Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What does give mean? What does take mean?

I watched last weeks episode of Stossel last night. He had a liberal on explaining his take on the budget plan. He said “The republicans plan will take food from the mouths of the poor while giving the richest people in America a fat paycheck”. His argument would be persuasive if you accept his definitions of the words "GIVE" and "TAKE". In the world I live in "give" means to give someone something they didn't previously have, and "take" means to take something from someone they already have, however this liberal commentator reverses the meaning of these words to make his argument. When he says “The republicans plan will take food from the mouths of the poor”, he meant that the plan will not give food stamp recipients as much in future food stamp dollars. When he says “They are giving the richest people in America a fat paycheck” he means the government is not taking as much in tax money from people. It is completely ass backwards and that kind of rhetoric is why a serious discussion and debate cannot be had on the issues that confront people, if an agreement on the definition of simple to understand words like give and take cannot be agreed on then what about more esoteric words like “terror”, “war”, “poverty” and many other words where the definitions are already far more subjective?

I support an abolition of the entire federal government, so I don't see cuts of any sort as a bad thing. This puts me at odds with the spend happy liberals. However, I believe that if the only way you can craft a persuasive argument for your ideas is to change the definition of words in order to create an argument that is acceptable to people then you have already lost the debate. I hope most people are smart enough to see through this kind of crap, but unfortunately I do not have a lot of hope in this matter. Politicians have already ruined the term "cut" as in "the government cut spending". In my world if I say I cut my food budget, I mean something like I went from having a food budget of $100 to $80, but in government speak cutting the budget means going from spending $100 to spending $102, and the cut was because at some point in the past they believed they would be able to spend $105.

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