Friday, September 25, 2015
National debt, peace, war, and colleges.
Recently, I had a birthday. The great thing about getting older is that I’m able to see patterns in life that I was not able to notice when I was younger. For instance, certain developments happen year after year, decade after decade, and by being able to see these kind of patterns, I’m actually able to be a little bit ahead of the curve. One could even argue that some of this has made me a bit more cynical, too.
As an example, every year, I hear politicians talking about the national debt, but every year, it goes up. I’m skeptical anytime I hear politicians discussing this issue because there is no evidence that they care about it at all. If they did care about it, they would act responsibly, reduce federal expenses, and actually pay down our debt. Or they would (at least!) pass policies that would actually increase economic growth so dramatically that the debt would be a much smaller percentage of our economy.
Then there are those who are always chanting for peace--despite the fact that, in human history, peace has not been the natural order of the world. There will always be war, tyranny, and dictators. War is literally part of the human condition. We might not like it, but it is what it is. The only thing that changes with regard to war is the technology used during wars. I always think it is quite funny how a few minutes chatting with some people playing a video game like Battlefield yields more common sense and rationality than politicians who have been in office for 40 years. As a recent example, I recently asked people in a video game whether the game should introduce Miranda warnings, requirements that the enemy actually shoot you before you shoot back, a requirement to determine how many women and children are located in a particular area, and a “time out” if you use “excessive force” against the enemy, etc, etc. The answers were colorful, but it is clear that they said “no!” Not a single dissent. If only people who played video games would be in charge of war!
I have learned that it might not be possible to encourage some civilizations to advance and become modern. If backward people are given the right to vote, this does not instantly make them modern, civilized, or capable of living in a free society. Afghanistan will likely be a Islamic garbage can long into the future. America can spend billions of dollars trying to “fix” this hell hole, but it will never fix the inherent problems with the place, which is the Islamic culture. In fact, America has done nothing to try to undermine the culture of Islam, which is a major reason why Afghanistan is so poor and backward. (To prove my point--Dubai is a wealthy city-state, and this is the case mainly because the government bases its laws on a freer version of capitalism, not Sharia-law.) I am not sure why America has not at least tried to tackle the number one issue in Afghanistan, which is its regressive, 7th century interpretation of Islam. We have even encouraged the Afghans to make Sharia-law the basis of their Constitution!
On another random note: I have noticed that politicians promote college for all as some kind of pathway to the “middle class.” Since past college graduates have done quite well in life, there is an assumption that college is necessary for every single American. I personally believe that IQ probably explains more of the success that most college graduates of the past have experienced. Since half the population will have below average IQs, colleges have had to respond to the dumber students by creating remedial classes in math and English, as well as ridiculously lame majors like grievance studies. In the end, a lot of colleges are just graduating students with fancy degrees in useless majors and tons of debt.