Adam Rice

My life and the world around me

Liberty vs security

“They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.” The quote by Ben Franklin has gained an unfortunate currency of late.

An article in today’s New York Times discusses an effort by the OMB to quantify this tradeoff in terms of time or money. Which is…interesting, and might actually rein in some of the more abusive measures being taken in the name of security. And while measuring these tradeoffs is the OMB’s job, and I’m glad they’re addressing this issue, on a broader level I find the bean-counting approach to be disturbing. There are some tradeoffs you just shouldn’t make. Looking at the way things are headed right now, I’d rather live with the slim possibility that I’d get blown up than the certainty that my country has become a police state.

3 Comments

  1. I agree that the “bean counter” approach is a bit disturbing. It strikes me as one more step towards an utter technocracy — rather than engaging in actual debate about the merits or demerits of a particular issue, we’re going to rely on “science” to make our decisions for us. Pretty scary stuff if you ask me.

  2. joop jootemelk

    12 March 2003 at 11:06 am

    The scary thing is George W. Bush. That guy is a John Wayne puppet being controlled by a bunch of right wing neoconservatives. That scares me. I lost respect for government reports about the time Bush started talking about “energy supply impact studies” in obvious reference to important enviromnental impact studies

  3. There was a time when I would have agreed that Bush was a puppet. I’m not so sure any more–I think he really may be living some kind of cowboy fantasy, and the right wing is going along for the ride.

    Incidentally–any relationship to Joop Zootemelk, the famous cyclist?

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