Monday, December 01, 2003


It sounds as if Sarah needs some real world experience, if I had to guess I'd wager she's a college student studying some form of "environmental sciences". My first thought on reading her diatribe was pretty much what Scott mentioned in his post below- facts are facts regardless of whether or not the source is agreeable to you. Sarah neatly sidestepped facts and went with the tried and true ad hominem attack. When in doubt attack individuals and impugn motives, but for God's sake don't address the issues! Unfortunately this approach has had much success in recent years, if you say something often enough people will begin to believe it or worse, repeat it without any thought whatsoever.

Nonetheless, her little rant came nowhere near the issue of the almost complete fiscal irresponsibility within Americorps. It is a program she supports and probably makes her "feel good", so instead of reading the Cato study and perhaps having her eyes opened she just starts swinging. Perhaps Americorps can be "fixed" (although I'll never support it) but with Sarah's attitude it will just limp on and siphon its little bit off the public teat. If enough people on both sides of the aisle looked at the facts regarding Americorps and were outraged and demanded change perhaps some real progress could be made.

Sarah's email and a few conversations I had over the last week bring me to something that has been bothering me more and more. I realize it is human nature to want to do something that makes us feel good, but this needs to be weighed against the long term impact and overall effect of such actions. So many liberals support issues that make them feel good (welfare programs, rights for illegal immigrants, ending "exploitation" of Third World employees, etc., ad nauseum) without considering the big picture and the long range consequences. Maybe that Third World employee is rather looking forward to weekly wages higher than he now earns in a year, or the fact that these jobs will eventually increase the standard of living across the board. They don't stop to think about the long-term effects of welfare programs that almost 2 generations of people have become dependent on. It all boils down to selfishness in the guise of altruism. I'm sick to death of it and will, as Scott suggests, be very vocal about it - "feelings" be damned.

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