Don’t lose progress
Except for the tiniest handful, mankind has struggled for thousands of years just to survive. Few children reached adulthood and those who did lived a short and brutish life. Yet today the average American lives a life of luxury the richest nobility of a few hundred years ago could not have imaged. This miracle is the result of three major developments: governments’ recognition of the rights of the individual, a free-market economy, and the Industrial Revolution.
Democratic forms of government protect us from each other and allow us to work together in large impersonal communities. Free markets let us voluntarily trade for mutual benefit and private property (property being used in its broadest sense) gives us something to trade. Honoring of promises or contracts makes trading with strangers acceptable and expands the opportunities. The Industrial Revolution has brought the luxuries of the rich and elite within reach of everyone.
The changes mentioned have occurred in a brief moment of human history and are in danger of disappearing as quickly unless we understand how they were accomplished. Those agitating for change need first to appreciate what we have, lest they undo much of what has been achieved.
Recently Dan Krieger authored a column on the “Montebello” and how its sinking was denied by our government. The article suggests that it was found lying on the ocean floor by a marine archaeologist and the research vessel “Cavalier” on Nov. 7, 1996.
The reality is that for many years, local fishers had a general idea of its location. However, in the summer of 1978, a local fishermen, Leon Collins, aboard his boat the “Rae Linda K.D.” pinpointed its exact location with automatic tracking Loran C, the precursor to GPS.
This is a perfect example of how history can become an agreed-upon fable unless we are reminded of the truth.
Mark M. Tognazzini
Thank you for telling it like it is regarding the tax hysteria that infects a dominant minority of our nation. Just because they are loud does not mean they rule. I am sick of listening to their whining and defending the 1 percent like wind-up dogs.
As a 99-percenter on a fixed income, I do not mind paying a little to save our civilization ... if it is still possible. For the record, I attended UC Berkeley for a grand total of $85 a semester. And I got there as a result of a fine public education. Imagine that.
Sadly, those days are long gone. My own grandchildren of modest means are likely going to a private school, much to my sorrow, but hey, what are the options anymore? If society does not educate and support all of its citizens, we are surely doomed. Not to mention the real costs, which skyrocket due to inevitable services required by people who cannot fully participate in society.
San Luis Obispo