Drinking the Kool-Aid

I’m watching Obama’s Denver speech about the stimulus bill. I’ve read the pros and cons. I’ve listened to the GOP arguments (largely summed up by, “Soooooooooociiiaaaaaaaaliiiiiiiiiissssssssm!”). I understand everybody’s fears.

Yet we happily invested trillions of dollars into foreign wars over the last eight years while our own country failed. Wars that killed tens of thousands of innocent people.

And we’re not willing to invest in our own infrastructure? Our own country? Our own people? We’ll spend billions to rebuild Iraq… but not our own country?

There’s a great TED talk by Bill Gates where he points out that there are huge, important initiatives that will never be addressed by the free market. His example was malaria. Hundreds of thousands die of malaria in poor countries. There’s no free market drive to prevent these deaths… because there’s no money in it.

I was reminded of what Lyndon B. Johnson said when he desegregated schools. To paraphrase, “Sometimes we don’t do things because they’re popular. We do them because they’re right.”

(Also, why does the president have to sign the bill ten times? That was a neat bit of trivia)

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