The perfect is the enemy of the good

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 27-01-2010


While commenting on Paul D. Ryan’s op-ed, I was told “The perfect is the enemy of good.” The op-ed was talking about cutting taxes, having tax credits for health care insurance purchases, moving towards medical savings accounts, and other Republican ideas. While I think these ideas are better than Obama’s if I have the false choice of one or the other, they still are based on the premise that government has a role of telling or enticing us into living life the way they believe we should live. This is the problem I see with the Republicans. By saying we should have these other policies and programs, they have already conceded defeat to progressives that government is empowered to tell us how to live. From that point, progressives have already won. The argument then comes down to who has the best policies to force society into the stated policy goal.  Here was the comment and my response.

Lloyd Morton replied: Jason, read the above post, The perfect is the enemy of good.

Jason Vanzin replied: (your comment) Lloyd, saying we should be free from coercion is asking for perfection? It is asking for what is moral. It used to be what this country was based on.

If someone robs my house, and the police know who it is and that he has my stuff, would you say the perfect is the enemy of the good when I say I want it all back? Should the police say, just be happy the robber is giving you your toaster back? That robber sure is a good guy.

Perfect is not the enemy of good. Evil is the enemy of good, and government becomes evil when it moves from protecting liberty to coercion.

Grant Ellis replied: Well said!

Carlos Sierra replied: I wish I’d said that. Well done, Jason Vanzin!

via Paul D. Ryan: A GOP Road Map for America’s Future –

I must say it was nice to see two people approving my comment, since it is a libertarian comment.

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