The tight money-induced Great Recession has damaged our nation in many ways. There are plenty of aspects to the damage that has been inflicted that are deserving of indignation, but that is how one feels about the logic behind the causes of various symptoms. I realize that I’ve put an emotional spin on what it does to the people who couldn’t find a chair as money became tighter and tighter. But it isn’t necessarily because of empathy or pity.
No one wants to live in a world of disorder and chaos. No one wants to live in a world where one follows the rules and works all their lives for the things they have and money they’ve saved only to have it all vanish overnight and be left without a means of survival. No one wants to deal with the political situation that results from it happening on a massive scale. That kind of world amplifies all kinds of societal problems from alcoholism and drug abuse, to broken homes and families, to despondency and psychological crises on an order of magnitude that otherwise would not exist.
I hear Democrats talking about fairness quite a lot. But all that chatter is hallow because the mass robbing of all that has labored to achieve or opportunities for the young in the stealth and random fashion that accompanies tight money is not fairness or anything close to it. Nor does it produce order, but it persists.
I suppose if viewing the choice to adopt tight money for almost no benefit as theft and being angry about the persistence of it is a purely emotional choice, then I am guilty of being emotional rather than logical. But then what good is logic if we can use it to justify almost anything that results in nearly the same things? I suppose Stalin had a logical reason for starving millions of Chechens. But we certainly do not advocate that kind of governmental action. Is it logical to take the stance that we cannot tolerate governments purposely starving millions of people?
We don’t kill. We don’t steal. And we don’t do these things with the advocacy of government because it results in chaos, disorder, and the kind of tyrannical world that no one wants to live in. We also don’t do them because we wouldn’t want to find ourselves or our loved ones as victims.
And if you ask me, utilitarianism is not devoid of moral motivations nor is it even marginally so. It is a merely a logical justification for taking things from someone to give to someone else. It says you have more than you can ever use and someone else over there has too little. The having of too little is condition by which the judgment is made, not the having of too much; and there is no particular reason for redistribution other than those having too little.
But suppose someone had enough or maybe just a little more than that after years of working to build a life. Then big brother changes monetary policy and the enough vanishes: the career, the house, the car, the savings plan, the spouse and the kids – and that someone ends up destitute with creditors hounding them and no opportunities to rebuild.
I think indignation backed by logic is certainly justified in that situation. It doesn’t matter if that someone can go have the standard of living that is the same as those in poverty today as result of losing everything. It’s not the having. It’s the losing and why it was lost that matters.