The Ownership Society
by dj moonbat
by Matt Davis
That's the title of David Brooks's piece in the Times this morning. Brooks makes the remarkable assertion that Bush's relentless drive toward privatization is, in fact, a DLC-type position that the Democrats have abandoned in our continuing leftward slide:
Over the past three years, the Democratic Party has shifted behind the unions' approach. When Dick Gephardt and Howard Dean are asked about manufacturing job losses, they talk first about unfair trade. The Bush administration, meanwhile, is embracing its own version of the centrist Democratic approach, occupying the ground abandoned by the leftward-veering Democrats...
The Ownership Society idea allows Bush to be centrist and conservative at the same time. It is centrist because it means actively using government to solve problems. In 2000, Bush declared: "I do not believe government is the enemy. But I do not believe government is always the answer. At its best, it can help people find the tools they need to build for themselves. At its best, it gives options, not orders." The Ownership Society platform is designed to update that message for 2004.
But the platform is culturally conservative. Talking with staff, Bush emphasizes that he wants to use these policies to move from an "anything-goes culture" to a "responsibility culture." By giving individuals control of their own retraining, their own savings and their own homes, he hopes to inculcate self-reliance, industriousness and responsibility.
If Satan exists, he writes like this--using the loftiest of themes, yet seductively appealing to the selfish instincts of those of us who feel self-reliant (this is, after all, the New York Times). How can it possibly be our fault that some people just don't know how to take care of themselves? Why should we have to pay for their carelessness? Privatize; let people build self-reliance.
Sure, that sounds good. But first, I want a full voucherization: I want my goddamned national security voucher. I am fucking sick and tired of paying taxes to support a military/intelligence approach that consistently endangers U.S. citizens. It's time to start giving people the option of using their hard-earned dollars on security approaches that work.
I don't know how much of any given tax dollar goes to defense, but it's probably pretty substantial. I'm sure that if you gave me a few grand in vouchers instead, I could go find a guy from the classifieds in Soldier of Fortune, and a decent-quality private detective. Then I could put them on the case. Then, if something bad happened to me or my family, there would be some freakin' accountability. None of this dealing with a bunch of fat-cat bureaucrats anymore.
Next time you talk to a voucher-head, just pass along my little modest proposal. It will guarantee good, heated opposition. And you'll never get a good answer on why it's okay to starve both our revered elders and the children of others, but we must never starve the gaping maw of the Moloch known as the Military-Industrial Complex.