Voting Time

The political problem of mankind is to combine three things: economic efficiency, social justice and individual liberty.                                   –        J. M. Keynes

I posted this, and my wise uncle responded:

Robert Chaffin

Interesting dilemna. One thing I like to consider is the person’s disposition regarding entitlements. Governments, leader, and want-a-be leaders will promote a grievous position then sell people on their “rights” or “entitlements”. This is a political play, and an effective play. It gives people an explanation of their misfortunes and people love to have their misfortunes explained away. The brevity of this e-mail doesn’t give me the time to fully express this political/social exercise but it has played out throughout history; governments to union halls.A sense of entitlement is rooted in the disposition of the most to the least affluent. It is not a class thing. Entitlement dispositions run the gamut of socioeconomic classes.All political parties will sell you on entitlements, i.e. they promote your misfortunes, then sell you on entitlements at the expense of others. I favor the person or party that does the poorest job at selling what is not theirs. I also favor the person/party that commits itself to teaching it constituency to fish rather than taking fish from others and giving it to those who refuse to fish.
An entitlement disposition is a good political sell; it can win votes and can be a short term resolution to complex problems. However, in the long run everyone looses. I don’t know of a vibrant socialistic state.
My further ponderings:
Wholeheartedly, I believe that an attitude of entitlement hurts:  relationships, society at large, and ultimately the individual.  I also think that inherent in any policy will be the preferences and values of any society. While entitlement does not leave room for creative option finding for one’s problems, for societies’ ills, a sense of cooperation and shared responsibility can do more for society than any one individual could achieve. Working together for parks, education, policing, fire fighting are largely assumed (maybe entitled?) services that Western countries have agreed to work together.  How do we evaluate if we should cooperate on other endeavors?  How do we step back from providing services?
  • economic efficiency – Obviously the least amount of government is the most economically efficient, but then in the long run cobbled together services may end up costing more, be less efficient, and only offered to certain people.
  • social justice– Since policies have an inherent bias or preference in them, how do we make sure that those in power, particularly economic power, don’t shape policies that only benefit themselves?  Warren Buffet penned a fascinating letter:
  • individual liberty– ultimately liberty is where entitlement is most revealed.  If society at large will not cooperate for what I believe are important goals, then am I willing to go after them with my all?  Or do I sit back, gripe, and wait for someone to bring what I want to me?  Freedom to think and act divergently grants equal opportunity to change space, even when injustices abound.
He has shown you, o Man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you, but to
      act justly, and
              to love mercy, and
                        to walk humbly with your God.     Micah 6:8
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