Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Big Issues

I often hear people complain that "society is going downhill."

People have probably been saying that since the first societies were formed. In reality people are as brutal, selfish & ignorant as they've always been, but the problems societies face today are more complex than in the past. On the upside, our collective capacity to solve problems is greater than ever.

There is no doubt that the number and scale of problems facing mankind seem huge. The constant info stream available to every person with the most basic network connection has compounded everyone's awareness of the entire globe.

Another effect of The Web is that a multitude of voices are now able to weigh in on any given subject. This is neither good nor bad, but it's a complex phenomenon that's clearly affecting the existing perceptions and power structures around the world.
Unfortunately, despite public outcry the for-profit insurance companies & the various financial swindlers sucking the lifeblood out of people have shown that they won't be swatted away by our pesky "democracy" anytime soon. Not while they're so firmly attached to their Congressional hosts.

There are answers to these big problems, but they require vision & action even more bold than President Hopey-Change w/ his "liberal" Democratic Congress could ever muster. It can be infuriating for informed citizens to see a cumbersomely ineffective system of bought-off bureaucrats only nominally fixing the crushing problems we face.

To illustrate the chain of causality that has to be intelligently addressed on any big issue, here's an example:
As far as health care is concerned, I should be able to visit a doctor or hospital & get any health care I need without any concern for payment whatsoever, no less needing an insurance company to pay for it. The existing system is legally-sanctioned racket, since in a truly enlightened society health care should be the most basic right of any human- citizen or not.

How would such a socialist utopia exist? The only feasible model is through taxes. How else is any functioning government supposed to be funded? The current problem is the particular system of taxation. People's personal income & owned property should not be taxed, but I say tax away on sales of luxury items & non-essential items. That is also how you get a piece of any illicit money out there that wouldn't be gained through income tax. I was just watching a news segment with 2 economists proposing a flat consumption tax in place of the current tax structure. The tax code is one of the things that any President w/ balls would scrap and reboot.

I prefer to think in generalities on these questions of social policy, since there are millions of people out there who could work out details. This is where Obama has come up short so far. He hasn't really brought down the hammer in a forceful way & said:

"This is how it's gonna be,
& here's what we're gonna do.

Do you love America
or not?!"

Even though they were blatantly wrong on the issues, that is one attribute that Bush, Inc. used to its advantage - the ability to be unyielding S.O.B.'s! By not calling out the very integrity of all Congresscritters who block his agenda, Obama's allowed room for antics like those of America's Droopiest Senator, Joe Lieberman aka Senator Palpatine.

Of course, when considering the important issues, it's also important to realize it is all fleeting & crazy anyway. That's where watching The Daily Show & Colbert Report can give me a laugh and the proper perspective.

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