Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Am I Liberal or Conservative? How about neither?

First off, I hate labels. Labels indicate that you have a nice neat box that you fit into. It also tends to give people an excuse for not seeing things your way or as an argument as to why you have to be wrong. For instance, teaching in special education I was labeled as a teacher. Never mind that I had to go to school for five years instead of four or that I had to take extra classes to obtain my degree, nor did it matter that I graduated in the top of the class at my college. All that mattered to the teachers in the first school I taught was that I was in Special Education. Here is a case in fact: I was the Academic Team sponsor for the school. I took the brightest and best and readied them for competition. When one of the teachers found out that I was sponsoring this group she said, "Oh! Aren't you Special Education?" I replied, "I teach special education, I am not a student of special education." She was far from convinced. She was predisposed to the label of the word and anyone connected with that, in her mind, had mental difficulties. A total misconception for even the students in that area. People that are intelligent know that Learning Disabled is a misnomer. We should rename it to something along the lines of "Learning Differently," because the fact is they just don't seem to grasp the listen to lecture and take notes style of teaching.

So, maybe this is where my root of hating labels begins. I really don't know. What I do know is that labels are extremely limiting and cause misconceptions.

So, what is a liberal? If you look in the dictionary it is far from helpful. It defines it as: "A person of liberal views." Thank you, Merriam-Webster. So let's dig a bit deeper. Like many words the meaning has changed over time. The word actually became political in Britain during the 17th and 18th century. Then it was used to describe a liberty from government interference. They believed that government should not be involved in social services such as education or healthcare to people, and should not get involved with the citizens rights. It is rather the opposite of what "Liberals" tend to believe today. The modern liberal believes the government has a duty to provide people with services and provide social welfare. They would tend to believe that these services should be provided by more taxation on the wealthy and no fear of increased government spending because these services are needed.

A conservative on the other hand is defined as "A person who holds to traditional values and attitudes and is cautious about change." That definition seems to be a bit more clear than the previous one. So, by definition a conservative is more cautious about spending and making changes. A conservative typically does not want an increase in government interference and is more like the 17th and 18th century Liberals of the time.

So what is the big deal here? Well, if you take the definition of either and try to fit me into one of those boxes I just won't fit. First, I don't believe that we should provide social programs for everyone at the expense of our government going broke and not being able to take care of important things. I think states should have more power in taking care of their citizens and making policies, because the Federal Government already has so many duties and expectations there is no way it can meet them all effectively. I think we see this in the abuse we have in the social programs that are in place. How many times have you heard that someone that really needed help couldn't get it but someone that didn't need it was abusing the system? A lot.

With that said, I do think that we need programs. I just think that states would be better able to handle them. Why? Because it's a numbers game. Dividing the population into fifty parts and having leaders in each of those would be more feasible. Assistance from the government to those states could then be based on population and need. States could relegate offices to each county. This would also increase a need for further employment and provide a better ability to determine who is abusing the system.

Of course this is just a thought on my part, not an actual plan. It just seems to make sense to divide things up and make it less complicated. Why? Because the current system is broken. So, in that regard I am looking for change which takes away my "conservative" status and I also am looking for a reduction in aid which makes me non "liberal."

To continue I don't think government should be involved in other social issues. Why does the government care who gets married? Do they really need to involve themselves in who pro-creates and who doesn't? Don't they have other issues they need to concern themselves with, such as protecting the borders or making nice abroad? I don't think the government should be worried about marriage. Again, let the states handle their own marriage laws. If it's about taxes then make the tax frame different. If two men and a woman want to marry or two women and a man want to get married why should I care? I'm not living with them. Does it really have to be such a big deal? I don't care if two men want to marry or two women want to marry. It's really none of my business. Marriage is not a government business either. Most marriages are about religion and isn't there something about a separation of Church and State? So it's okay for the government to break it's own law?

So, according to my viewpoint here I'm probably more liberal than conservative. However, by the true definition since I don't want government involvement doesn't that go more toward conservatism? See how the label thing is kind of messed up?

What do I care about? I care about this country. I was told once that patriotism was dead. No, it's not dead. It may be nodding off and gone from some, but it's far from dead. I still believe in a strong and prosperous United States. I don't like the direction the country is currently taking. I don't like that they seem to be wanting to take away the liberties that were granted to us by our founding fathers. I don't like that they are able to sway people with lies and the media. I really don't like that so many people have become lazy and gullible believing anything put before them simply because it's easier.

I care about this country dying.

Historically as governments fail, and this one is failing, empires fall. We are falling. Our politicians are failing us. They have become more engrossed in power and politics then in the American people. We are a nation run by bankers and lawyers and not by the patriots that founded the country. Our politicians get away with negligence and lying. They have, upon more than one occasion, abused their power - such as when they give themselves secret pay raises as their constituents lose jobs and homes. They can raise millions of dollars for campaigning and run successful businesses but can't seem to control their own spending. It is not a Democratic or Republican issue, but it is an American issue because it is the American people that have to pay for this kind of abuse of power. Voting in an only two party system that controls the media, businesses, and our minds is our folly. Until we get past this we can never get to where we need to be again.

So, if you have to put me in some category to appease your mind then you just might be out of luck. I won't go and sit quietly in a box waiting to make someone else happy. I will continue to think, learn, express my opinions, and run rampant on my political journey even if I travel it alone.

Monday, October 15, 2012

What Happens When We Punish Businesses?

What happens when we overtax businesses?

First, think of a business like you would your household. This might help. You have things you can afford and then you have necessities. The only thing is when your taxes and incidentals go up you can't fire yourself, your spouse, and/or your children. 

Rent or Mortgage – a must have
Taxes – can’t get away from them
Utilities – another must have, such as phone service, electricity, internet or intranet, water, gas.
Incidentals - Furniture, air conditioning, heating.
Insurance – required by law, but businesses require a lot of insurance. Health insurance, property insurance, unemployment insurance, liability insurance, disability insurance, workmen’s compensation insurance.
Business supplies including products needed to sell or for production.

Now these are just the basics they have to meet to stay open. They can all be quite expensive. On top of these expenses they have to hire employees. So, as the economy in the US goes down sales go down. As sales go down profit goes down. What does not go down? That would be rent and/or mortgage, most likely, taxes, because they are on the increase, and insurance premiums. They also, since the economy is going down will most likely have to start paying more for supplies since cost of materials are rising.

Now, salaries have to be paid to employees because not one business I know of has people that go to work just for fun and say, “Nah, please don’t pay me. Just working here is reward enough.”

If demand for products or services is on a decline and taxes and other incidentals are going up what can a business cut from the budget to stay afloat? It can’t cut out the mortgage payments. It has to pay the taxes. Utilities can be reduced, maybe, but they can’t be cut. Insurance is required by law, so they can’t cut that out either. The only thing they can cut out is the amount of employees that they hire. On top of this they may even have to cut out rewards programs that employees were receiving before taxes were increased because profits are declining.

With the layoffs we also increase the unemployment status in the US, which is high already. Yes, the unemployment status went down slightly recently, but that is because some businesses are hiring for the holiday season. Look for the numbers to go right back up again after the holidays.

The bottom line is that businesses will not and cannot stay open without making a profit, just like a household cannot go on without an income. A profitable business will hire more people making the unemployment rates go down instead of up. More people will be able to keep their homes and food on their tables.
It’s sad when you hear that a business laid off people to rehire only part-time employees just so they don’t have to pay the added taxes set down by the government or the required increase in insurance benefits from the present administration. What happens to these employees besides just a cut in pay? They have to make sacrifices in their homes and make cuts as well, such as not spending as much and increasing the decline in American business. They also will now be required to find affordable insurance or pay a tax. Why? We have overtaxed our businesses, who are also the employers in this nation.

It’s nice to think that no matter what we do we can be rewarded, but that’s not even realistic. Realism comes when you stop to consider that without viable, healthy businesses this country is screwed. We only add to our increasing debt problems.

So, hate those that are touting giving breaks to businesses, but stop and think for just a minute about why it’s necessary, because right now small to moderate businesses are suffering over the increased taxes and requirements being set down by our government. If this continues you will be seeing a lot more empty buildings and a lot more people pounding the pavement hoping that somewhere there is work so that they can have a roof over their head and food in their bellies. Believe me, with the increased level of debt that this country is accruing daily welfare that we so easily take for granted may not be revamped or revised but just out and out broken because even our government won’t be able to pay and provide for the needy.

Building businesses in the country will build the economy in this country. Taxation is not the answer – it is actually one of the problems. The only cure to our increasing debt is to quit unnecessary spending.

This is why so many people are voting Republican, because when Obama gets back into office we can expect further decline in our economy, a lot more layoffs, and a lot more people needing government assistance. I don't want to vote Republican, but I live in Wisconsin, a swing state. I wanted to vote for Gary Johnson and for my principles. I don't feel I have a choice, because realistically I have to vote for one of two parties instead. This has become the American way. So, here is another vote for Romney/Ryan.

Oh, and that cheap insurance you think you'll have? Just wait, because I think you are going to find it costs a lot more than what you were promised.