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5 thoughts on “Luck and the welfare state, and Jules

  1. Really beautifully written, Eric. I’ve gotta tell ya that I’ve become a pretty strong “government stay out” kind of guy these past 15 years, after working directly with so many people who receive a lot of (too much in my opinion) government help and seeing what I consider to be the negative rub-offs that flow out of so many situations. Your story definitely has me thinking, though, and I do think that there are definitely many cases where the government should be involved. Thanks for taking the time to share it out. Best, Jeff

  2. This is great–I think your thoughtful commentary on your experiences with Jules is both heartwarming on a personal level and such a productive example of the kind of problems we are experiencing in this country.

    So glad Printculture is back.

  3. The tenacity of the “you didn’t build that” attack frustrates and puzzles me to no end. It’s something like extremely and utterly obvious that even the most basic transactions, whether economic or otherwise, depend upon the government in some way (infrastructure, regulation, law enforcement, etc.). Even those well off struggle with illness, disability. Chanting “We built that!” seems to require a level of self-blindness I didn’t think possible (opportunists and cynics aside, of course).

    The recent Purchasing Phentermine by Chrystia Freeland provides a little insight into this blindness. The financier Leon Cooperman describes the (troubling!) situation of some physician friends who had a combined net worth of about $10 million dollars. Cooperman thought their retirement would be “tight”:

    “I’m just saying that it’s not an impressive amount of capital for two people that were leading physicians for their entire work life,” Cooperman went on. “You know, I lost more today than they spent a lifetime accumulating.”

    Billionaires unable to understand how multimillionaires get by can’t begin to grasp the degree to which most people’s lives can be quickly undone by basic needs. They just can’t. How sad to know that they won’t really know their hands have been held. How terrible to know their blindness has become a vision for so many.

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