Decoding Left from Right
A quick question. Pseudonymous commenter Boonton offers that the reason that the state should control retirement in a infelicitous manner, i.e., at high cost low return and with standardized returns, is because we only get “one shot” at retirement. The state doesn’t have to provide clothing, lodging, or jobs because if we get a bad job, some bad duds, or make a poor purchase of a car or house, well, it’s not final. We get a natural “retry” for these sorts of things. The choices we make here are non-final and non-fatal.
Yet we don’t get a retry on childhood. Why doesn’t the left push and is not outraged that kids are not being raised by professionals? Why doesn’t left believe the government should take an extremely invasive role in raising children? It’s not like such institutions are impossible. Ethnic Spartan males were removed from the home at 7 … to be raised by the State as soldiers, and not released until they reached the age of 50 or 60 for retirement from their military service. Now, it is certain that the progressive elite of the left don’t idealize Spartan education … but they also almost certainly have a dismal view of the child-raising practices of many parents. So why are we not seeing an institutional push to minimize parental influence? Where are the papers and essays pushing for institutions to remove parenthood from parents and having state supported organs raising them instead? After all kids only get one shot at childhood, “It’s for the children” is a slogan which has been used more than once.
One reason why state controlled/standarized retirement is not a good idea is that people’s family situations widely differ. Close knit large families often will not need nursing home and extended hospice care while others find themselves without family or community on which they can depend. Peoples expectations of a standard of living and how much extraordinary medical care they desire widely differs. Yet, does our SSI take that into account. No. Are the funds extracted in the form of SSI taxation available to bequest to one’s relations if not used? No.
Here is my take on why the left defends SSI so fiercely and why the resist any reasonable suggestions for reform and change of that institution. The progressive left in this country denies the necessity and the good of family and community. They don’t want to depend on their close loved ones and relations in their declining years. Alasdair MacIntyre wrote Dependent Rational Animals, and this title serves as an excellent description of the human condition. The left wishes to institutionalize dependence in a bid for independence. Why do they push for this independence? It is my view that they wish to destroy community and our interdependence and push to move what remains of dependence and need on larger non-local non-family institutional structures because they see that as a road to equality.
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