Image By: Jean-Philippe Boulet (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Phil13)
Image Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:United_States_Flag_RFK_DOJ_Building_July_2010.jpg
I try not to get too political on here, but alas, I’m up at 4:44am again, in between projects and waiting for a stupid backup job to complete. I guess I can either start working on another project and stay up to 7am, or write this blog and go to bed in a few minutes.
So anyway, if you know me, you know that my political side leans a little to the left. Sometimes very hard to the left. I try to take a step back and observe that both parties can be stupid and evil, and that all politicians have their own agenda. Still, its sometimes hard to stay neutral when a conservative says something agitating, like for instance “corporations are people”, which is obviously just a ploy to use corporate money to skew our country away from what real people, really want.
So I just caught an article on facebook, posted by a friend. It speaks about an economics professor who taught his class a lesson about “obama socialism” by averaging all their grades together, and giving everyone the same grade. Obviously the lowest scoring students didn’t try any harder (expecting a free ride from the higher scoring students), and then the highest scoring students stopped studying (also expecting a free ride), and eventually the whole class averaged out to an F.
I get that concept. That’s the main reason communism sucks. When you give everyone the absolute same pay, for absolutely every job, no matter how easy or hard, people stop giving their best effort.
What irks me is being manipulated. They’re making an invalid comparison, so certain socialized services by one politician seem like communism. But socialized services are not communism! They’re not even full blown socialism. Those terms are thrown around because, well, humans in general are morons (myself included), and we’re easy to trick. We hear a buzz word, or some term that we have negative associations with, and we have a tendency to turn off the part of our brain that actually analyzes a situation, and conclude based on a word, rather than reality.
For instance, we spend hundreds of billions of dollars on our military without even batting an eye, because our brains oversimplify things we cannot understand. We think to ourselves:
Less military budget = Weak! … More budget = Strong! America needs to be strong! Therefore … more military budget!!!!
No one even stops to ask themselves how much military budget is enough, how it compares to what other nations are spending, how much we need to spend to reasonably ensure our own protection. We don’t even know how many military “things” we need, or how much they cost. The underlying data required to conclude how much budget is enough budget, is just too complex for the average person to fathom. Yet we don’t like feeling stupid, so we make shit up. We conjecture. We hearsay. Then we believe our own crap. Think about it. Even most professionals are simply guessing! So, in the absence of real knowledge, we do what we’re best at. We oversimplify.
Anyway, I’m getting off track. We oversimplify, and are vulnerable to buzz terms, coined phrases, preconceived notions, etc etc. Some people figured this out, and use it against us (aka: every single politician alive). I wish life weren’t this way, but it is. I have to work my ass off to catch myself when I do this, and the average person isn’t even aware its happening.
It just bugs the crap out of me.
Anyway, yeah. Socialized services are fucking not communism. If you think we should do away with all social services, then we’ll also be doing away with things like:
Public Schools - Can you imagine forcing those in poverty to enroll their children in private schools, or homeschooling?Public Roads - Let everyone pay for their own roads!Our Court System - Let everyone hire their own arbitrators and sort things out themselves!Law Enforcement - Someone murder your brother? Hire your own detective and then buy your own jail after you catch him. Forcing the state to do it for you, would be socialism!EM Spectrum Assignments - Allowing the government to control what wireless frequencies are available for what services (ie: television, radio, wifi, air traffic control, etc) is communism! Instead, everyone should just buy their own transmitters, and whoever buys the largest can be the winner and the list goes on and on and on and on
Ridiculous, right? I obviously had to be sarcastic there to prove a point. There must always be some form of government aid, regulation, etc. There will always be services that people disagree on, and always those that most everyone needs.
Yet, there will always be corporate interests that rely on the privatization of certain services in order to make their money - And that lends itself to corporate money being poured into lobbying, social campaigns, misinformation, and other manipulations to control public opinion. That creates corporate tools - people who believe crap like “universal healthcare is communism” because some CEO somewhere, spent the right amount of money.
We must pick and choose as a people, what we believe the government should control, and what aid it should lend. It is a highly subjective area.
Should our government control our courts? Law enforcement? Public roads? I think so. It seems like common sense.
Should our government subsidize huge corporate ventures? I’m not sure. I leave that to economists and statisticians, who are much more capable of determining whether it would be in our best interest. That is also common sense.
Should our government provide healthcare to those who are too sick, poor, unlucky, or even incompetent to take care of themselves on their own? Yes. That is just being a decent human being.