! But think of this. Why force young people to save for retirement? They should be saving for a down-payment on a starter home. Unemployment? How about moving back with Mom and Dad? Disability? Did you know that there are people holding pilot’s licenses that are also collecting SSDI? When you are seeing like a state, you end up crushing millions of different working people into identical worker bees, never mind what is best for each individual.

What about the poor? The ruling class has created a safety net for the poor, so now the poor get relief as of right rather than from the fickle charity of the rich. But the result is less a safety net than a spider’s web that traps the poor in life-long dependency. In Charles Murray’s underclass Fishtown the family has broken down: the women become single parents and the men drop out of the workforce. Where is the justice in that?

We are not talking about egregious injustice here, the kind demands immediate redress. We are just talking about a social and cultural dumbing down that grinds everyone into identical cogs to make things easy for the political bureaucratic machine. The state wants us--students, workers, and poor--to just follow orders and mold ourselves into the identity that the ruling elite has defined for us. It’s nothing personal, of course. It’s just that the state needs to keep things simple so that it can tax us, regiment us, and control us.

After the revolution people often look back and wonder how the ancien régime could have been so out of touch, how it could have allowed injustices to fester and metastasize until it was too late. But people read The New York Times and listen to NPR for a daily reminder that everything is copacetic in LiberalLand. Nobody wants to be told that they have sold America into cruelty and injustice.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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 TAGS


What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican


Racial Discrimination

[T]he way “to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,” Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District


Liberal Coercion

[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State


Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050


Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.


Churches

[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


Sacrifice

[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values


Pentecostalism

Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization


Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph


Moral Imperatives of Modern Culture

These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self


Drang nach Osten

There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion


Government Expenditure

The Union publishes an exact return of the amount of its taxes; I can get copies of the budgets of the four and twenty component states; but who can tell me what the citizens spend in the administration of county and township?
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America


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©2012 Christopher Chantrill