Untitled photo


An Example Of Really, Really Poor Thinking

I spent six years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology studying electrical engineering which consisted primarily of physics, mathametics, biology, and a few assorted electives.

A common design criteria was that something should be as small as possible. The standard response was "why not make it zero," and in some cases, with good design zero was possible, or perhaps so close to zero that it no longer made a difference. An example would be the likelyhood that one of our products could catch fire. There was a zero cost solution that made that made fire a virtual impossibility.

A common ideology is one of low taxes and small government. This presents a problem of how low and how small. One cannot insist on something that cannot be measured, but leave the idea open as to judge the correctness of the measurement.

Sam Brownback tried it in Kansas and nearly ruined the state. A decision to make things smaller must evaluate the consequences. There are some things that would be better larger.

If I were an engineer and given this direction, I might say "Allright. We will make everything as small as it can be made:

There will be no policemen or police cars. There will be no fire trucks, and no firemen. There will be no army, navy or airforce. There will be no one to fix the roads.

But that is unreasonable. OK, tell me what is reasonable.

I will tell you what is reasonable: Do you want poor, fair, good, very good or excellent. I will tell you what you want: honesty, fairness, very high efficiency (which means you will need very good schools so people know how to make things efficient.)

Small government and small taxes work well for the rich because then all they need are good roads to get out of their walled in living spaces. It means no reciprocity. It means make your housecleaner a slave by paying him or her as little as possible. Make the minimum wage as low as possible or have none at all.

That is a way to live if you want government of, by, and for the rich. Abe Lincoln never said that.

Think what it might have been like if you had been born into a poor family.

Let's go further. What did you do to be born into a good family? Luck? God's Blessing?

We will make progress if we begin thinking of the cost to others of the largess to me. Is it a good human being that buys a boat for $27,000,000 and votes to kill health care for someone who cannot earn enough to eat, let alone own a place to live.

We beliee what we want to belive and if we hear one or two stories about someone taking advantage of the government (and with nothing to prove that it happened). Well think, think, and think some more. What kind of a person are you?

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In