Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Scourge of Society

The people who anger me more than anything politically are not the "polar opposites", the left-wing.

As long as they are well-informed in their opinion, it is completely fine with me. If one is to believe in completely free health care with an argument such as: "I believe in free health because it redistributes wealth. I believe in redistribution of wealth, because this should reduce inequality and to me, that is very important." I don't agree with that statement, but it's not a case of "right" or "wrong" - it is values. Too many political discussions go down in a flame of "OMG I don't agree with you, therefore, You = Retarded." Core values can't be changed by debate, we should accept that.

What infuriates me the most are the "ignorant-wing". They're the people that turn elections into a discussion of values to a bribefest. They actually believe they can get a free lunch. Say what you want about for example, the minimum wage, but you can't deny that it will never have any negative effects (you may argue that the positives outweigh it, but that's a different discussion). Or what if we implemented more user-pays? The right and left may agree/disagree with them on ideological grounds, and I have no problem with that. But the ignorant-wing? They may complain about it for a totally fallacious reason: that they now have to pay for something that they thought was "free". Nevermind that a subsequent reduction in their tax burden to the value of it may have occured - no, they'll just focus on this new "injustice". I don't see them complaining about the vast majority of other goods and services that are "user-pays" - however, they have taken public goods for granted as "free".

These are the people to aim for in elections. A democratic government is only as aware as its people. If the population is ignorant, the government elected will be ignorant. Unfortunately, politicians have no reason to try to educate the public: why do so? It's easier to just chuck carrots in front of them and cruise to power. However, this occurs at an enormous efficiency cost. So many of our problems could be solvable if the population looked at them rationally. If people would accept that retirement ages must increase with life expectancy for the sake of sustainability, pension reform would be far easier. Sadly, it isn't.

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