Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Obama, safety net, security on January 22, 2013 |
President Obama made a key social science claim in his second inaugural address. He said, “the commitments we make to each other–through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security [and presumably through other parts of the welfare state, too]–these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.”
This passage includes a put-down of Mitt Romney’s controversial campaign comment that 47% of Americans supported Obama because they were dependent “takers.” (See an earlier post on the 47% comment.) More fundamentally, Obama’s statement asserts that government-provided security does not undermine individuals’ entrepreneurial spirit, but instead bolsters that spirit. An interesting – and controversial – hypothesis.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged death, disasters, security on March 23, 2011 |
The horrific images from the Japanese earthquake-tsunami have probably shaken everyone’s confidence. When a nation so modern – so modern that its technology is considered cutting edge – is knocked down so badly, with thousands of citizens dead and many more left in the cold dark for days, with food running short, communities isolated, and anxieties about a nuclear energy threat, the rest of us can only wonder how secure we are.
The anxiety will pass. The worst of tragedies – like the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which killed 230,000 people and the 2008 earthquake in China which took 68,000 lives – pass into vague memory as we go about our daily lives. (The public’s amnesia for natural disasters drives emergency preparedness experts batty.) But the experience at the moment creates a sort of historical flashback to an era when it was a lot harder to feel secure, when insecurity was the norm.
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