A Couple of Interesting LinksAs people living at a certain time in history, we look around at all that is wrong with the world and think to ourselves that it was so much better way-back-when. The problem is that there was no way-back-when. All of the problems we face today have been faced in the past by other societies. The thing to remember is that we must keep our sense of humor. As bad as things may seem at times, you can always find laughter somewhere. The newest source is the website created by those faux commies at The People's Cube. This one is: Best Obama Facts. According to the description at the top of the page,
The living heroic legend that is Barack Obama has already broken the pop-culture record of Baghdad Bob and is now approaching that of Chuck Norris and Vladimir Putin. When even Obama's official campaign is forced to launch a fact-checking website to keep his runaway aura under control, you just know that Obama's public persona has developed a life of its own and is resisting efforts to catch it and put it on Ritalin. We thought that the best way to take control of the situation would be by using Obama's own patented method of hopeful approach to reality. So we built a radically different website: it looks like Obama's fact-checking site, only instead of chasing cowardly facts and arguing old truths that are tarnished and tedious, we invent new,sparkling-clean truths that are exciting and heroic. The beauty of this approach is that when new truths become old and tarnished, they can be easily thrown under the bus and replaced with newer and better heroic truths, ensuring Obama's glorious march towards a higher metaphysical plane of unstoppable service to humankind.There is much more, some of it first seen at The People's Cube, and some brand new; at least I'd never seen it before.
While not nearly as humorous as the previous link (although he can provoke chuckles when he wants to), Jonah Goldberg's column on capitalism is still worth reading.
We've all witnessed the tendency to take a boon for granted. Being accustomed to a provision naturally leads the human heart to consider that provision an entitlement. Hence the not-infrequent lawsuits from prison inmates cruelly denied their rights to cable TV or apple brown betty for desert.
And so it goes, I think, with capitalism generally.
Capitalism is the greatest system ever created for alleviating general human misery, and yet it breeds ingratitude.
People ask, "Why is there poverty in the world?" It's a silly question. Poverty is the default human condition. It is the factory preset of this mortal coil. As individuals and as a species, we are born naked and penniless, bereft of skills or possessions. Likewise, in his civilizational infancy man was poor, in every sense. He lived in ignorance, filth, hunger and pain, and he died very young, either by violence or disease.
The interesting question isn't "Why is there poverty?" It's "Why is there wealth?" Or: "Why is there prosperity here but not there?"
At the end of the day, the first answer is capitalism, rightly understood. That is to say: free markets, private property, the spirit of entrepreneurialism and the conviction that the fruits of your labors are your own.
So go get some laughs and go be better informed. The world's troubles will remain, or they will be traded for new ones. We can still care about them, but if you don't laugh sometimes you will go nuts.