Thursday, August 18, 2011

Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day, throw him into a tank full of sharks, and...well, at least he won't be hungry anymore

Cerberus, a blogger whose eloquent comments/rants on Sadly, No! have really been hitting the mark lately, offers up this brilliantly argued post about the economic issues we have been dealing with lately. We are getting a lot of arguments now about how helping out those in need somehow weakens them or saps their initiative, and what the unemployed really need is some good old tough love. She demolishes this rhetoric beautifully here:
Are people more motivated by fear than other methods to search for work?

Well, no, not really. We can look to countless psychological reports that fear actually shuts down the ability of the brain to think at its peak ability. Furthermore, fear and dire potential consequences often induce strong boats of depression and despair and as anyone who has suffered depression can tell you, depression means immensely lowered energy reserves, longer sleep schedules, and so on. This means less time available and less energy available to send out applications and continue job searches. Add this with businesses’ desire to hire happy workers and the fact that job searching is an emotionally tumultuous and unpleasant activity and one can see that making it even more harrowing and difficult is about the same level of good idea as beating an abuse victim to try and stop them from flashing back...
Oh, but isn't it harmful to the economy to prop up these lazy slackers? Isn't it detrimental to our strength as a society to disregard the wisdom of the Invisible Hand?
Countries like Denmark, Sweden, and Norway were able to much easily ride out the global economic collapse than countries with less robust safety nets. Scandinavia in general has one of the highest rates of entrepreneurship and has actual class mobility, where the ability to form a start-up and succeed is much easier than in the states...Shockingly, seeing as how most new business ventures do fail, having that not mean potential death encourages people to take a risk and be innovative. Robust welfare systems instead of breeding cultures of waste and laziness show the highest rates of innovation and some of the robuster economies in the world.
I really hope she doesn't mind me quoting her so heavily, as you should really read the whole thing, but just one more paragraph:
These are people’s lives, who are being asked to die, who are suffering until eventual bankruptcy and death, because a bunch of sociopaths think that a lack of a safety net will make people search harder for non-existent jobs.
It takes a lot of inner strength to combat this kind of psychological and economic spiral in any circumstance. It takes a lot of gall to promote policies that spread this kind of misery to more of our citizens, while continuing to tell them it's for their own good. Something's got to give here, and if the Democrats aren't up to the task of addressing this because the debt is suddenly more important now than it was ten years ago, we'd better brace ourselves for some real turbulence that will make the Tea Party look like the elite poseurs they really are. And maybe that's what it's going to take.

As the Granite Countertops put it:
Something beyond all this
Something no one can predict
It's an earthquake from below
Going which way we don't know.
Listen to "Crashing Into The Future" here.


Substance McGravitas said...

There just isn't a job market in a meaningful sense when leaving yours means no health care. It's a giant company store.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

It's all part of the divide and conquer strategy that has worked so well for millennia. Try to explain that a national health care system would allow for greater freedom and mobility, and the 'baggers just scream "Socialism!"