Monday, November 19, 2012

Why conservatives exist

kw: comments, sociology

Aesop's fable The Ant and the Grasshopper ends with the ant refusing to feed the grasshopper in wintertime. In reality, society's ants typically feed grasshoppers by the bunches. You know who the grasshoppers are. They can never make ends meet. They may hold a job—some do and some don't—but their savings rate is zero or negative. I am thinking of a relative who is a college professor, aged 60, who has yet to put a penny into the 401(k) that is available to him. He also still pays interest only on his college loans. He makes good money, spends every penny, and his credit card balance seems to just grow and grow. Guess how he votes: straight Democrat. Guess what is likely to happen in another five years or so when he has to retire: either myself or one of my brothers or cousins will wind up helping buy his groceries. Guess how every one of us votes: nearly straight Republican.

Mr. Romney has been roundly criticized for blowing off "the 47%" whose primary support is the Federal Government. That figure is incorrect. About half of that 47% consists of those receiving Social Security. That is a return of funds that were saved on their behalf over a working life of 30, 40 or more years, exacted by the payroll tax. The fact that no "trust fund" exists to support this does not negate the fact that Social Security is an EARNED BENEFIT, not a handout. Then there are a smaller number who currently eke out a living on their unemployment insurance benefits, who continue to look for work. The official number is just under 8% at present. This is an insurance program, no matter that Congress has broken the bank by extending benefits to four times the insured amount.

On the other hand, the rest, about 15% of Americans, genuinely live "on the dole." A few are truly unable to work and need assistance. Assistance should not be withheld from them. The rest are unwilling to work, and in their case the Biblical injunction ought to be observed: "Whoever will not work, let him not eat." That "will not work" means "is not willing to work". To be blunt: If there is a job offered out there, whether it is a "McJob", or cleaning hotel rooms, or picking seasonal fruit, or in a warehouse (I have done all of these and more), if someone who is capable is unwilling, no "benefits" ought to be offered, period. A touch of starvation could mightily improve a fellow's attitude toward a job that is "beneath" him.

Among taxpayers in general who voted earlier this month, about half voted for Obama, and half for Romney. What pushed Obama to a near-landslide? Not those on Social Security, for sure, but among the "47%", it was the "15%", the ones who won't work. They don't dare vote for candidates who actually care about personal responsibility. Thus, someone sent me this picture today, which sums up the present situation:

So now I can present the question: Why are there Conservatives?

Answer: Someone has to support all the Liberals!

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