January 08, 2010
The end of the world as we know it (revisited)
El Cabrero has always thought that there is a good kind of conservatism and a reactionary kind. The good kind respects traditions and has a cautious approach to change. The reactionary kind tends to view any kind of legislation or policy change that might benefit disadvantaged people as leading to the apocalypse.
The nice people at The New Republic have come up with some great (and bi-partisan) examples of the second variety.
Here are a few of my favorites:
ON WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE:
“Woman suffrage would give to the wives and daughters of the poor a new opportunity to gratify their envy and mistrust of the rich. Meantime these new voters would become either the purchased or cajoled victims of plausible political manipulators, or the intimidated and helpless voting vassals of imperious employers.”
—Former President Grover Cleveland, 1905
ON ABOLISHING CHILD LABOR:
“[T]he child will become a very dominant factor in the household and might refuse perhaps to do chores before six a.m. or after seven p.m. or to perform any labor.”
—Senator Weldon Heyburn (R-ID), in 1908
ON THE PERILS OF SOCIAL SECURITY:
“I fear it may end the progress of a great country and bring its people to the level of the average European. It will furnish delicious food and add great strength to the political demagogue. It will assist in driving worthy and courageous men from public life. It will discourage and defeat the American trait of thrift. It will go a long way toward destroying American initiative and courage.”
—Senator Daniel O. Hastings (R-DE), 1935
ON THE EVILS OF MINIMUM WAGE AND MANDATORY OVERTIME PAY:
“[The Act represents] a step in the direction of Communism, bolshevism, fascism, and Nazism.”
—The National Association of Manufacturers, 1938
ON DEMON MEDICARE:
“It is socialism. It moves the country in a direction which is not good for anyone, whether they be young or old. It charts a course from which there will be no turning back.”
—Senator Carl Curtis (R-NE), 1965
The list could go on and on, but you get the idea. Meanwhile, here's some other stuff to check out:
SPEAKING OF THE END OF THE WORLD, Coal Tattoo yesterday reported that a new study of the damaging effects of mountaintop removal mining is likely to get another coal industry hissy fit going. Here's more from Dot Earth and the Gazette.
BANK ON IT. Here's Krugman on financial reform.
IT'S NOT ALL BAD. Here is a piece on some recent positive innovations that could make the future a little better.
IS IT RAINING IGUANAS IN FLORIDA? Not exactly, but almost. Apparently, when it gets cold, they kind of shut down and fall from trees, but are usually OK when they warm up.
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED