I think what he was saying was that people operate in their own best
interest because they know what is in their own best interest.
Unfortunately, government is no better a predictor of what is in my
best interest than me, so while I may make a number of decisoins that
work to my detriment, by and large I will make decisions that overall
work best for me.
More unfortunate is the unreliability of information that comes from
government, because once a person has achieved power, he/she will
often do things to maintain that power. Because, by and large, he/she
will do what is in his or her own best interest, and maintaining power
falls in that category. That includes lying about a variety of things
in order to have a compliant public. That lying includes lying about
motive, perhaps even to oneself. You must separate the wheat from the
chaffe in politics, electing people who are not yet in the power grab
mode, or you have to remove the motive to maintain power, which was
the reasoning behind the inclusion of term limits in our system.
It is very easy right now for people to believe that about George
Bush, but these same people won't take a look at those on the other
side of the aisle. The old saying, though, is "Follow the money". I
look at people who have made a fortune on the global warming-as-man-
made concept, who try to maintain control of that concept by saying
that "debate is over" when it clearly is not, I see people threatening
the careers of those who dispute the idea of human causality of global
warming. Then I look at the careers and lifestyles of people in this
camp and I wonder how the two can square with one another. For
example, how much money has Al Gore made on the global warming issue?
How does he live his own life with regard to things like energy
Given the unreliability of such prognosticators, I don't rely on their
data. I do, however, rely on the data supplied to me in the form of
an electric bill every month. I have also purchased spiral
flourescent bulbs, and I have done so based upon my own interest. You
may call it selfish, but I have a family which relies upon me for
efficient control of income versus expenditures, so I try to maximize
the value of my money for them as much as or moreso than for me. I am
sure that (Frank, I think ?) probably has a similar thought process.
This is the kind of control of which people are capable, as the closer
information is to you, the more reliable it tends to be, which is
also one of the reasons we have the economic system we do. Another
reason, of course, is the understanding that people will tend to act
in a manner which is best suited for them and those for whom they are
responsible. In other words, the information and the actions are
A ready example of information being localized here is your assumption
that Frank believes in being selfish. You don't know fully his
motivation for his decision to purchase things which save him money.
Only he knows that, and therefore only he is generally in the best
position to determine what is best for him, based upon is own values,
his personal financial situation, his family situation, etc. As a
wise man once said, walk a mile in his moccasins.
What is of greatest concern to me here is that idea that someone's
reason is more important than his action. We have an economic system
in the U.S.A. set up to tap into individuals' self interests. This is
specifically because any system devised to have a centralized
authority looking out for our interests is necessarily going to
involve people with power and the self interest to hold onto that
power. We further have as part of our political system intentionally
decentralized authority in the form of multiple branches, and
amendments to our Constitution preventing them from being the sole
arbiters and disseminators of information, primarily because
information from those attempting to maintain power can be unreliable
based on their motivations.
Were global warming shown verifiably to be minimal and wholly
unrelated to human activity, would this be good news? If so, do you
think such news would be received happily by those who currently make
a living decrying it? Do you think, for example, that Al Gore would
readily accept that? As a parallel situation, consider the likes of
Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton: Do you believe that they truly act on
behalf of black people, or do you believe, based upoon their careers
and lifestyles, that they are acting in their own interests at this
point (regardless of the motivations you may believe they had at the
start)? Do you believe that, if they got everything they demand,
including an end to all racism, they would simply close up shop? Or
are their careers too closely tied to the perception that racism
exists everywhere, and that they might attempt to foment dissent when
none is necessary? They have a product to sell, just as global
warming decriers have a product to sell (and perhaps both have an
agenda to advance). Just as the makers of spiral lightbulbs have a
product to sell. None of them care why you buy the product, only that
you do, and the greater your purchase, the better it is for them.
The difference is that, as more people enter the market for spiral
lightbulbs, the market widens, and economies of scale dictate that the
price will go down. The price has continued to rise with the other
two, because they are nebulous products.
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