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When Right-Wing Blather Killed

World  (tags: 'CIVILLIBERTIES!', 'HUMANRIGHTS!', blog, conflict, economy, ethics, freedoms, government, Ireland, politics, society )

- 2423 days ago -
Irish Catholics peddling nonsense about "dependency on government" need to read a new history of the Great Famine


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Kit B (276)
Tuesday November 27, 2012, 9:38 am

Yes, it is a bit long, but I urge you to read this and think about what it means.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday November 27, 2012, 4:04 pm
Thank you.

Robert O (12)
Tuesday November 27, 2012, 5:44 pm
Thanks Kit.

JL A (281)
Tuesday November 27, 2012, 7:25 pm
"the ancient defense of privilege that when unchallenged has led to tragedies" and many historians say the Holocost happened because of the silence and the absence of challenge whenever it was someone else getting hurt until no one was grieves me that America is coming to this instead of being the beacon of hope it once was represented by Lady Liberty as the ships arrived in New York.

Stephen Brian (23)
Wednesday November 28, 2012, 12:13 am
I have read the article and the parallels are very worrisome:

What happens when the U.S. national debt and deficit grow so large that the treasury bonds cannot be rotated? When buyers for new bonds, needed to pay for old bonds as they mature, cannot be found? This happened to Spain recently and other European states bailed it out, but there is nobody big enough to bail out the U.S. Without such a bailout, the U.S. government would not be able to pay for any of its programs. People talk about the upcoming deadline as "the fiscal cliff", but this is the real one. I used to think of it as a fairly distant threat, growing ever day but still far away, but a natural disaster like the potato-famine could very quickly leave the U.S. government scrambling for more money than it can put together. People have suggested annual quantitative easing, but that would destroy the imports upon which the U.S. economy depends by dramatically reducing the price of the dollar (with the drop hastened by the migration of the wealth of the rich to other currencies). I don't want to see a natural disaster bankrupt the U.S. government, leaving people on their own when they need help the most like the Irish during the famine. The U.K. government apparently abandoned the Irish voluntarily, but the result in the two cases could easily be the same.

The potato-famine demonstrates the danger of a point-failure source, in that case the health o the potatoes. I am very uncomfortable with so many people depending upon the primary human point-failure source, the government. The government is the only entity which can both screw things up on the scale of the entire economy and prevent other agencies from picking up the slack. It is an extraordinarily dangerous process, and painful even if successful, but dependence on government must be broken. Unfortunately, that cannot occur as long as welfare is used as a means to abuse tax-dollars to purchase the votes of the poor, rather than as a way to help people and mitigate the risks involved in behaviour needed to maximize economic growth.

Regarding the potato-famine itself: There are modern parallels to the government-policy. Foreign aid and charity-work in developing countries is limited by the need not to undermine the local economy. Donated food and clothing, with zero per-unit production-costs, can be sold much cheaper than anything locally produced and drive local producers out of business. This has happened repeatedly, leaving the aid-recipients almost as poor as they were before they received the aid, and a whole lot poorer when the aid was reduced. It's brutal, but there is such thing as excessive charity. Over a century-and-a-half ago, modern experience with such false economies and encouragement of economic growth had not developed, so it is entirely possible that the government that took power and cut off the aid genuinely believed it was doing the right thing. True evil is extremely rare. Callousness is not, but even that is far from the most dangerous cause of damage. The conscience of those who have committed themselves to doing the right thing, but do not know what it is whether due to a lack of wisdom or available information, is far more dangerous than either. This, I think, is what cut off the aid.

Louise D (44)
Wednesday November 28, 2012, 4:19 am
It is increasingly common amongst Conservatives to use 19th Century arguments about the poor. When they bandy the phrase of the deserving poor and then for them castigate people on food stamps as being lazy. Shows the callous nature of Conservatives as they show signs of regressing into a baser political agenda. Still, given that there were comments that were more in line with the 13th Century flying around during the Presidential election this may actually be progress in some quarters.

Dorothy N (63)
Wednesday November 28, 2012, 6:20 am
Thank you so much for this interesting posting.

One has to wonder if, in any age, the proponents of these arguments actually believed them, or if this was simply considered - by them - to be an acceptable excuse for at best callous and greedy behaviours...

Kathleen B (37)
Wednesday November 28, 2012, 8:56 am
Most people now acknowledge that yes, the potato crop failed because of blight, but there never was a famine. During the time that people starved to death, the whole period, Ireland exported tons of food routinely to Britain.
At the same time 'absentee landlords' started evicting their serfs, that farmed the land share crop style. The Irish' huts were made of thatch and they just pulled the huts down around them, and chased them away, saying they were trespassing on land that they'd worked for many generations.

One of the cruelest ploys of the British to cull the Irish population, and those who could, emigrated in coffin ships to either US/Canada or Austrailia.

Stephen Brian (23)
Wednesday November 28, 2012, 10:41 am
Hi Louise,

The conservative argument promoting a return to policies from the 19th century and the first half of the 20th is that welfare programs and others have not actually progressed since then. They have changed, but primarily either by implementing incorrect social theories, by getting turned into tools of partisan politics, or by trying out ideas which seemed good on paper but just did not work. I could point to both cases of genuine progress and specific examples of each of those forms of non-progress. "Newer" does not always mean "better", so sometimes backwards is the way to go.

Phil P (94)
Wednesday November 28, 2012, 12:56 pm
They want to roll back time, OK. These 2 creeps along with Limbaugh and some bible thumping charlatans need to be run on of town on rails after being tarred and feathered.

Kathlene Lentz (30)
Wednesday November 28, 2012, 6:43 pm
The right need to look more closely at themselves if they really want to see the ''takers" of this country. They grab with both hands onto whatever they can get, stuff it into every available pocket and then run as fast as possible to their off-shore tax shelters so that they won't have to pay taxes to the country that made them rich. They are the lowest of the low. And they are PROUD OF THEIR GREED!

David C (29)
Thursday November 29, 2012, 1:53 am
Thank you for this interesting posting

Madeleine watt (243)
Thursday November 29, 2012, 4:29 am
Interesting piece. Thanks

David Johnson (13)
Thursday November 29, 2012, 6:35 am
Thanks Kit. An eye opening article.

Mary Donnelly (47)
Thursday November 29, 2012, 12:52 pm
Thanks Kit.

Susan E (7)
Thursday November 29, 2012, 1:37 pm
Thank you for posting this. A very interesting and thought provoking article.

Ray M (0)
Thursday November 29, 2012, 9:04 pm
The right-wing hate machine couldn't care less about famished people here or around the world. They're ruthless, greedy hypocrites and certainly not the Christians they proclaim to be.
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