Friday, December 4, 2015

Just a quick thought on rights versus privileges.

As I am preparing to move, to a place I do not know where, with no funds to really do it with, at least I can say that I won't have to cut and run for the day job.  But once again I find myself in a major bind, and with yet another shooting spree, I just want to throw this out, before there is yet another pause in time.

I often discuss with people what is a right, and what is a privilege.  Certainly, I have the right to keep and bear arms, to free speech, and a host of other promises given to me by sheer luck of the draw.  I was burn in the United States.  I can marry (unlike +Little Liberal Larry), I can live a mostly normal life, because we (well most of us) were given a guarantee of certain things.  Of course, the late Mr. Carlin of comedy fame, pointed out that some countries have more God given rights that others, while some have fewer.  He was also noted for pointing out that our rights could be revoked at any time for any reason.  He was right.  But to the point, since I am about to crash.  We have problems, and our rights or privileges need to be expanded.  Some will argue that this is not the case, but the truth is, we really need to ensure a bunch of things, because as it stands today, I can own a gun, but if I am living under a bridge, its not going to be very useful, is it?

1.  I am going to borrow this from FDR.  The right of a person to have a meaningful and dignified job.  I don't mean everyone should be working to create a cure for cancer, AIDS, or mental illness, of that we shouldn't have janitors.  What I mean by this is that everyone should have a job that allows them to make not only the most of their lives, but affords them the opportunities to grow as a person.  It allows for them to try their hand at writing, music, or maybe painting.  Something that allows them to pick up a hobby, and to be able to partake in it on a regular basis.  Pay that allows them to do more than simply survive.  This would be simple enough, if only we could see past maximum profit at any cost.

2.  Truly affordable healthcare.  Sure, with the PPACA, we are moving in the right direction.  But we need to do better.  We still have uninsured people, we still have the mentally ill not receiving care, and its not because they don't want to have it.  We have people in the United States who simply cannot afford it, for them the choice is simple.  Go to the doctor, and get your medications and be homeless or not eat.  That is a real problem when we have people eating canned cat food, because they need to take their medications.  I feel +Bernie Sanders has the right idea, Medicare/Medicaid for all  No, I do not suspect it will be very cheap, but it beats what we have now.  But, we have people who stand in the way of that progress.  We have people who say, why should I pay for Joe down the Block who is "lazy", or should just find a better job.  Yeah, those jobs aren't always easy to find, and landing them can be a very difficult task.

3.  Free internet for all.  Yeah, this is a soft push for free internet for every home in the country.  Its not like the internet is essential for us to live, unlike a living wage or really affordable healthcare.  But it is you see.  Since the internet went live to the masses and actually became reasonably inexpensive for many, it has become the backbone for many aspects of our lives.  The internet has more uses than just Facebook, Netflix & Chill, and porn.  The internet can be used to find homes, buy insurance, get an education (at an accredited university), apply for jobs, do research, and everything under the sun.  If I do not have the time to go to the bank using public transportation, I can simply log into my bank, do everything I need to in the span of 30 seconds.    Its time that the internet, true high speed internet, moves into every home in every city across this land, and the price tag should be nothing a month. 

4.  Reliable cheap transportation should be ranked above free internet.  Yes, in many locations there is public transportation, it can shuttle you around your city in a modestly decent time frame.  But I have only had the pleasure of living in one place that actually had that, in my entire life.  But that is only in good weather, and only between specific times, and if I need to ride the bus on Sunday, forget about it.  People need reliable cheap modes of transportation, regardless of the time, day, or weather.  Now, I am not claiming that everyone should have a brand new Camaro, Maserati, Lambo, or some other exotic high end car, but something that is dependable, easy to store, and cheap to own and insure.

5.  A safe, decently constructed home.  If a home is a castle, the domain of the residents to be safe from the elements and outside world, everyone should have one.  Again, I am not saying everyone should have a multi-million dollar, 10,000 sqft. pad with 20 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms.  I am saying that everyone should have a home, a place to safely lay their heads at night, untroubled by the prospects of being homeless.  As Waters said, "Any fool knows a dog needs a home,
A shelter from pigs on the wing.
"  A little over stated, but the fact is, everyone needs a home, a place where they can lay their head, not worry about loosing it, but also a place where they can relax from a bad day, kick up their feet, watch something mind numbing on the television.  A place of sanctuary, from a cruel world.

6.  Again I am going to invoke Mr. Sanders and say we really need affordable secondary education.  Not PhD. level material, but college or trade skills education at a level more than high school.  A place where someone can learn a trade if they want, or expand to become more than skilled labor.  We need teachers, and for the life of me with the shoddy pay they often receive I don't know why anyone would want to be one.  We need engineers, technicians, wielders, and so many things.  Now I am sure we would have more skilled labor if the jobs actually paid well enough, but the problem is, you have to be trained and certified to do these types of works.  Free trade school, and certification would go a long way in easing some of the trepidation.  Free four year studies for those who want to go into more skilled types of labor (I would go as far as saying that police officers need to have a 4 year degree).  Masters programs should be half the cost of what we currently pay for a four year college, and a PhD level program should cost what a current four year education costs.  Sure you would have people who abuse the system, but trust me, after the four years is up, those people will get weeded out pretty quick.

The problem I see is that so many people take these things for granted, they do not see them as a right.  They are privileges earned through hard work, and if you are not privileged enough to have them, you have not worked hard enough, or lack the skills required to achieve said goals.  But I see things differently, if you are breathing and are aware of the world around you, these should not be a privilege, they should be a right.  Something that all people can aspire to have, without being forced into being debt slaves for the rest of their lives (because they couldn't really afford it).  But we have to question ourselves on each of these six things.  Is it fair to be forced to pay for something you will never use, to pay for someone else.  You might be saying no, no it is not.  But you already do pay for someone else.  Uninsured or under-insured motorist is the top of the list.  The taxes my parents paid on the homes they owned in the past included taxes for schools, roads, libraries, and other things.  The taxes I paid on my income covered disability and unemployment insurance (which covered my co-workers and myself).  So, why pay one, but not the other?  Because it is a privilege that you feel you have earned, but people like myself have not? 

We really need to evaluate who we are as a nation, what our ideals really are.  If we do not, if we cannot change, we can never regain our footing as the "greatest nation in the world."  We will never be that world leader.  Of course, what do I know?  I am often considered to be one of the lazy pricks who leeches off the system and donations I can drive up.  I am one of those liberal turds that went to college to get a "useless" degree, and is too sorry to work.  Even though, until Monday morning, I was applying for any job I found, regardless of pay or hours.  Why did I stop Monday morning, because between working, and shelter, I have deemed moving back into a tent to be unacceptable at this time in my life.  The prospect of being homeless again, scares me, and it should scare you.  Oh, it should scare each and every person who reads this, because without some of these rights, those I just mentioned, you could be sitting here, staring down the barrel of a loaded gun, just like me.  I have the right to own and carry a gun, a weapon that can end a life in a split second, but I do not have the right to own my own home?  I have the right to say just about anything I want, at any time, but I do not have the right to healthcare that I can reasonably afford.  You see the problem?  We are focusing on the wrong rights to fight for and protect.  If everyone that could work, or would work had a decent paying job, we wouldn't have as much crime, we wouldn't have as much drug use.  If everyone had a home and decent transportation, it would be easier for them to find stable work (not to mention people would be spending money, which means more workers would be needed). But what do I know, I am just that lazy bum conservatives decry all the time.