Tuesday, August 9, 2011

FACEBOOK NEWS FEED GUILT TRIPS AND THE GOVERNMENT-AS-SOLUTION MENTALITY


If you have a Facebook account, you’ve probably seen in your News Feed some friends of yours occasionally posting status updates such as “Most people won’t copy-paste this, but I just did to show my support for [insert cause here]. Will you do the same?”

You yourself might have posted such a thing. But do you think it would be fair to begrudge those who DON’T copy-paste these messages? To judge them as uncaring, or even antagonistic to whatever cause is dear to another’s heart? Would such statuses be accurate determinants of one’s level of commitment towards something?


HATING GOVERNMENT IS NOT ‘ANTI-POOR’

I bring this up not as a rant against such a practice, with which I don’t have a problem, but to compare this to people’s attitudes towards those who oppose certain government programs such as the proposed universal health care, or the conditional cash transfer, or ‘reproductive health.’ I for one am against all things government, but does this make me against the notion of ‘sharing the wealth’? I don’t think so.

There are so many ways to help the poor, and the most effective ones are not obviously the most effective ones, in that they may not have the same emotional hook as the “Look at me I’m Mother Teresa” approach. To me, creating employment opportunities is the greatest and most sustainable ‘charity’ there is, regardless of the ‘selfish’ intentions of businessmen.


MY COPY-PASTE MESSAGE TO STATISTS

If I were to turn the tables on statists, I might post a message like this:
“If you really cared about the plight of the poor, you would have made an effort to understand better the principles of economics, so as not to fall for the bad arguments and prescriptions by the politically privileged. You would have seen that the creation of wealth stems primarily from the free flow of capital, according to the valuations of respective property owners, unimpeded by taxes and state regulations. It is in a free market ― which doesn’t exist today ― that employment is created in accordance with the preferences of consumers, i.e. the laborers themselves, and value is maximized.”


NOYNOY’S ‘WANG-WANG’ WELFARE

Unknown to President Noynoy Aquino, a.k.a. Noynoy! Noynoy! Noynoy!, he is brandishing a ‘wang-wang’ of his own. With regards to administration programs, he is implicitly saying, “The private sector is unable to create and spread wealth; only we in the government are capable of that, with maybe a public-private partnership here and there. Only we know what the poor need, and only we are kind enough to help them.”

Is this not the same arrogance as any congressman who ever used a siren to breeze through traffic, with the attitude of “Only I, and a select few, have the right to use the road in this way...”?


FINAL REMARK

If you’ve always taken for granted that it is through government that the poor are to be helped, you might want to rethink your premise.

2 comments:

fendy said...

Yeah nice post,sorry i take ur pict for my blog :)

RChavez said...

Being anti-government in Philippine context is commonly associated with communism. The message of libertarians is virtually unheard by the public. As for me, I do not want to be branded as anti-government. I prefer the distinction between limited government and big government.