Monday, March 28, 2011

Manifesto

I don't feel my beliefs are represented in Congress pretty much at all. Here is a small list of a few suggestions, although I reserve the right to add to these subjects at any time. I suspect this will not be popular with many, if any. Am I really the only one who thinks this way?

The Fair and Sustainable Platform:

  • All people deserve access to health care. Coverage should not be determined by profit-making companies. In fact, making money from a pool designed to assist with medical bills is amoral. It means somebody is getting charged too much or paid to little, or not enough people are getting the medical care they need.

  • Different wages for different jobs, yes. A difference in salaries greater than 300 percent, such as the typical janitor and the CEO of the company he works for? No. Income inequality, especially to that degree, is just asking for trouble for everyone in that society. Look it up.

  • Access to higher education should be within reach for anyone who is motivated to succeed. I think that the freedom and resources for learning to read and write is an intrinsic human right. I feel this is a true human right, unlike reproductive freedom.

  • No pork-laden bill passing in Congress. The bill, and that's it. I suspect lobbying was originally designed to bring matters to the attention of lawmakers, so they could have appropriate information before voting on a bill. Today, the lobbyists for too many industries are more like party hosts, supplying extraneous fripperies instead of facts and information of substance. Maybe the whole idea needs to be scrapped and reworked.

  • Accountability. Yes, this is difficult to police. Without it, corruption will rule the day. That's even harder to live with, isn't it?

  • Defense spending more in line with global standards. All countries live on the globe, and all countries should share in watchdog activities, within their financial means. Our pro bono UN policeman job is bankrupting the US. Are they going to rescue us when we can't pay the bills? That's a foolish expectation.

  • Stop sending jobs for Americans to other countries - this should be more expensive to do, not less. Since it's not...we are exploiting people less fortunate than us.

  • Corporations do NOT deserve the same rights as individuals, who are real people. Actually, maybe they should have less rights than illegal immigrants, who are, in fact, human beings.
  • No tax cuts for gas and oil companies, among others. Spend that money to help citizens pay for heating costs, since there aren't enough jobs to go around.
  • We are stewards of the earth, not rapists. Let's preserve a little for future generations, otherwise known as our children and their children, et cetera.
  • Resources also need to be preserved for the sake of preparedness. Since when was having a back-up plan for survival foolish?
  • Our infrastructure in this country is old, and getting older all the time. How many jobs could be provided for by turning our attention to aging bridges and such? Oh, right...this isn't MY idea. It was done before.
  • Separation of church and state (i.e., government) was a pillar for the establishment of this country, which gave residence to many who fled religious persecution. A theocracy was not developed by the crafters of the constitution. A democracy was the plan.
  • It's irresponsible and arrogant to assume we can control the containment of radioactive waste thousands of years into the future. Basically, we are creating energy we feel entitled to at the expense of future generations, to whom will fall the responsibility to oversee the safety of these radioactive by-products from our reactors. I firmly believe that our ingenious, adaptable minds can come up with a cleaner, more fair way to generate energy. Please shut it all down. Today.
  • Also, it's environmentally responsible to keep a tight check on energy waste itself, and show a little restraint. Our ancestors certainly didn't need the amount of energy the citizens of our country seems to demand these days. A little reduction in the consumption on everybody's part could actually be better for us. It makes you think of others. Is that a bad thing?
  • One thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to empathize and bury our dead. Does that mean we actually care about other people? If so, then shouldn't we make sure the folks in our midst who can't take care of themselves are assisted by those who can? I'm speaking of older people who don't have family left, children, and people with disease or defects that prevent them from being as functional as the rest of us. Are we still people if we just cast them to the side, not helping provide them with food, shelter, and a little human kindness? Programs that help people in dire straits are not entitlement programs, they are social safety nets. These need to stay funded, not get cut first when bloated budgets need to be trimmed down.
  • Finally, the big bad wolf. Stop reproducing so much. How is infinite growth in a finite space sustainable? IT'S NOT. IT WON'T WORK INDEFINITELY. The whole population, at some time, will be paying the piper on this one. Guaranteed. The problem is, I guess we all have to decide to not be the fecund beings we are, since involuntary sterilization would cause a riot bigger than the Civil War. Of course, a massive die-off due to overpopulation may also cause a riot. Which path will we choose?
Okay! Time to start throwing the tomatoes! I'm ready to duck or debate!

6 comments:

ha1ku said...

Most of your opinions sound reasonable. I only I hope that you express your opinions not only here, but are also expressing them directly with your local government, etc.

william said...

My main problem with your post is the spelling. Proper use of to, too, and two is important (1st point). There and their are also distinctly different (9th point).

Now to the meat and potatoes. Your last point directly conflicts with the part of the third point that references reproductive freedom. You cannot have both.

I also am curious about the nuclear power part. Can you reconcile the long term dangers of the nuclear waste with the short term dangers of coal fired power plants? It seems to me that we have to choose our poison. There is no way to do without both. Sure there is wind, solar, and hydroelectric power but, up till now, they have not proven to be a cost effective means of replacing the current methods of generating power and I personally believe that it will be a long time before they are effective as anything other than a supplemental means of energy production. Maybe we can develop a viable energy source that will be practical and we will no longer need the current methods.

As for energy conservation, how do you propose to force this on a country that is used to doing exactly as they please? Are you willing to create even more bureaucracy to enforce energy limitations on the public? Government has an almost perfect record of inefficiency and expecting them to enforce efficiency is a perfect oxymoron.

As for the separation of church and state, the nation has become much more secular in the last few decades. It may not seem so because the religious fanatics in the world yell so much louder than the less fervent majority. Robert Heinlein wrote of the ability of the devout to form a religious dictatorship through the apathy of the majority. If we are not dutiful in our responsibility to elect good government, he could prove to be a prophet.

I would also like to see term limits placed on all elected offices. At least new crooks every few years would be less efficient at fleecing the citizens of our nation. It would be nice if the voters would impose these term limits through their voting habits but, unfortunately, they are so busy buying whichever flavor of kool-aid their party is serving, that they will continue to act like sheep.

You can wish for universal empathy as much as you like, but to do so, you ignore basic human nature. Humans operate in their self-interest first. After that, compassion is a luxury that not all can or care to afford. This is exemplified by the part of our culture that has become dependent on the support of the government. A substantial portion of the group I refer to has become so conditioned to expect someone else to take care of them to the point that they are almost incapable of taking care of themselves. If I may paraphrase, we are too busy handing out fish to teach anyone how to fish. This is what causes the frustration among those who wish to cut social programs. I too would like to have a perfect world, but I realize that it will not ever happen.

On the subject of overpopulation I will say only this. Nature has a way of correcting imbalances. It is not pretty but it IS inexorable and unavoidable.

I agree with most of the ideas put forth in your manifesto and applaud the sentiment behind the parts I do not agree with or find impracticable. At some point though, we all have to take our idea of the perfect world and adapt it to the realities that we cannot avoid.

Roz said...

William - thanks for the heads up on the grammatical errors...I was arrogant and didn't proofread carefully. I found another typo that you didn't mention! Thanks for the restraint!

Rebuttal on the rest is forthcoming...gotta go make a paycheck first!

infinite bliss said...

We make a living from what we get.
We make a life from what we give.
  -- W. Churchill
 

ha1ku said...

Nice Churchill quote. I will reflect on it...

Kris Hansen said...

I love the comments. Keep them coming. I live with an ex ceo type "top of the food chain" sorta guy who thinks differently about the difference in pay for people in the same company than you do, Rozi. I sway more to your point of view. Especially when it comes to extravagance in the corporate world. Quit having $100 lunches and pay the people who maintain the space what they deserve so they can take care of their families. Sheesh. (I will not be adhering to proper spelling...it's just like me to resist such things.) Love ya all.