Wednesday, July 17, 2013

2031 Cherry Nitpicking

I read an interesting article. It pointed out how we humans tend to cherry pick ideas we like and spit the pits out from those we don't.
Between cherry picking and sour grapes it's a fruity world. Fruity as in the traditional "nutty as a fruitcake" meaning.
The article was by a guy named Michael Lind, and he asked the question, "Why are there no libertarian countries?" You know, I'd never thought about that before. As he said, there are all kinds of political philosophies represented in the world's 193 countries. There's communism, socialism, and various dictatorships on the right and the left. Fascism gets tried every now and then. There are social democrats, representative democracies, and republicanism as in republics like our own.
But there don't seem to be any libertarian governments. Full on libertarianism being self-defined as very limited government, an unfettered free market economy, decriminalized drugs, and no welfare or public education system.
Since no such government exists, libertarians often cheery pick what they like from the low hanging fruit of other countries. They cite the economic liberty of Singapore, where you can make a lot of money on Singapore sling cocktails, yet fail to mention it's also an extremely oppressive police state. You can also make a bunch selling whipping canes.
They also cite Mauritius, a place with economic freedom to be sure, but one which also has twice the infant mortality rate and three times the maternal mortality rate of the US.
Maybe some safety nets are okay. As are common roads, infrastructure and, sadly, the government and bureaucracy to maintain them. And yes, that means being free also means free to pay taxes.
Life is a bowl of cherries.  But someone's gotta pay for the reliable, dishwasher-safe, crumble-resistant, safety-tested, toxin-in-the-glaze-prohibited bowl.
America, ya gotta love it.

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