Friday, July 11, 2014

Make it stop...

I had started a post about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that is about to erupt into a major war.  But after spending most of last night arguing with a libertarian, and seeing more of their antics I just can't do it.  I don't want to talk about it, because that is an ocean away.  Funny, that Jewish people and those from Palestine get along well here in the US, isn't it?
So, once again I am going to rant on the libertarians, because they just drive me crazy.  I am all for many of the things they want.  I would love a leaner meaner government, you know cut the BS out, keep what works, and build from there.  Fix that which does not function properly, so that it does.  I do not see a large government as being a bad thing, I see it as being required to secure the general welfare of the people.  Like them I see a lot of waste (IE the F22 and F35 fighters, military subcontractors).  I don't see it as evil, I see it as the wrong priorities. 

But I cannot fall in line with the libertarian movement.  I cannot see businesses as people.  I owned a business at one time, and I kept what was best for business in business, and my personal beliefs out of it.  If I had used my personal beliefs, I wouldn't have hired people trying to rebuild their lives, people who were formally drug addicts or alcoholics, because they are one slip away from relapse.  Addicts once they relapse will steal from you, and cause a great deal of damage, while not intending to.  But, that is my personal opinion, and I hired them anyway, and I had mixed results with it.  I won't lie.  I had better luck with ex-convicts.  But again, what is good for business.

So here we are, me saying your personal beliefs as an owner should not dictate your company policy.  Because often I found my personal preferences, my beliefs ran contrary to what was good for my business, and my employees.  I realized that as a business owner, I had a responsibility, to my employees, my business, as well as myself.  I hate Alpacas and Llamas, but they made money, so I got into it.  The employees came to hate them, but we all tolerated it because it granted them a nice bonus check every other month (they basically got double pay for the months we did it).  But if I had used my personal belief and feelings, they would have been SOL. 

But, that aside, your religion should not influence decisions you make for your company, or your employees.  Despite what the libertarians will argue, it is a way of forcing your religious beliefs down their throat.  I guess thats alright, I mean the basic tenant of being a libertarian is do whatever you want, so long as you aren't physically harming someone.  Except if you are a business owner, they you get to pick and choose for your business.  But the libertarians twisted mind say, "But you are forcing your beliefs on others."

This argument went around for several hours, before I just threw up my hands in pure frustration.  Yes, it was an outright argument over the Hobby Lobby ruling.  He refused to accept that Hobby Lobby for its part chose to pay for insurance that covered very specific things, in exchange for a rather nice tax credit.  They chose the tax credit, but they also want their cake.  He also kept coming back, and claiming that no body could explain to him why a company couldn't make its own choices.  This was after several attempts at explaining it to him, which went largely ignored because he didn't like the answers he received.

First, it was pointed out that companies, despite what the SCotUS stated are not people, they are non-entities.  At best one could describe a character from a novel showing up on television.  They are real, but they are not really a person.  They should never be given rights to speech or religion, other aspects I can see, but those two, no.  They are not people, they do not feel, they are not self aware, they do not think, so they can not practice specific religious beliefs.  Only the owners can.  He countered with giving free stuff to the homeless and the military as a religious belief.  I pointed out that the poor and homeless are not going to be in that state forever, and it was sound business practice to help those in need, and those in the military.  Everything he pointed out, has a basis in sound business practices, but it apparently went over his head, or I simple wasn't dumbing it down enough. 

Next, we have the... Its only forcing religion down your throat if it is the things you dislike.  It was pointed out that some of the contraceptives that Hobby Lobby were railing against are treatments for multiple medical conditions which did not involve being pregnant.  Ignored.  And this point of contention was once again raised.  To which it was once again pointed out the tax credits Hobby Lobby wanted, which Hobby Lobby will still likely get (I didn't dig into that far, so correct me if I am mistaken), was for total health coverage including contraceptives.  You are forcing your morals on the company, as if it is a living breathing person.  I guess Hobby Lobby might get knocked up and is pro-life now, and will be spotted at abortion clinics in the near future.  Someone made a smart ass quip, and really, if it hadn't been 3 am I would have made it well before hand, but I was trying to be somewhat polite, about Viagra and vasectomies being covered for men, and this was sexual discrimination.

Response, "Well, if I didn't like what a company was doing, I would quit."  So, in his mind, the answer is, if you do not like what a company is doing to you, simply quit your job.  It was pointed out that the economy in many places suck.  Nearly two years unemployed can attest to how crappy it is in this area (now taking donations to move elsewhere).  That is the solution, if you work for Hobby Lobby, or any other company that decides you do not deserve equal healthcare, quit.  Become a leech on the government tit, which is funny given their aversion to workers compensation, and the other social safety nets in the US. Of course, I asked if he would attempt to collect any of those, which he said he would.  I found this amusing.  So he would stand by his principles long enough that if I went all Hasidic Jew on him, he would quit, and run straight to the unemployment office.

Talks the BS talk, can't walk the walk.  See, this is the problem I have with libertarians.  Outside of basically wanting a self policing anarchist state, they are also hypocrites.  Really, they see no problem with employers not keeping their personal beliefs separate from their business practices.  Suggesting that not paying for contraceptives might actually be better for the business in general, but its not something that is readily seen unless you throw it out there.  I cannot count the times I gave food or a temp job to the poor and homeless, just to protect my stock.  It was better to give it, than have them poach deer and kill livestock, or just outright kill it and steal the carcass.  Sure, it is a religious belief to help people, but I separated my personal shit from my business shit.  It was better for business to help people than it was to not.  I mean when he started about school lead prayers, that was when I just left the party.

In any event, he claims victory, and it was given to him because I am tired of arguing with idiots like that.  Big government when used correctly can protect you, it can protect your home, your family, the air we breath and the water we drink.  If your home is burning, it is a government funded fire department that comes to put your burning house out.  Those troops fighting and dying pointlessly (I mean for our freedom) are paid by the big bloated evil government.  Which is funded by taxes from people and whatever tax rate the wealthy and companies can get.