Friday, February 25, 2011

Debt Clock

A reader named James calls our attention to a graphic that illustrates pretty dramatically just how rapidly our national debt is rising. It also shows the growth of a number of other interesting parameters such as debt per citizen and debt per taxpayer. It also offers similar information for each state. For example, did you know that roughly one out of every 12 of Pennsylvania's 12,700,000 citizens receives food stamps?

There's lots of useful information at the site. Check it out here.

Conservatism vs. Liberalism and Libertarianism

Matt Lewis makes a case for the superiority of conservatism vis a vis liberalism and libertarianism in a piece at Politics Daily. He draws the following distinctions:
Liberals tend to set up equality as the highest good. Equality is the end goal of most liberal policy. The conservative asks, "Why does that idea become valued over all others?" Equality is certainly good, but as a highest end and goal, it can lead to devastating consequences.

Likewise, the pure libertarian (as opposed to those of us who have some libertarian leanings) sets up liberty as the highest good. Liberty is the end goal of all policy. The conservative looks to the libertarian and asks, "Why does that idea become valued over all others?" Liberty is obviously a great good, but as the highest end goal, it can also lead to devastating consequences.

The conservative argues that the greatest instructor on what laws should exist in a civil society is human experience. So, it would seem libertarianism hits its own walls when it ventures out of its world of make-believe theories and steps into the world of reality.

Alternatively, traditional conservatives believe the rise and success of Western society was not merely a lucky accident or the result of a couple Enlightenment period thunderbolts, but rather the product of diligent work, trial and error, and human experience -- and in may ways the result of Christian civilization.

As such, [conservatives] argue that preserving a strong moral order -- an order that took shape over millennia -- is vitally important to a functioning society (including a functioning economic system).
There's more at the link.