Monday, August 15, 2011

Fair and Balanced

I'm a Libra, you know, the lady with the scales.  I spend most of my time trying to find balance in my world.  I bend over backwards to be fair.  I try to see things from other perspectives and use reason and logic to present my arguments.  Lately, I seem to be living in a world where crazy is the norm and rabid emotional outburst is the voice.  I get it people.  Things are messed up and we need to find a better way to run things or there's going to be a pretty major revolution or repression.  Either way  - it doesn't look good.
I live in an apartment complex with 16 units.  In addition to our rent, we all pay a portion of the water bill.  In the summer, we pay a little more because the landscaping has automatic sprinklers. Now, I live alone.  I run my dishwasher once, maybe twice a week.  I shower every other day. I could claim that because I use less, I should pay less than the family two units over with 2 children who surely use more water than I do.  But I don't.  Why?  Because the system I agreed to when I moved in was that our water is not based on individual use, but on a communal use.  Right now, I use less.  At some time, I may use more than my share.  But I agreed to do my part.  And so I do.
I view my taxes in the same way.  I pay my part and I have an expectation that when I need the services my taxes pay for, they will be there for me.  My roads will be maintained.  Schools will be operational.  Courts and police will be there should I need them.  Fire services will be there if I need them.  I've been on food stamps once in my life, and it probably saved me from starving.  It was only for 2 months, but I needed those 2 months and when I didn't need them, I moved on, knowing that someone else might need them more than I did.  When I was in college, I had PELL grants and NDSL (National Direct Student Loans) to help me pay my way.  When I got a job, I paid the loans back.  As I approach my retirement years, I EXPECT to have some assistance from Social Security and Medicare. I've paid my fair share into these programs and I have an expectation of something back IF I need it.  Other programs for seniors, food programs, housing assistance, utility programs, I would hope they will be there.  But if they aren't because other, more urgent programs need the funding, then I will accept that as fair.
What I do not accept as fair is the notion that other people can avoid paying their share because they have more money than I do OR they don't agree to what the money is being used for. I don't agree that persons who make more money than I do get to decide who gets to benefit from this system.  I don't agree that any one party, religion, sect, ethnicity gets to decide what is best for everyone.  We are NOT a democracy, we are a republic of REPRESENTATIONAL government.  We elect our officials to WORK TOGETHER for the good of all.  Not just for the wealthy, not just for the corporations that lobby for their support.  LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.
There are plenty of programs I don't agree with, but it's the agreement I made with my government.  I will pay my FAIR share and in return, you will be there if/when I need your help with something I cannot do alone.  If I never need those services, fine and dandy.  But I agreed to be part of the system.  And I agreed that other people could be part of that system.  I agreed that their part of this system isn't their ability to pay, pray, marry, work in the same way I do.  I don't know why I work 8 hours and at the end of the day I still worry about paying my bills.  More than once in the past year or so, I've looked to the heavens and had to decide - do I eat, pay this bill, buy my prescription, or put gas in my car.  And I know that I'm doing pretty well by many, many people's standards.  But I never stop looking for a way to stretch my dollars - or get some extra by selling off things I no longer need.  I'm almost out of options, much like our nation.  I live pretty lean.  Sure, I can make some small cuts, razor thin slices in the whole picture. 
That's why I know that CUTS are not the way to fix what is happening in government.  It's part of it, sure.  There are some very minor, razor thin cuts that can be made.  But it will not have a big impact.  People who have gotten away with not paying their fair share, and I don't care if those "people" are individuals or corporations, need to step up and contribute for the good of all and not just for their own good. 
"The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations." Thomas Jefferson 
My friends, I think we are there. 
Yes I know there are those who abuse the blessing of this country, and in time we need to correct that.  But until our schools can properly educate and inform, until our manufacturing can produce goods AND jobs for those educated, until we can ensure that every man, woman and child can enjoy the fruits of their labors and share in the happiness of community, we gain nothing by taking from those who have nothing.
"The purpose of government is to enable the people of a nation to live in safety and happiness. Government exists for the interests of the governed, not for the governors."Thomas Jefferson
We need Mr. Jefferson again.  We need those in government to remember who they work for.  We need government to return to the basic duty allowing us to live in safety and happiness.  And if they don't listen, we need to take their jobs away from them.  Because they aren't doing it.  And I really can't take it anymore. 


Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Oh my God, nothing I could say would have any impact because you have perfectly summed up exactly how I think almost every single person in this country (or at least the 98% of us who live on nothing) feel right now. Would you mind if I share this? I think everyone I know could benefit from reading your well articulated thoughts. I am in 100% agreement with you my friend; this is NOT what our forefathers had in mind.

Judi FitzPatrick said...

I totally agree. I hope you'll send this along to folks in the government - our senators and representatives - you've hit the nail on the head.

I have a new appreciation for Jefferson, thank you!

Peace, Judi

spottedwolf said...

Your outlook is exactly the kind of opinion my mother lived by and reared all her children to believe in. I principle. Insofar as actuality and I do mean reality....this exposes the naivety of having grown and matured in an industrial society driven by the illusions of 'deserved life'...and I hope this is understood.

I have learned that no matter what we believe should happen and no matter what we do to assist what we believe in coming to fruition....mother on her own terms. Industrialists have pushed their ideals for hundreds of years believing humankind could and would create a 'better life' for all. This has happened for a few...but on a mass scale it has never happened for all....that is 'natures way' of telling us this line of faulty. a member of this society...I'd rather my peers thought like you think than the way the majority are currently proving......