I rarely discuss politics on the internet. One reason is that I'm not so sure what I think about a lot of things. A master's in public administration gives you the fun ability to see all sides of a policy issue, and quite frankly, someone gets screwed over no matter what happens.
The other reason is the vitriol and hate that is spewed over so many issues, by people who could be neighbors, or friends. Why do so many people only see their own view as right, and not even examine others for possibility? Why do you have to shut someone down because they don't agree with you? I'm not a big fan of the Tea Party and I think Sarah Palin is a moneygrubbing loon, but I try not to write people off who support either. I mean, I can see being frustrated with the current political scene.
I guess the protests on Wall Street, and the reactions of both the media and the public have brought this on. I've read so many people ranting against "liberals who want what isn't theirs" and adversely, "corporate whores who won't stop taking and have the government in their pocket." The truth, I'm sure, lies somewhere in the middle. I, like everyone else, have seen people take public assistance and, in my eyes, abuse it. I have also seen, as has everyone, people who were born with everything, who never had to work, and who think they're entitled to a certain lifestyle or income because of who they are.
But most of us don't fall into either category. Most of us are working, or trying to, supporting a family, taking out loans to go to school, trying to buy a house....not trying to make a million dollars, but wanting to make enough to get by. To not have to worry between paychecks. But the fact is, the top 1% of this country are getting richer, while the rest of us are not. In the past 30 years or so, adjusted for inflation, average CEO salaries have increased by five times. The rest of our salaries, adjusted, are basically the same. Since I doubt they're working harder and we're all slacking off, the only reasonable assumption to take away is that they are keeping more of the profit for themselves.
And to those who say "well, they've earned it", ok, I get your point. But they've earned it on the backs of American workers, workers they lay off and then give away jobs overseas because it's cheaper, and there's more profit to be had. Of course, the other side of that is the public is not willing to pay more for less, and outsourcing cuts costs. and therefore price (that's the argument, anyway).
Also, the most horrific Supreme Court ruling I've ever read basically decided that money equals speech, and corporations are people, so they can give as much to political candidates and parties and PACs as is legally allowable to an individual. That is complete bullshit. Money does not equal speech, and here's why. Because we don't have equal access to it. And money makes people listen more than just speech. The way our system is set up, you pretty much can't get elected if you aren't in corporate pockets. If you want to learn more, and also really get depressed about our system and how hard it will be to change it, check out Is That a Politician in Your Pocket? Washington on $2 million a day" by Sifry and Watson.
So if I don't like getting political online, why am I doing it here? Well, one, because I have a readership of about 15 people, 10 of whom are required to still like me by sharing familial blood. Two, this is an outlet rather than trying to have a conversation with someone who disagrees with me about it, which is about as effective as me standing in my closet and debating myself. And I think how I feel is felt by more than one person out there. So here's a list of what I think I believe.
I think corporations and corporate leaders need to pay their fair share in taxes.
I think there should be term limits on Congresspeople.
I think education is the great equalizer. All of those "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" people may not agree with me here, but if you have the privilege of a good education, you are more likely to succeed. If you are born poor and are in a bad school system, with no available funds for college, you are likely to keep the cycle of poverty going. There are a few heartwariming stories about people "making it" but that's the exception, not the rule. Fix the education system, save the world.
I think abortion should be legal. I also think there should be easy access to sex education and birth control, and that people should have the wherewithall to use it, so that a doctor performing an abortion should be just as rare as a doctor having to saw a padlock off of some guy's penis and nutsack because he and his girlfriend used it as a sex toy without finding the key (you can laugh, but this happened to one of Ben's roommates in college).
I can also promise you that being put on birth control at fourteen did not make me want to run around and start having lots of anonymous sex with strangers. It led to me being on birth control because my mom would rather be safe than sorry (she told me it was for cramps) and I didn't have sex til I was 17 anyway. It's not like putting a girl on birth control immediately activates a neon arrow and sign that points at her vagina and says "OPEN FOR BUSINESS, FELLAS."
I'm not sure where I stand on immigration but I know two things.
1. I don't believe I've ever lost a job or been negatively impacted by an illegal immigrant and
2. The employment problem is more the fault of employers who are willing to hire someone, pay them next to nothing and treat them like dirt, knowing that if they have any legal recourse, they're probably too scared to use it.
And this whole country would probably be doing a lot better if we all stopped attacking each other as "Teabaggers" or "stupid hippie liberals" and actually fixed our problems. There's nothing the 1% want more than for us to be distracted by each other and to not be able to unify to demand real change, change that would benefit EVERYONE in this nation.
That's all for now.