Archives for April 2014

Political Correctness at WaPo Run Amok

A recent article in the Washington Post detailing several assaults on local bike paths never mentions the racial characteristics of any of the attackers. It describes them somewhat – mentioning their approximate height, age, and clothing , apparently in a feeble effort to solicit readers to help identify the attackers. And in one instance it includes the skin tone, and in another an artist’s sketch of the attacker. But the Post doesn’t point out the attackers’ most obvious physical characteristic: their apparent ethnic origin, or for that matter their hair color.

Wow – times are a’ changing. Who would have thought, say 20 years ago, that political correctness would lead to this. Not mentioning racial characteristics may be a new policy of the Post. Or it may have been the personal preference of the article’s editor.

Why not just describe them as “a man”? What’s next – not mentioning their gender? Oh I guess that will never happen because it will never be politically incorrect to point out that an attacker is a male.

Conscientious Motorist Severely Beaten

 

In his book The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?, Jared Diamond tells us that when you accidentally hit a pedestrian while driving in Papua New Guinea, you’re advised to refrain from stopping and instead drive directly to the police station to report the accident and seek safety. That’s because angry mobs could beat you or kill you.

Sound surprising? That’s the unfortunate state of affairs in many developing societies.

So here’s a shock: it happens in the United States as well. Today, a motorist in Detroit struck an 11-year-old boy, got out of his truck to come to his aid, and was severely beaten by angry onlookers. The motorist remains in critical condition.

It’s a sad state of affairs not only for the victims mentioned above, but for the country as a whole as it assumes aspects of developing societies. Another such manifestation is here.

OK to Both Accept Government Money and Criticize It

Social Security card

iStock/Getty Images

When critics of Obamacare begin to enroll in Obamacare, they’re likely going to be accused, directly or indirectly, of hypocrisy from some quarters. But it won’t be hypocritical. If the government all but destroys the health insurance market through Obamacare and other forms of government intervention in that market, then the critics of Obamacare have no choice but to enroll therein. They’re, in effect, trapped into participating in that system.

It’s a similar situation with Social Security. Sometimes critics of Social Security are construed as hypocrites for accepting Social Security money. But that’s erroneous. If the government hampers or destroys your ability to save for retirement by coercing money out of you to put toward Social Security, then you have little choice but to accept Social Security payouts.

Moreover, with Social Security, the government took our contributions but didn’t invest them in actual savings funds. Instead it spent the money. We can’t help that – that’s what we’d like to see changed. It’s like being forced to invest in a Ponzi scheme. You would rather put your money elsewhere but you’re essentially told at gunpoint to invest in it. Later you’re accused of hypocrisy for taking the payouts. But not taking the payouts would amount to extortion and self-imposed impoverishment. If you had your way, you wouldn’t in a million years have invested in the Ponzi scheme. Where else are you going to get the money due to you?