I disagree with Hightower.

What you will find here is: a centrist's view of current events;
a collection of thoughts, arguments, and observations
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

It is not your fault.

I have thoroughly enjoyed watching several of the Republican governors making serious attacks on the budget problems of their states.  Those problems caused mostly by previous officials who got reelected in the past by making promises then that cannot be kept now.  

Enter Rahm Emmanuel D, the new (well sort of new) Mayor of Chicago.  He is someone that I haven't really liked much.  However, he recently told the press that he had been making the rounds among public employees telling them the bad news.  Apparently  he intends to really try to solve some problems.  But he added a very important point that I liked and I have not heard from any of the Republicans.  We should have heard it from them.  The fact that we haven't means that they are living their public image of indifference to human suffering or the media is living their public image of not being fair to Republicans.

What Emmanuel said was that he was also telling those public employees that:  "It is not your fault."

I agree.  The American citizen is operating inside a system.  You cannot fault them for making the best deal that they can.  As Rob would say: blame the game not the player.

The ones who are at fault are the ones who constructed that system.  The ones that got elected year after year by promising I will give you this, YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO THAT, and YOU DESERVE ...  . They did that without arranging to pay for it.  It is harder to persuade the people to buy those things with their own money. So those guys bought people's  votes to give them those things with their descendants' money.  

So I agree that it is not your fault when you make the best deal you can as a player in the system.

But when you are voting, then you in on the construction of the system.  It is clearer now that what happens when the government spends like a drunken sailor is very similar to what happens when an individual does that.   Therefore you (7-23) if you continue to support these "unsustainable" policies, then you are responsible. 

Then it is your fault.


  1. I can agree with Wayne’s comments about making the best deal you can with the rules in place. That is pretty much a principle of a Democracy. We vote we follow the majority rule.

    I do have a different view on who shares the blame. When the players get to vote on the rules and the rule makers and then make the best deal they can under the rules I do not see the players as free from fault.

    1. Seems to me we agree on the second point.

    2. Perhaps, but I think I stated my case poorly. In this scenario a set of individuals (those that voted for the current rules) will be both “at fault” as voters and “faultless” as players so I would not agree with Rahm’s blanket statement to employees that “It is not your fault”. Indeed, since passing rules requires a majority at least half of the employees would (statistically) have an “at fault” half.