Monday, May 12, 2014

Long Day

So yesterday was a long day.  Odds and ends stuff being done, sat down to write another plan.  Sadly while many people seem to like the plan, it keeps getting shot down.  That's fine, I feel that plans, no matter how futile they are should be created, put forward, and shot down.  If you don't try, nothing ever changes for the better.

That is part of the reason I have a small sliver of respect for this new pope.  The guy is talking the talk, might not be walking it, but he is talking it.  Sometimes that is all you can do with what you have.  Just keep talking, keep spewing the same lines over and over again.  Hell, its what the GOP has done for years, and it has worked for them.  They kept droning on about this way or that way, and people lap it up.  It sucks, because they continue the same crap mantras, while others say we need a new way.

I and the other silent contributors here are the group saying we need a new way.  Our welfare system is broken.  I am by no means saying we need to pull the plug.  We need social safety nets in place.  But what we need to do is figure out a way to make these things work.  The problem is, you have groups of people who basically say there is no way to fix any social safety nets.  The only thing you can do is give control to the states, or do away with them.  In their twisted minds, ever social safety net is a disincentive to work.  New ideas are ignored out of hand, as soon as you mention a concept or plan, it is dismissed as too expensive, or it will lead to more government interference.

So what do we have?  We have a welfare system that some people abuse.  No, they don't run out and have more kids.  There are no real welfare queens.  But you do have people who use welfare to make money by trading their food stamps for things that they would not otherwise be able to purchase.  So, how do you fix that.  Simple enough, you stop giving welfare money as we do now.  These people would get an ID card which they could then use to go to something similar to a grocery store.  It would carry some of the stuff you would see at a normal store.  There would be food, and other basics that are normally covered by welfare.  The thing is, no money would exchange hands.  Sure it could still be abused, people could simply go outside load the stuff into a buddies car and pocket the money, but on another level, I think it would actually save the government money.  It certainly would create jobs, its basically a government operated food pantry while gives enough food for the week.  See thats the thing, would not be like it is now, where people could run out and buy a months worth of food at one time, these people would be limited to a weeks worth of food.  The next week they would be allowed to come back and get another weeks worth of food.  Is it perfect, no not really.  It would suck.  Personally being on welfare seems to suck anyway.  I know people on welfare, trust me, it isn't pretty.

We have a system focused on the minimum wage, and it is needed.  Honestly it needs to be increased drastically.  But even with that, I have a hard time getting a point across that as soon as the state or federal government raises the minimum wage that the prices for everything increase with it, so it does nothing.  I am not saying it is a bad idea, I am saying that no matter how much you raise the wage, greedy profit mongering pricks (See Wal-Mart, Kroger, Food City, et al.) will simply jack their prices up to cover their losses, and these people will be in the same boat they were in.  We need something else to go with it, to negate the bullshit greed of corporations.  Hell right now, we can't even get a minimum wage, and that is sapping the fight out of people who are on the left that see we are going the wrong way. 

So what to do, we aren't going to get a federally mandated wage increase anytime in the near future.  It was pointed out to me that made something called a base income wage (called Mincome, or Negative Income Tax) provided by the government to people who earn under a specific wage.  Of course, I dug into it, and it has been tried before, and it actually made things better for many people.  Of course the conservatives jumped up and said about divorce, disincentive to work, and this and that, like they always do.  See nothing but completely unregulated capitalism will work in their mind, and for all of my life it is what we have been pushing towards.  It is not working.  It hasn't been working.  Poverty and homelessness are increasing like profits.  Corporations are given rights they were never intended to have.  The environment is practically shot world wide.  Stupid dime a dozen things are priced as if they are a rare commodity, and rare commodities are priced higher. 

So, I see more calls for a minimum wage increase.  Something that is desperately needed.  Something that will be strangled out by price increases, and corporations that will simply do what they always do to choke out more slave labor.  What we need, outside of a government (both state and federal) that does its job, is a real safety net for people.  I know, I know, the right will jump up and scream only lazy alcoholic bums need a safety net.  But really everyone in the lower 90% of the population needs something to fall back on.  And the problem is, they refuse to see that more money going into the economy no matter how that money is put there.  It might require a monthly stipend from the government, it might require that with a minimum wage increase.  Certainly massive infrastructure projects would be a fast action.  I mean if every state started massive federally funded infrastructure projects that went towards the green side of energy (solar panel roads, CO2 absorbing concrete, etc) new jobs would be created instantly, changing the current more people looking for fewer jobs.  We need more jobs looking for fewer people, but like a monthly government stipend, or a minimum wage increase neither are going to happen in the near future.  But I refuse to sit around and bite my tongue.  We the people do need to stand up, we do need to tell the idiots in Washington DC, that we want action, and that we know they aren't doing their jobs.  Yeah, some members of Congress are doing their jobs +Bernie Sanders, and +Elizabeth Warren are trying.  I think if I had a major issue, or plan of worth, those would be two people I would definitely push it to.  I might even be tempted to try someone like Senator Franklin, just because the guy has a huge mouth, and doesn't shy away from a decent idea, if it benefits his constituents.  At this point I am going to apologize to him (should he ever find his way here), because honestly, the guy is really trying.  To be fair many people are really trying in Washington.  The problem is, just enough ignorant pricks are running around in suits and ties to put a wrench in the works of government, all the while screaming at the equally stupid and ignorant masses that it doesn't work as intended, therefore it should be scraped.  You know why it doesn't work, because of assholes who don't want it to work, so they can replace it with something that is far more dysfunctional. 

The ignorance and stupidity in the United States when it comes to politics is mind boggling to me anymore.  You have people who will believe anything they hear on the news, or social media (but only if it comes from a group that is potentially large).  It is why I have a shred of respect for this current pope, setting aside all the crap the Catholics have pulled in the last 500 years.  The guy has the message down to a "T", he isn't deviating from it, he is pushing it even if people hate to hear it.  If he believes it, it is common ground between someone who has no use for Christians, and very little for Catholics.  Now, if only the guy would get on the bus when dealing with all the pedophiles, rapists, and sadists in the church.  If he would push for contraceptives, same sex marriages, and treating women as equals to men, Pope Francis might actually get more of my respect.  But right now, it is a shred because he recognizes that what is happening in this country and the world is going to kill it, and humanity with it.  By humanity, I do not mean humanity, but the ability to share empathy and sympathy for your fellow man/woman/children.