I’ve been poor lately. While actually lacking money provides no cognitive dissonance to my conservative political beliefs, the act of actually taking money from the government does. Which I’ve been doing in some sense by collecting unemployment, although some of that comes directly from the company I’m no longer with, and with all due respect, screw them.
I’ve known people who consider that assistance to be legitimate income, as in going out to deal with the mountain of paperwork and waiting counts as gainful work. Believe me if you’ve never had to apply for government money, that there are odious amounts of paperwork and waiting to be seen in ugly rooms, but all that awful produces nothing of value, you have the effects of having worked with no non-monetary benefits. It’s a horrible condition of life, spending a day inactive for a handout. I’m currently blogging, of course, so the externalities are very positive…
I just might go into a temp agency here soon. Making less money to toil is unappealing, but going stir crazy isn’t helpful either.
The urge to get by and survive is innate, of course, and one of few that the government does anything about. And it still does it badly. It occurs to me that “market principles,” as quoted by non-economists, is just recognizing human motivations that aren’t going to be stopped by government wishing it so. At least that’s what we mock government mismanagement for. As in, “Of course people are going to move to the edges of your Growth Management Act, people always want to live on the outskirts of “town” and you just defined town again, with easily accessible maps online. Stupid government workers.”
On the other hand, some economics I hear touted as conservative are based on smaller thoughts than respecting human psychology and presenting a policy that reflects nuanced motivations. I argue that what you need in an elected official is the ability to have an idea, the ability to tell others what your thought was, and the ability to listen to their thoughts. We can do worse, and often we are doing worse. I think some conservatives just march to the drum, they listened to someone else’s thought, but aren’t really putting it all together. Some liberals, you’ll be heartened to know, do the same thing. But this is for the righties, run your idea on an issue under the faucet of people’s real reactions on both sides of the issue, and see if any mud comes off.
Happy thinking! I jammed this out this morning, so please comment if you have any questions or hate me now.