05/09/2004: "Wild Abandonment"
Attending my son's wedding last night had me wondering anew how so many of those who call themselves "conservatives" could have developed such a blind spot concerning the impact of the policies they promote on the prospects of upcoming generations. How can they continue to advocate fiscal policies that explode the deficit and debt, when they must know that it is their children who will be saddled with sacrificing to retire each dollar of expenses that current generations choose not to pay outright. Everyone makes some kind of debt payments, whether on credit cards, auto loans, or mortgages, so it isn't like having to pay back loans is a difficult concept. Similarly, how can "conservatives" so energetically advocate acceleration of the exploitation of petroleum reserves, particularly domestic reserves, when they must realize that there is a definite point in the future when our children will find these reserves exhausted. Then there is the the question of environmental regulation. It has become clear to all that the environmental regulations of the 1970's reversed a trend towards despoilation of the environment. Why are "conservatives" so actively pursuing dismantling of these regulations? I can only surmise that they believe that the fat inheritances they are passing down to their personal heirs are their sole responsibility to future generations, so that in the meantime they are free to pursue self-interest and unbounded greed with wild abandon. What other explanation can there be?