Costs of Government Action on Coronavirus

Some whiny statists are complaining that not everyone is embracing the measures being imposed by government to “deal with” the coronapocalypse. It is claimed that they are endangering lives by “downplaying” the risk.

No, they are not endangering society, nor will they be the cause of millions (or even dozens) of extra deaths. People who are “downplaying” coronavirus are serving an important purpose. Besides disarming the panic-bomb, I mean.

What they are doing is acting as a drag chute to slow down runaway government overreach.

This is essential.

Those who object to the “downplayers” aren’t adequately (or even minimally) considering the costs of government intervention. You’ve seen this happen in other topics as well, such as with AGCC/”climate change”.

Government-supremacists are pushing the narrative that not taking the actions government promotes will cause deaths, but are ignoring the deaths which will result from doing the wrong thing, or even too much of the “right thing”. They are not considering the costs and benefits of both courses.

Maybe doing nothing about COVID 19 would kill more people. Of course, you have the option of doing everything you ought to do without government mandating anything. Doing something doesn’t require anything being done by government. That is a bad assumption to make. But, I will concede that ignoring the problem would probably result in some unnecessary deaths.

However…

Damaging the economy– as government is actively doing– will also kill people. For certain. It may, in the long run, kill more people than the coronavirus would have even if no one had done anything about it– but we don’t know. We won’t know. There is no way to know because you can’t rewind history and change what was done.

Yes, some people caution against comparing how many deaths are resulting now and comparing that to the total deaths in previous plagues after they were over. That makes sense. However, you can compare death rates in the midst of the event– which is something government-supremacists don’t seem to like for anyone to do. It gets in the way of the narrative they prefer.

This is why we need brakes on the speeding car of statism. Those who “downplay” the danger are those brakes. They complete the costs vs. benefits big picture for the situation. Without them you only get one side, advocating only one path. Objecting to the balance they provide is not productive or smart.

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Statism’s Reality Rejection Immune Response

Statism insulates itself (or pretends to) from reality by automatically disqualifying all opposing views. It’s like an immune response.

To say “taxation is theft” means you aren’t a “serious part” of “the conversation”; you are automatically ignored because to fund Big Political Government, theft… I mean “taxation“… is necessary. Anyone who doesn’t like taxation is automatically disqualified from being taken seriously. According to the view of government supremacists, anyway.

Yet I don’t entirely disagree with their entire argument. “Taxation” is necessary to fund political government. No question. That’s part of the reason “taxation” is unethical. There’s also the whole “theft is unethical” thing, too.

That’s not the only subject where they play this trick. It happens all the time. And it’s a lie every time they do it.

I understand, when you have no real argument you do every sneaky thing you can to “win”. You’ll shut out any other voices however you can. You’ll reject ethics because it gets in the way of what you want to get away with doing. But that doesn’t make it right. It just compounds the wrong you’re committing.

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To “Serve”

The words people use and how those words are used says a lot about how someone thinks. In many cases, it’s almost as good as an X-ray into their mind.

Take, for example, the word “serve” and its past tense, “served”.

If someone says “I served” where does your mind go? You probably assume they mean they were in the US military, and at this point in history on this spot on this planet your assumption is probably correct.

But why? Common usage.

To “serve” means you have provided a service of some sort to someone.

Everyone serves someone just about all the time.

The corner drug dealer serves. The cashier serves. The prostitute and the waiter and the car wash attendant serve. The writer serves, the scientist serves, and the medical provider serves. They serve by mutual consent and voluntary choice.

There are also those who provide unethical service. The mafia hitman and the legislation enforcement scum, for example. Unethical service means that someone is forced to either tolerate an unwanted “service” or to pay for it whether they want it or not. Unethical service is based in some way on archation.

To basically reserve the word “serve” for those who foolishly joined forces with the military of any government is to perpetuate a lie. Yes, they serve, but they serve anti-society and the anti-individual forces of the State. They serve liberty’s enemy. That’s not a good thing to do.

How can I pretend they are serving me in any way when I don’t want them to do what they are doing and I don’t want to pay them to do it? They aren’t even on my side.

The same goes for other government employees, who also sometimes try to use the word “service” to refer to their own parasitism.

It’s a lie to pretend that being a legislator, or government president, or government judge is a beneficial service. Those are parasitic positions, serving the political government at the expense of society. To be proud of such service, or to call it out for special honor, is to show just how deep the statism virus has infected the mind.

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“We” Should Not Regulate Homeschooling

The desire to control other people’s ideas and behaviors, particularly when they challenge widely-held beliefs and customs, is one of human nature’s most nefarious tendencies. Socrates was sentenced to death for stepping out of line; Galileo almost was. But such extreme examples are outnumbered by the many more common, pernicious acts of trying to control people by limiting their individual freedom and autonomy. Sometimes these acts target individuals who dare to be different, but often they target entire groups who simply live differently. On both the political right and left, efforts to control others emerge in different flavors of limiting freedom—often with “safety” as the rationale. Whether it’s calls for Muslim registries or homeschool registries, fear of freedom is the common denominator.

A recent example of this was an NPR story that aired last week with the headline, “How Should We Regulate Homeschooling?” Short answer: “We” shouldn’t.

Learning Outside of Schools Is Safe

The episode recycled common claims in favor of increased government control of homeschooling, citing rare instances in which a child could be abused or neglected through homeschooling because of a lack of government oversight. Of course, this concern ignores the rampant abuse children experience by school teachers and staff people in government schools across the country.The idea that officials, who can’t prevent widespread abuse from occurring in public schools, should regulate homeschooling is misguided.

Just last month, for example, two public school teachers in California pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a student, a public school teacher in New Mexico was convicted of sexually assaulting a second grader after already being convicted of sexually assaulting two fourth graders, two public school employees in Virginia were charged with abusing six, nonverbal special needs students, and the San Diego Unified School District in California is being sued because one of its teachers pleaded guilty to repeated sexual abuse and intimidation of a student.

Child abuse is horrific, regardless of where it takes place; but the idea that government officials, who can’t prevent widespread abuse from occurring in public schools, should regulate homeschooling is misguided. Many parents choose to homeschool because they believe that learning outside of schooling provides a safer, more nurturing, and more academically rigorous educational environment for their children. The top motivator of homeschooling families, according to the most recent data from the US Department of Education, is “concern about the environment of other schools.” Being regulated by the flawed government institution you are fleeing is statism at its worst.

Homeschooling Is Growing

Brian Ray, Ph.D., director of the National Home Education Research Institute, offered strong counterpoints in the otherwise lopsided NPR interview, reminding listeners that homeschooling is a form of private education that should be exempt from government control and offering favorable data on the wellbeing, achievement, and outcomes of homeschooled students.

Homeschooling continues to be a popular option for an increasingly diverse group of families. As its numbers swell to nearly two million US children, the homeschooling population is growing demographically, geographically, socioeconomically, and ideologically heterogeneous. Homeschooling families often reject the standardized, one-size-fits-all curriculum frameworks and pedagogy of public schools and instead customize an educational approach that works best for their child and family.

With its expansion from the margins to the mainstream over the past several decades, and the abundance of homeschooling resources and tools now available, modern homeschooling encompasses an array of different educational philosophies and practices, from school-at-home methods to unschooling to hybrid homeschooling. This diversity of philosophy and practice is a feature to be celebrated, not a failing to be regulated.

The collective “we” should not exert control over individual freedom or try to dominate difference. “We” should just leave everyone alone.

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Life in the Cherry Pie Factory

Nobody asked but …

Jokesters will often imply that incompetents would fumble the making of a cherry pie.  Often those incompetents are assembled into a statist bureaucracy.  But while an association between the postal minions and degraded service is too often accurate, statism does not have a corner on screw-ups.  The difference is, among other things, that the bureaucrat institutionalizes the screw-up, but the entrepreneur learns from it.

A few days ago, I read a news article on a failure at SpaceX.  And for years I have been attracted to stories about mismanagement of resources in complex arrangements.  Why must we forget, over and over, Ockham’s Razor?  The principle reason, I suppose, is our old nemesis — power, and its handmaiden, control.  All people are predisposed toward accomplishment, but unfortunately many will choose the appearance over the attainment.  Too often too many will trade the short term (control) wherein we pretend that something is true, rather than confess to a failure.  If we accept false premises, we can pretend that a train wreck is the emblem of a success — we’ll call it The Afghanistan Express.

But, in the long run, a train wreck produces better transportation.

— Kilgore Forelle

 

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Who Fails to Learn the Lessons

Nobody asked but …

Some time I picked up the notion that some leaders name natural enemies (of one another) as their lieutenants, hoping to gain the benefits of survival of the fittest.  Perhaps the notion arose from a review of a Doris Kearns Goodwin book — the notion, combined with my earlier conclusions on statism and faux leadership, caused me to pass on Ms. Goodwin’s books.  I may have formed the opinion, rightly or not, that she was feeding the negative traits of human development rather than exposing them for what they are.

Daniel Webster said, “There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.”  Let me rephrase that:  Some leaders mean to be GOOD but more than that, they mean to be FOLLOWED, at all costs.  I hope that reaffirms Webster, as well as clarifying and amplifying.

Does anyone dispute that the above is a set of fact?  Is not that an important lesson of history?  Why don’t we, as an intelligent species, escape?  Why don’t we focus?

— Kilgore Forelle

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