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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Today's Left

I grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  It was, and is, a "liberal" neighborhood.  I was raised in a household and was instructed by my mother, her friends and my neighbors on good, left leaning behaviors.

Some of the stock, immutable concepts:

  1. All people are created equal.
  2. The Gov't should be used as a way to help the less fortunate.
  3. Civil Rights are not to be toyed with and are sacrosanct, particularly free speech.
  4. Smaller is better.
  5. Always be anti-war.
  6. Treat people equally.
  7. Unions are generally good.
  8. Think for yourself.
While not a comprehensive list, these are the things that I was taught were the main planks of the Democratic Party, and I followed the script faithfully until my early '30's.  I soon began to see, and now view as totally obvious, that the Democratic Party rhetoric is fraudulent to the core.  The "D" party has become a centralized power venerating, warmongering joke as could possibly be imagined.  As my income rose and my tax bills rose, I saw my worldview change.  One of the causes was that as a public school teacher, I witnessed daily failures of epic proportions of the shibboleths surrounding public 'education' and teacher's unions.  The specter of Political Correctness disallowing Free Speech in a manner that would make Orwell proud became too obvious to ignore.  The rigid economics of a teacher salary scale, and the union keeping out qualified people was opposite of the freedom I kept reading about in the books.  In short, I looked at the other, Conservative side of things and became an Establishment Conservative for about two years.  I found that the 'right' wing of the Same Bird of Prey equally fraudulent, and I've been a libertarian for easily five years now.  I wish I'd gotten here sooner.

Where I was Most Wrong

I had never had too much interest in economics.  I was directed to Chris Martenson's site, and in one of the comment forums someone had posted a Peter Schiff video.  I had never heard of such commonsense ideas put forth in such a manner.  When it comes to rapid fire delivery, sound economics, fearless attitude, and a gift for sticking it to the Establishment, few can match Mr. Schiff.  Suddenly a whole school of economics was open to me and my economic worldview was altered forever.  Once you begin to see that much of what you've been taught is nonsense, pushed by people who are ignorant or with an agenda, the flow of knowledge increases exponentially.

The economics of the Left, mainly the positive power of unions, is going to fall.  Unions keep out untold numbers of qualified workers who might be better at the craft.  A retired physicist, eager to spend a few years teaching, who has decades of lab and practical experience, cannot teach in a public school.  He has to take 18 "education credits" and run through a battery of State mandated exams that have no inherent worth at all before he can be considered.  This blocks general freedom.  This hurts childrens' educations.  I don't think this system can last for this reason or for economic reason.  This situation in France is one of the first dominoes to fall.  I think there will be many others.  This is the first time I have seen a CEO of a major company to say it like it is when it comes to unions.  I wonder if this is the beginning of the end for the Economics of the Left, which we are taught are the 'good' economics throughout our 15,000 hours of school, even though they make no economic or moral sense.

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