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Why are people leaving California, and, who are they?

We did a post recently about the problems of the California pension system.  That prompted a somewhat lively discussion in the comments section about the population of California.  Thanks to those comments, I was reminded of an article I read several months ago that is “exactly on point”, as we lawyers say. Read more

The definition of “progressive”: one progressive’s view

I chanced to read a blog post on the Huffington Daily Brief, titled The real attack on the spirit of Christmas comes from the right wing by Robert Creamer.  Hidden within the falderal about how pro-Christmas the White House and Democrats in general are, a few gems reveal themselves:

Creamer’s definition of of what it means to be a progressive:

I believe that progressive values — love your neighbor and empathy — are our greatest evolutionary treasure.

Progressive values: that we’re all in this together, not all in this alone; unity not division; hope not fear; equality not subjugation; the premise that if each of us is better educated all of us will be wiser; that it is not true that for me to be richer you have to be poorer — but rather that if each of us is more prosperous, all of us will have more opportunity; that our success comes from cooperation and mutual respect. These progressive values are the most precious assets that will give human beings the ability to make it through that gauntlet — and to create a truly democratic society.

Let’s dissect that in terms of recent history, shall we?

“that we’re all in this together, not all in this alone; unity not division;”  i.e. “it takes a village”, the individual is worthless, and what they really push, “unity through diversity”, which is practically oxymoronic.  Free will and personal responsibility doesn’t work, according to them.  The individual is nothing without the state, according to their failed mantra.

“equality not subjugation;” In reality, this translates to “equality through subjugation”, the subjugation of an overbearing government, backbreaking loads of regulations, micromanagement by those that have no practical experience in much other than being petty bureaucrats;

“the premise that if each of us is better educated all of us will be wiser;”  I think the relative performance of our liberal dominated educational system compared to China, India etc. is evidence that this premise falls on its face with liberal feel good programs that promote self esteem over competition, never allowing students to fail or be held back, useless majors in college, like “women’s studies”.  In the world marketplace, our self congratulating, self esteem filled students will be crushed.  They are already if you look a the nation’s graduate schools.

“that it is not true that for me to be richer you have to be poorer — but rather that if each of us is more prosperous, all of us will have more opportunity;”  Democrats don’t believe that for a New York minute.  For the “poor” to be “richer”, they believe it is necessary for the government to punish the rich through increasingly “progressive” (read it: unfair) tax policy, not that a good work ethic is the true path to prosperity.  Throwing money at people doesn’t increase opportunity; it just makes people demand more money be thrown at them.

“that our success comes from cooperation and mutual respect.”  More diversity bull feces.  The country’s success came from competition, both internally and internationally.  Oppressive corporate taxes, acts of random stupidity by EPA czars and smothering union contracts are what drove companies offshore.

Naturally, Creamer wouldn’t miss an opportunity to take a potshot at conservatives:

That is just one more reason why at this time of year, we should celebrate these values — the true spirit of Christmas — and defend them from those who want to take society back to a time of social Darwinism, to the law of the jungle, to “survival of the fittest.” Because the fact of the matter is that in the future, if we govern our society by the precepts of selfishness and the survival of only the fittest, we may find that human society is not fit enough to survive at all.

In a typical reductio ad absurdum attack, Creamer equates capitalist competition with the law of the jungle, i.e. “eat or be eaten” and selfishness.   It is not “love yourself above all” as Creamer asserts.  What capitalist doesn’t rely on the prosperity of his clientele?   Competition doesn’t kill people, figuratively or literally; it encourages production of the best services, the best ideas, the least expensive products.  Socialistic, top down, central planning is a historical failure, even though they refuse to recognize that fact.  Compare the U.S. with the former U.S.S.R. at the height of the Cold War: the U.S. was the land of plenty, while the U.S.S.R. was the land of shortages.  The U.S.S.R. had to build walls to keep people in; we are seriously overdue in building walls to keep people out.  In terms of successful societies, “progressive” is regressive and results in failed economies like Greece.

As an aside, Creamer also makes this comparison:

“Though the ethical principle of universally loving your neighbor has only come to dominate moral understandings of human interaction for a few thousand years, it is also deeply rooted in our evolutionary forebears. It has emerged in our evolutionary history because it is a selective trait. Loving your neighbor — empathy — helps species survive and flourish.

In fact a recent study of rat behavior by University of Chicago scientists Inbal Ben-Ami Bartal, Jean Decety, and Peggy Mason published in the journal Science shows that rats exhibit empathy toward each other, even when they receive no reward.”

I don’t know why Creamer thinks that rat behavior is applicable to human behavior, or even explicable in terms of rat behavior, but, all DemocRAT jokes aside, comparing your philosophy to that of rats is not a winning strategy.

So Merry Christmas everyone, and a happy, prosperous, capitalist New Year!