Keeping The Burdens of Life Reasonable
At face value, it would seem like people in New York City live relatively OK, burdens and all. Many of those burdens are surely unreasonable, but they are also not fully unbearable. Could we rethink government not bottom-up but top-down? Not providing global relief top-down but rather systematically identifying unreasonable burdens and providing targeted-yet-equitable relief bottom-up.
From a developmental perspective burden is good, burden gives you a response surface, something to play with and experience trade off. Fetishizing burden is dangerous but learning to play with it is valuable. Burden and clarity on how "acceptably burdensome" we agree to let life be, a very promising approach as metapolicy tool.
What are unreasonable burdens? That’s an important question. We can only benefit from sharing impressions and finding agreement on what burdens are non-tolerable. We’re talking about the fates that “we society” will protect anyone from experiencing — miserable fates like not having home, not having time to see family or space to play, socialize, and self-actualize.
It’s as if the modern government were tasked with establishing the level of burden necessary to reach a satisfying quality-of-life in ways that preserve dignity. "What is an honorable lifestyle?" A lifestyle that undermines the dignity of others is not honorable.