Friday, April 03, 2009

Out of office

I'll be away for the next 10 days or so. My goal is to not use the internet, so I probably won't be posting anything, although it's always possible in this horrible age of mobile computing and wireless networking. I'll be working on a major photo project and also going to the Creationism Museum in Kentucky. Just about everyone I know has asked me to get them a post card from the gift shop. I'm really looking forward to it.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Social democracy rules, oligarchy drools

Robert Kagan, one of the most egregious intellectual failures of the 21st centuries, explains why the European social democracies are so superior to the United States oligarchy:

The Germans and French prefer welfare payments to government stimulus spending, for they are part of the passive system of social safety nets on which their citizens have grown so comfortably dependent. The creative destruction of the business-oriented political economies of the Anglo-Americans is too violent and unstable, too brutal and unpredictable. Better to regulate more tightly the international capitalists who can cause havoc through their inventiveness. Better to be less rich than less secure.
Of course he sees comfort and security as bad things. Better to have a large pool of poor uneducated suckers on the edge of economic disaster to manipulate into wars of conquest and global domination. Duh.

But the glaringly obvious problem with Kagan's analysis is the last sentence in the quoted graph. Better to be less rich than less secure? Thing is, the great majority of people in European social democracies are more rich, not less rich, than average Americans and being a whole helluva lot more secure is largely responsible for that fact. In European social democracies, it's only the super rich that are less rich than their American counterparts. That's a good thing.