A telling anecdote at the end of today’s Bleat sums up one of the attitudes I find most distasteful about today’s Left. I realize that not all Kerry supporters are this clueless, but I also know she’s not alone. It boggles my mind that anyone can not only reach their twenties with such a vague notion of economics, but actually expect others to find their worldview attractive and persuasive. I’ll excerpt the relevent portion here. The context is that a girl came to Lileks’ door campaigning for Kerry, and had finished up her spiel by pointing out that Kerry would roll back the Bush tax cuts.
Then came the Parable of the Stairs, of course. My tiresome, shopworn, oft-told tale, a piece of unsupportable meaningless anecdotal drivel about how I turned my tax cut into a nice staircase that replaced a crumbling eyesore, hired a few people and injected money far and wide – from the guys who demolished the old stairs, the guys who built the new one, the family firm that sold the stone, the other firm that rented the Bobcats, the entrepreneur who fabricated the railings in his garage, and the guy who did the landscaping. Also the company that sold him the plants. And the light fixtures. It’s called economic activity. What’s more, home improvements added to the value of this pile, which mean that my assessment would increase, bumping up my property taxes. To say nothing of the general beautification of the neighborhood. Next year, if my taxes didn’t shoot up, I had another project planned. Raise my taxes, and it won’t happen – I won’t hire anyone, and they won’t hire anyone, rent anything, buy anything. You see?
“Well, it’s a philosophical difference,” she sniffed. She had pegged me as a form of life last seen clilcking the leash off a dog at Abu Ghraib. “I think the money should have gone straight to those people instead of trickling down.” Those last two words were said with an edge.
“But then I wouldn’t have hired them,” I said. “I wouldn’t have new steps. And they wouldn’t have done anything to get the money.”
“Well, what did you do?” she snapped.
“What do you mean?”
“Why should the government have given you the money in the first place?”
“They didn’t give it to me. They just took less of my money.”
That was the last straw. Now she was angry. And the truth came out:
“Well, why is it your money? I think it should be their money.”
Then she left.
And walked down the stairs. I let her go without charging a toll. It’s the philanthropist in me.