Here is part two of the post on what i believe politically. This section takes us farther down the list from part one to include the issues of our economic system, Capitalism, issues of immigration and illegal aliens, and into the issues of women’s rights. Let’s jump right to it but please read part one, as a foundation, first.
As revealed by any review of history, anthropology, and sociology, as societies progress from band to tribal hunter-gatherers on up to Nation-States of industrial enterprise, each phase has an economic model that seems nearly ideally suited for that phase to help it be productive and relatively harmonious. At the tribal level a communal system was nearly perfect and many philosophers have argued that through the auspices of government enforcement, humans could be forced to regain that level of cooperative co-existence and avoid their natural proclivities to descend into savagery and self-interest. But by the time human society entered the industrial age which, in a mercantile society could produce massive rewards, descendents of Hobbes, Rousseau, and finally Marx argued that an autocratic leader was necessary to forcibly return society to that communal society where ego and self aggrandizement was no longer possible or desirable.
Goodness knows that view has seen plenty of attempts to form societies and nation-states. Soviet Russia, China, North Korea, Germany, Italy, Cuba, et al but it has never, ever worked. Meantime, Capitalism and its concepts of rewarding individual productivity saw developing countries rise will above the levels of other third world communal and tyrannical states. But there is a caveat too often ignored
What makes Capitalism work and powerfully so, is not simple self interest, it is enlightened self interest. That is a view that understands the tightly intertwined destinies of one’s own “business” vis-à-vis the fortunes of those around it, including competitor and customer and workers alike. So long as the enlightened self interest is at play, all boats can rise together. But when it is lost, when it descends into an “everyone for themselves” totally ego-centric world, then Capitalism fails and with it the economy it supported.
I would suggest that it was that failure of the “enlightened” outlook succumbing to the ego-centric outlook that was the philosophical underpinnings of our crisis and allowed for the bubbles involved to expand and then collapse. As the “Me” generation of cliché evolved into the parasitical, self-proclaimed victimized, and completely entitled generation of today, enlightened self interest died and with it an understanding of a mercantile world that was positive and productive.
The movie’s Gordon Gecko declared that greed was good and an entire generation of ego-centric hedonistic, parasites agreed but missed out on the point about what it took to put that greed into productive action and instead became greedy solely for the fruits of the labors of others. The result is what is commonly and fairly accurately called “Crony Capitalism” where regulations exist but are applied only to the non-cronies and in doing so destroy the level playing field enlightened capitalism requires to work.
I believe true enlightened capitalism is the only economic system that can elevate the world to a high and productive standard of living, but it may be true that we have lost it for the moment and need to regroup, rethink our places in society and our responsibilities to the greater society, before we can hope to return successfully to it. It would be tragic but perhaps is true that as a culture tossing away the concept of consequences for choices we no longer have the moral compass, the internal code of standards that will allow true enlightened capitalism to exist much less work. That will be, if true, another very bitter pill for us to swallow and I hope we do not have to do it… but it may be inescapable.
When and if we devolve (or are pushed) back into a more socialistic society we will backtrack on almost all fronts and because we no longer are in a tribal level of group interaction, it will, as it always has done in the industrial world, fail and to the detriment of the citizenry but only to the good of the leadership exempting itself from the rules for the masses.
I despise the thought that it not only might be necessary but potentially inescapable. As I wrote about a number of posts ago, “Stage Theory” has certainly anticipated it. Plus, I see the current president doing everything possible to bring our system down around our ears and push us toward that socialistic system. He is doing it, according to his book, because he thinks it is better, something with which I vehemently disagree.
But I, sadly, think that temporarily it may turn out to be inevitable if we cannot get our grip on the ego-centric, unrestrained versions of dog-eat-dog Capitalism and the clutching gasping demands of a growing parasitic culture. If we cannot regain our enlightened view of a broader picture of our country and the world and how if it is to work at all, it must work all in harmony, then that despicable result is most likely inescapable.
Illegal Aliens and Immigration
This is an incredibly complex problem on two fronts: controlling immigration and dealing with those already here illegally. Fairness would seem to dictate the two issues be dealt with the same way. But practicality would seem to indicate that is not a viable perspective either ethically or logistically. Too often we fall into the trap of thinking social justice means treating everyone alike, but this is a good example of one of the many areas where that perspective is simply in error, not to mention impractical.
The first part of the problem, controlling immigration, is the easiest to grasp. Every country on the planet assumes the right to do it as have we. Quotas, procedures, and processes have been on the books and accepted as fair for many years. The problem now is enforcement, i.e. stopping immigrants from slipping into the country and bypassing the systems already set up. The laws are there; they are just not enforced.
I think those systems need a modern review, and further that they may, in some cases, be restrictive and harsh all out of proportion to the realities of our nation’s needs. I would support the efforts to re-open those rulebooks and start over. But until we do, those are the laws and I think they need to be upheld and enforced. When we start accepting the breaking of specific laws we don’t like, we cannot complain when others break laws that THEY do not like.
I see no problem in allowing state and county agencies to follow up on otherwise legitimate stops when a person does not have a drivers license or other identification. I see a huge problem in allowing illegals to get drivers licenses. Think about it, if you KNOW you are granting a license to an illegal alien then you are an accomplice to a federal crime (the illegal entry)… how do you get around that? And having that ID allows non-citizens to vote, something I vehemently oppose.
The second part of the problem, what to do with the immigrants that have already side-stepped those laws and in an illegal manner entered the country and started to become accepted as citizens even though they are not. This brings into play the issue of “anchor babies” as well as the parents themselves. This derives from the provision in the Constitution (Amendment XIV, Section 1 proposed and added in 1866) that all persons born in the United States are to be considered Citizens. It was in response to the issue of the citizenship of slaves born in this country but newly recognized as free men and women. It also solved a long standing problem of new immigrants in a new country hungry for voters and citizens. In 1866 it made perfect sense.
But those factors of a century and a half ago have long ago faded into utter meaninglessness. Now however there is a brisk business in getting pregnant mothers into the country so their children will be born here and entitled to all the benefits of citizenry, including being able to sponsor their families to immigrate. I think it is time to repeal that Section so that citizenship is not automatically granted because you got a toe on American soil just in time to give birth. I think perhaps they should be in some way “eligible” for citizenship, but not granted it automatically. (I also do not believe in dual citizenship and the unavoidable split loyalties that engenders, but that is another matter for later discussion.)
Whatever is decided, we cannot forget to consider the issues of fairness involved for those who patiently and painfully wait, sometimes in danger, to immigrate to America legally and become naturalized citizens via the processes laid out for them. To force them to go through that ordeal while simply turning a blind eye toward those that bucked the line is not fair by any perspective. Plus there is no way that it can help but appear to reward those that broke the law and punish those that follow it. I do not believe that is a good precedence or model to set for the public.
Having said that however, the logistics of finding and deporting all of the current mass of illegal aliens in an incredibly expensive at best. And what about the kids whose only real crime was staying with their parents and probably, if they were really young, not understanding the subtleties of an illegal entry into this country.
Of course this dilemma would not exist without the lax enforcement that has allowed so many illegals into the country in the first place. There, in the failure of enforcement, is where the serious blame and responsibility should lie, and less with the poor soul who just wants to find a better life for them and their families. I get that, but I also know that most of our historical immigrants, including my father-in-law and my great, great grandfather, did it legally and became citizens.
We tried, not all that many years ago, to initiate an amnesty program for the illegal aliens then in the country with the understanding that we would, at the same time, get serious about border security. We accomplished the first part, never tried the second part, and now for their own narrow ends, and in opposition to the good of the country, both parties either turn a blind eye to gain workers or openly encourage it to gain voters. Either approach is, in my opinion, despicable.
Obviously the problem faced in the last amnesty program has been allowed to lead to a place where it is even more of a problem today. There are no good or pain-free solutions. But for any approach to work we, the nation, have to start with a consensus deciding whether or not we simply want open borders or we want to do as all other nations do and be able to define and control immigration into the country. Until there is a national agreement on that, we will never solve this even though in addition to the relatively benign immigration of work seekers we leave the door open still to the likes of those who perpetrated the tragedy of 9-11 on us.
I believe that every citizen (and this would, of course, include all women) has a right to determine, for themselves, what they will do with their own bodies. If a woman wants an abortion I think she has a right to seek one out; the issue should be between her and her faith and, if appropriate, the other person involved in the pregnancy. But, in my opinion, government, on any level, has absolutely no business getting involved in any way until some legitimate law is broken.
To apply laws for or against it, based on religious conviction is counter to the Constitution and, in my opinion, should be disallowed. But that means for me that while I do not think a government should be in the business of prohibiting abortions as a matter of law, I also do not think it should be in the business of facilitating them as a matter of economics.
I think a woman has an absolute right to choose the correct course of action for herself, but I and others have an absolute right to not have to pay for her choices unless it is an issue of medical emergency (her life is endangered by the pregnancy and she has no insurance coverage) or for rape or incest where she was NOT cooperating in or in any way consenting to the behavior that resulted in the pregnancy. (And by the way, I do NOT think that feigned cooperation when in fear of one’s life EVER equates to consent.)
In those cases I believe that if they can be found, the other party should be held accountable economically for her choices; and only if that fails might the government ask me to take some of my tribute to them to pay for this. Operative word here… “ask.” In instances of child abuse resulting in a pregnancy (and, by the way I think child abuse of any sort should be a capital crime) no one could ever legitimately argue there was legal consent so we are de facto into other territory.
Bottom line, in my opinion a woman past the legal age of consent has an absolute right to chose her activities but then must accept personal responsibility for the consequences. So if indeed the entire circumstances were about choices, starting with the affirmative choice to engage in activities likely to lead to a pregnancy, then I have an absolute right to choose not to support that or its resolution with my money.
And on a related topic, using ADC as a revenue source is, to me, a fraud upon the government and upon all taxpayers and should be a felony. Ending the life of viable but yet unborn individuals is murder and should be treated as such.
If I DO wish to support it, then there are plenty of places I can contribute to that activity; I do not need the government to force me into it. It is transparently disingenuous and hypocritical to say we should give more to subsidize entitlements to which we are opposed but then not have the proponents write out a check to that effect. Clearly what is meant is they actually want US to pay more but they will only do it when forced to. I see a huge problem in that.
But the real and vexing question plaguing this entire topic is the question of when life begins, i.e. when, exactly, is a yet undelivered child sufficiently alive and viable to have its life protected by the government? To determine the start of life I think we can look at the other end, i.e. do we have a workable medical/legal theologically acceptable definition for when life ends, i.e. what separates a state of “life” from “death” at the end?
The answer is, “Yes, we do.” I see no reason not to apply that definition in reverse to determine the government’s definition of the start of life. That such a definition may not correspond to the definition of a specific theology is beside the point since we do not have a state-run religion. If we wish to base such decisions on science then let science’s existing answer to the difference between “life” and “death” suffice and stand. To refuse that reveals only that one has a great a secret (or not so secret) agenda as do those arguing from a religious point of view.
On another relevant women’s issue I believe a woman has a perfect right to equal pay for equal work, but the reverse must also be true: she has to provide equal work for equal pay. For special work, like first responders to emergencies such as police, firefighters, paramedics, etc, I do not believe in lowering standards so that people who could otherwise not perform foreseeable actions, should never be done. If I’m in a burning building and on the verge of unconsciousness, when a firefighter comes through the window or door I do not care if they are a man or woman, but I expect and demand they be able to physically carry me to safety. If they cannot do that then they should not be there. And that goes for men as well.
If an individual cannot carry 200 pounds down the ladder they should not be put in that position and do not deserve the same pay scale of someone who can. But it should only be a skill or ability based pay and never a case of using gender as an automatic criterion. On the other hand, if it can be shown that certain skills, usually gender based, are not required to properly carry out a job, then the fact that some applicants have those skills and others do not should not be used for different pay scales since they are irrelevant to the job.
For the city mayor’s private army, the police force, I believe we should be raising standards not lowering them and not just for women but for all applicants. We, as the citizens, would be far, far better served with fewer very high quality, high intelligence, un-reproachable, and un-corruptible officers making a good salary than with mobs of gun toting officers with minimal intelligence and psychological stability because it is all we can get for tight budget restraints and after knuckling under to complaints by the under qualified.
OK, we’ll continue the list in the next post.