“Government does not create jobs”
We hear the above a great deal, from the opposition on the Right. In truth, it is a mantra for their race toward the White House. What does any of the above mean, really?
While the Right is beating the drums of revolution, I sit back and consider what all this means to me as an American and a woman. As I watch the polls slide up and down, back and forth I truly do wonder. We talk a good game on the Left but whether gender, race or otherwise challenged we have failed to band together to form a single coalition against the status quo, instead being satisfied with our individual small wins rather than banding together to win the war.
There is not a single person in the nation today who does not receive benefits from the government. I wonder what are we willing to give up, what services or conveniences would we be willing to do away with for the benefit of less taxes. Today though I am going to ignore this one, except to say there aren’t many, some but not many.
As to whether government creates jobs, of course they do, you are delusional if you believe otherwise. Whether you work directly for a government agency or for a company that sells to the government, the government, federal, state and local is the single largest consumer of goods and services. I am not going to spend time on this one, but consider all the myriad ways in which government monies flow through communities.
There are plenty of ways to shrink the size of government. Let’s start with something simple, grant all members of society equality without equivocation. It is simple; if you are citizen of the United States of America, you are equal to every other citizen. We should not be voting on whether our neighbor is equal to us, whether they have rights equal to our own. This is not an issue that should ever be put forward on a ballot.
The following should be part of a civil and sane society without question or thought. Marriage, call it something else if this makes you happy but call it something else for everyone. Military service, combat duty and access to Officer Training School, let’s make the military reflect our nation at every level not just the enlisted corps. This includes equality of opportunity and pay starting with our schools. Fund them equally in every neighborhood no matter the tax base or average household income. Equality in our choices, healthcare and privacy up to and including access to contraceptives, health screening and yes dammit Abortion.
Remember these words?
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
They spoke to the heart of Revolutionaries who would found a nation. It is once again time for us to embrace the spirit of these words.
Now we finally get to the Hot Button, Entitlements! The monster that will reach out and grab you when you set your feet down on the floor without turning on the light first. What are Entitlements? I have heard all different sorts of answers to this question from the Right and the Left.
Social Security and Medicare – entitlement or claim? I would say Social Security and Medicare are Claims, debts owed by the government to us. Are we entitled to collect? Yes, we paid they are in fact our money we are collecting and though we didn’t agree, we loaned it to the government interest free for a very long time.
Medicaid, Welfare, Unemployment – are these Entitlements? They are part of our social safety net. They are what we long ago agreed would be in place so our citizens would never again face abject poverty without food, shelter or support. Do our citizens, especially our children and our aged deserve our compassion? I would say they do, but then I believe strongly how a nation treats its weakest citizens is a reflection of that nation as a whole.
When the Right Wing talks about ‘reform’ of our Entitlements what are they really saying? What I hear all too often is this:
“They don’t want to work so they are sucking the teat of the public.”
When this is said what do they mean by ‘they’? It is those nefarious ‘others’, those people not like them. The bogeyman or woman that looks different. Those irresponsible ‘other’ people. It is those single parents, usually women who have children with different men (you know who I am talking about). Those un-Christian, immoral, violent ‘other’ people. Let’s just say it shall we, it is those Black and Brown people, those not like White People.
This is the picture of ‘other’ painted by politicians and their support system to divide the heart of this nation. Do they depict the reality? No, no they don’t. What they create is a vision for those that fear they will lose what little traction they have left to latch on to, something or someone to point at and blame for their failure. This picture of wretchedness, is something ‘other’ those with nothing left but their ‘rightness’ can stand above and feel superior to.
Here is the problem with the above:
|Percent of recipients who are white||38.8 %|
|Percent of recipients who are black||39.8 %|
|Percent of recipients who are Hispanic||15.7 %|
|Percent of recipients who are Asian||2.4 %|
|Percent of recipients who are Other||3.3 %|
When you consider the unemployment numbers within each of these communities :
What does this leave us with? Inequality? I would say so especially when you consider this final number, the population distribution as of the 2010 Census.
What does it all really mean? It means we remain a nation without conscious and without compassion. We have moved further into the mindset of “I got mine, out of my way ya bums get your own.” Rather than holding the door open for those that follow behind us, rather than reaching our hand down to lift the next generation up, we have slammed the door shut and closed our fists. We are standing in the corner, taking a fighters stance ready to defend our small piece of the rock against all comers, against ‘other’.
We are demonizing our neighbors, our friends, our brothers and sisters. We are failing our children.
If we don’t turn our back on the bigotry, greed and avarice soon, we will fall as a nation it is the inevitable outcome of our ignorance. It is the inescapable consequence of our failure to come together for common cause.