Saturday, November 10, 2007

Fuzzy Thinking

Here’s an example of where we liberals keep getting into trouble. (And, yes, I am not some wishy-washy “progressive.” I am completely unashamed of being a liberal.)

From Foreclosure Turmoil, at The Nation a couple of days ago,

But the real victims of this subprime mortgage crisis are the millions of borrowers who followed the rules, whose only crime was taking out mortgages these lenders told them they could afford.

So people who did not decide for themselves what they could or could not afford, who allowed that decision to be made for them by companies who had a vested interest in making the loan to them, are victims? That’s like saying that a little piggy that walks up to a big bad wolf and invites the wolf to eat it is a victim.

Nothing, it seems, is ever the fault of the person who is harmed.

There is a scenic canyon near Tucson where I used to live. On the rim of this canyon are knee-high barriers and signs warning people to stay away from the edge, but every year some person (usually drunk) climbs over the barrier and falls to serious injury or death. Every time that happens there are lawsuits against the county for not having placed a chain link fence that would prevent approach to the edge of the canyon and which would also, of course, prevent anyone from enjoying a breathtakingly lovely view.

Because the fault lies not with the person who ignored the sign, climbed over the barriers and fell, but with the county for making it impossible for someone to do that.

Conservative thinking is that people should take care of themselves, that doing so is not the responsibility of government. Carried to the extreme, that would mean that we let the homeless freeze and or/starve to death, which I have not heard advocated by anyone.

Liberals think that it is the responsibility of government to take care of those who can not take care of themselves. Carried to the extreme that leads to government taking care even of those who can and/or should be able to take care of themselves. That’s not necessarily an easy line to draw.

I do not think, however, that we should on a wholesale basis absolve people of the consequences of allowing others to make financial decisions for them. Adults in this country really should be required to act like adults.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:20 PM

    yes Yes YES! Please, get a life people... I was raised to think for myself and take consequences, etc. Government should not micro-manage the citizens, and/or be a nanny.