From the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual position, and that the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently. Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict with each other; and we can achieve either one or the other, but not both at the same time

-- F.A. Hayak

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Government that works?

One of the most troubling aspects of President Obama's inaugural speech yesterday was his phrase
"The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works"
This sounds so good, especially to those of us who went to college and have forgotten that wisdom is measured by the values we express in our daily lives. Put another way, wisdom is a reflection of the right ordering of our ethical and moral lives. With this understanding of wisdom in mind, the President's question is seen as empty of rhetorical content. Were to have written this speech, I would have asked President Obama say something like...
"The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether its institutions reflect the values upon which this country was founded"
Why is my version better than President's Obamas? Well, Benito Mussoline made the trains run on time.


Anonymous said...

Obama is not crafting his speech for the consumption of intellectuals, he is addressing soccer moms, nascar dads, and voters on the receiving end of wealth redistribution, not PhDs. Which plays better?
- whether it works
- whether its institutions reflect the values upon which this country was founded