Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Residue of Choice

The saying goes: Luck is the residue of design. My version: The life one leads is — in the main, for most persons — the residue of choice.

There is a kind of person: one who drinks too much, who drives too fast, who spends money that he or she doesn’t have (or has little prospect of acquiring) on gadgets instead of useful things, who will not accept or hold onto a menial job because it is “beneath” him or her, who selects a mate for superficial reasons. Such a person is likely to lead a chaotic life — one filled with tension, frustration, and failure. Such a person is not deserving of charity because he or she is likely to squander it. And yet, the welfare state squanders tax-supported “charity” on such persons, thus encouraging their self-destructive behavior.

The road to hell is paved with unintended — but foreseeable — consequences.