Defending my hippy views

When I first started on WordPress, I couldn’t possibly have anticipated the number of political writers that the site holds. I assumed it was a website filled with failed travel writers, but kenpruitt666 has proved me wrong.

This guy, who from now on I’ll call ‘ken’, is staunchly capitalist, and favours market forces over common sense. I’ve had to defend my arguments from him many times in the past, but I am by no means bitter.

I think its healthy that I should be challenged from time to time, and if anyone wants to get a debate started then they’re perfectly welcome to. I’m going to handle his latest rebuttal in this posting:

It is not unusual that we hear cries in the media about there not being enough jobs. A standard jobs rant runs something like this; “The government’s plan isn’t creating jobs, it’s destroying jobs! We need a new policy towards creating jobs and stimulating employment!”

This complaint is flawed in that it uses the very general term, “jobs.” What kind of jobs in what sectors? Should they be full-time jobs or part-time jobs? When you say that “We need jobs!” you’re actually creating far more questions than you’re answering.

It’s perfectly reasonable for normal people to demand that the government they elected improve their living conditions by whatever way possible, and if that includes job creation then you free marketeers are just going to have to grin and bear it, because government is responsible for all that happens within it borders, economically or otherwise. (Excluding marriages.) Government has improved economies in the past, and it can do so again. I simply don’t believe that we have to let the market sort out society in its own time, rather than taking action now.

By creating more businesses, we create more jobs. Full-time are preferable to part-time, but any jobs are better than no jobs. When people have jobs they take responsibility as citizens, and they are also more likely to invest in businesses and start up businesses of their own. The whole economy is improved by more people having more money, rather than having mountains of cash in the hands of  minority. Its for that reason that the living wage is such a good idea, as I’ve said in the past.

“The point of my last point was to point out that all of the so-called green jobs, like those jobs such as fracking, have environmental trade-offs. I mentioned the wind-farms upsetting the ecosystem by killing thousands of birds, for instance. So the point is this; the government taking over the energy industry and investing in so-called “green technology” isn’t going to make us safer or healthier, since all of the “green technology” so heavily touted by environmentalists each have their own environmental trade-offs.”

I think we can all agree that in the grand scheme of things, trading our carbon-intensive economy for a green-economy would easily make for a healthier world, regardless of a few lost birds. The difference is that millions of tonnes of CO2 are worse for the environment than the deaths of a couple seagulls.

“Now with regards to it being within the interests of the rich to keep us dependent on fossil fuels, let me ask you this MarxistMax; aren’t there rich people in the “green energy” business who have a massive interest in government funding of “green technology?” You are subsidizing the interests of the “rich” no matter what you do. If you say the government should nationalize the energy industry, then it can only do so in one of two ways; either it must, using public funds, buy the businesses from those businessmen who own said industries, or it must seize them forcefully from those said businessmen. But even if you nationalize the entire energy industry, the government will still have to do business with those parties outside of the energy industry, and the extortionist, backroom deals that will ensue from this will know no bounds and no ends. The interests of the “rich” are once again subsidized.”

This is a good point, and a difficult one to counter. What I meant is that a publicly owned energy industry would be able to keep prices low for home owners, as well as shifting investment to green energy, and that between those two objectives a publicly owned industry would be more beneficial for the public. As opposed to a privately owned industry which works only for profit.

“In his last post, he was saying that it is imperative to get away from fossil fuels on the basis of environmental concerns. Now he’s saying that we need to invest in the green sector on the basis of job creation.

First and foremost, there is what is seen and what is not seen. What is seen is that, yes, government spends money creating jobs. What is not seen is that when the government takes it’s revenue, it by necessity destroys an employment opportunity for someone else, so the actual net balance of jobs created is zero, if not less than zero.”

Both job-creation and environmental protection are valid reasons for ‘getting away from fossil fuels’. They are both as important as the other. It’s a ‘Two birds one stone’ situation.

That taxpayers money will make much more of an impact when rolled into one than if spent on sweeties and magazines by a thousand separate civilians. It is important to get civilians spending, but the government can do more with that money than civilians can.

“If the demand for fossil fuels shifts to alternative energies as a result of the tax, then jobs will disappear in the fossil fuel industry (creating unemployment) as jobs in the new green sector begin to boom. You’re merely transferring jobs from one sector to another sector, and this creates its own set of problems.”

A more accurate description would be of a nation shifting its focus from carbon to green, and thereby exchanging an economy built on destruction and exploitation for an economy based on co-operation and the value of human beings.

There is one final issue to address with the sort of manipulative policies addressed earlier; people are not pawns on a chessboard that you can move at your whim. You’re looking at society as if it were a chessboard and saying, “if only we could get a smarter player to move the pieces. Then we could achieve results X, Y, and Z.” Before you interject and say that this is a strawman, let me remind you of what you wrote.

“let me now ask you this; how many men throughout history have looked at the whole of mankind with grand visions of regimentation and guided production, and how many people died because those same men tried to implement these grand visions? They believed that they could instill all-around regimentation within the life of man, and the result has always been mass poverty, mass murder, and mass political corruption. They manipulated the world around them as though they were God, they instituted their vision because they thought they were the ones who would save civilization from inevitable collapse, and the people at large are the ones who paid the price.”

For a right-winger, this is hugely hypocritical. In the States, I’m well aware that people are genuinely terrified of ‘social engineering’, but let me put this to you:

Does not any politician, or civilian with a point of view, wish to make his mark? Does not any president or prime minister wish to change things to the way he wishes they could be? The whole point of politics is that you change things to the way you think they should be, so long as enough people agree with you.

A VERY large difference between me and Stalin, Hitler or any mass-murdering dictator you care to mention is that I DON’T USE VIOLENCE. I can’t believe this even needs to be said! If people don’t like my opinions then they can simply stop reading. I’m not trying to ‘instill all-around regimentation’.

If I was ever to try something like that, then I’m sure those ‘good guys with guns’ would stop me outright.

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