Friday, August 3, 2007

Mommy likes small governments

This is a response to a comment left on yesterday's post:

Dear Mr.Zilber,
If you are writing a book and is out in the public domain, it is subject to criticism, both good and bad. This is not a personal attack on you, but a frank opinion of the book. Please don't make it personal. I have never said Jeremy Zilber is bad. I am sure you are a wonderful person. I do have problems with your book though, just as I have problems with other books and movies and newspaper articles. I believe in small governments. I have experienced the inefficacy of large governments and planned economies first hand- I am originally from India- and yes, I do favor smaller governments, less taxation, more private entrepreneurship. I am all for the public good and giving the needy, I just don’t think it’s the government’s job. That’s what charities are for to which good citizens like you and I contribute. Inspecting air and regulating airplanes or insuring private money-those are not for the government either. I am sure private enterprise can handle all that. That's my political view and I am willing to have a sensible debate over it.

I really don’t think it’s the government’s business to subsidize anything, including student loans. I am sure there are plenty of private banks from whom we can borrow, if a need arises to borrow for my son’s student loans. I live in VA, where many, many roads are privately owned and maintained. The fire department in our town is a 100% volunteer company and has the fastest response time in the area. We do make a yearly contribution to this fantastic crew.

This is not a question of pride. It’s a question of morals and ethics. There is a reason why the US has most immigrants. It’s because it is the freest nation. (There is a nice graph here) It takes on the average of 89 days to acquire all permits and licenses to incorporate a company in India. It takes less than 2 days in the US. I would highly recommend this wonderful parable by Fredric Bastiat (if you haven’t already read it). Hopefully, you will see what I see.


Jeremy Zilber said...

I have no problem with criticism, so long as it's accurate. Yours isn't. You said of my book: "It wants to draw a clean line between good and evil, Democrat and Republican." That simply isn't true -- you just made it up. So, if you're going to make an assumption like this, and print it in a public forum, I think it's perfectly reasonable for me to assume that you're trying draw a clean line between "good" people like yourself and "evil" people like me. If you don't like it when strangers make assumptions about your motives, then don't make such assumptions about a stranger's motives.

And please don't pretend that you didn't disparage me. When you say that my book "wants to draw a clean line between good and evil," I assume that you actually mean the book's AUTHOR wants to do this. You don't really believe the book has a mind of its own, do you?

DotMom said...

I am tempte to brush this off as a juevenile rant at best and trolling at worst, but, ok, I'll bite. How do you determine accuracy in a criticism? It's subjective. This is the message I took from the book. There is simply no point in contesting that. Whether the author intended it or nor is largely a part of the the skills which s/he uses in conveying his/her thoughts, making sure no ambuguity is present. You can hardly blame the reader.

Jeremy Zilber said...

It's one thing to read the entire book (which I'm guessing you haven't done) and talk about how it makes you feel. It's quite another to talk about the book's motive ("it WANTS to draw a clean line between good and evil....") Unless you honestly do believe the book has a mind of its own, what it wants to do is what I want it to do. And I'm pretty sure I have a better understanding of my motives than you do.

I wonder how you'd respond if I wrote this on my blog: "I have a problem with Karma Calling on many levels. Too simplistic. Polarized. It wants to draw a clean line between good and evil, DotMom fans and Jeremy Zilber fans." I bet you'd object to that criticism on the same grounds that I'm objecting to yours. You might even show up on my blog to criticize my criticism. And apparently that would make you seem juvenile (at best).

DotMom said...

LOL… if that’s the way you want to see it. When I read a sentence such as “Democrats make sure we are always safe, just like mommy does”, the immediate implied assumptions are either or both of a) Republicans don’t b) Daddies don’t, and since the title of the book relates to democrats, (a) is the automatic choice. If this is not clearly drawing a line between democrats are good because they make sure we are safe, and republicans are bad (ok, maybe evil was a strong word) I don’t know what is. Enough said.

Jeremy Zilber said...

Actually, the title of the book (Why Mommy is a Democrat) relates to mommy's decision to be a Democrat. You've chosen to interpret it as dividing the world into two camps, Democrats and Republicans, because you realize how ridiculous it would sound if you accused me of trying to polarize mommies and daddies. But the book isn't trying to polarize anyone, which is why the only people mentioned in the book are mommy and Democrats.

ggop said...

Mommy likes small governments but here is a fact you can think about

1992-2000 The US went through fantastic economic growth and had a net surplus.

Lets see - War, the government is spending oh maybe a billion dollars a day on it and a huge net deficit.

At this point I'm not even sure if this is a small government..

DotMom said...

...and your point is? I am not sure I understand what you are trying to say. Defence of a country is a government's responsibility. As is Judiciary. I think they should stay the hell out of private enterprise like education and health. It should be a buyer's market. Never a seller's.

ggop said...

My point is the GOP which is allegedly for small government has screwed up this country by diverting funds from education and social programs to this war.

And government should stay out of education and health? Ah you subscribe to the classic libertarian agenda.

Doesn't the stagerring amount of uninsured people not astound you? That the US the leader of the free world has so many people?

And education - would you prefer private enterprise to come in and take away all free schooling options to people? You have a choice now to stick your kid in a private school. Where does that leave families who can't afford to pay?

A look at any private school fees makes it clear that privatising education it will be out of the reach of a lot of people.

DotMom said...

education and social programs can be handled by private enterprise. Lets take schools, for example. The public school system is not working. In districs where the schools are good, the price of housing is very high. If you want to live in an area where housing is affordable, schools are hell-holes. Do you have a choice to send your child to another school if the current school is alloted to you? No. You have to move houses. They are already talking of charter schools and we have a few running here with resoinding success. Another option is school vouchers. As a parent and a consumer I feel stifled by the lack of choice. The amount of money being poured per student staggers me (to the tune of $20K per year per student). You can get much better education for that price in a private school than a public school which really doesn't care if the students do well. Because the schools don't have vested interests in being better. No matter what they do, they will get new students each year. Give peoplr tac breaks and let them decide the school to which to send their kids. I don't want the govt. telling me where to put my kids. Soon it will tell me what to feed them for dinner.

As far as health goes, this country it prolly good if you have a rare cancer, but try scheduling an appointment with a doctor for a strep if you are not a prior patient. The American Medical Association caps the number of doctors that can practice, due to which there is an artificial scarcity. It is also impossible for forign educated doctors to practice. Thanks to the AMA, again. Do I really need a doctor who has studied for 8 years, interend for 3 to diagnore an ear infection and write a prescription or to do see if I have strep or the flu? There are minute clinics opening now -CVS and Walmart come to mind immediately. For $25 you can get a diagnosis and a prescription (if necessary) by a nurse practioner. Compare that to $300 for a regular doctor's office for similar ailment or $210 or so for an emergency room visit. You don't need insurance if it takes $25. Heard about the long lines in Canada and UK where they have govt sponsored health? It took my frien'd mother 6 months to get a pain in her arm checked by a doctor in Canada. The line was that long. Would you like to wait so long if you suspected your kid was suffering from a problem? Hell, no.