Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holly Jolly

I know I shouldn't do this, what with Christmas and all, but I've kept my trap shut for a,long time about this. "This" is the situation we all find ourselves in today: An economy in the tank, a worthless Congress that can't pass a real piece of game-changing legislation, and a public that is increasingly being led to believe our country is on the verge of becoming the next Cuba.

What brought me to this lowly state? It was...soap poisoning! Oh wait, wrong movie. I have had a few reminders of the political/economic state we're in. First, was the eerie deja vu feeling I got while watching "It's a Wonderful Life" Mr. Potter gobbled up all the businesses in town and went on a tirade against the "discontented, lazy rabble" who want home loans. Potter wasn't a miser, not at all, he used is money to monopolize(read: Destroy competition) all the businesses in town. This in conjunction with the news that good ol' Wells Fargo was paying back their government money. Gee, didn't they do well by grabbing up some struggling banks? Thanks for the loan Uncle Sam! What's that? Someone needs to modify their mortgage so they don't lose their house? SCREW ' EM! Oh, and Merry Christmas.

The next was an article my friend sent me. He sends me a lot of things like this, it keeps me balanced I suppose. But this one in particular really drove me nuts. The guy starts out with a biblical quote, I guess we are to believe the Bible is now an expert source on Economics, but ultimately, it's a moral issue. He goes on to say that Entrepreneurs (he tends to mix capitalism and entrpreneurism freely) are actually driven by an altruistic desire to help, not money. You silly Lefties, see? It's all about taking care of peoples' need. OK, great, I might buy that on a limited scale, but the article ends with the author bemoaning the cap on pay and bonuses for bankers! What? A. Are investment bankers really entrepreneurs? And B. What about their altruistic drive to help others? Oh yeah, that was just a load of crap to make greed more palatable.
Don't get me wrong, I know that competition and risk are necessary for innovation and ultimately we all get rewarded in one way or another, but these articles that stop just short of praising greed and selfishness? Too soon? Yeah, maybe. The mere hint of a Public Option for medical care sets off alarm bells around the country! "They'll raise taxes!" they say. Yeah, about that...see, one of the mainstays of Conservatism(or Libertarianism, which seems to be invoked more often in light of the previous administrations destruction of our country's economy and liberties) is the idea of responsibility. Like, being able to pay for what you buy. So, yeah, they want to raise taxes to PAY for Health Care, unlike running two wars simultaneously and not raising know, so the next guy will have to.
Anyway, this drive to convince you that your government, any government, is essentially the enemy, is really getting out of control. Do these Republican Senators not see the irony that they decry a "socialist" health plan, when they themselves take advantage of one? And how about the constant comparisons to the Post Office? You know, the veiled threat that your health care will be run like the U.S. Postal Service. Really? OK, you might be able to argue that that wouldn't be so bad. The few PO's I've used in my neighborhood aren't that bad, certainly I have patronized private businesses that were definitely run worse, but OK, fine let's let them keep that one. My question is this, why is it that the Post Office is always used as an example? Why not NASA? They do some pretty cool things...would you like your health care run like that? Or, how about the U.S. Military? Sure, Senators are always using the "troops" for political points or photo ops or any other "use"...except their health care. Why? Because then you'd be denigrating the troops and that is a political no-no, but let's face it folks, they are government workers, are they not? Of course they are, and they all get the dreaded government health care(as did I until I was a teenager, and it wasn't the end of the world).

So to sum up: Wall Street Investment Bankers are just altruistic entrepreneurs, who only care about the People's needs(But let's not regulate their bonuses, eh?).
The government is useless and possibly even your enemy, except the guy telling you this, who seems to always have an "R" after his name.

Here's a great Frontline episode on comparative health care systems around the world.

And some light the whole "The Government is your enemy" thing all started: The Man Who Sold the World

Happy New Year.

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