Friday, May 28, 2010

Stolen, Not Created

A kind of Republican fantasy, that "free enterprise" created the wealth we see around us, has become a dangerous insanity. We did not create this wealth- we stole it. That is to say, we stole an entire continent and murdered almost all of the original owners.

In every other part of the world, the previous owners had to be accommodated in some way. In Europe layers upon layers of ownership and obligation needed to be purchased, bought off, and ameliorated. In South America the native peoples were displaced initially by European technology too weak to exploit the continent, and by the time technology grew strong, South American oligarchies defended the backwards economies they ruled.

This subject could be, and has been, elucidated at great length, but the key facts are these- America grew wealthy during the 19th century because we stole an entire continent, without let or hindrance, and had two oceans to protect us from the threat of war, and the cost that entails.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hoist on Own Petard

The tea-partyin' anti-immigration freaks seem not to have understood one thing- you can't issue papers declaring people to be illegal immigrants, so the alternative is to issue papers declaring people to be 'legals'. IOW, a national ID, which comes complete with black helicopters on the border. Or maybe just an identity chip injected into every 'real' citizen.

And now they're doing it again. The healthcare bill enacted by Congress includes funding for people who are uninsured because of pre-existing conditions, coverage which can be administered by the state, or by the federal government. And the states that just hates the federal program the mostest are refusing to administer their own programs, leaving it up to the federal government to do the work.

Well, the liberals tried to give the states a role here. If the teabaggers prefer big government, so be it.