The Bern VS Corporate Socialism

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omg yasss…
Can we please start putting the blame where it belongs? Most of the poor aren’t lazy welfare bums. Being poor isn’t fun, and if some poor people “game” the system, it’s because you have to be SO poor to qualify for help that if you make a tiny bit “too much” money or you work a few extra hours to get ahead, you are actually penalized for it by losing benefits, thus you can actually still be too poor to live properly but “not poor enough” to get any help.
 
Being barely above poverty level ourselves, I can say I am extremely grateful for the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare (sorry if that pisses off some people). The poor are not the problem. The problem is not “liberals and socialists.” The problem is that the capitalism (the “innovation that made America great?”) Ayn Rand wrote about is now out of control in this country.  The American Dream is defunct.  Big businesses, including drug companies and insurance companies, charge insane markups on necessary commodities and the rest of us have no choice but to pay them or go into hock trying.  People die for not being able to afford proper healthcare.
The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, the set of ideals (Democracy, Rights, Liberty, Opportunity, and Equality) in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adamsin 1931, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.  (source)
It’s cute that some people still believe this is possible for everyone.  In my personal experience, it’s the put-upon white “middle class” that are the worst about this.   They aren’t rich enough to live in comfortable denial like the 1%, but they have had just enough white privilege in their lives (which they almost never acknowledge as such) to not be aware how hard it is for other people.  The crux of the issue is the last phrase… “regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.”
I say this in full realization that I, myself, was born into a white middle class.  All my life I had the idea of go to college—> get good job—> live comfortably pounded into my head.   I used to also believe that welfare was for lazy bums and Ebony magazine was “racist.”
And then I had all the self-righteousness of my twenties knocked out of me when my husband and I lost just about everything in 2009.  At the time, I had a double BS…and couldn’t find anyone willing to pay me more than eight dollars an hour, even for work related to my hard-earned degrees.  I was bouncing back and forth between waitressing jobs, but my husband was working, making great money, at a powerplant.  And then it all imploded.
I know how fast it can happen, and it can and does happen to people who work hard, “climb the social ladder,” and then get jackbooted off the ladder by some higher-up who wants to hire a newbie they can mold for half the salary.  A friend once asked me, why shouldn’t an employer want to pay someone less to do the same job?  It makes fiscal sense for their business.  Maybe it does, but that basically means also acknowledging that company loyalty and “working your way up” mean nothing, and loyalty to employees is often non-existant.
In many ways, we are moving backwards in this country.  The very unapologetic racism of Donald Trump, an actual “serious” candidate for our nation’s highest office, is evidence of that.  He has given back the voice to the bigots of this country.  Now they are still bigots, but unapologetically so, and they call the rest of us “bleeding heart liberals” and the like.  They don’t even feel the need to hide their hate anymore.  They don’t care about the poor, refugees, minorities, or anyone else that affect their bottom line or would require they no longer have the social upper-hand in this country.  Frankly, it’s embarrassing.
Anyway, I’m almost sure some angry right winger will stumble across this and want to argue, tell me I know nothing, decry my “silly liberaism.”  I really no longer care what these people have to say.  I am sick of the “whataboutme?” attitude in this country.  I am sick of the mean-spiritedness and lack of compassion and empathy.   This is me venting about it.  Please feel free to comment, just don’t expect a reply.  I haven’t the energy to argue today.  Rather, I guess now that this is out of my system, I have better things to do.
Peace.
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See? We already ARE socialists…just not the right kind. 

 

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I am a liberal.

I am a liberal.  It’s not a dirty word.

I believe in equal rights for everyone, regardless of color or sexuality, and I don’t believe people getting those rights, or even forming affirmative action groups to facilitate those rights, in any way detracts from the rights you’ve always had and taken for granted.

I believe if the government/tax payers do not want to have to fund any part of women’s reproductive health, and believes a woman is solely responsible for her own birth control, then only she gets to decide what to do with an unwanted pregnancy, should one occur.  The argument that any fetus is “part his” goes out the window unless the responsibility of not becoming pregnant is also “part his.”  It’s not a hard concept.

I believe in feminism as the idea that women should have the same rights as men.  Real feminism, much like liberalism, is misunderstood.  Just because something empowers one group does not mean it has to threaten another.

I am a liberal.

I like to shoot guns and I don’t want your guns taken away. I do believe gun owners should be strickly liable for the whereabouts and use of their firearm at all times, even if they voluntarily lend it to someone. Perhaps then they will be more choosy in how they secure it and to whom they lend it.

I believe in helping the less fortunate, not just when it benefits me, or when it won’t cost me anything.  I believe in helping the poor, even if it means welfare, and I believe in helping the homeless, veterans, and refugees.  I even believe in helping illegal immigrants if they are children, because no child deserves to suffer for any reason.  I’d rather my taxes go to that than a Congressman’s salary or the interest on the national debt.

I am a liberal.  I am also an atheist. I don’t hate Christians and if you say Merry Christmas, I will gladly smile and say it back.  I believe if you can express your religion without fear of reprisal or death, you have religious freedom.  Just because you can not restrict others’ rights based on your religion, or force other people to say “under God” in the pledge does not mean there is a war on your religion.  It means you live in America, where everyone, not just Christians, have freedom of religion.

I am a liberal. I am not your stereotypical “extreme liberal,” and most of us aren’t. I am not intolerant of Conservative views unless they violate another person’s rights.  Again, let me reiterate, your inability to trample the rights of others does NOT constitute a war against you.

I am intolerant of hatefulness and intolerance. And to anyone who knows me personally, if you think that is a bad thing, instead of “agreeing to disagree,”maybe we should part ways.

lib·er·al·ism

 A political theory founded on the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil andpolitical liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority.

lib•er•al•ism

1. the quality or state of being liberal, as in behavior or attitude.
2. a political and social philosophy advocating individual freedom, representational forms of government, progress and reform, and protection of civil liberties.  (source)

 

A word on tolerance…

A friend of mine made an eloquent point on Facebook today (how’s that for irony; eloquence on Facebook!)

HE said:

Don’t be intolerant of my conservatism and ask me to be tolerant of your liberalism.

While I do agree with this, especially in light of the whole Phil Robertson debacle, my take on it is this:

I personally do not feel I am intolerant of conservatism, so much as I am intolerant of the almost compulsive need many conservatives  have to try to legislate their beliefs. In other words, it’s not enough for them to live by their own beliefs and rules; they want make their rules apply to everyone. I mean, for instance, if liberal policy allows gays to marry, a conservative does not need to “be gay” and/or get married if they don’t agree with it.  A liberal will not try to pass a law forcing a straight person to get “gay married.”  However, conversely, many conservatives feel the need to actually try to keep OTHERS from getting married and living the life they want…. See what I mean?

Also, as pertains to Phil, I do feel sorta bad he got fired. CQ essentially laid a trap by asking him questions to which they already knew the answer, and A & E then punished him for his honest opinion.  Personally, I think A & E has hitherto cashed in on the brash, unapologetic nature of the Robertson family, only now distancing themselves when it becomes too “controversial.”   That said, Phil should have know better.  The best answers to questions like the one he was asked are usually as short as possible.  Admittedly I do not watch the show; I’ve heard about it and had little desire to see one more reality show where people are rewarded with fame and money for acting like dicks, and Robertson’s remarks just seem to validate my decision to skip this particular show.

Open mouth, insert duck call....

Open mouth, insert duck call…