Random, and probably silly, thought about unemployment

In the old days, when work dried up in one geographic area, unemployed people migrated, often with tremendous difficulty, to another area.  Think of the great Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s, or the enormous Black movement from South to North during the Jim Crow years.  People, being adaptable, followed the jobs.

What strikes me as interesting — a thought that was trigged by today’s news that California’s jobless rate hit 8.2% — is the fact that no one expects people to follow jobs anymore.  While individuals may certainly make the decision to move, the prevailing paradigm is that people stay put while the government funnels money and (everyone hopes) creates jobs for them where they sit.  That’s a huge change from historic norms.

By the way, California’s jobless rate would be better if it wasn’t the most inhospitable state in America for business.  Businesses are taxed to death here, regulated to death here, and treated horribly and unfairly in any dispute with employees.  There is little incentive to fight for a business here.  While the workers stay put, hoping for handouts, the businesses, which are run by entrepeneurs, tend to be the ones to pack up and move to more favorable climes.

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  • rockdalian

    The Democrat majority that governs Illinois, with the help of the Rino’s, collectively known as the combine, are doing their best to catch up to California.
    As of October, the unemployment rate here stands at 7.3%.

    There is no significant opposition party here either to apply the brakes. My prediction for early next year is for Illinois to line up behind California and New York and plead for bailout money.

    And another tax increase, to drive more business out of state.

  • Deana

    Bookworm –

    I’ve had similar thoughts regarding housing.

    When I lived in D.C. a couple of years ago, there was no way that I could afford a decent condo. Even though I was earning a good salary at the time, I was single and simply refused to buy what I could not reasonably afford. Well, that was at the height of the housing bubble when even the nastiest one bedroom condos far out in the suburbs were still way over $350,000.

    So I made the decision to move.

    But lots of people don’t think they should have to do that. They think the government should be required to provide “affordable housing” wherever they want to live. It does not seem to occur to these people that they could afford better housing and live better quality lives in areas that are not so high-priced.

    It’s just another area of life where people think government needs to “do something.”

    Deana

  • BrianE

    BW, where would you suggest they move to?
    Everyone is waiting for the other shoe to drop, employment wise, so it’s unlikely anyone is going to go to the expense of moving only to find that the recession has followed them to their new job.

    Since July the manufacturing plant I work at has laid off 400 people, and now employs 600 from a high of 1000. During the last recession, though, it employed less than 300, so the expectation that more layoffs will be coming is strong.
    The design engineering department lost 9 employees, and let me tell you, there were some anxious engineers. Most of the engineers here are young and most have been here less than 2 years. Many had just bought houses and the idea of moving was a certainty given the lack of engineering opportunities in the area.

    Part of the “new” economy has a couple of effects– high specialization and low wage service jobs, since 70% or the US economy is consumption based.
    We have lulled ourselves into a serious national problem. Savings rate is non-existent so folks being laid off don’t have the cash reserves they should have to survive the slowdown, the government is relying on the generosity of foreigners to fund the stimulus programs it imagines using to revive an economy that can’t be sustained as currently configured.

    According to this chart, Michigan and Rhode Island are two states where you wouldn’t want to be looking for work- 9.3% unemployment.

    If you open the link provided, you will see the historic highs came in the early 80’s with West Virginia topping out at 18% unemployment. If Obama carries through on his threat to kill the coal industry, that record of 18% may fall.
    The afternath of the OPEC embargo wreaked havoc on your economy for many years but we got through it in the past, and if nobody panics, we’ll get through it this time.

    http://www.bls.gov/web/lauhsthl.htm

    It’s easy to blame folks for cashing in the equity in their homes and squandering it on SUV’s and the such (and left many in an upside down position), but it’s hard to be too negative given the profligate spending of our government. Has our government planned for a rainy day? Did it do anything to encourage saving with historic low interest rates and folks chasing returns with junk bonds.

  • Mike Devx

    BrianE (#3)
    >> We have lulled ourselves into a serious national problem. Savings rate is non-existent so folks being laid off don’t have the cash reserves they should have to survive the slowdown, the government is relying on the generosity of foreigners to fund the stimulus programs it imagines using to revive an economy that can’t be sustained as currently configured. >>
    [...]
    >> It’s easy to blame folks for cashing in the equity in their homes and squandering it on SUV’s and the such (and left many in an upside down position), but it’s hard to be too negative given the profligate spending of our government. Has our government planned for a rainy day? Did it do anything to encourage saving with historic low interest rates and folks chasing returns with junk bonds. >>
    [...]
    >> The afternath of the OPEC embargo wreaked havoc on your economy for many years but we got through it in the past, and if nobody panics, we’ll get through it this time. >>

    Brian, I’m not nearly as sanguine about this as you are.
    No nation or system can rely on the historic inevitability of its own survival.

    The OPEC havoc occurred in the 70s. I grew up in that era, and I believe that much of our nation still held to the cultural values of self-reliance and independence. The (non-existent) Biblical saying “God helps those who help themselves” might best describe it. People still expected to pull their own weight; and to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. We got through it then.

    We face similar problems today. But our government now suffers massive debt, and our citizens also suffer under massive debt. The memes of the culture are no longer based on self-reliance. “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers” might better describe today’s memes. Or simply a frantic shout: “I’m in trouble and I DEMAND that the government help me NOW!”

    At some point, when in trouble, you reach inside for your inner strength, and if you find it, you find a way to pull through. Our new memes indicate to me that when we reach inside for our inner strength, we (the nation as a whole) are only going to find rot.

  • Oldflyer

    I had a nice conversation with my financial manager on Friday. We discussed some pleasant matters, such as the prospects that his University of Washington Huskies might defeat their arch-rival Washington State Cougars (they didn’t). We also discussed some less pleasant subjects, such as the status of my life savings, and the prospects for the near term future.

    I mentioned to him that as I was born in 1935, during the depths of the depression, it played a large role in my view of the world. The immediate effects of the depression meant little to me as a care-free kid, but it had a profound effect on everyone I looked to for guidance as I grew up. (Let me edit the previous sentence; I will never forget having a dinner of milk-toast, and to this day will not touch soggy bread.)

    Anyway, I commented to my younger friend that the United States was a vastly different country in those days. It was a much tougher population then. Most people worked hard, at whatever they could find, and expected little beyond what they could earn or make themselves. Job satisfaction meant having a job, any job.

    One story illustrates a point; my father-in-law was looking for work in Texas far from his home in Florida. He went to a warehouse, where he was told there were no jobs available. But, he went out on the loading dock and just started working. The Manager decided that he could find a place for a worker like that. He sent most of his meager wages home, of course, to help the family. Later in life he was a very successful business man who rubbed elbows in his popular restaurant with the some of the biggest names of the sports and entertainment world. He did not learn what he needed in life in a classroom, he didn’t go beyond 6th grade. He learned by doing whatever he had to do to succeed.

    One more personal vignette and I hope these are more instructive than boring. When my Dad came home from WWII it took several years for him to become re-established, but he made it. Unfortunately, his success was short-lived because my Mother’s lengthy bout with terminal cancer exhausted his financial resources. He had to give up his business, sell the only home they had ever owned, and move 300 miles to take a job that would support his kids. He didn’t expect anything from the government; there was nothing to expect anyway. He never complained. He just went on with what he had to do.

    Brokaw popularized the term “The Greatest Generation”. The generation that won World War II was hardened during the depression. They worked very hard to give us a better life; but they softened us in the process. This country hasn’t faced a real crisis in a long time. We may find out before long how tough we can be.

  • Deana

    Oldflyer –

    I enjoyed your post.

    I was having a similar conversation with my mom not that long ago, who was born during WWII. I don’t think all is lost but I know in my heart that we are not the same people we were 70 years ago.

    How many Americans know how to grow and put up their own food? Or even live in homes that have space for gardens? How many Americans know how to fix things? And really, how many Americans even know how to save?

    I plan to live very frugally for a long time (and my recent experience as a student has helped me hone those skills!) and save. I feel that the proverbial “other shoe” is going to drop and one needs to be prepared.

    Deana

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    To answer your question, BrianE, yes, people are waiting for the other shoe to drop. On the other hand, mobility means you move to where the jobs are now. That would dictate states with low tax rates on their businesses. Those are always the states where jobs are.

    OldFlyer, you’re absolutely right about it being a tougher generation. Certainly my parents were, but it was no fun, and they did everything they could to shelter my sister and me from life’s difficulties. I’ve had to learn the hard way, and on my own, that you can’t just retire from every confrontation or problem.

    And yes, Deanna, people sure have changed. I realized that with startling clarity years ago during a vacation in Utah. We drove up in our air conditioned car to a narrow canyon that the pioneers (mostly Mormon) had traversed to find land on which to settle. The canyon was so rock strewn, we had to abandon our car and go on foot. The temperature was stifling, the area was completely barren, the ground was so uneven it’s impossible to imagine a wooden-axeled vehicle traveling across it — and the walls were covered with graffiti left by the 19th Century pioneers. They recorded their names, the dates, their points of origin, their destination and, most sadly, the names of those who had died along the way. It was shocking to imagine those people bouncing through that wasteland in their covered carts, but they did it, by the hundreds and thousands.

    My husband and I returned to our air-conditioned car and got back onto the highway feeling very chastened. It was impossible to recognize these hardy pioneers with their descendants, sitting on the stage with Jerry Springer (this was a trip in the early 90s), proudly boasting about their exploits with their ex-wife’s sister and a monkey, or something equally sleazy and weak.

  • Tiresias

    Oldflyer (#5) – I have the distressing feeling, shared with Mike (#4) that when we look inside, all we’re going to find and hear is darkness, echoes, and the distant sound of crickets.

    Very few people know how to actually do anything for themselves any more. They’re relying on government to rescue them, wholly unconscious of the simple fact that rescuing them is not now (and never was) the government’s role (despite what they “learned” in school) and it can’t do it. Not to mention that right now the government seems to be made up of the crappiest, least-ept, and most fundamentally dishonest people in the history of the republic.

    It’s going to be interesting when the whole thing falls on its ass – which it looks like it could well be doing. Everything FDR, the liberal model, did with his presidency made the depression deeper, longer, and worse: he accomplished not one damn thing to shorten or ease it. His sole long-term accomplishment, his legacy, if you will (or even if you won’t: that’s the way it is) was to take the first steps toward removing people from depending on themselves and creating the embryo of the sense of entitlement that so pervades – and rots – this society today.

    Brian (#3) – I hope the chart doesn’t surprise you: Michigan and Rhode Island are the highest-taxed, least business-friendly little People’s Republics in the nation, and as an inevitable consequence both of them had crashed, burned, and were in a recession well before the rest of the country was.

    Part of this is the same old business school/Jack Welch disease that it’s always been: I only have to look good to the stockholders and board (and voters) today: the disaster will occur down the road when I’m gone and it won’t be my problem. Short-term thinking. I don’t have to leave it better than I found it (even supposing I were capable of doing so, and am truly as bright as Fortune thinks I am), I just have to make it look good long enough to make sure my retirement’s okay. In gold. In Switzerland.

    Short-term thinking. Bad enough when business does it. Awful when government does.

    I think we’re lined up, past the outer marker, and on final to “awful.”

  • Deana

    Bookworm –

    Recently, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about time travel. I would love to go back in time and observe life during the American Revolution and up through WWII. To see how all kinds of people lived their lives, to appreciate their beliefs and struggles, would be extraordinary. I suspect it would make Americans rethink their own lives and purpose and understand better what the founding Americans had in mind for our country.

    Of course, I’ve also wondered what Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln, and others would think if they could see us now. I think it would be a mixture of pride, awe, disgust, and utter horror, even if they were spared video clips of Jerry Springer.

    Deana

  • Oldflyer

    Bookworm, you are certainly right when you say the life your parents faced was “no fun”. It was hard, and those who survived were tough. But, they certainly would not choose the conditions they lived in for themselves, nor for their children. I would not wish to live as I saw people in Suwanee County, Florida living during and just after WWII–Appalachia could not have been worse.

    The issue is to sustain the fortitude they learned from necessity (if they survived) while enjoying the benefits they helped to pass along. I do not necessarily share Mike D’s pessimism that our core is rotten. But, I am concerned because the institutions that nurture the inner core have been allowed to die on the vine.

    Tiresias, I wonder how many folks grasp your “outer marker, on final” analogy. Very good. Maybe we should go to our alternate. But who will pilot us?

  • Charles Martel

    Three years ago, when my son was 20, I told him that his generation would be called upon the defend the very existence of the United States. At the time I was looking at the existential threat that was beginning to loom from Iran, China and a revanchist Russia.

    Last night when he came over for dinner, I amended my prediction. I told him that an extra task had been tacked on, the possibility of a recession or depression that would introduce him to the hard-scrabble life. “First the hard times, then a war, probably with China or Russia, to protect the country from destruction.”

    If worse comes to worse, my wife and I will take him back in, and the three of us will do as best we can. We know how to garden and tinker, and none of us is squeamish about killing a chicken for Sunday dinner.

    You might think that this would make me depressed, but in a strange way it doesn’t. I was recently reading a commentary about the Jews and how in good times, such as they’ve enjoyed in the United States, they begin to drift away from their religion and heritage. But in bad times, when they are persecuted or surrounded by enemies, their are fierce defenders of their identity.

    The hard times that are coming will, thank God, expose the Boomers for the pestilence that they are (I’m a member of that misbegotten generation) and make way for my son’s generation to find its hard inner core.

    I’m pinning my hopes on reality, that a bad economy and a hostile world will strip away the stupid leftist platitudes my son’s generation has been infected with, and that they will pick up the tools — and the arms — necessary to survive as real men and women, not cosseted little union members, latte sippers and limousine socialists.

  • BrianE

    To the general point of this thread, that Americans have become a nation of whiners– I think someone recently made this point, and it didn’t work out too well for him.

    OK, nobody here claimed Americans were whiners, so I will. I’m listening to the Sunday talking heads and they’re wondering why the government hasn’t got us out of this crisis yet. We are a soft people, baby bottom soft.
    I’m sure a depression will toughen us up.

    On a lighter note, Michigan doesn’t have the highest tax rate in the country– it ranks 29th in business taxes, and 27th in personal taxes. Rhode Island, indeed, is a tax abuser.
    California has the 6th highest personal taxes, and in business taxes it ranks 47th (where 50th is really, really bad), and it sounds like your lawmakers may try and tax themselves out of their problems.
    Illinois ranks 30th in personal taxes, and 25th in business taxes.
    Washington ranks 35th in personal taxes and 11th in business taxes.

    http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/topic/9.html

    On a personal note, our son is in the Marine Reserves and is back in school until his next deployment (probably in another year). He figures if things get tough, he can just go active duty, since we’ll still be needing our military. Smart kid.

  • BrianE

    Hey Oldflyer, how about them Cougs’!

    Wow, two of the worst teams in college football. I’m amazed that one of them actually won! I was thinking possibly of a 0-0 tie after sudden death overtime.

    It’s hard to believe that a few years ago, these were two of the better teams in the country.
    Cougars won 16-13 in case anyone cares.

  • David Foster

    “lined up, past the outer marker, and on final to ‘awful'”…I think we have enough fuel for a go-around and another attempt or a diversion to alternate. But not enough fuel for prolonged screwing around.

    We’re in hard IFR, and I’m afraid that the Captain is a pre-solo student…but he did watch the video “How to look and act like an airline captain.”

    Or was that too mean?

  • Mike Devx

    I do apologize for being pessimistic. I think we’ve had too many generations raised (at least three) without personal responsibility. Yet, as Charles, said:

    >> You might think that this would make me depressed, but in a strange way it doesn’t. >>

    I’m not depressed. My pessimism leads me to believe we’re going to face very tough times sooner than I believed. We will choose, at that time, the path of dictatorship, or we will rediscover what it means to be American. My pessimism doesn’t lead me to decide which of those paths we’ll take; I simply do not know if greater than 50% of us will choose dictatorship.

  • Allen

    If history tells us anything, it is that the nanny state is not a nanny; it is a harsh master. I had a long dinner, many years ago, with someone who was on one of Stalin’s lists. What saved him: “his value to the state.”

    When you look to the state for your well being, you are subordinate to the state. Always. The greater good and all that.

  • Oldflyer

    Well, Mr David Foster it appears that this forum is peopled by a core of aviation enthuiasts. Probably why the level of commentary is so high. (tic)

    So, you think the next few years will look like a re-run of the movie classic “Airplane”? I hope they don’t remake it into a tragedy. “roger, Rodger”.

    Mike D, a little pessimism, like a little paranoia, is not only understandable but might be healthy. I tend to be a bit of an optimist in most things, as befits an old carrier aviator, but I certainly feel there is ample cause for concern. “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”

  • Charles Martel

    I can live through a rerun of “Airplane” over the next few years, as long as President Obama doesn’t ask me, “Charlie, have you ever seen a grown man naked?”

  • BrianE

    Tiresias piqued my interest if there was a correlation between business taxes and unemployment.
    I picked 21 states using the assumption that people would be interested in moving to them (southern and coastal states, with Colorado, Wyoming and Illinois thrown in).
    I tallied unemployment, personal taxes, business friendliness, migration trends, state GDP, and defense (and energy in a few states) spending to see if anything looked interesting.
    The interesting casual correlation (not surprising when you think of it) is the relationship of defense spending to state GDP. States with a higher percentage of defense spending to GDP had: lower unemployment, lower personal taxes, more business friendly, more migration, lower state GDP and higher overall federal government spending.
    I used defense and energy spending as an indicator of government funded jobs since defense more directly correlates to employment.
    Here’s the relationship of unemployment to GDP/DS:
    State unemployment ratio GDP/DS
    New Mexico 4.4% 5.9%
    Virginia 4.4% 4.3%
    Mississippi 7.2% 2.9%
    Alabama 5.6% 2.6%
    Wyoming 3.3% 2.3%
    Maryland 5.0% 2.2%
    Arizona 6.1% 2.1%
    Colorado 5.7% 2%
    Georgia 7.0% 1.6%
    Texas 5.6% 1.4%
    California 8.2% 1.3%
    Tennessee 7.0% 1.3%
    Florida 7.0% 1.2%
    Lousiana 5.5% 1.17%
    Nevada 7.6% .8%
    South Carolina 8.0% .6%
    Illinois 7.3% .6%
    North Carolina 7.05% .57%
    New York 5.7% .55%
    Washington 6.3% .3%
    Oregon 7.3% .2%

    There is apparently no way to control tabs, so the first number is the current unemployment rate, and the second is the ratio of defense spending to state GDP.

    The top 10 states averaged 5.4% unemployment while the bottom 11 states averaged 6.99% unemployment. I want to live in a state with lots of federal government jobs.

  • Tiresias

    I wonder, though, Brian – which came first: did the government (mostly military-related) jobs go there because those states are lower-taxed and cheaper, or are the states lower-taxed and cheaper because the military went there?

    There are things you can clearly see that happened fairly recently – for example when Grumman merged with Northrop a decade ago they couldn’t get themselves out of New York and away from New York taxes fast enough – but it remains an interesting question.

    The Rhode Island example came from a conversation with Jack Welch not long before the recent election – which I’d put here if I knew how to stick up a youtube – but you can find it easily enough on that site.

  • Ymarsakar

    THe fall of a nation may be accelerated by a lack of self-sufficiency in people but I don’t think that is the Deathblow in the end. The deathblow, in the end, comes from the central government taxing the provinces and the self-sufficient people to death to pay for the spoiled and rotten “Others”. (Like economic bailouts using tax money from successful states to pay for failed states and industries) When you tax corporations that are honest and successful to bail out banks and corporations (Auto Ford) that are corrupt and weak, what do you think is going to happen to the nation as a whole?

    People are going to rebel, companies are going to leave. Do this for awhile and the worse things will get. America hasn’t gotten to this point because whenever this has happened, either the economic or military situation changed for the better or reforms were made to stop taxation policies like milking the rich (JFK’s tax cuts) or milking the companies or milking successful and self-sufficient rural areas in AMerica. That is the deathblow.

    Once a nation starts taxing its colonies and rural areas, the self0sufficient parts, to death, it’s going to be the Colonies vs Britain once again. This won’t happen for many many decades, however, but the seeds are being planted even now. Just like the seeds for the Civil War were planted long before Lincoln was ever born.

    or something equally sleazy and weak.

    As you know, Book, I despise weakness. Machiavelli said it well when he noted that being unarmed has numerous disadvantages, not least among them is that it causes your enemies to despise you. It also causes your allies to despise you as well.

  • Mike Devx

    I’ve been passing this article around to friends and family.
    I don’t think it’s shown up here yet. I admire it and agree with it.

    I call it: On the Dignity of Free Men, and the Bearing of Arms.

    http://www.catb.org/~esr/guns/gun-ethics.html

    (I think Ymar would indicate that Dignity of Free Men is also accomplished via TFT.)

  • Ymarsakar

    I think the bearing of arms is not necessarily restricted to external tools like firearms. A person is armed, first and foremost, with his brain and second most with his will and desire. In reality, however, you need a lot more than just a will. That is what the brain is for: to figure out how to accomplish your will.

    Life or death in one twitch — ultimate decision, with the ultimate price for carelessness or bad choices.

    What most people don’t realize is that TFT provides you the same choice, only with your hands, feet, and body. Since most people don’t know the actual principles of violence or how to get it to work for them, they must necessarily rely upon external attachments like firearms. But that is not necessarily true. THe passengers of Flight 93 had no real early warning and no real arms, Mike, yet they demonstrated more moral and physical courage than simply someone who is packing heat.

    A gun does not make you a better person. It only offers good people to defend themselve and others against evil. You must be good first to use a tool for good, after all.

    The Founding Fathers of the United States believed, and wrote, that the bearing of arms was essential to the character and dignity of a free people. For this reason, they wrote a Second Amendment in the Bill Of Rights which reads the right to bear arms shall not be infringed.

    I make note of the fact that the Founding Fathers did not believe women could fight and kill just as efficiently as men back then. They also didn’t believe that women could kill with their hands and physical bodies as well as men could.

    The Founding Fathers were bereft of much information and knowlede we here today have access to. It is a testament to their foresight that they were able to overcome the restrictions of their culture and era in order to fashion a more perfect Union for their descendents and the descendents of many other forlorn families across the centuries on planet Earth.

    Even http://www.constitution.org/jsm/women.htm John stuart Mill, famous for his work on the Subjection of Women (a call of liberation that people like Bookworm and I can appreciate and respect far more than the Code Pinkos and Leftist feminists), did not fully comprehend the reality here. They were men, and women, who lived in a different time, where communication and information traveled only as fast as the physical devices from which it could be physically delivered (or as far as the telegraph lines).

    The object of this Essay is to explain as clearly as I am able grounds of an opinion which I have held from the very earliest period when I had formed any opinions at all on social political matters, and which, instead of being weakened or modified, has been constantly growing stronger by the progress reflection and the experience of life. That the principle which regulates the existing social relations between the two sexes — the legal subordination of one sex to the other — is wrong itself, and now one of the chief hindrances to human improvement; and that it ought to be replaced by a principle of perfect equality, admitting no power or privilege on the one side, nor disability on the other.-John Stuart Mill

    If he knew what I know now, that the principles of violence cares not whether you are man, woman, or child, then Milton would have had a far stronger case. After all, part of the justification for laws against women were that women couldn’t cut it and needed protection and patronage from men. Milton argued that the dependence of women are a natural consequence of treating them as appendages rather than as independent individuals. Few men can look on a delicate flower of a woman and think she needs to be protected for her own good, after realizing that she can kill you with ease. Equality comes at the barrel of a gun because nature cares for only one thing: results. All the moral posturing in the world, in the entire history of the world, is meaningless without results demonstrating that what you speak of is true. Not “could be” true, but is true, right now, right here.

    In every respect the burthen is hard on those who attack an almost universal opinion. They must be very fortunate well as unusually capable if they obtain a hearing at all. They have more difficulty in obtaining a trial, than any other litigants have in getting a verdict.

    Even though Milton lived in a different era, a different time, amongst different folks and molks, the human species was the same back then as it is now. Challenging majority opinion has never been an easy thing. It wasn’t when Neo-Neocon outed herself as a *gasp* Bush and Iraq and Vietnam supporter and it won’t be for anybody in Hollywood who wants to adopt conservative ideas in the open. THe pale and bitter truth of the human condition is that we will always be like this, without end except the end of the human species.

    If they do extort a hearing, they are subjected to a set of logical requirements totally different from those exacted from other people. In all other cases, burthen of proof is supposed to lie with the affirmative. If a person is charged with a murder, it rests with those who accuse him to give proof of his guilt, not with himself to prove his innocence. If there is a difference of opinion about the reality of an alleged historical event, in which the feelings of men general are not much interested, as the Siege of Troy example, those who maintain that the event took place expected to produce their proofs, before those who take the other side can be required to say anything; and at no time these required to do more than show that the evidence produced by the others is of no value. Again, in practical matters, the burthen of proof is supposed to be with those who are against liberty; who contend for any restriction or prohibition either any limitation of the general freedom of human action or any disqualification or disparity of privilege affecting one person or kind of persons, as compared with others. The a priori presumption is in favour of freedom and impartiality. It is held that there should be no restraint not required by I general good, and that the law should be no respecter of persons but should treat all alike, save where dissimilarity of treatment is required by positive reasons, either of justice or of policy. But of none of these rules of evidence will the benefit be allowed to those who maintain the opinion I profess. It is useless me to say that those who maintain the doctrine that men ha a right to command and women are under an obligation obey, or that men are fit for government and women unfit, on the affirmative side of the question, and that they are bound to show positive evidence for the assertions, or submit to their rejection. It is equally unavailing for me to say that those who deny to women any freedom or privilege rightly allow to men, having the double presumption against them that they are opposing freedom and recommending partiality, must held to the strictest proof of their case, and unless their success be such as to exclude all doubt, the judgment ought to against them. These would be thought good pleas in any common case; but they will not be thought so in this instance. Before I could hope to make any impression, I should be expected not only to answer all that has ever been said bye who take the other side of the question, but to imagine that could be said by them — to find them in reasons, as I as answer all I find: and besides refuting all arguments for the affirmative, I shall be called upon for invincible positive arguments to prove a negative. And even if I could do all and leave the opposite party with a host of unanswered arguments against them, and not a single unrefuted one on side, I should be thought to have done little; for a cause supported on the one hand by universal usage, and on the other by so great a preponderance of popular sentiment, is supposed to have a presumption in its favour, superior to any conviction which an appeal to reason has power to produce in intellects but those of a high class.

    Individuals like Sarah Palin have always been challenging the majority opinion. That is also part of the human condition and our inheritance as members of humanity.

    There is a 3% or so of psychotics, drug addicts, and criminal deviants who are incapable of the dignity of free men.

    Life would be boring without the Saddams and the Tookies. WHo could people like me kill with justification then? Somebody has to die and it might as well be them, yanno. 3% sounds a little high these days. The population needs to be culled more.

    ************

    People should have seen and known me before 2001. I was very much a pacifist. Avoided fights. Was afraid of fighting not so much because I was afraid of getting hurt but because I was afraid of what my anger would allow me to do if I ever gave it free reign. Then it happens that I chose to get into a fight simply because I was tired of this guy always goading me on, for days and days, about wanting to fight me. So I kicked him in the stomach when we got off at the same bus stop, in the same apartment complex. I landed a nice knife hand on his neck, although it did no real damage at the time because it only had the weight of my arm behind it (5 pounds is not that much regardless of how fast you think you can move your hand. It ain’t gonna be as fast as gravity, 32 feet per second second. Who the hell can move their hand from a place of rest, in two seconds, to 32 feet or 9.8 meters away?) He landed a kick on my right thigh, upper part, when it was braced (an incorrect dodge, which I learned how to correct years afterwards).

    I’ve learned to accept the bloodthirsty side of myself and control it. Everything in my environment told me that “hitting was wrong”, “being angry was wrong and bad”, “aggression was wrong”, yet I saw plenty examples of it go on amongst my classmates and there was nothing done to effectively stop it. Such osmosis education led me to be both afraid of external factors as well as internal factors. You become afraid of your own responses on top of being afraid of what others will do you because you are too paralyzed by indecision and uncertainty to figure out how to resolve problems.

    I got tired of that game, though it wasn’t until 9/11 that things started falling into place.

    We can, truly, embrace our power and our responsibility to make life-or-death decisions, rather than fearing both. We can accept our ultimate responsibility for our own actions. We can know (not just intellectually, but in the sinew of experience) that we are fit to choose.

    And that is why I believe this is perfectly true. Most people only have access to a small percentage of their brain power at any one time, as was popularly said before. THis is obvious because your brain doesn’t want to burn itself out using up mega gobs of oxygen. It is quite apparent when you see that geniuses often have deficiencies or abnormalities or low lifespans. Madness and genius are two sides of the same coin. The same is true for human decision making concerning life and death: two sides of the same coin.

    When an individual is able to defend themselves, like the Iraqis are now able to do, they start acquiring dignity, self-respect, peace, harmony, and the various other virtues like courage and valor and honor (real honor, not Islamic honor).

    When people are protected “for their own good”, you get the Boomer generation, Germany as it is, France, Spain, Code Pink, and et all. And I don’t believe I can call the results of “protecting people for their own good” a good thing in the end. It is not sustainable.

  • Ymarsakar

    COIN in Iraq has already proven that out, btw. You can’t protect the people, you have to get the people to protect themselves by teaching those willing, how. Same as with fish and fishing. Teach a man to fish rather than giving him a fish.