Monday, August 31, 2009

Compassionate Liberalism

At Cafe Hayek, Don Boudreaux shares a letter he wrote to the Los Angeles Times:

You join legions of others in describing Ted Kennedy as having been compassionate (”Ted Kennedy, America’s conscience,” August 30). Aware that I’ll come across as low-brow – as unable to appreciate the transformative magic of politics – I must ask: What’s compassionate about spending other people’s money and minding other people’s business?

Suppose Mr. Kennedy were my neighbor. One day he arrives at my door with a handful of other neighbors (all carrying concealed weapons) and demands some of my money and tells me that he’ll regulate what I eat, drink, and smoke. “And I’ll stop your teenage son from being employed if no employer offers him a wage at least as high as one that my friends here and I determine is appropriate.”

I gaze at him aghast. “Oh, don’t worry,” he assures me. “Because my undying dream is to help others, I’ll spend the money that I take from you in ways that will help you. But I’ll also spend much of it helping people on the other side of the tracks. And any restrictions that I impose on your behavior are ones that, you can be sure, spring only from my compassion for you and others.”

Should I regard neighbor Kennedy as great and compassionate – as a gallant champion of the interests of others? Or should I regard him as an arrogant bully, as fraudulent as he is dangerous?

11 comments:

second-tier said...

Here's part 1 of the post, showing Kennedy's true generosity:

http://cafehayek.com/2009/08/sen-compassion.html

JD said...

Brilliant job, secon-tier at digging up this wonderful letter.

JD said...

second*

MasoodM said...

very well put, and yeah nice job finding this. I hope that his death won't be used as part of an emotional campaign to push govt healthcare but I'm pessimistic

Joe said...

Alan J Gerson stood with several leading environmental activists and welfare programs for children, senior citizens, WTC reforms, Cultural, Housing activities in his service till now.
A short list of those can be found from here: http://www.gerson2009.com/main.cfm?actionId=globalShowStaticContent&screenKey=cmpContent&htmlKey=issues&s=gerson
To continue his efforts, do vote for him for Dist 1 council election 15th Sept 2009

linda said...

we wish this time too Gerson

SAM said...

The New York City Community election on Sept 15th and this time also we have ALAN J GERSON from Democrat standing from and for the people.Having done many reform works(www.gerson2009.com), I think he should continue for the peple as the best council member.
Do vote for him for a growing Newyork.

Antony said...

i hate politicians

peter said...

ALAN J GERSON launched an unprecedented number of initiatives including: a new youth swim team, an evening teenage center, a free community mediation facility, a heart defibrillator pilot program, new emergency shelters for homeless (runaway) teenagers, starting work on the Hudson River Waterfront Park, the first Arts Committee and Calendar, a new Public Safety Committee and a Community Court Proposal.
Please Vote for this strong & Experienced member for him in District-1 Council election on Septemer 15th

flash said...

A great article on liberalism indeed and a very detailed, realistic and superb analysis of the current and past scenarios. I would like to thank the author of this article for contributing such a lovely and mind-opening article.

mac ram said...

The Clinton administration, which thinks it takes a village to raise a child, knows that a masked SWAT-type team with battering ram, automatic weapons and pepper spray suffices to snatch a child, terrified, in a predawn raid. But Elian was fortunate. The last time Janet Reno--one of the worst attorneys general in American history and certainly the most lethal--inflicted her caring on children, they were incinerated. Besides, the government, practicing compassionate liberalism and heeding the advice of its latest batch of "experts," had on its getaway plane some Play.