Jul 312012
 

Had a long conversation with a friend today where we both came to the conclusion that the US is pretty much doomed, and it might be too late to change that. What is it that’s dooming us? Well… we’re stupid. As a nation, we’re loaded to the gills with fricken’ morons. Sure, we have a whole bunch of really smart people. Sure, the average American you’re likely to run into most places is perfectly sensible. But we, like every population ever, have a whole bunch of really stupid schmucks. Normally that’d be ok; but we as a society not only go out of our way to assure that people are insulated from the effects of their own stupid actions, we *subsidize* the stupid to make even more stupid people.

This is a relatively new event in human history. Hell, this is a new event in *American* history. The 1927 Buck vs. Bell Supreme Court upheld the right of the State to forcibly sterilize the mentally unfit. At the time, the United States had been busily sterilizing the crazy, the mentally retarded, and the just plain weird or unlucky, under the then-popular concept of eugenics. Of course, the Nazis came along and ruined the idea by going overboard with it. But consider: we live in a society where you need governmental permission and/or licenses for damn near everything. Want to buy a gun or a dog? Many places require a license. Want to build an addition onto your house? Better get permission. Want to grow your own food and sell it? Better get a bunch of licenses. But want to have a baby? Hell, you don’t even have to take a class.

As a libertarian, I’m not suggesting that we need to license baby-makin’. But at the same time, giving people money to have babies is *insane.* If you are doing so poorly that you need government assistance to care for your kid… you shouldn’t have *more.* As Oliver Wendell Holmes said in the Buck vs Bell decision:

We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. …  Three generations of imbeciles are enough.

The idea of the government grabbing people that they don’t like and operating on them is offensive. That said… the idea of the government putting a condition of tube-tying onto long-term welfare seems to me to be entirely appropriate. But the problem is… there are far too many people who have been sucked into a life of dependency. More than half the adults in the US pay no federal income tax; IIRC more than 40% of the population gets money directly from the government in some form. And virtually all of them have the unimpeded right to vote.

While it’s certainly true that being intelligent is no sure way to financial success, it’s a safe bet that being stupid is a good way to wind up on the dole. For far more examples than you can stomach, turn on on reality TV. “Hardcore Pawn,” “Bait Car” and the like  put on display the worst and *dumbest* elements of society. And with that level of dumb comes a massive sense of entitlement… a car left nearby becomes “my car,” a ten dollar video game console becomes something they think they should get $200 for for no better reason than that’s what they want. And when people don’t accommodate them, violence and threats of violence are pretty much the very next event.

The US has gotten to the point where it is very likely impossible to reverse the dumbing-down of our people. The government and its functionaries have grown fat and powerful on programs that have subsidized the expansion of poverty, and we have tens of millions of people who are convinced that they are *owed* a comfortable living from the government. Hell, the state of California simply hands out debit cards that people can use for virtually anything (and what they can’t get directly, there are con artists who can game the system for you). Anyone who suggests cutting just the rate of growth in welfare programs is immediately marginalized as “heartless,” “greedy” or “racist.”

[youtube NzspsovNvII]

So when we have a culture where a potential majority of voters feel entitled to goodies obtained through the government, and this majority is only going to grow under this system, and the system preferentially selects for  the dumb gene… how the hell do we fix this? I’m not an optimist by nature, but here I just cannot dredge up *any* real hope.  Eventually the system will have to change, one way or the other… and one of those ways may well be armed rebellion. A civil war with a mass of unskilled, uneducated , unethical and unstrategic morons on one side, and a smaller population of reasonably intelligent people on the other… I dunno. It might end up that the eugenics programs that ended with World War II will catch up with a vengeance. Or it might end up like Kornbluth’s “The Marching Morons,” where a tiny minority of the competent struggle to maintain order in a world filled with idiots that breed like bunnies. Or it might end up like “Idiocracy,” where the entire population has been reduced to moron status, with society being kept barely functional under the control of antiquated computerized systems built when there were still people capable of building such things.

In any event, I’m rapidly losing what little hope I had in the future. The final collapse may well not come until I’m old or dead, and in that time a great deal of good can be done. As in… getting human civilization offworld. Space will be a frontier again, something we’ve not had for a century. And frontiers are notoriously unkind to idiots.

The last million years have seen humanity become increasingly intelligent. This was due to the wonder of natural selection. But the last century, in particular the last nearly fifty years, have replaced natural selection with artificial selection, and the selection has not been directed towards the creation of a “better” human, just *more* humans. And sometimes “quantity” is not better than “quality.”

So if you have ideas, feel free to jump in. If you think I’m wrong, tell me why.

 Posted by at 7:59 pm
  • USSHelm

    I believe this has to do with the Bible being thrown of schools, courts, government and society in general. With Christianity we were motivated to go out and explore God’s creation, both on Earth and in Space for the glory of God. Even Charles Darwin, the man who came up with the the theory of evolution, was at one point in training to become a pastor, but didn’t due to a philosophical question that was never answered (that is a whole other discussion). Back to my point, when the Bible was being thrown out in the 1960s-70s, it was the same time the welfare state began, with LBJ “Great Society” program which replaced charities and the Church in supporting the needy. At the same time those welfare programs began to tear apart the country by giving people money when they don’t work. If your out of work, or disabled, that is what charities and the Church are for.
    Basically, this dumbing down of America is because of the growth of government, and this country
    moving away from Christianity. Your on the whole right, but you fail to enter religion into the equation. And I might add that the solution to this is not tying birth control to welfare. Welfare shouldn’t be there in the first place.

    • Tylenol Jones

      And since I know that Scott will jump all over this proselytizing, let me toss in my more moderate point of view. I’m a hard core atheist, but I still see the need for a good fairy tale. It is needed for the left half of the bell curve all the time, and for most people in foxholes.

      Some fairy tales are more worthy than others. Many have been tossed into the mosh pit of history, and I believe that empirical objective examination of the cultures that have resulted from each religion would by and large show that cultures with Christian influence are better to live in.

      The story of a kind, gentle and self-sacrificing super-hero is a very good story, and belief in it has made many lives happier and has allowed people to endure the unendurable for the hope of a greater good in the future.

      • Tylenol Jones

        And getting to USSHelm’s point, maybe a bunch of WWJD bracelets (or something more like Sister Mary Stigmata from the Blues Brothers) would be a help to children raised in the insane environment depicted in the video.

        • Anonymous

          I’d prefer WWOdinD or WWThorD or WWJohnGaltD bracelets.

          • Shayne L.

            The irony of Star Trek is that it was opposed to eugenics (the eugenicists lost The Eugenics Wars) but the world depicted in Star Trek would be impossible without eugenics. How many people with an IQ of 85 do you think live on the Earth of the 23rd century?

          • Anonymous

            > How many people with an IQ of 85 do you think live on the Earth of the 23rd century?

            In Star Trek, it looked like rather a lot. Star Trek: TNG was a “communist utopia;” while they repeatedly yammered on about how humanity was finally at peace and egalitarian and whatnot, they rarely showed Earth. And when they did show regular folk on Earth, like as not they lived like it was the early 19th century with candles for light, but with some technological doodads to spruce up the joint. So… pretty much like any communist system, “the people” live poor, while the elite get all the latest and greatest,such as starships.

            In TNG, if someone owned their own starship, it was a safe bet that that person was a criminal.

          • Shayne L.

            Yeah, I’d forgotten how Marxist Star Trek was.

          • Anonymous

            Pretty much only TNG. The original series did not suffer from that. And while DS9 started off with that (Quark the Capitalist, frex), once Roddenberry was out of the picture a more realistic approach began to filter in, so that capitalists became heroes, and the social order back on Earth started to show cracks (how easily the military took over on a whim). Hell, by the end the Captain was nailing a smuggler and the Doctor turned out to be a eugenic superman (well, genetic, not eugenic, but still…) and the Ferengi were some of the biggest heroes about.

          • Michael the Somewhat Civilized
        • USSHelm

          I was thinking more along the lines of an education controlled by the local area, free from Federal regs, and someone who knows what their talking about to share the gospel with them.

    • Anonymous

      > With Christianity we were motivated to go out and explore God’s creation, both on Earth and in Space for the glory of God.

      And now we have even better reasons: survival of the species *and* getting filthy stinkin’ rich.

      > Charles Darwin, the man who came up with the the theory of evolution

      *One* of the men. Evolution was becoming obvious to rather a lot of folk in the first half of the 19th century; Darwin just got there first with a cogent explanation.

      > the 1960s-70s, it was the same time the welfare state began

      The welfare state began much earlier than that under the likes of Wilson, Coolidge, Hoover, FDR. None of whom could be described as areligious.

      > you fail to enter religion into the equation

      Not entirely true. When I look at the universe of dumbassery, I can hardly ignore the anti-science gibberish produced by the Creationists. Plus the prisons are loaded with the religious while the atheists and agnostics are under-represented.

      • USSHelm

        Looks like I threw a grenade into an ammo dump.

        True, the welfare state did start long before LBJ, but that was nowhere as broad as the “Great Society” which was the straw that broke the camel’s back. When you say that we Creationist are anti-science, I think you say that because our definitions of science are different. And allow me to point out that when you compare Creationism to any other theory of how we got it here it always wins. Why? Because we have the fewest assumptions, and as a someone who is undoubtedly familiar with engineering and science, you also must know Occam’s Razor. I also should point out that the entire basis of the how we got here based on the Big Bang, depends on Carbon or some sort of isotope dating. Which starts out on an assumption of how much of a certain isotope there was to begin with.

        • Anonymous

          > our definitions of science are different

          True. And that’s sad. It’s a useful if dishonest strategy, though… when you are losing the debate, change the definitions of the terms.

          > when you compare Creationism to any other theory of how we got it here it always wins. Why?

          Because there’s no reasoning someone out of a position they got to via unreason. Ever see someone debate a Westboro Baptist jackass? It’s a waste of breath; no matter what happens, the WB comes out certain of their victory.

          I think you need to do some research on deep-time dating methods. Start here:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiometric_dating

          Multiple dating methods are available that overlap, such as carbon dating and dendrochronology. Multiple different branches of science come to the same conclusion regarding the antiquity of the Earth and the vast age of the universe.

          • Murgatroyd

            I think you need to do some research …

            It won’t do any good. I pointed out several months ago that one of his “creationist authorities” was blatantly lying about the content of a scientific paper that he cited regarding a possible change in the speed of light over the age of the universe, but that doesn’t seem to have done any good. I strongly doubt that USSHelm bothered to read it himself. He’ll believe what he wants to believe, and he’ll trust the Authorities that he wants to trust.

        • Anonymous

          > I also should point out that the entire basis of the how we got here based on the Big Bang, depends on Carbon or some sort of isotope dating. Which starts out on an assumption of how much of a certain isotope there was to begin with.

          From one of BLewis’ favorite authors, Saint Augustine:

          “Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. “

      • I would say the serious welfare state did not truly begin until LBJ and the Great Society. Yes, money was handed out before that, but it was in the 60s that the mindset changed from viewing welfare as charity which one should be ashamed to receive, to viewing welfare as a right that incurred no shame upon its recipients.

        • Anonymous

          > the serious welfare state did not truly begin until LBJ

          Oh, sure, but without the New Deal and such, the Great Society programs would have never happened.

    • Murgatroyd

      Even Charles Darwin, the man who came up with the the theory of evolution, was at one point in training to become a pastor, but didn’t due to a philosophical question that was never answered (that is a whole other discussion).

      This is about as relevant to the discussion as the fact that Joseph Stalin spent several years in a Russian seminary, and was only kicked out because he couldn’t pay his tuition. So what?

      When you say that we Creationist are anti-science, I think you say that because our definitions of science are different.

      Here’s a touchstone for whether your beliefs are scientific or not: What evidence would have to be available for you to say “Okay, I was wrong, this isn’t true”? If your answer is “Nothing!” … or even if your answer is some sort of evidence that will never be available, then your beliefs aren’t scientific.

  • Tylenol Jones

    You JUST got here? And besides the Idiocracy aspect, there is also the coming pandemic and grey goo. (See http://boingboing.net/2009/03/09/mental-floss-stepbys.html ).

    I’ll BET that Bezos and Musk and Greason have thought this through already. MAN I’d love to be in on their family conversations where they are planning the bug-out-capsule.

  • B Lewis

    What we are seeing is the beginning of the end stage of the Enlightenment. Cartesian skepticism and reductionist materialism have proven inadequate, both as a means of knowing reality and as the basis for a moral and philosophical worldview. The politics of “enlightenment”, the ideological revolutionary movement of Liberalism, has similarly run its course: a world where liberty, equality, and fraternity are imposed by force by a vanguard of the “illuminated”, is bound to fall. Both of these are failing for the simple reason that they are artificial. They do not proceed from natural reason and natural law, and they do not track with reality as it is.

    Unfortunately, the only way out is through. The Empire is falling. Instead of trying to prop it up, our best strategy is to emulate the institutions that survived the fall of the previous Empire: that is, the monastery. Instead of wasting our time on political causes, we should spend it (and dedicate all other resources) to forming communities that can survive the Cash. I’m not talking about bunkering up with a million rounds of ammo and a case of Spam. I mean strengthening the ties of family, friendship, and community, forming local networks of people who a) know how to do things and b) can be relied upon to do them. We should be stockpiling skills, not bullets — skills like printing, blacksmithing, prospecting, papermaking, apiculture, gunsmithing. We should take it upon ourselves to build libraries containing the great works of our culture: Homer and Virgil, Bach and Brahms, Dickens and Dostoievski. We should teach these to our children. We should HAVE children — as many as we can — and raise them to be warrior-poets. Hell, the best thing we could do in order to survive is to GET married and STAY married to like-minded persons of the opposite sex — for the natural human family is and must be the fundamental cell of any sane society.

    Above all, we should humbly admit that there are some types of knowledge that cannot be discovered by the scientific method. We should re-acquaint ourselves with the Creator of the Universe, both by means of reason (i.e. Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas, inter alia) and by revelation (the Church). It was our prideful rebellion against God that got us into this mess. It is our acknowlegement of and submission to Him that will get us out.

    The world one hundred years from now is going to be quite different than anyone today can imagine. There won’t be any Singularity to save us; the liberal-democratic-egalitarian State will vanish. What does exist will exist because of the choices we make now. Let us choose wisely.

    Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret – Horace: Epistles I, x, 24 [20 B.C.]

    • Anonymous

      > Instead of trying to prop it up, our best strategy is to emulate the institutions that survived the fall of the previous Empire:

      The Hindu caste system. Not sure there are any systems that have lasted longer.

      > We should re-acquaint ourselves with the Creator of the Universe

      Asathoth? Chaos? Vacuum energy?

      > What does exist will exist because of the choices we make now. Let us choose wisely.

      Sure. To me that means getting the hell *off* this rock and spreading a scientifically literate humanity across the stars. Navel-gazing and appeals to the supernatural won’t help, just as they’ve never helped in the past.

    • Peter Hanely

      The “enlightenment” supporting the left is incomplete reasoning. It rejects traditional order, on obvious shortcomings, without consideration of secondary and higher order effects of the proposed new order. It rejects the reality of human nature in favor of a fiction.

      Wealth transfer is pushed as relief of poverty. Without consideration of what is required for wealth to exist, or how the transfer reduces the incentive of both sides to produce.

      Sexual Morals are assaulted. Without considering how monogamy serves as a natural barrier to some very nasty infections.

  • Sean

    A large port of this is purely political. Welfare programs simply breed voters to support the continuation of those programs. Keep throwing money at morons, they breed more morons to continue voting for the people who keep throwing money at morons…and the cycle continues. I’ve been making this argument for YEARS. Scott, we should probably never be in the same room, lest some sort of revolution propagate itself out of the singularity created by our proximity!

    As to some sort of return to religion…no. There is no logical or rational basis for exposing anyone to religion in this day and age…but ninety-some percent of the planet is mentally conditioned to accept that inaccurate, contradictory, and often even barbaric principles are “right”, even when there’s this stuff called evidence that calls it into question.

    >>I also should point out that the entire basis of the how we got here based on the Big Bang, depends on Carbon or some sort of isotope dating. Which starts out on an assumption of how much of a certain isotope there was to begin with.>>

    Carbon or radioisotope dating is a proven scientific method, not an assumption. Look, we know the Earth is more than just a few thousand years old at this point. Using the speed of light and the Hubble we can prove that the expanding universe is billions of years old. Welcome to why I am eminently thankful that I got the hell away from Kansas.

    • Anonymous

      > I’ve been making this argument for YEARS.

      As have I. What has happened recently is that I’ve become pretty well convinced that the situation may well be unrecoverable.

      > we should probably never be in the same room, lest some sort of revolution propagate itself out of the singularity created by our proximity!

      I shudder to imagine a political movement based on *me.*

      > we know the Earth is more than just a few thousand years old at this point.

      “We,” sadly, is a smaller fraction of the populace than I’d wish. Watch “Hardcore Pawn” and try to imagine any of the thrilling customers shown there spending more than fifteen seconds in their whole life giving any thought to the age of the Earth.

  • Michael the Somewhat Civilized

    When my children got out on their own, their first Adult Discovery led them to announce that childbearing should require an expensive license.

  • rufty tufty

    Why the welfare state though?
    For me it stems from a concept of social justice, it’s not fair that some people should be born with advantages that others aren’t. It’s easy to argue that being born rich gives you an inerrant advantage, better schools, better opportunities, better holidays, better contacts, better equipment etc. Likewise being born with more supportive parents is an advantage, being born with good genes is, being in the right part of the country will help too, even in the right neighbourhood. The idea of the welfare state is to try and iron out these injustices to the point where no child is in a situation where if they are motivated to do so they cannot succeed.
    Now one would argue what often ends up happening is dragging others down rather than lifting others up, but let’s not get bogged down there, you have to understand the others viewpoint before you can change it.

    For me this came to light being raised in the North of England and at University meeting people who had been schooled in the South of England. The difference in the equipment they had when they were at school (“what do you mean you didn’t have a distillation experiment per pupil pair”), the field trips (“well of course every term we went on a field trip to a different historical site”), the opportunities (“Yeah the BBC used to film quite a bit at our school, that’s how I go to know **** and what encouraged me to stay in the choir”), or facilitates (“Yeah we had our own school theatre, that’s how I got into HV electrics”)etc, i could go on with examples for quite some time.
    Now I didn’t think that it was fair then or on any day since. likewise I don’t think it’s fair that some child that has the misfortune to be born to rubbish parents should be denied the chance to try their hand at all the things I had a chance to try.

    Now life isn’t fair I grant you and the question is how much are you prepared to hold down all of society for those one or two children per group that will be trying to break out of the trap of being in these groups. (whatever those groups are)

    So what sort of society do you want to live in, at the moment I don’t want to live in a society that will examine me and based upon some criterion that a Quango has dreamed up decide on if I am fit to have children or not. I don’t want my nephew to miss going on field trips because there is no money to pay for them, but who makes the decision? At a larger scale do I want the money I earn in the south of England to help pay for better schooling in the north of England to help bring the whole country’s economy back on it’s feet(yes).

    So to clear up I disagree with your premise, I believe that any child is capable of being a very valuable contributor to society. I believe that it is not just the parent’s or the schools’ or their peer’s or the scout leader’s or the whoever’s job to bring up children to be a useful part of society. It is all of society and what we should be tackling is not that too many people are having children (which I believe there are but i have no right to stop them) but that society as a whole isn’t bringing them up to realise what is useful and what isn;’t and a desire to be useful.
    After all i believe every person is motivated to excel and be an Alpha in their social group, we just need to somehow make what is valued be valuable.

    • Anonymous

      > it stems from a concept of social justice

      Ugh. You know you’re in for a steaming pile when “justice” is teamed up with another word. That’s a pretty good indicator that what’s to follow has nothing to do with actual justice.

      > The idea of the welfare state is to try and iron out these injustices

      So you’re saying that the relative wealth of the north of England compared to Bangladesh means that you should be taxed at a 99% rate of both income and possessions until you reach parity with the poorest Bangledeshi?

      > Now life isn’t fair I grant you and the question is how much are you prepared to hold down all of society for those one or two children per group that will be trying to break out of the trap of being in these groups.

      Try “none at all.” In the vast majority of cases (at least in the US), people are not poor because of some injustice done to them, but because they are simply poor.

      > at the moment I don’t want to live in a society that will examine me and based upon some criterion that a Quango has dreamed up decide on if I am fit to have children or not.

      Do you want to live in a society where someone can determine if you are fit to drive a car?

      It seems reasonable to me that at the very least people who become parents, or wish to become parents, should have the option of being tested to see if they can actually do the job. If they choose to not be tested – and they should have that option of opting out – that’s fine. But if someone chooses to opt out, or gets examined and fails… NO WELFARE FOR YOU.

      > I don’t want my nephew to miss going on field trips because there is no money to pay for them, but who makes the decision?

      You. If you want your nephew to go on field trips, send him on field trips.

      > I believe that any child is capable of being a very valuable contributor to society.

      What a lovely, wrong, sentiment. The vast majority of people are simply filler.

      > It is all of society and what we should be tackling is not that too many people are having children (which I believe there are but i have no right to stop them)

      Here’s a simple test to determine if someone is having too many children: is someone having kids and requiring that society pay for their kids basic needs? Then they’re having too many kids.

      > i believe every person is motivated to excel and be an Alpha in their social group

      That’s an odd belief.

      • rufty tufty

        “Ugh. You know you’re in for a steaming pile when “justice” is teamed up with another word. That’s a pretty good indicator that what’s to follow has nothing to do with actual justice.”
        Thanks, they’re my beliefs and I often think other people’s beliefs are a steaming pile too. Each to their own.

        “people are not poor because of some injustice done to them, but because they are simply poor. ”
        And how do people stop being poor? By getting a job, doing something useful. To do this you have to know how to do something and want to do it. The first of these requires education, the second requires society to expect it of you and for you to do it.

        “Here’s a simple test to determine if someone is having too many children: is someone having kids and requiring that society pay for their kids basic needs? Then they’re having too many kids.”
        No argument there, but should the children be held to blame and suffer for their parents bad decisions. Society should be trying to help.

        “It seems reasonable to me that at the very least people who become parents, or wish to become parents, should have the option of being tested to see if they can actually do the job. If they choose to not be tested – and they should have that option of opting out – that’s fine. But if someone chooses to opt out, or gets examined and fails… NO WELFARE FOR YOU.”
        So someone has no welfare, so they are starving and steal food. What do you do? Imprison them (which costs more then welfare) or cut off their hand(so they can never work again)?

        “You. If you want your nephew to go on field trips, send him on field trips. ”
        That was actually the point I was trying to make, but not everyone has an uncle that can do that, so…

        “> i believe every person is motivated to excel and be an Alpha in their social group

        That’s an odd belief. ”
        Really? i think it’s an odd world you live in too then.
        They may believe they have alpha status because of their clothing, or their attitude or their realisation of how the world works or how they made the best of a bad situation or whatever. In their social group it could be video games or anything.
        Show me one person who doesn’t think they’re the hero of their own story.

        • Anonymous

          > should the children be held to blame and suffer for their parents bad decisions.

          Nope. And thus the point of not subsidizing the creation of children of poverty.

          > So someone has no welfare, so they are starving and steal food. What do you do?

          1: Shoot them (in the act)
          2: Deport them
          3: Sterilize them

          Think these are harsh? Well, you are suggesting that if someone does not receive a monthly pile of cash for free they will necessarily resort to crime. This indicates that this person is necessarily a danger to society, due to a genetic predisposition.

          > not everyone has an uncle that can do that, so…

          So what? When I was a kid, I never once got a field trip to the south of England. Hell, i never got one to the *north* of England. Who should I blame this injustice upon?

          > alpha status …

          The world is full of people with no desire to excel, they’re just happy wandering through. Many people are happy being followers.

  • Cambias

    When people complain about the “marching morons problem” I’m always amused to see that they assume they aren’t among the morons.

    • Anonymous

      > I’m always amused to see that they assume they aren’t among the morons.

      Ask me how many kids I’ve had that I’ve had that I’ve required the taxpayer to pay for. Go on, ask.

  • Chris Brown

    Why complain about the nature of the beast? It is not only America that is chock full of humans. It is not only Americans who are not up to the task of changing the leopard’s spots. Be gracious in decline.

    • Anonymous

      > Be gracious in decline.

      Screw that noise. I’d rather go down swinging and screaming.

  • Ed

    Agreed. So where’s everyone (worthwhile) going to?

  • Ive been with social services for 11 years now, and since I’ve been on the backend I’ve seen readily accessable data that proves most of Mr. Lowther’s “politically incorrect” positions. But, no one WANTS to see it. No one dares ask for the reports.

    In my county we’re over 48% of people utterly dependent on government to survive. this does count government employees at state, city and county levels however. And sadly I admit to being one of those employees. What makes me irate is, being told that I must improve the delivery of “services” that *I* am the bigger drain on the economy than the woman, her three children and Unrelated Adult Male (whose last name happens to be the same as at least one of the children).

    I’d be a lot more willing to accept sacrifices if the *clients* actually had sacrifices. But they’ve received 5-8% increases in cash aid programs and food stamp benefits each year, every year, since I’ve been here.

    I feel like some kinda mole-or worse, one of those faceless Nazi bureaucrats who allow and work on minor evils because it’s “legal” and ordered by higher authority. And afraid to say anything because all I’d get is fired and replaced by someone who makes no waves.

    Idiocracy was not a comedy. It was a *warning*. I see it every day, and God/FSM/Almighty Dollar forgive me for my part in its continuance

  • Jordan

    No, Scott, this country is still headed to greatness. And a lot of your perceived problems have simple solutions: “Welfare” and other “entitlement” programs? Give people jobs and create jobs. Getting into space? Make it profitable to do space exploration and encourage the development of space-based resources.

    This country is going through some growing pains much like adolescent or teenage years, but once is passes we’ll be better of.

    You might not like or agree with Obama, but he did save healthcare in this country and will be remembered for such. It’s something the Libertarians and Republicans failed to do. I had expected the Republicans to have solved the health care problem, but not the Democrats and “Liberals.” So, you see, while we may not like Obame and company he did save us from a debacle or bust with health care.

    Higher taxes? It’s inevitable. After all the problems we have gotten with cutting taxes. Sad to say (and yes, I believed it at one time), cutting taxes does not increase government tax revenue. It’s like saying putting less powerful engines in an aircraft will make it go faster or improve its performance. You might believe that cutting taxes will increase tax revenue, but your training as an engineer does not support that belief.

    So, basically it boils down to being in a period of growth and change and having to face some near-term inevitabilities.

    • Anonymous

      > Obama, but he did save healthcare in this country

      What’s the emoticon for “incredulous spit-take?”

      > cutting taxes does not increase government tax revenue

      Except when it does, which has been just about every time it has been tried. I posted the graphs of tax revenues here before.

  • Jim R.

    I hear you, Scott. But I’m more of an optimist about the future of the United States. There have been numerous moments in American history where a lot of Americans believed the end of the Republic was near; the Civil War, the Great Depression, World War II, the fight against Communism, the rise of Japan in the late 80s/early 90s, and now the competition with China. We found a way(s) to overcome those challenges.

    Someone commented about raising taxes being inevitable. I don’t see that. I see more of a chance the gov’t assist spigot is going to be dramatically reduced. When 40% of Americans pay no federal income taxes and still get money back in a refund… and they’re still demanding more… well, the folks who are paying for that are going to fight back.

    • Anonymous

      Of your list, I see this as most analogous to the Civil War. A portion of the populace has become dependent upon the fruits of the labors of another portion, and that parasitic population believes that it is their *right.* Any attempt to change that is met with belligerence, claims of bigotry against their culture, and eventually violence.

      The first civil war was an easy one: the sides were divided by lines on a map, and there was a well-defined political leadership that could make decisions about surrender. Won’t be so next time… every city in the nation has large numbers of people, clustered or scattered, with no particular leadership hierarchy and very likely little understanding of concepts of discipline.

      The next American civil war may well be more like an Old World civil war… based not on nations or politics, but tribes.

  • Bob

    I think I realized we were doomed after Bill Clinton got reelected.

  • No disagreement. I hope you are wrong, I suspect (and fear) that you are correct.

  • Friend

    So, the USA is going like the UK? Both lost their empires. The world moves on. This century is the Asia-Pacific one. China returned to prominence as the world super-power, just as it was before European imperialism brought it low.

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