have houses on fire... want to be left alone?
(No, they want the fire departments they pay for to do what they are paid by them to do.)
Having had the experience of drowning once, I can say with a fair amount of certainty that abstract thought is not something that you indulge in: Maybe later, when survival is assured. If your house is burning, I extrapolate, you want your family and house safe, and you negotiate civil contracts later.
I don’t want to be in a position to speak for Mike here.
I do want to address the assumption behind Mike’s comment, however, which is that fire fighters will not do what they are paid to do by their employers; and by extention, neither will other civil and governmental employees, such as VA workers, policemen, soldiers and teachers; and that these workers are not worthy of their hire.
And as a result, we need to hire less qualified workers at a lower pay with fewer benefits and with lesser tools and supports to to a job that we believe will somehow magically be better. Those of us who are a bit further out on the right flank of things may believe that by introducing private enterprise into the mixture and thus taking out a significant portion of the available funds for distribution as profits, that the money will somehow be even better spent.
I see the assertions, I hear trhe rhetoric, but in the face of declining funding, I fail to see the improvement in services or the improvement in morale in the public at large or in the public employees in question. I wait with bated breath for Mike to offer poof that Fire departments or police departments or schools are doing less than their mandated jobs with the available funds except in those cases where loss of funding has necessitated layoffs and loss of positions.
The possibility is there, but I need to see the case laid out in solid terms, not simply in fast and feel-good rhetoric.
have hurricanes flooding thier streets.... want to be left alone
(No, they want the towns in which they pay taxes to do what they are supposed to do)
And after the towns have done what they can do with the taxes that they have set aside for such things, is Mike suggesting that they wish to be left alone then? Perhaps it’s possible that there are larger units of responsibility than the Town, or even The City or a County? Perhaps it’s possible that people are even citizens of such larger groups, and that loyalty extends upwards, even as it does in the Military. Even before there were Democracies, you know, emergencies happened, and rulers would sometimes ask for help for folks further up in the feudal structure.
It may even be possibile that with the coming of elections and modern nation states that the notion of mutual help and loyalty within a country might be thought of as a natural thing.
are retired and need 24/7 nursing care...want to be left alone
(No, they want to government to pay the bills they should be paying from their savings or family members. They didn't save? Is that the government's fault? Is it yours or mine?)
How possible do you think it is for most people to be able to afford such things on their own, even when they have saved and been prudent?
Why look around for somebody to blame, when you can plan for dealing with the issue fairly straightforwardly? I don’t find the notion of finding somebody to blame particularly comforting or useful. What does that empower you to do, shoot the malingerers, turn them into sausage products? Perhaps you would allow them to starve. You could even devise a system for which folks were more responsible for needing 24 hour care, and punish the ones who were more responsible more painfully. Where would you put parents whose kids were born with birth defects that required long term care?
Unless you want to give up on your humanity, at some point you have to step up to the plate. Unless you think you can do everything for everybody and substitute your decisions for those that many people believe are up to God, you have to admit powerlessness at some point. Dodging the issue by suggesting you shouldn’t do anything seems to me to be setting a poor bottom line by pretending that you’re only in this living business for yourself. That position gets very ugly very quickly in my opinion.
are unemployed and have nothing to eat.... want to be left alone
(No, they want a handout)
Were I in that position, I’d want a handout. You’d better believe it. I’d also want a job and some self-respect. I probably wouldn’t want to be demeaned for starving; that would be adding insult to injury; and if you’re worried about class warfare, that, my friend, would make just about perfect conditions for it. It would be asking for a fight.
Do you want to bet that the people who aren’t eating or working think that they’re as worthless as the way a statement like “No, they want a handout” portrays them?
What we have here is a failure of empathy.
have had a debilitating accident and are no longer able to work ......want to be left alone
(No, they should want their disability insurance to kick in. They don't have it? Is that the government's fault? Yours? Mine?)
That depends on who’s writing the laws about disability, doesn’t it?
I had a patient who was suffering from a case of OCD so severe he couldn’t leave the house. He was compelled to go back and check the door to make sure it was locked over and over. When that appeared to become clear, the was obsessed by the notion that the pilot light on the stove was still on and needed to go back into the house to check that out.
The Reagan folks dropped him from social security disability and it was a race to get him back on. Certainly, I was never paid for the amount of time I put in, and he wasn’t able to work.
Yes, it was the government’s fault. Mine to some extent. Yours too, for being smug about the nature of the savings you were getting from people being bumped off of SSDI at the time, and for not being informed and saying “Enough!”
If you don’t want my opinion, don’t ask phony rhetorical questions. You asked, I gave you my best and most honest answer.
were born into poverty and want to go to school....want to be left alone
(Wouls you like a list of people born into poverty who managed to go through school and make successes of themselves?)
Sure I would.
But that wasn’t the question, was it? You’re answering the question you’d like to answer, instead of the one that was asked, which was would you want to go to school, be born into poverty, and be left to do that alone as opposed to having some help to do that that would make a successful outcome more likely?
What kind of an idiot decides to compete in a hundred yard dash by pouring thumbtacks in his shoes and picking up a couple of weightbelts to make things more interesting?
want to drive their car on a nice highway with bridges that dont fall down....want to be left alone
(No, they want the highway taxes and tolls they pay to maintain them. Maintaining roads and bridges is not a gift from the government. They are what people pay for.
They simply don’t seem to be getting the money to the right places in the right quantities, do they?
And I’ve noticed that not all the roads that need repair are toll roads, and that lots of states don’t seem to want to appropriate enough money actually to do the job. There isn’t enough money, but there are lots of folks who seem to want to cut things still further in the fond expectations that things pay for themselves and people are happy to work for free.
want to drink clean water....want to be left alone
(No taxes go toward that?)
What’s happened to the funding for the EPA over the last 10 years or so, Mike?
want to make investments with thier earnings without being defrauded....want to be left alone
(Should the government pass laws making illegal activities illegal? There are always going to be frauds....Madoff may ring a bell....caveat emptor)
Illegal activities don’t start out that way, for the most part, now do they? In fact, Glass-Steagall was illegal from the mid-thirties until Mr. Bush’s Presidency, when all of a sudden brokerage and banking were legal to do by the same companies again. That did not turn out well. The country knew better for almost seventy years, and then, thank you Republican party, we did not.
Yes, there are always going to be frauds.
It would be nice if we could make a point of not repeating the one’s we already know about. The regulating system that protected us from this sort of thing was dismantled, and should not have been.
want to borrow money to buy a house without paying usery level interest rates....want to be left alone...
(No, they want reasonable rates. If the rates are deemed unreasonable and people revolt and stop taking out loans, the rates will come down.
Can you say, “Speculative Bubble?” Can you say, “Boom and Bust?”
The idea is to even out the boom and bust cycle and to try to keep the economy from going into periodic Depressions.