Posts tagged ‘government’

September 19, 2012

What do we expect from our government?

I rely on the government for many things. For some reason, freely admitting, and being grateful for this, makes me a deadbeat, moocher, entitled, victim, or worse, to some people.

I rely on the government for student loans, for a quality education which I would otherwise be unable to afford. Not everyone needs this, but I do.

I also rely on the government for ensuring the food I buy is not going to make me sick. For ensuring the roads, highways, bridges, tunnels, traffic signs and signals to work properly so I can get to my destination safely and on time. For ensuring the police, firefighters, and other emergency first responders in case the worst should happen. For ensuring the water I drink isn’t contaminated by commercial companies over which I have no control. For ensuring none of the products I buy, from cars, electronics, appliances, clothes, tools, or hygienic products kill me. For ensuring I and the people around me receive decent educations. For ensuring competing companies can’t conspire to charge exorbitant prices for the things I really need. I need all of these things. Not only do I need these things, but everyone does.

I rely on the government for these things, because ensuring these responsibilities to anyone else ensures they will be more expensive, less reliable, and not something from which everyone would benefit.

To get these services which I think are basic and necessary and should not be considered luxuries, I am willing to pay higher taxes. I’m willing to pay taxes so that not only do I get these services, but so do my wife, children, and everyone else in this country.

Paying more taxes does not necessarily mean that I get these and more services, though. Sometimes, I’m just paying more taxes so other people can pay less taxes. In some cases, for example when the people are unemployed and cannot afford to pay as many taxes, I will accept the extra burden, because these people need the help. In other cases, like when the people do not need the extra help, then I do not accept the extra burden of more taxes. Not only do my taxes no longer go to providing services for everyone, but neither do those taxes that those other people no longer have to pay. Maybe those people do deserve extra privileges, but I don’t think it comes at the price of making other people suffer more than they have to.

Democrat. Liberal. Communist. Socialist. In the end, I don’t care what people try to label me. I’ll only identify with whatever label most closely matches, “trying to bring about the best world for as many people as possible, not just myself.”

September 7, 2012

Some programs just shouldn’t be privatized

Now that we’re on the road to universal health care, a question that I think we should be asking is, shouldn’t we just do away with the health insurance system? And most types of insurance, for that matter?

I realize that the knee-jerk reaction is to point out how far-fetched it would be for our country to head in that direction. After all, so many jobs and so much money is made off the insurance company, so the resistance they would mount over any such initiative is bound to be extraordinary.

However, ultimately these companies are making money by providing (and in many cases, withholding) protection for people, that really shouldn’t be treated as a luxury. If a person is sick and needs health care, they should be able to receive it, regardless of what type of coverage they might have, if any at all.

The federal government already invests tons of money investigating and preventing insurance fraud, so that proves that people recognize that the government should be involved in these matters.

Obviously, this means that we end up paying more taxes, but in the long run, it’s bound to cost the average citizen less than heath insurance premiums, life insurance premiums, house insurance premiums, and car insurance premiums. People don’t like when their taxes are raised, sure, but the tradeoff is more security when it comes to the important things in our lives, and a healthier, safer society as a whole.

Some people will dismiss these arguments simply because it makes me sound like a socialist, but I don’t think it makes you a socialist to argue that some programs and services just shouldn’t be privatized.

May 17, 2012

What does our government really represent? Racial Inequality

 

Since Reconstruction ended over 200 years ago, African-Americans have only been represented by:

In that same span, African-Americans have always represented at least 9.7% of the US population.

Taking the same approach for gender is undoubtedly worse.

If we truly want a government representative of the overall country, we need to work more toward reducing disparity between the demographics of the country and the representatives themselves.