Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Rant on Political Pessimism

By Soup

Barack Obama, so hot right now. Change, also hot right now. It’s easy to understand how Obama and his magnetic personality can cause such excitement. This passionate yearning for change, however, is a bit baffling. Are we really that bad off? Are we at the point where we really need to get our hope from a politician? Maybe, but I don’t necessarily think so.

I understand that change has been a political motivator for every party in every generation. Now, however, it seems as though people are just calling for a change not any certain change in any certain direction.

My friend Jay has always been a Republican. The other day he told me he went and caucused for Obama. I asked him if he changed his positions on any policy issue or if he had had a change in his political philosophy or ideology. He said no. He said it was because he was sick of how Washington and our country was functioning and he thought Obama was the best equipped to change it. There was not a particularly good bill that failed or crappy bill that Congress passed. He just felt things were bad and need changing.

Jay, however, has a better job now than he did a year ago and is pretty happy with his life and future. The majority of Americans feel the same way about the personal paths that they are heading down. When asked about the direction of the nation, however, almost always an overwhelming majority feel it is heading in the wrong direction. I believe the personal optimism more than the societal pessimism. I believe an individual’s assessment on his or her own situation more than his or her speculation on the situations of others.

I don’t want to get into endless debates about the specifics, but generally things in America are pretty good and generally get better each generation. Globally there have also been some pretty substantial positive changes. A much smaller percentage of people live in extreme poverty. There are fewer disease epidemics and fewer wars. There is certainly a ton of work to do, but I think change should be directed at improving on what we have not scrapping it and starting over.

Part of the reason why people are so pessimistic about the situation in the world around them is the desire for a revolution. People want to challenge the status quo, make a difference, change history, and start a revolution. That’s why Ron Paul has such a cult following. It’s the “Ron Paul Revolution.” The tricky part is making sure there are enough atrocities to warrant a revolution. Otherwise being an activist just to be an activist can turn into this and this.

One more thing, don’t vote for a candidate because you think that he or she can unite the nation. I just don’t feel that political ideologies are causing the great chasms between fellow men that I keep hearing about. If I meet a Democrat we don’t start circling each other with switchblades in one hand and snapping fingers with the other. There are two very different ideologies behind each party, and that’s okay. It’s more than politicians just being irrationally difficult. And don’t buy the rubbish that politicians are far more cruel and personal with their attacks than before. We haven’t called a presidential candidate a murderous, philandering, son of a prostitute in quite some time.

19 comments:

Daymonster said...

Ahhh...

I have heard this argument from many the 20 something college graduates out there lately. They are getting real jobs making more money than they are used to making and these jobs come with decent health insurance. Things are getting better every year. Why do people want change? America is
doing awesome! This must be what it’s like for everyone, the minorities, the elderly even our middle class parents. They must be seeing these same increases in expendable income, leisure time and HD channels.

Of course change has always been part of a political party’s motivation at one point or another, but it has certainly has not always been a part of their motivation in every election. Usually the incumbent party is not calling for change if the economics status of the country is good. Al Gore wasn’t calling for drastic policy change in 2000 after Clinton ended his term with a surplus and the economy in good standing. But George W. Bush was.

What IS interesting, is this election because both parties are calling for change, which does speak to the situation in the United States these days. Yes life is good for most of us that read and contribute to AH! But we are definitely not an accurate random sample of the United States.
Barack and Hillary are not calling for change with no substance. Both want fairly drastic changes to Healthcare in the United States, and both want drastic changes to the Situation in Iraq and Afghanistan. I, as much as anyone hates when someone backs a candidate for seemingly no good reason, just the other day I got frustrated with some people who were backing a candidate and (I felt) they couldn’t give any substantive policy or reason other than descriptors of that candidates appearance and personality (young, black, good speaker, woman, knows the political machine, etc.).

But saying that the United States doesn’t need change is in short, completely and utterly ridiculous. I know you said that you don’t want to get into an endless debate about specifics but in a sense that is an easy way of never being wrong. The poverty level in the United States is not really improving; it’s hovering around the same percentage points for the last 30 years. And certain levels (specifically child poverty levels) have been rising in the last 7-8 years, mostly among minorities.

I don’t know what you mean when you say “[We should be] improving on what we have not scrapping it and starting over.” But no one is for scrapping anything entirely (except for Huckabee and Ron Paul, with the consumption tax instead of the IRS). But if you are referring to healthcare reform, which would probably be the biggest change the Democrats are looking for, it’s not really completely scrapping anything, it’s just creating mandates (Obama for children only, Clinton for al). Oh wait, there is one thing that needs to be completely scraped and that’s NCLB. But that’s a different story.

As far as your last comment, I do think some people take the partisan difference a little do far, but I think you are grossly underestimating it. There is a huge fundamental difference in ideology, monetary policy and of course social concerns. People on both sides, not just the extremist care deeply about specific differences, gay marriage, gun control/rights and abortion just to name a few. But there are people who have dedicated their whole lives to changing the US constitution about these issues on both sides. These are not minor things that can be brushed aside, these are major differences.

I am sure if you don’t care about some of these things because they don’t directly effect you and you graduated from a decent college where you may or may not have had help from you parents paying for it, you now have a house or an apartment and you are making some decent money, sure change doesn’t sound that great. But if you are the 44 million people without health care, or the 51 million that are below 50% of the median household income or even a fucking public school teacher with a masters degree who is coaching a total of 50-60 hours a week and you still aren’t making enough to live comfortably then change sounds pretty good.

Sorry about the wall of text.

kate said...

Oh my. . .

"Are we at the point where we really need to get our hope from a politician?" I think it's refreshing to be hopeful about a politician - maybe that's just me?

"Jay, however, has a better job now than he did a year ago and is pretty happy with his life and future. The majority of Americans feel the same way about the personal paths that they are heading down." - Really? The majority of Americans feel that way? I find that very hard to believe.

And, the desire for a revolution? C'mon! Absurd! You think people want change for the sake of change? There really are no problems? Maybe not for you and the select few you talk to - how about taking a minute to think/care about society as a whole and not just your life? Take a look at the bigger picture, kiddo.

Daymonster said...

Don't get me wrong I think the World as a whole is making progress and to a lesser extent the US. But there are numerous things that need to change here at home.

soup said...

Sorry, for all those AH! readers that don’t really like getting into political issues. I thought this post might take some criticism. But, that’s okay! Not that it will change any opinions but I’ll try to respond to your criticisms.

“Of course change has always been part of a political party’s motivation at one point or another, but it has certainly has not always been a part of their motivation in every election”

Yeah, I didn’t say both parties at the same time in every election.

“Barack and Hillary are not calling for change with no substance”

Don’t get me wrong this post was not mean to be an attack on any certain candidate. I agree that HRC, Obama, and all the candidates actually have ideas behind their change. I am critical of the people that aren’t aware or concerned with these ideas but just want change.

“The poverty level in the United States is not really improving; it’s hovering around the same percentage points for the last 30 years. And certain levels (specifically child poverty levels) have been rising in the last 7-8 years”

First, the poverty line isn’t particularly the best measure of poverty because it leaves out a number of sources of income. It’s also not very reflective of the actual wellbeing of the poor. For instance someone living under the poverty line in 2008 has a lot better standard of living than someone under the poverty line in 1968. So, whether the poverty line stayed the same there is still improvement. BUT, I’m not saying the government shouldn’t do anything about it. Welfare reform, for example, was change in policy that was successful at decreasing child poverty.

“But no one is for scrapping anything entirely”

I agree. I wasn’t referring to the candidate’s proposals. I was referring to the people’s call for “fixing” a “broken government.” It was a little bit of hyperbole.

“completely scraped and that’s NCLB. But that’s a different story.”

Here. Here.

“These are not minor things that can be brushed aside, these are major differences.”

I agree, and I’m saying that’s why it’s okay and should be accepted that there is not one candidate that is going to get people to give up on these major differences.

“But if you are the 44 million people without health care, or the 51 million that are below 50% of the median household income”

I am one of those people. I haven’t had health insurance since November. Let me tell you, it is liberating. I got a little frustrated paying hundreds of dollars into my employer’s health care over the years for like one dentist appointment. If I do get sick I know there are people in my life that won’t let me die. Don’t worry; I will be getting some soon.

I made $12,300 for fiscal year 2007. So, I’m not rich, but you’re right. My parents do have money and would probably help me out if I asked. Oh, and almost all of my friends are upper-class white kids.

“I think it's refreshing to be hopeful about a politician”

You’re right. Being hopeful about a politician and getting your hope from a politician are different things, however. When an individual gets his hope from a politician, he comes to believe that his individual life will be improved more by changes in society than by his own initiative…in my opinion.

“Really? The majority of Americans feel that way? I find that very hard to believe.”

There were a couple of studies that came to mind when I wrote that. A November 2007 Gallup poll said that 78% of Americans said that “conditions in America are getting worse.” A July 2007 Harris Poll said that when asked “On the whole, are you very satisfied, fairly satisfied, not very satisfied, or not at all satisfied with you life you lead?” 94% considered themselves satisfied (with a majority—fully 56% -- choosing the highest rating, “very satisfied.”) Only 6% considered themselves “not satisfied” with a mere “2%” picking “Not at all satisfied,” In that same poll it asked, “If you compare your present situation with five years ago, would you say it has improved, stayed about the same or gotten worse?” 82% said it got better or held steady.

There really are no problems? Maybe not for you and the select few you talk to - how about taking a minute to think/care about society as a whole and not just your life? Take a look at the bigger picture, kiddo.

I talk to more than just a select few. There are at least 100 people that live in my gated community and even more people at the country club that I talk to.

I have volunteered a number of times doing taxes for poor people. Those experiences have certainly shaped my current viewpoints. And, I did look at the big picture in my post. My opinion is that the big picture has a ton of problems, but there is definitely reason for optimism.

haasertime said...

good discussion.

Political discussion a good thing on AH! or not?

Daymonster said...

Okay, how is the statement that "change has been a part of every party's motivatation at one point or another, but not all the time, sometimes during some elections, and sometimes not" make any point at all. If that is your ambiguous statement then it doesn't support the purpose of your post.

Poverty level is a pretty accurate way of looking at it. Oh wait youre right all those poor people making less than 10k in income but raking in millions from their Capital gains.

I realize you were not ripping any particular candidate or party, but when only one side is calling for the more drastic change, it's kind of hard not to read to much into your statements.

Also, I am SURE you are not paying hundreds of dollars for dental insurance a year. Let's say you are though, go to the dentist once every 6 months and see what costs more. Saying that you feel liberated by not having insurance is an insult to the people who actually need it and want it.

So if your main point of this article is that you don't like the words that people use like "broken government" and "change" but you agree that thinks could use improving I really don't see the point of your post if it's all about the word choice.

I completely disagree with the statement that living under the poverty line is better now that it would be in the 60s. What are you basing this one?

"If I do get sick I know there are people in my life that won’t let me die." First off what about people that don't have that luxury? Also thats unfortunate that you would put your loved ones in that position.

When did you graduate, did you really work a full year and made 12k. If that's the I suggest you change your political ideology. Unless you feel strongly about those gays getting married.

soup said...

“If that is your ambiguous statement then it doesn't support the purpose of your post.”

I didn’t want to make it sound like I was just critical of Obama supporters. I also was making the point that politics has always been about change, but right now it appears to be more change for change sake.

“Poverty level is a pretty accurate way of looking at it.”

Compare the Census Bureau’s income data to the Department of labor’s Consumer Expenditure survey. Generally, households spend $1.75 for every dollar they earn. How can people that make $8,350 a year yet spend $14,600 a year? There is unreported income, charitable donations, non-cash government assistance, ect. Also, if a business man has a bad year he could be considered below the poverty line even if he has a million dollars in the bank.

“I am SURE you are not paying hundreds of dollars for dental insurance a year.”

I said medical insurance not just dental. I haven’t used any medical insurance was my point. I guess I did get my money’s worth for my dental.

“Saying that you feel liberated by not having insurance is an insult to the people who actually need it and want it”

Well, then it’s an insult when upper class people tell me how great it is that they “live simply,” or when someone quits a good job to work for a non-profit.

“So if your main point of this article is that you don't like the words that people use”

No, the point is I think it’s irrational to vote for change for change sake.

“I completely disagree with the statement that living under the poverty line is better now that it would be in the 60s. What are you basing this one?”

Today, the expenditures per person of the lowest-income quintile of households equal those of the median American household in the early 1970s, after adjusting for inflation. More people are going to college. Houses are bigger. More poor people own homes, cars, telephones, luxury electronics, have access to life saving medications, ect. My dad, for example didn’t have electricity or indoor pluming until after he graduated high school in 1965.

“First off what about people that don't have that luxury? Also thats unfortunate that you would put your loved ones in that position.”

Many people that are constantly counted in this 44 million do have that luxury. Like unemployment, being uninsured can also be cyclical. I will get a new job that has health insurance soon. So, I won’t put my love ones in this terribly unfortunate position for long. My dad is self employed and my mom works part time, so neither one has a company health care policy. They have a very basic policy and pay for a lot of their expenses out of pocket. So, it would not be terribly unfortunate for them to pay for my medical expenses out of pocket. They might anyway if I was on their plan.

“When did you graduate, did you really work a full year and made 12k.

Unfortunately, I won’t graduate until this spring. I have only been able to take classes part time because I need to work fulltime to pay my rent and other bills.

“I suggest you change your political ideology. Unless you feel strongly about those gays getting married.”

I’m not sure why I should change my ideology. It’s not the government’s fault I don’t make a lot of money. I’m not a big fan of the idea of offering the benefits of government sponsored marriage to gays, but it’s not really an ideology deal breaker for me.

I don’t mind talking politics on AH! every once in a blue moon. I just figured politics is all over the place right now; we might as well discuss it a little bit. I even heard P.A. and Dubay discuss politics the other day. There are, however, a lot of people that get turned off by it, and that’s understandable.

Daymonster said...

"Many people that are constantly counted in this 44 million do have that luxury."

If you honestly think that you are a fool.

I'll look more at the rest tomorrow morning.

soup said...

Look, you understand that economists divide natural unemployment into structural and frictional. Since employment and health care are so tragically linked, you can say the same thing about the uninsured. How many people do you know that graduate college and don’t get a full time job right away? How many people do you know that temp or sub teach for a while after college? How many people do you know that spend a few months switching jobs? Holmer, did you get health insurance through Holm drywall after you graduated until you started a teaching job? I don’t know the rest of your situations, but a ton of my friends were frictionally uninsured after graduation, and I don’t think the government should be concerned with them. I’m not saying that healthcare is not a problem. I’m just saying that my situation is not an anomaly.

soup said...

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/02/14/america/LA-POL-Nicaragua-Ortega-Obama.php

This story seemed appropriate

Daymonster said...

No I understand, the difference between voluntary and involuntary, frictional/search and structural unemployment. But I have a problem with what you are saying on many fronts.

While employment/unemployment is linked to insurance/lack of insurance (if you don't have a job you are less likely to have insurance) it's not as "tragically linked" as you are making it out to be. People have hourly low wage jobs (often called McJobs) that don't have insurance, people work for small businesses that don't offer insurance plans. These people are not unemployed but also don't have insurance. There are other examples, early retired, students, etc. that are not considered unemployed but also fail to have insurance.

But I digress, first, I don't think anyone should have to spend one day without health insurance no matter what, from the time that they graduate from college and presumably are off their parents plan to when they get a full time job with health benefits.

If anything really happens and they find some problem not only will it cost them and their families easily tens of thousands of dollars but now they will have extreme difficulty getting any insurance in the future. This obviously isn't a problem as most of the people that are uninsured have 10k in the bank to pay for an emergency appendectomy.

This is why I had a cobra plan for the couple months I didn't have a job. I would recommend that to you but at around 70 dollars a month you would consider it a waste.

If you agree the health care system is flawed how can you say things like "I don’t think the government should be concerned with them." and that "people want change for changes sake", when you just said the heath care system is messed up. People that say they want change understand that things are not as good as they can be when they see people holding fund-raisers for their friends and families with illnesses.

----------------

"I’m not a big fan of the idea of offering the benefits of government sponsored marriage to gays" Why not? How come if I am in a loving relationship with a girl I can get tax breaks and other benefits but if I was in love with a guy, I couldn't?

"Generally, households spend $1.75 for every dollar they earn. How can people that make $8,350 a year yet spend $14,600 a year?"

Much of this is due to credit not unreported sources of income.

"Unfortunately, I won’t graduate until this spring. I have only been able to take classes part time because I need to work fulltime to pay my rent and other bills."

Hey, cool I work full time too and go to school at night. I wish 12k could cover my rent and bills. So at 12k/year that's making 5.75. That's tough I guess another change that might be good would be raising minimum wage?

"More people are going to college. Houses are bigger. More poor people own homes, cars, telephones, luxury electronics, have access to life saving medications, ect." Yes, but that is because many of these things are getting cheaper relative to newer products. Partly because of advanced technology but also because they are being made overseas.

Also, define... "access to life saving medications" I think thats what we were just talking about with insurance.

The people under the poverty line do have some of these things, P.O.S. cars, telephones, but not working telephone lines but that is just because these are so much more readily accessible. It has very little to do with how the Country is doing as a whole.

Only the richest of the rich had cars in the 1920s but now almost everyone has access to one. Does that mean that EVERYONE is doing better than back then in relation to others? Naturally things will get cheaper. Products that were more expensive will be more accessible but that doesn't mean people are doing better.

Finally, as this conversation has gone on long enough.

"The point is I think it’s irrational to vote for change for change sake."

I agree with this. If that's really the only reason. But how do you know that change for change sake is their motivation? Now that I think of it maybe your friend Jay did know what he wanted to change, He just either A) couldn't adequately explain his position or B) was worried you two would get into a heated blogging debate where no one can win?

Just out of curiosity, name 5 things that you would like to see different by 2012?

Daymonster said...

You gotta do the link thing, i can't get the article.

use the < a > tags

soup said...

MANAGUA, Nicaragua: President Daniel Ortega, who led the 1979 revolution in Nicaragua, says Barack Obama's presidential bid is a "revolutionary" phenomenon in the United States.

"It's not to say that there is already a revolution under way in the U.S. ... but yes, they are laying the foundations for a revolutionary change," the Sandinista leader said Wednesday night as he accepted an honorary doctorate from an engineering university.

soup said...

I think it is a real problem that health insurance is so closely linked to employment. It eliminates the market which increases prices. My dad was going to get a colonoscopy and started calling around to different hospitals in the tri-state area to see who could do it the cheapest. No one at these hospitals knew. They had to do some checking to find out. When people and companies don’t know the price there is no reason for the prices to be low. So, my problem with healthcare is there is not enough competition, and I differ in the philosophy that the government needs to take care of us. As J.P O’Rouke said, “It’s not an endlessly expanding list of rights—the “right” to education, the “right” to health care, the “right” to food and housing. That’s not freedom, that’s dependency. Those aren’t rights, those are the rations of slavery—hay and a barn for human cattle.” I also don’t want the government to pay for the health insurance industry because I want my children to have the benefits of free market innovation that I have been given.

People in this country believe that a child is best raised by one man and one woman. You may disagree with that, but that’s the majority opinion. That’s why the government gives benefits to a man and a woman and not homosexuals, polygamists, or those in incestuous relationships.

You think poor people can get thousands of dollars in credit every year without paying it back?!?! Impossible; it’s from government non-cash benefits mostly.

I don’t believe government can just make up prices. Prices are communicators. The minimum wage the government sets is no longer relevant. When I was 14 years old and got my first job at Taco John’s they paid me $5.35 which was 20 cents above the minimum wage in South Dakota at the time I believe. Would I have taken the job if they would have paid me minimum wage? Certainly, but the market communicated to them to pay me more. I worked part time for a while last spring, that’s why I didn’t make much money. Also, I donated plasma like 10 or 12 times so that’s an extra $200 or so I didn’t mention.

So you say that the advances over the decades are a result of things getting cheaper and technology getting better. First, so what? My point is that in 200 years from now poor people could live in what we consider mansions but still be under the poverty line. Second, you’re saying that improvements were made in the market and not by government? But, I thought solutions to problems like healthcare only came from the government? Innovation isn’t inevitable. Look at the continent of Africa. America has led the world in innovation over the last 50 years because we have had freer markets. It’s not as though we are smarter or luckier.

Access to life saving medications would be drugs that even poor people can buy like Lipitor, ect.

1. Tax reform. I actually don’t hate the dramatic change of transferring to a consumption tax.
2. I would like to see most of the department of education’s budget and college grants and scholarships be divided into a privately managed 401k type account. From that account students, teachers, and schools would be able to receive payments into their accounts for good grades, standardized test scores, improvements in grades or standardized test scores, attendance, or whatever measure teachers and parents feel should be rewarded monetarily. So, students and teachers would get real incentives for good work. This was a long policy proposal I did for class and I won’t get into all the details.
3. real incentives for alternative energies, not just blindly subsidizing ineffectiveness. This goes for nuclear power as well.
4. immigration reform. I’m cool with a guest worker program as long as there is a significant increase in border security.
5. Increasing competition and affordability in healthcare. I think the Center for Health Transformation has the best solutions on doing this that I have seen.

Daymonster said...

I have not read/thought about the entire comment. But I did notice this that I thought was interesting.

It's PJ O'Rourke, and I actually had a drink sitting at the table enxt to him and talked to him for a good 15 minutes not about this but it was funny none-the-less you mention him.

Also, if you put a homosexual relationship on the same level as polygamy and incest I honestly don't think I can discuss things with you.

America has not led the world in innovation. Also it is a huge myth that mandating health care in the US would bring an end to innovation in the field. That is the first reason people often choose even though there are hundreds of studies that prove otherwise.

Because poor people could in fact buy lipitor (if they had enough money) makes it accessible? Even you have to understand how that makes no sense.

You would be a complete fool if you wanted to go to a consumption tax. It essentially rases taxes on people from 0-30k income and 50-150k income. Pretty sweet idea I guess.

soup said...

I don’t think homosexuality is as destructive as polygamy or incest in terms or raising a child. But, we shouldn’t discriminate on sex, right? Who are you or I to judge the relationships between consenting adults in a polygamist relationship to be worse than homosexuality? That’s discrimination, right? The government doesn’t prohibit one man from living with more than one lady or a man living with another man, but it makes a judgment on who it should encourage to have a family.

Look at prescription drugs, medical Nobel prizes, or being able to effectively produce cheaper advanced medical technologies; America has disproportionately led the way. And yes the government and the NIH have had done a lot to create “ideas,” but it is that private companies in America that have made these ideas real and usable. Like I said we are not smarter or luckier than other countries. Any smart person in any country is just as likely to create an idea for medical innovation. It’s market incentives, however, that make these ideas usable realities. Certainly, countries can innovate with government run health insurance, but can’t do it as well because they don’t have as many incentives.

Lipitor didn’t exist in 1960. So its availability has come up significantly from zero.

With the proposed Fair Tax every person gets a prebate up to the poverty line to eliminate taxes on necessities. So, people under the poverty line don’t pay taxes. It also eliminates the regressive payroll taxes that all people have to pay.

Daymonster said...

The problem with polygamy and incest is it rarely is consensual. Also there is proof that incestuous relationship cause birth defects. There however is no proof that two loving women can't raise a perfectly healthy and normal child. Also tax rebates for marriage doesn't "makes a judgment on who it should encourage to have a family." Marriage doesn't mean raising kids. Should couples with AIDS not be allowed to wed because you don't want them to have a family? And for the record I am much more willing to give monogamous incestuous relationships benefits before I would not allow or take a way benefits from consensual homosexual couples.

Yes low income families will get monthly checks based on income. But almost every economist I have read has said that the 23% most proponents are saying is grossly low, on the conservative side it would be 30% and some of the higher reports (in 20000 from Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation) said it would be 56%. So these "prebates" are likely to not offset the true cost. Also I am glad we are getting rid of the IRS but then creating another institution to monitor our income, send out check, etc.

"Lipitor didn’t exist in 1960. So its availability has come up significantly from zero." That's not the point. The point is just because it exists doesn't mean it's accessible.

I could go one and one about how we have lower life expectancies, higher infant mortality rate, lower rating of service etc. I could also say that when Canada went to a Universal health care plan medical innovation did not go down. Just like in the US the government funds the majority of the medical innovations at public universities.

The reason that a lot of prescription drugs come out of the United States are for different reasons. One drugs that are the most profitable get pushed quicker than others not necessarily the most needed. Also we are a lot larger and have more institutions than other EU countries. Which wouldn't change with a move to universal health care.

Also UH can bring jobs back to the US as large companies won't have huge insurance overhead.

But if you don't think we have a right to health care do we have a right to education? police departments? Fire departments? Wait don't answer that. I mean what are the chances your house burns down or you get mugged... I don't want to pay taxes to fund services for other people that I don't need very often.

soup said...

Sorry, I keep responding. I’m sure everyone has moved on from our discussion. I just really enjoy political discourse. So, sorry if it seems as though I keep trying to get the last word.

It is, of course, possible for a normal child to be raised by any family situation. The government can’t always mandate behavior, but it can encourage it. So, marriage doesn’t necessarily mean a family, but the government is willing to bet that if they give benefits to those men and women willing to commit to each other to the extent that they are willing to have government recognition of their relationship, they are going to have families. Again, you feel that homosexuals can raise a family as well as heterosexuals, but a majority of the nation doesn’t feel that way. It’s not just Christian fundamentalists that hold this view. There have been numerous studies by physiologist and other social scientist that reinforce this opinion.

I think you are reading a very narrow set of economists about the fair tax. I’m not saying it is above criticism, but in my opinion it is better than the status quo.

Lipitor is like 750 a year. A knock off like zocor is like 150 a year. So, a lot of people can afford this life saving drug. Lipitor, or similar drugs are much more accessible than when they didn’t exist is still my point.

“But if you don't think we have a right to health care do we have a right to education? police departments? Fire departments? Wait don't answer that.”

Oops, I am answering this. We don’t have a right to education, police departments, or fire departments. It is, however, in the best interest of government to fund these things. Do you see the difference between rights and public services? So, you’re right. It is in the best interest of society for people to have health insurance. It is also in the best interest for people in society to have food, clothing, shelter, and a college education…but that doesn’t mean the government gives these things away. Communism tried having government issue all of these rights. It didn’t work so well because rights should be protected by government not issued by government.

p.s. that’s really cool you met O’Rouke. Where at? What did you talk about?

bizmarkie507 said...

wow, there is alot of text her. What you guys are talking about must be interesting.