Saturday, March 7, 2009


( COMMON SENSE: sound practical judgment independent of specialized knowledge or training, normal native intelligence - Dictionary definition)

Just by watching the nightly news, you’ll see and hear some outlandish happenings by supposedly intelligent people making decisions that definitely are lacking in common sense. An example of this lack of common sense, that happened just recently, involved a 10 year girl who was suspended from school for bringing a steak knife to school for use in eating her lunch. The school authorities, instead of taking the knife away in compliance with its zero tolerance policy and possibly calling the girls parents, instead called the police and arrested her and, in addition, suspended her for two weeks. What in the name of Sam Hill are these people eating and drinking? How ridiculous can these so-called grownups get - they are really devoid of common sense.

Another example where common sense is lacking is when people talk about economics and infuse politics in making an erroneous determination. The Bush administration claimed in 2001, that by cutting the marginal tax rates for taxpayers, the economy would prosper and tax revenues would increase dramatically. That occurred as planned, but the national debt also increased and the opponents of cutting taxes blamed the lowering of the marginal tax rates as the reason for the increase in the national debt and in running up annual deficits, although the deficit has been reduced over the past few years. Instead of lowering the national debt and reducing the deficit to zero, which should have happened as a result of the increase in revenues, the Congress, in its infinite wisdom, increased their spending over and above the increased revenues generated by the tax cuts. The Congressional opponents of the tax cuts are devoid of common sense by continuing their profligate spending thereby increasing our deficit and national debt, but claiming, erroneously, on purpose, that the deficits are caused by the tax cuts.

Another area of life where there seems to be an absence of common sense, is in the public discourse on affirmative action. In order to assuage our national conscience over past discrimination against minorities, some leaders propose and try to implement programs to give a leg up to members in the minority classes who once were discriminated against. These affirmative (a/k/a quotas) action programs are inherently immoral and unethical because you are taking away from someone to give to someone else, solely on the basis of their minority status, which then becomes reverse discrimination and compounds the problem you were trying to remedy in the first place. Common sense dictates that we should make the rules fair to everybody and let the people strive to reach their potential by not depriving someone else of their rightful aspirations.

In addition, another area where common sense seems to be lacking is in the area of using and implementing school vouchers (a/k/a opportunity scholarships). Many politicians, due to tremendous pressure from the teachers unions, are adamantly opposed to letting poor and moderate income citizens being able to enroll their children in better performing schools if their present school is failing or under-performing. The hypocrisy of the opponents, many of whom are financially able to pay for private schools for their children, turn common sense on it head. Many Congressmen and Senators and present day working teachers, send their own children to private schools instead of enrolling them in a local public school. It’s a “do-as-I-say, not a do-as-I-do” method of obfuscating an issue for partisan political reasons and not by using common sense. As an affirmation of my views, the noted economist and syndicated columnist Thomas Sowell once said: “When you want to see the poor remain poor, generation after generation, just keep standards low in their schools and make excuses for their academic shortcomings and personal misbehavior”. Vouchers could alleviate that inequity by giving the parents an opportunity to help their children receive a better education at a better school.

I’ve listed some of the instances where common sense hasn’t been used properly by our leaders and by others. But, can common sense ever make a comeback in our society? Common sense says no, but it is inherently possible if we can also do away with political correctness which is driving these inane and stupid decisions on the part of people who should know better.

Written by Chuck Lehmann
"Chuck on the Right Side"

No comments: