How Common is Common Ground?
“The happy truth is that conservatives and liberals can share a lot of common ground if they are allowed to do so. If you can read my ideas, and not reject them immediately because I am a liberal, we might be able to celebrate that common ground.” - Unknown Liberal Writer
Recently, we are hearing the term 'Common Good' bandied about in relation to social unrest, women's rights, cutting military expenditures, expanding educational subsidies, immigration rights, and controlling what we eat, how we recreate, and animal rights. It is used as the justification when the Democratic leadership is trying to raise taxes or fees (which is all of the time.) Or when they are trying to add more layers of regulations and nanny-state controls, all of which are payed for straight out of our pockets.
President Obama was quoted; "Some people who just control enormous amounts of wealth (class envy), we don’t resent their success. On the other hand, just as a practical matter, you’re going to have problems making sure we’re investing enough (redistributing wealth) in the common good to be able to move forward. I mean, the fact of the matter is relative (moral relativism) to our post-war history taxes now are not particularly high or particularly progressive compared to what they were in the late 50s or 60s." (Italics are mine)
Maybe not, but there is this little thing about discretionary income...the kind nobody has anymore! Obama ignores the enormous increases in sales taxes (local government demands), business fees passed along as price increases, as well the enormous burden of legal liability insurance (passed along too) in nearly all segments of the economy. The huge increases in energy costs, plus the increasing costs of an advanced education are leaving the lower and middle class with a giant abscess in their budget.
Liberals always seem to be the ones complaining that conservatives reject their ideas out of hand. Yet my experience is just the opposite. Liberals disrupt, or ban altogether, conservatives from speaking engagements on college campuses all over the country. It is the activist lefties who interrupt congress with demonstrations and protests, who orchestrate boycotts against those that they disagree with. Historically, socialists and communist regimes have been responsible for media censorship, mass book burnings and internet interference. It is the liberals who are trying to regulate TV news and radio broadcasts and the world-wide web. They are the ones who bitch about how conservatives rule the airwaves (which is entirely unsubstantiated). They think that the mainstream media is neutral and unbiased, because it most closely adheres to their ideology. Liberals see the world as naturally liberal and anyone who is conservative as deviant.
So their idea of 'Common' is not necessarily so common.
This whole notion of 'the Common Good' is a subterfuge for socialism. Please, before you call me a reactionary conservative who doesn't care about anybody but myself, hear me out...
I remember when I was sharing a house with several other students in college. We had a neat 3 story, 5 bedroom house just across the street from the beach. We all paid about $250 a month to make the rent. One of the students, whose parents were well off, was able to get his mom to co sign on the lease guarantee, so he was on the hook if anybody failed to pay their fair share.
We loved the house so much, we all worked together to make sure we always paid the rent on time.
The group was pretty diverse, some were serious students, some were just party animals trying to get through, but not too concerned about school. We decided to take care of our food collectively as I liked to cook and was OK with making a dinner meal every night for all of us. All other meals would be individually taken care of and the food for that, if used in the house, was each person's own responsibility (weekend meals were always self directed).
But it didn't take long for some people to complain that their food was being pilfered. Of course, everyone would deny it, so labels were put on the stuff, but never-the-less, someone was eating food they didn't buy.
The other thing we had to decide was how would the kitchen and the house be kept clean? Obviously, if you made something on your own, you were supposed to clean up after yourself. The daily dinners were divided up by day, so everyone had one day of the week they were responsible for washing dishes and cleaning up the house.
But guess what? The kitchen always seemed to be a mess, dirty dishes in the sink, dishes and clothes left around the house, and the floor always scattered with crumbs and loose stuff.
The bottom line is, not all people have the same values, health habits or disciplines. In the end, we had to put strong controls on anyone who used the kitchen at all! If we found someone was not keeping up or was pilfering other peoples food they would either be fined or told to leave.
The common good was only as common as each individual deemed it to be.
So what am I saying? The notion that everybody should carry the weight they are capable of carrying (from Karl Marx, "From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs") is just an excuse for some people to simply avoid any responsibility.
I am not willing, nor would you be (I'll bet) willing to put in long hours just to have the majority of my earnings redistributed to someone who is just not motivated to do anything! And no one will convince me that those kind of people don't exist. If there was any good lessons I took from my college years, it was that communal living is a pipe dream.
Real world experience eventually makes wild-eyed student Marxists into political conservatives.. Once they see that paycheck getting pilfered every week, they will change their communal tune real fast!