So, I'm reading this article today and it's pretty anti-Obama, but that's not really the part I want to blog about. Let's focus on this segment:
In reality, of course, all of these choices are hard choices. Do we choose the warm feeling of a low-growth, government-managed economy over the dynamism and creativity of capitalism? Do we choose to destroy potential human beings in order to potentially save human beings? Do we stop law enforcement measures to preserve civil liberties or do we fight the threat of terrorism with every tool at our disposal? Do we choose green living over the continued expansion of our economy?I do agree with Obama that fundamentally 99% of all Americans want the same thing. Heck, 99.9% of all the world wants the same thing. What is that thing? It's a combination of peace, love, prosperity, fairness, spirituality and a host of other abstract concepts all rolled into one. A small group of people aspire to murder, pillage, and destroy; and I believe that even most of those people are doing so because they want to think it will bring about the aforementioned goals of peace, love, prosperity....
I try not to see the political spectrum in a 2-D linear fashion so much as in a 3-D (or even mind-blowing 4-D or 5-D!!) dynamic fashion. At the core of this dynamic structure is that amalgamation of abstraction (peace, love, prosperity...). All progressives occupy the same latitudinal line in this symbiotic structure. All conservatives occupy their own same latitudinal line as well; all libertarians occupy their own latitudinal line; all fascists/fundamentalists, etc. occupy their own distinct lines. I call this latitudinal line, the 'classifiable latitudinal line' (i.e. the 'class' of basic ideology to which they ascribe). Next, each individual fits somewhere upon that 'classification latitudinal line' depending upon the extent to which they believe in that particular credo. In my opinion, almost everyone in the world fits somewhere amidst this structure, all equidistant from the core goals at the middle. I try to avoid 'left-wing'-'right wing' dichotomies. Too limiting.
Ok, enough abstraction and back to the selected quote from above. Some Americans have priors that lead them to believe that universal healthcare for all is an unalienable right metaphorically guaranteed by the Constitution. Others believe that the right to bear arms means you have the right to carry a bazooka in the trunk of your Toyota Tacoma. As Americans, we are at a time crucial to the path of our nation. Do we want the "warm feeling of a low-growth, government-managed economy" or do we prefer the "dynamism and creativity of capitalism"? I think the former is flawed and here is why: it discredits possibility. Read Julian Simon's "The Ultimate Resource". Humans are ingenious. If there is a problem, humans will fix it. The majority of that fixing takes place in America because it has an environment friendly to fixing.
Obama wants GM to produce energy efficient cars, but the reason GM hasn't produced them yet is because today's technology isn't sufficient to justify the costs of production. Granted, GM had (has?) lots of other problems, but the fact that NOBODY is successfully marketing the utopian "energy efficient" car is a sign that it's not feasible yet. Do we have the technology? Yes, in a way. If you sat a bunch of scientists down in a room and told them to make a battery-run car that can clear 80 MPH and needs only 2 hours to charge fully, I'll bet the scientists and engineers could find a solution. Scientifically it's possible, but economically? No. Lesson One in Economics: Life is about trade-offs. This battery could be produced but one of these batteries would cost millions. And who's going to buy a million dollar car? Believe me, companies and entrepreneurs and people tinkering in their garages are trying to solve this problem. And when they do find a solution, they will be handsomely rewarded. Remember when John McCain idiotically campaigned on the notion to offer a government prize/reward to anyone who can create a battery that fits a certain qualification? The free market would do that anyways Johnny!!!! And that prize would be a lot more than a measly million bucks (or whatever the number was).
Anyways, that's why I'm pro-growth/dynamism/creativity of capitalism. No other system we have encountered has allowed prosperity to multiply so. Despite all the attacks upon capitalism, and all the regulatory misshaping of capitalism, it still thrives. Capitalism is persistent, it is resilient, and it is the best way to help solve the problems of energy efficiency and healthcare and whatever else it is you care about. Most importantly, in my opinion, it is the best way to reach that abstract nucleus that I mentioned earlier.