Thursday, December 27, 2012

Anecdotes in lieu of solutions

What to do about the fiscal cliff? Victor Davis Hanson writes that

Raising taxes across the board or vastly cutting spending or both would start to solve the problem, and so, as real options, must go unmentioned.

And what does Hanson say about proposed solutions regarding Newtown?

We do not know exactly what causes mentally disturbed suburban youths to shoot and kill innocents in large numbers, but most doubt that simply outlawing semi-automatic assault rifles will stop such evil, at least in and of itself. It is just as likely that post-1960s attitudes about the mentally ill that make it much harder to hospitalize any who display dangerous tendencies, or the recent spate of violent and deviant video games, or the sick culture that Hollywood so often romanticizes contributed equally to the evil of the recluse Adam Lanza. Fixating on assault rifles is an easy thing to do, given the caricatures of camouflaged redneck militiamen blasting away in the Georgia pinewoods, but taking on the mental-health industry, civil libertarians, and the entertainment industry — that would win Obama only abuse from the liberals and from interests far more powerful than the NRA. So we fixate instead on assault rifles.

So, what does Obama propose?

The Obama presidency is one of anecdotes in lieu of solutions. It might be a comforting thought that jailing a reactionary filmmaker, or raising taxes on the suspect few, or providing amnesty to the college undergraduate, or taking away Ted Nugent’s guns will solve our mounting problems, but such anecdotes mean little in the real world of difficult choices that would offend friends as well as opponents.

Read more here:

No comments: