Re: `capitalist' character values

From: Olga Bourlin (
Date: Thu Jul 26 2001 - 08:28:39 MDT

Lee Corbin wrote about what I wrote:
> Olga Bourlin writes
> > I'm so sorry they aren't paying MD-PHds more than poor working people's
> > wages these days.
> It really would be best for all concerned to avoid personal references
> like this. Surely, with practice, we can all learn to make our points
> without venturing dangerously close to the ad hominem ...

You're 100% right, Lee. I apologize for the sarcasm, and that's sincere.

Having worked my way through college ... and working, for some years as a
single parent, at a full-time job where I babysat another working woman's
children at night (in exchange for having my children babysat), rousing my
children from sleep to take them home at 2:15 a.m. in the morning (FYI, I
don't believe in alimony or child support on principle) ... and at another
time (children grown, but one still in college) having two full-time jobs
for over three years ... I know something about working and being
responsible. (This is not presented as argument, merely as background.)
>From a libertarian perspective, however, would I be considered a "lazy"
person because I put my children through public schools?

Also, I know
> that the temptation to sarcasm is strong---especially when one feels
> outnumbered.

I'm not certain what you mean by feeling outnumbered. Outnumbered because
of my politics? Certainly not outnumbered when it comes to some other
criteria. Perhaps it's my scrappy immigrant background that contributes to
my sarcastic perspective - I've been saddled with it all my life.

> In a society of millions, or hundreds of millions, some people's economic
> to others (sometimes as in the case of movie stars or baseball players,
> of others) will be vastly, vastly more than other's economic worth.
> school teachers be paid more than movie stars? Who is to say? The answer
> not some committee that will force their decision on others, but people
> choosing with their dollar-votes.

But which committee decides the worth of those dollar-votes?

> Yes, sometimes the differences are obscene.

So are you saying, "so what?" I'm only glad the libertarians weren't in
"charge" during the Civil Rights Movement. The differences, obscene as they
are now, would have been even more so. Where would we be now - still living
in a segregated society? Upholding the privilege of people's being able to
choose exclusively "with their dollar votes" would have relegated many other
people to de jure segregation, at best (and that's from the optimistic
viewpoint that somehow even libertarians would by now have been on the side
of disbanding de facto segregation ... not by force, of course, but by
exhibiting some conscience and compassion?) Switching to the utterly
mundane, thanks for correcting my "obcene" typo, Lee ... I hate it when I do

> > This is all personal, I realize - but I feel lucky to be healthy,
> > intelligent, productive and, most important, to have the capacity to
> > life. So what if some of my hard-earned money goes to lazy people, or
> > people, or schizophrenic people?
> That should be your choice. Not all people think or feel as you do. Why
> should they be literally forced to yield up their money?

The point is - "some of my hard-earned money" - not "money," period.
Shucks, I believe in contributing to some "general good." After all, I use
"free" resources - as I said before, my children went to public schools
(yes, I know some people choose not to have children, or else choose not to
have their children attend public schools, but as I understand it, most
people - even libertarians - use public roads and highways). The milk of
human kindness does not run very deep in humans, it's been my observation.
Again, I direct you to some of my remarks about the Civil Rights Movement,

As an aside (as this was not mentioned in Lee's post to which I am replying)
regarding Rafal Smigrodzki's solution to helping the poor (not mentioned in
Lee's post), i.e., "How about providing a guaranteed 1500 kcal of cheapest
food/day, about 30sq. ft space in a shelter, and other necessities, no

... I agree with the extrope who quipped this sounds like prison. And
that's one of the reasons I said above that I don't feel "outnumbered when
it comes to some other criteria."

Olga Bourlin

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