Sober Realities

I chanced to speak briefly with a woman today in the supermarket, and the conversation turned spontaneously to the state of the nation’s economy. She wasn’t “dressed to the nines” by any means, but looked like one of those people who are comfortable “dressing down” on purpose, if you know what I mean.

While the two of us were standing at the water Purolator together, she made a startling statement. She said that she thought the current recession is a good thing, but she didn’t offer to elaborate on that assertion. Since she looked to me more like a Barbara Boxer liberal than an Ayn Rand self-reliant capitalist, I replied that compassion doesn’t mean very much when people lack the dignity of a job, and tens of millions of Americans are out of work and need to be given jobs.

In a casual but sincere voice, she said, “Why do they need to be given jobs? Why don’t they go out and make their own jobs?” To that I replied, “Because the government won’t get off the backs of the people and lower taxes and abandon onerous employment and social policies that make people want to hunker down and hold onto what they have, rather than go out and take economic risks by creating new jobs.”

Then, she really floored me. She said she hadn’t thought about the economy that way and she’d have to consider things in that light – at which point she moved off. As I stood there filling up my water bottles, I thought: how can any reasonably intelligent person have failed to notice over the past three or more decades that every time taxes are lowered and the government diminishes its involvement in the private sector, the people go back to work and the economy becomes a juggernaut?

Perhaps there is a good answer to that question. I don’t know, and I don’t like pigeon-holing people. But I confess that the way it looks to me is that liberal cognitive dissonance precludes acknowledging sober realities.


I chanced to speak briefly with a woman today in the supermarket, and the conversation turned spontaneously to the state of the nation’s economy. She wasn’t “dressed to the nines” by any means, but looked like one of those people who are comfortable “dressing down” on purpose, if you know what I mean.

While the two of us were standing at the water Purolator together, she made a startling statement. She said that she thought the current recession is a good thing, but she didn’t offer to elaborate on that assertion. Since she looked to me more like a Barbara Boxer liberal than an Ayn Rand self-reliant capitalist, I replied that compassion doesn’t mean very much when people lack the dignity of a job, and tens of millions of Americans are out of work and need to be given jobs.

In a casual but sincere voice, she said, “Why do they need to be given jobs? Why don’t they go out and make their own jobs?” To that I replied, “Because the government won’t get off the backs of the people and lower taxes and abandon onerous employment and social policies that make people want to hunker down and hold onto what they have, rather than go out and take economic risks by creating new jobs.”

Then, she really floored me. She said she hadn’t thought about the economy that way and she’d have to consider things in that light – at which point she moved off. As I stood there filling up my water bottles, I thought: how can any reasonably intelligent person have failed to notice over the past three or more decades that every time taxes are lowered and the government diminishes its involvement in the private sector, the people go back to work and the economy becomes a juggernaut?

Perhaps there is a good answer to that question. I don’t know, and I don’t like pigeon-holing people. But I confess that the way it looks to me is that liberal cognitive dissonance precludes acknowledging sober realities.