"I wish they would only take me as I am" - Vincent Van Gogh               "How Can I believe in God when just last week I got my tounge caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?" - Woody Allen              "Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake" - Henry David Thoreau              "I took a speed reading course and read 'War and Peace' in twenty minutes. It involves Russia" - Woody Allen            "When promulgating esoteric cogitations, eschew platitudinous ponderosities" - Mark Rowan, my father            "Up, sluggard, and waste not life, for in the grave there will be sleep enough" - Benjamin Franklin             "What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world." - Albert Einstein            "Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence" - Ronald Reagan            "It's odd that you can get so anesthetized by your own pain or your own problem that you don't quite fully share the hell of someone close to you." - Lady Bird Johnson              "I still want to be the candidate for guys with confederate flags in their pickup truck" - Howard Dean

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Graduate of the University of Oregon, Married for 4-1/2 years to my High School sweetheart. I am currently residing in Cleveland while I attend med school.

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    Friday, June 06, 2008

    Common Sense

    I'm currently reading Gross National Happiness by Arthur Brooks (also the author of Who Really Cares). The premise of the book is how the things in life do (or don't) bring us happiness. Topics include family, friends, money, etc... The following section really rang true with me:

    It is one thing to charge our government with helping us band together as citizens to take care of the most vulnerable. The mentally ill, for example, who do not have strong private support, truly deserve our help in a civilized society, and we cannot realistically rely on private charity to meet that need. It is another thing entirely to demand that the state take care of the rest of us--able-bodied, sound-minded, once-independent Americans--guaranteeing our wages and providing our medicines for free. This is to treat us like children. There is little freedom in the nanny state, and we can expect little happiness there, either.

    It is one thing to entrust the government with the financing of massive relief efforts, such as rebuilding a city in the wake of a hurricane. But it is another thing to ask the government to meet every social want and need, from our desire for symphony orchestras to our longing for amateur sports leagues. The attitude is depressingly common that, if something is important to us, the government ought to provide it. The
    ever-growing social welfare net diminishes our freedom by giving us less power to solve our own problems. It also places our social preferences in the hands of public servants--well-intentioned, perhaps, but with preferences of their own to pursue with our dollars.

    It is obviously appropriate to invest the government with the responsibility to protect our nation against real dangers, such as the invasion of a foregin army or an attack on our interests abroad. But this is not the same thing as expecting governments--creating new bureaucracies in their
    earnestness--to pacify us with ineffective security measures or to protect us from ourselves in the course of normal risks in our day-to-day lives. The dignity of the goal of defeating worldwide terrorism is hopelessly degraded when, in the next breath, we declare war on helmetless motorcycle riding and secondhand smoke. Osama bin Laden is a threat to America; trans fats in our food are an annoyance. We need to protest when our government fails to makes [sic] these distinctions and uses spurious logic to justify trading away our happiness. [emphasis mine].

    1 Comments:

    Blogger prying1 said...

    Good Posting GC. Too true.

    Sorry been gone so long. Just haven't been traveling around the blogs. Hope to get a bit more time to do so.

    Glad you're still posting.

    9:20 PM  

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