An Unrepentant Rant

Genocide and hard work made this country what it is. Sloth and wealth are making this country into something else. Some people think that this change is a good thing. I don’t.

I know that the ghosts of the dead Native Americans haunt our historical consciousness. I can still hear the echoes of the slavers’ chains and the weeping of the families that were torn asunder. But I think that such ghostly apparitions lend an unwarranted appearance of morality to those who condemn hard work, discipline, and a strict moral code.

I am speaking of those who use the word Puritan as a word of contempt. It seems to be a new fad now. If you are worried about the moral hazard people will call you a Puritan. If you are against bailouts you will be called a Puritan. If you think people deserve to suffer the consequences of fiscally irresponsible behavior, you are a Puritan.

I must admit that this is a neat way of conjuring up a vision of all of America’s crimes so as to damn all of America’s virtues. The Scarlet Letter has fixed in everyone’s mind who are the real sinners and who are the real saints. If you smell of the past, you must be one of the sinners.

But if that be the case, I will proudly take the only scarlet letter that society still has to offer. I will proudly proclaim myself to be a judgmental prick.

The way I see it, there are two basic viewpoints underlying the debate over what to do about the subprime mess. One view says we must do whatever is best for the majority of Americans. The other says we must do whatever is best for those people in America who managed their money responsibly and have not treated debt like it was free money. I wholeheartedly subscribe to the latter view.

To put it another way, if you could prove to me that a policy would cost all the irresponsible people in America trillions of dollars and it would only benefit the responsible people in America with a few billion dollars worth of benefits, I would say that was a fair trade. It’s not that I want to go out of my way to hurt the irresponsible, but I think that benefits to the responsible are the only things that should count in the minds of policy makers.

The fact that the irresponsible might be in the majority should have no bearing on policy makers. If there were only one responsible person in America, policy should be formulated for the benefit of that person. The only proper path for a nation is to make life as hard as possible for the irresponsible and as easy as possible for the responsible.

Now I understand that in the real world the line between the responsible and the irresponsible is not always clearly drawn. And I fully accept that reasonable people might disagree on what would best benefit the responsible. But I will not give the time of day to people who argue that we must help irresponsible people simply because there are so many of them. I will not grant that irresponsible people have any particular right to help so that they might avoid suffering loss.

A nation that will not be judgmental will soon cease to exist.

2 Responses to “An Unrepentant Rant”

  1. […] Ape Man is going to hate this. He wrote this rant before the bailout was announced. […]

  2. […] The Ape Man actually wrote this rant a while ago when he was getting fed up with Tanta’s screeds against Puritans. But it still works today. […]

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