Sunday, March 6, 2011

Demands of Society

Recently I saw two opposing viewpoints that made me once again consider the strangeness of all the things that are happening here in my state and in the country as a whole. The first basically pointed out the incongruity that is plaguing our society when someone mentioned how completely bizarre it is that people who make over a million dollars a year have managed to convince people who make under $30,000 a year that the real problem in the country is because of people making $60,000 a year, rather than those making $60,000,000.

Somehow these billionaires have managed to convince the middle class (what’s left of it anyway) that since other workers aren’t getting screwed quite as badly as they are, that those fairing just a bit better are the enemy, rather than those doing the screwing (with solid gold screwdrivers).  The enemy isn't the fat's the nurses, and the teachers, the folks working on the garbage trucks and the snow plows, the EMTs and the clerical staff at government offices.  The problem is the children in need of education and the elderly and disabled in need of health care.

Someone I know recently wrote the following…
“To highlight the offensiveness to liberty that democracy and majority rule is, just ask yourself how many decisions in your life would you like to be made democratically. How about what car you drive, where you live, whom you marry, whether you have turkey or ham for Thanksgiving dinner? If those decisions were made through a democratic process, the average person would see it as tyranny and not personal liberty. Is it no less tyranny for the democratic process to determine whether you purchase health insurance or set aside money for retirement?”
In my opinion what this person fails to understand is that those decisions are already generally made by a majority rule (of sorts), UNLESS one either leads a solitary existence or already lives in tyranny. The decisions about what kind of car to drive, where to live, what to have for Thanksgiving dinner (or whether or not to even celebrate “Thanksgiving” for that matter) are generally made as a JOINT decision BY THOSE WHO WILL BE AFFECTED…so the questions in those examples would likely be decided by family consensus (between the husband and wife, parents and children, etc.), unless of course one lives in some sort of tyrannical household where only one person’s word is law (be that patriarchal or matriarchal) and other viewpoints are not considered…if that is the case, I’m so sorry for you. The decision about whom to marry is also generally made of consensus of varying sorts as well, first of all the couple themselves (we don’t have forced marriages after all, not anymore anyway)…the parents of both the bride and the groom are usually considered, as are any children the potential groom or bride may already have, or siblings and other family members and even friends in some cases are often consulted…again…THOSE WHO WILL BE AFFECTED.

When it comes to the question of health care and retirement, our society is far too compassionate and DECENT to just allow someone to simply die in the streets because they were foolish enough to NOT buy health insurance or properly prepare for their old age (or were somehow unable to do so). Therefore, since that society WILL end up footing the bill to care for you even if you didn’t care for yourself, this is a decision in which society as a whole WILL BE AFFECTED, so yeah…they get a say.

If folks don’t want to participate in a society in which people care for one another, but rather somehow believe that we're all just on our own and people SHOULD just be allowed to die in the streets if they didn’t properly prepare for their retirement, or didn’t have the means with which to pay exorbitant amounts of money to the multi-billion dollar insurance industry so they can get needed health care, then perhaps they should try moving to one of the third world states or some banana republic(an)…but I want America to be better than that.

Personally, I’m rather fond of civilization and want us to move forward to a better world and if folks are going to come along (which they just automatically WILL unless they choose to physically leave our society), I believe that society gets to demand a certain level of participation.

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