Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Shot of Economic Reality

Conservatives live in a fantasy land. In Conservative Land, everyone is either a hard-working member of society who succeeds or a lazy bum who mooches off of others. In Conservative Land, those who work and pay taxes are supporting the “lifestyle” of those who buy Prada bags and drive BMWs bought with welfare checks.

This is bullshit. The economic reality is that most people on welfare work, in fact many work two jobs. Many are single mothers who never see their children because of how much they work. Many are disabled, mentally or physically unable to work. Many did everything right, and most would have had better lives if they had become drugs dealers or prostitutes, but they didn’t. They decided to work, and we don’t pay people wages they can live off of (even if they work multiple jobs).

Bankruptcy is a reality for many people today who never would have had to consider it a few decades ago. This decade, the number of people who file for bankruptcy because of medical bills has become the leading cause of individual filings for bankruptcy. Over half of bankruptcy filings in 2003 and 2004 were the result of medical debt incurred by individuals WITH INSURANCE. Let me repeat that: people with insurance are filing for bankruptcy at alarming rates due to their medical bills. Health care in this country is long overdue for an overhaul of epic proportions, and private insurance is downright criminal in its endeavour to deny health care for profit.

Americans are no less responsible than they were a decade ago. We aren’t having our homes foreclosed or our assets seized because we bought too many Snuggies or ShamWows off the TV. We’re in this situation because the system is broken for the benefit of those at the top who want more.

Meanwhile, Republicans, and then Democrats, backed the largest financial bailouts in history to already wealthy bankers. Where were the calls for “pulling yourself up by your own boot straps?” Apparently you can’t pull yourself up by your own wing tips, you need some help. What hope do the non-billionaires have?

Reaganism failed. Greed does not work, it merely sits back and collects checks. There is epidemic laziness in America, and you can identify the perpetrators by their white collars. Our economy funnels money to the alchemists on Wall Street while leaving the rest of us to fight like dogs over the scraps.

My only consolation is the fiery truth that every rebel relishes: that which takes centuries to build can be burned down in just hours.


  1. I know I've read this before somewhere....

  2. The collective unconscious?

  3. Like I often say, I prefer to have some of my cash "stolen" by the government each week, instead of seeing crime rates raise due to a lack of social services...

    By the way, just curious... on the side there is a list of the blogs you read recently. Right now it is 10:49am and it says that you read blogs 37 minutes ago, 1 hour ago, 1 hour, 2 hours, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12... don't you sleep!? lol

  4. The thing about taxes is... you get what you pay for. America has a low tax rate, horrible schools, no public healthcare, more crime, less services, and plenty of private companies to step in to charge more than the government.

    The times reflect when they are posted, not when I read them... in fact I don't even read every post in many of them.

  5. The times reflect when they are posted, not when I read them...
    Oh sure, how stupid of me... lol

  6. hugo- he also doesn't sleep. :)

  7. lol, well I guess you are in a good position to say that ;)

  8. I find this interesting.

    I was recently in Texas, I live in Toronto. I was talking to my cousin's friends, and the issue of gun control came up. My cousin (who lived here with me in her formative years, before she married American) told her friends that Canadians are not allowed to have guns. They turned to me and said

    "Well, where is your right to protect yourself?" I laughed, and said "from what?" Then, they started talking about cops and robber stuff,and I tuned out.

    Fact is, Toronto has one of the lowest murder rates in North America. As such, it has been dubbed one of the safest cities in the world. Funny thing is, we are living with the same crimes, but in my world, crime is a cycle and if you mind your business, it does not really affect you.

    Americans are poor and have been made fearful. Because they have bought all of the smokescreens that have been given to them, they are afraid of the wrong things. Instead of being afraid of the bailout money, and the power that led to that, they fear imaginary criminals that are going to hurt them to the point where they need a gun.

    So lucky to be Canadian.

  9. So lucky to be Canadian.

    You have no idea.

  10. I'm thankful everyday that I'm NOT Canadian. Not just gun control but no first amendment rights either. In Canada people have been targeted for "hate" speech under the law, including anything deemed racist, offensive to some religious group, or something like denying the Holocaust. It matters not that some of those views may be wrong or even evil; free speech belongs to everyone, even the worst among us. That's what still makes America different, thank God.

    When you look to the state to protect you, you also open the door for the state to control you.

  11. @SE- You are right, but only kinda.

    We actually do punish people who use public positions to preach hate. No doubt about it. However, our Charter of Rights and Freedoms insists that we all have the private right to do what we want. The difference is, in the public sphere, if your actions infringe on the rights of others, you are subject to law.

    I can assure you, I have never felt as if my ability to practice free speech has been subject to government control. If you read my above posting, I think that the American media and government controls the people in an indirect way through fear. I do not know anyone who has an alarm system on their home. And, in my hometown, noone locks their doors.

    "However, unlike the interpretation of freedom of religion under the United States Constitution, freedom of religion under the Charter’s section 2(a) is not absolute. Rather, it is a relative concept, with which courts have the power to balance certain countervailing claims. Clearly offensive conduct or symbols that harm or constrain the freedoms or human dignity of others are not tolerated. These limitations are emphasized within the Charter itself. Section 15 highlights the fact that each religion is one of many vying for equality. Section 27 suggests that religion falls under the rubric of culture, and that the Charter seeks to preserve and protect all cultures. Finally, section 1 gives courts the discretion to qualify the fundamental freedom of religion by such reasonable limits as are prescribed by law and can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.(19)

    As well, while the Charter contains strong freedoms to observe one’s religion, it provides a lower level of protection from exposure to other religions, even in the public sphere. Public schools are the only place in which it has been clearly determined by the courts and through legislation that religion cannot be present in any institutionalized sense.(20)"

    Here is a link if anyone is interested;

  12. @SE

    Well I was going to write an answer similar to TB ;)
    so, here's another link, to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
    You would like article 2(b): freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

  13. Yes, thank you Hugo.

    Recently, our civil liberty association stopped the Lord's Prayer being read at the start of the day when our legislative assembly began the day for our provincial government. They were able to stop it because they said that it demonstrated a preference to that prayer. They said that if they wished to continue starting the day with a prayer, they needed to say a prayer that represented all religious groups within the province, or none at all. No more of that.

    There is a real distinction between the responsibility of the public collective, and the private opinions of us.

  14. Yeah, I hear so many horror stories from Canada about how they're oppressed by their horrible government...

    I love the lies Americans tell themselves in order to keep believing they live in the most "free" country in the world... even though we have to pay for everything out of pocket and we're lucky if we even get what we pay for.

    SE, for someone whose blog never stops complaining about the US, you sure seem to blindly love it.

  15. Yes.... I am kind of happy to live in a public sphere that makes it hard for people to talk shit..... The God Hates Fags thing would never work here, they would all get arrested if they took it outside. If they kept it to themselves, they could do that.

    Notwithstanding, we do have problems here. Its really cold, and our government is kinda useless right now. Nevertheless, I am really happy that I was born in The Great White North.

  16. I just thought of another good example of the distinction between public and private in Canada.

    A recent court case come up, I posted it on my blog. A woman was working for a Christian organization in a caregiving role. This organization serves all populations, and had some interesting policies concerning employment. They specified that employees would be fired if they displayed "Anti Christian behaviours" such as drinking, adultery, and homosexuality. I do not know how they got away with it.

    Nevertheless, said lady embraces her gayness, and she is fired after working for them for over 9 years. She sues them, and it goes all the way to the Supreme Court, and she won.

    The catch. This organization was accepting public money a la taxpayer, which makes them subject to public standards. Had they restricted the clientele to only Christians, and taken money from private Christian funds, they would never had a leg to stand on. As such, they are under scrutiny and will likely have to restructure and such if they wish to feed from the public trough any longer. Seems like they have two choices. Shut down (cause they need taxpayer money), or privatize completely (which will likely never happen without the public handout). Of course, call Xtian media is calling this religious discrimination. Absurd.

    So, if we have stricter hate laws and stuff, I really do not mind. It keeps this type of abuse at bay. It also reinforces religion to comply with a certain respect and consideration of the needs of the general public.

  17. That's another thing I love: the bullshit "private charity" argument. Private charities get breaks from the government all the time, not to mention many of them receive funding from the government as well as from private donations. Americans particularly are not generous enough to have "voluntary" socialism, which is why we have more poverty and lower life expectancy and higher infant mortality than other Westernized democracies.

    Shocking... people don't naturally do the right thing unless they're told to do so... as if human beings wouldn't already be living without government if anarchy was actually a desirable ideal.

  18. The God Hates Fags thing would never work here, they would all get arrested if they took it outside. If they kept it to themselves, they could do that.

    Oh, yes, a real "liberal" you are. You can do whatever you want, just keep quiet about it! Kind of like the religious right telling gays to get back in the closet. Do it behind closed doors, but please, no gay pride parades.

    I notice Ginx didn't respond to that comment of yours. Is that a tacit approval of censorship Ginx, or were you just too busy hating the American spirit of liberty to notice such an unliberal attitude on the part of your state worshiping Canadian commenter?

    Nevertheless, I am really happy that I was born in The Great White North.

    Living there has obviously frozen your brain.

  19. Americans particularly are not generous enough to have "voluntary" socialism

    The generosity, or lack of it, of Americans has nothing to do with it. It's the state capitalist system that creates such problems.

    Shocking... people don't naturally do the right thing unless they're told to do so... as if human beings wouldn't already be living without government if anarchy was actually a desirable ideal.

    You're brainwashed to have such a negative view of humanity and are just rationalizing “might makes right”.

  20. Fred Phelps and his church earn their money going around the country picking fights and suing those who initiate the violence. As it stands, the US government is not only protecting "Shouting fire in a theatre" behavior, they are rewarding it. That isn't freedom, it is oppression by nefarious elements among us at the hands of the government, all in the mock name of freedom.

    There is no American generosity of which you speak. Americans are taxed less than any Westernized democracy, yet we give a lower percent of our income. Why is that? You'd think that if we got to keep more of our money, we'd donate more... but the fact is, people DO NOT do the right thing, they do what they believe is the right thing for them. This is one of the many reasons why society is necessary: to protect us from the greedy.

    I'm not brainwashed, unless Thomas Jefferson's influence upon me is tantamount to turning me into nothing but a toady for government. My comment is a paraphrase of something Jefferson himself struggled with.

    "It is a problem, not clear in my mind, that [a society without government, as among our Indians] is not the best. But I believe it to be inconsistent with any great degree of population."
    --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1787.

    "Anarchy [is] necessarily consequent to inefficiency." --Thomas Jefferson to George Mason, 1790.

    "We are now vibrating between too much and too little government, and the pendulum will rest finally in the middle." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Smith, 1788.

    There is no doubt such a thing as over-governace, but there is just as surely such a thing as too little. People are not inherently good, nor do they even know what "right" by nature. If you disagree, I suggest you take a few hours and babysit some children, then come back to me and let me know how naturally kind and good human beings are.

  21. Might can never make right, it will merely get its way. If we put our might behind what is right, no wrong is being committed.

  22. You're just another deluded shill for the state, Ginx.

  23. In what sense? Because I find anarchy to be nothing but a prelude to tyranny? If it's the appearance of censorship, I would say this:

    There is nothing wrong with saying things which are unpopular or even offensive. Anyone who would censor internet content, newspapers, private correspondence, paid billboards, etc. should rethink what they are doing. There are actions which even the US Supreme Court upholds as going beyond mere speech and instead crosses over into provocation, which is why Fred Phelps and his ilk are banned from protesting near the funerals of soldiers.

    Where I live, Fred Phelps came to protest in front of the local college's Hilllel, which is an on-campus Jewish organization. The local community came out in force to surround the tiny group of flame fanners, and the incident ended with the police dispersing the crowd (for good reason).

    What is the harm in legislating against causing public disturbances? No one's stopping Tea-Party rallies or any gathering where organizers seek permits. Even the Ku Klux Klan marched without incident in the modern era. The reason no one stopped them? They sought to demonstrate peacefully. If your goal is violence, I have no sympathy for how hard the state comes down on you.

  24. Also... if I'm a shill, I'm still waiting on my check.

  25. There is nothing wrong with saying things which are unpopular or even offensive. Anyone who would censor internet content, newspapers, private correspondence, paid billboards, etc.

    Would Frozen Brain agree?

    Also... if I'm a shill, I'm still waiting on my check.

    Well, you do believe in various government programs and want to raise taxes (stealing money from others) to pay for them, and I'm assuming you also believe under certain circumstances, you'd also want your fair share of the stolen loot ("free" heath care).

    Nevertheless, let me rephrase that. You're a pro-state troll (you respond to almost any anti-state viewpoint with regurgitated pro-government propaganda).

  26. Uh, that should be "free" health care, though I've no doubt that Obama has a plan somewhere for free heath care as well.

    Oh, and Canadians have been targeted under the law there for things like newspaper ads.

  27. You're a pro-state troll

    In this context, I don't mean troll in the most negative sense. It's just my new term for someone who hates the idea of people being free to live and organize their lives without state coercion and responds to freedom lovers online by posting pro-state arguments.

  28. Yes, I support having a government. I'm kind of laughing about the fact I should be offended by supporting the idea of "the state." What has made America strong is its government (and near limitless untapped resources and land). We are the longest continuous democracy still standing, and I think we can beat the Romans (just over 500 years).

    I'm sure you know by now you aren't an anarchist, you have just observed the government we have is obviously flawed, and rather than fix it you have come to the conclusion we would be better off scrapping it and starting over. This is an hilarious metaphor for Americanism, because you would rather throw your broken item across the room in frustration, then go to the trouble and expense of buying a new one. In a previous era and/or in another place, you would have the patience and frugality (out of necessity) to either fix it yourself or find someone who can at a far lesser price than replacement.

    You claim to hate wars and innocent deaths (which I whole-heartedly agree with), but I don't see how that is compatible with anarchy.


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