Monday, April 11, 2005

Monday's Headlines, Regurgitated

More trouble for our friend Tom DeLay!

In case you've missed it, previous trouble for our friend Tom DeLay!

Social Security privitization compared to Thatcher's failed plan!

And nobody much cares about the Homeland Security privacy officer...


Random said...

"Now everything is massively more complex, people have lost the support of the state and their employer and everyone has to stand on their own two feet."

Odd that this statement postulates a flaw in the system. "Oh, no! I don't have anyone to support me any longer."

The truth is that the state, garners it's funds from private individuals, and the employer actually IS a private individual. Any person who wants either of those institutions to "provide for them", really wants a hand out. In essence, the statement they're making is this, "Please give me some of the money that you worked for last month, because I spent/lost all of the money I worked for when I was younger." TS.

P.S. It would be much easier to imagine you weren't an idiot if you could spell privatization.

A. Lo said...

It would be much easier to believe you weren't an idiot if you could get a grasp on some basic principles of the English language.

You say, “The truth is that the state, garners it's funds from private individuals. . .” I think it's pretty clear that in that particular sentence, "it’s" should be "its" and there should be no comma between “state” and “garners.”

life_of_bryan said...

get 'em a.lo

That's the most profound thing I could come up with.

Matthew said...

Right. Privatization. From now on, I swear to run my posts through a spel cheker. And I won't add to A.Lo's analysis of your grammar, except to note that "handout" is a noun, and "hand out" is not.

But on to the more substantial argument: You suggest that the Social Security system is, and was intended to be, simply a highly legislated system of handouts for stupid or careless people.

1) Most Social Security beneficiaries also paid into the system. So rather than a system of handouts, it's more like "IRAs for dummies".

2) Many of us think that a safety net for stupid and careless people is OK, particularly if it is also a safety net for unlucky people. (Those who are injured on the job, or have to spend all their retirement savings on medical bills because they get cancer, or whatever.) And I'm sure you've seen a SS check. It's not like these people are living the high life.

3) Many of us also think that we are morally obligated to provide such a safety net. And please don't suggest that we scrap SS and the church start taking care of society's elderly. If the church had been doing this adequately, we wouldn't have needed SS.

On the other hand, if today's gated-community-living church members are actually inclined to let go of a few bills and take care of business, let them start doing it! Then we'll drop SS.

life_of_bryan said...

Grammar/Spell-check off.
Uncertain of blog etiquette, the real-time streaming media of my conscience urges me to type anyway, if out of nothing other than sheer boredom with the workplace this morning. This post bring up one of several topics that I sometimes struggle with...meaning, "What do I REALLY feel about this issue?" My normal practice is to conjure up flimsy arguments that I don't necessarily believe and toss them into a water cooler debate...just to see what sticks (my inefficient way of exploring an issue & my stance). My primitive thoughts are, if you take away all of the context and rationalization, at the base level the question is "This human being is in sincere need of XX. Do I come to his aide or not?" A crude understanding of Christian principles would likely suggest to most of us, "Yes, help your brother out a little. It won't kill you." You know, the whole "anytime you helped/served one of these, you helped/served me" thing.

Maybe the folks who see this issue through bitter eyes (including myself, at times, and maybe 'random') are combining two distinct issues. The first component is a person in need...and most of us know the right/compassionate thing to do in that situation. Easy answer. The second, and more sticky issue, is our tendency towards pre-judgment about why they are in a position of needing something. After all, it obviously has to be due to a lifestyle of poor choices, irresponsibility, reckless abandon, and rejection of everything holy, right? When we put that tag on someone, it's easy to rationalize our ignorance of their needs and convince ourselves we are not obligated to act in this situation. It's been a while since my days in VBS (boot camp), but I vaguely remember teachings where Jesus instructs us to "care for the widows and the poor unless..." Am I right? There was an "unless" in there, right? Because if there wasn't (light bulb sound effect), then there's no logic I can construct to get myself off the hook when it's time to jump in and lend a hand.

Of course, the way I've painted it is very black and white (figuratively speaking. Jesse Jackson, settle down). Benevolence and policy decisions are never so clear cut. I do believe in "smart" giving, if that makes sense, and I'm definitely against entitlement & enabling certain behaviors. See, as my opening disclaimer said, I still struggle with these things. If anyone takes issue with my crudely constructed and ill-informed ramblings, then we can settle it in the backyard...cuz I gots me some mad croquet skillz.

shane said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
shane said...

I think what ‘random’ missed is the state garners its funds from the people for the benefit of the people, for things (like roads, police, defense) and taking care of those who aren’t able to take care of themselves (like the blind, the orphaned and others whom society has determined necessary.) Would ‘random’ also cull the retarded and the infirm, or just let them wander the streets and starve? Certainly we let thousands starve every day, but they aren't called 'Americans' so it doesn't bother us as much.

Even using the worst possible perspective on state managed redistribution of wealth, (as I think ‘random’ does) a Nietzsche-like (Nietzschian?) perspective points to the fact that offering a bare amount of resources to the poor keeps them (or their militant children) pacified and as result those in power will tend to stay that way. After all, what do the poor and imprisoned need but 3 meals a day and cable tv?