Five Ft. Three

“A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.” ― Milton Friedman

Exceptionalism Part 2

on January 19, 2010

I had promised Dave Miller a continued discussion on Exceptionalism, and now he is leaving the country to do mission work and I realized I never got back to that discussion. But my commentary also is driven by my friend Z-man’s latest posting where he somehow tries to agree with liberals in theory because he agrees with the minimum wage, saying we do need a source of outside judgment sometimes.

My first point that I have been meaning to discuss with regards to exceptionalism is when did it become a bad word? I think it started with the political correctness movement, coupled with the whole attitude that we cannot have kids’ teams keep score and everyone gets a trophy, and we can’t grade children because bad grades might hurt their feelings. Well, that is when the motivation for exceptionalism went out the door. Now I can recognize that not all kids are gifted in math, mine happen to be, but my kids aren’t very good at athletics. So, it’s okay that my daughter recently won a national math award, but I don’t expect her to get a trophy for basketball when she can’t make a basket. Why is that such a wrong concept to be recognized for one’s accomplishments?

My next point comes from Z-man’s posting about how the minimum wage is necessary because he thinks people are basically corrupt and would pay peanuts if they could. I disagree, and it goes along with exceptionalism. A minimum wage puts a value on a job and then where is there the motivation to do better than expected? An exceptional worker is not going to be worrying about getting paid enough, they will be paid for the value of their work.

So, the bottom line is that we need to promote exceptionalism within our nation, not discourage it, and definitely not limit it. As I said in my first blog about exceptionalism, when each individual is striving for it, it will follow that the nation will be exceptional, too.

And Dave, something tells me that when it comes to your mission work, you are striving for it, and thank God you do, because what a good thing it is that you do!


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