Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

“The Good Ol’ Days”

Originally posted on July 26, 2015

I have an acquaintance with an obviously conservative political inclination: She wrote: “It seems that no one wants responsibility anymore. I remember my proud, independent mother whose greatest fear was that some governmental institution might try to step in and interfere with the raising of her four girls.” Then she wrote, “We should all rise up and dump the tea into the harbor. Kick out everyone in Washington and start all over."

Now the problem is that 88.3% of the people who would “rise up” would claim they would be honest, but in fact might well be even more crooked than the last group! They’ll cross their heart and swear they won’t be but the task itself requires many, many compromises. It’s very, very,  complicated and the folks that will promise to do it right are the very folks who will steal us blind! I don’t know of any way of ensuring politician’s honesty. Rather, I know that there are those who, faced with the complexity, (1) claim it’s simple and that they’ll address the problem; (2) they lie, they don’t have any idea how to fix things; (3) they feed off the public trough for as long as they can get away with it; (4) do as little as possible, for as long as they can get away with it, and (5) no one catches on until they’ve filled their pockets. (They may even be sincere: Relatively stupid people can sincerely not know they’re not up to the political game until they’re in it—the game!)

As for those who might not agree that you can run a government with zero taxes, the question really is who gets taxed and who doesn’t. And the folks with the most money hire the cleverest lawyers that make seemingly plausible arguments why they shouldn’t be taxed. In sum, the email of my acquaintance above reminds me that many people yearn for a time that in fact for many was terrible, tumultuous, horribly prejudiced, violent, and so forth. Only for a few was it a time to remember as “the good old days.”

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