Saturday, January 6, 2007

Things to change

These are some things we as a nation should change.

In these times porous borders are a fool’s indulgence. We can talk all we want about safety and security, and then look at the terrain that the Afghans and Iraqis live in, compare that to the Sonora desert. It looks a lot alike to me. The point being, people trained there are very capable of making it through a tough passage. The military can’t legally enforce criminal law, they could however, patrol, and train in areas that would make a smuggler remember some appointment elsewhere.

There have been many tragic examples over the years, of humanitarian disasters. What we should have learned from them is simply, if you feed a starving person, they will sit down and wait for the next free meal. As Robert Heinlein stated “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”. The welfare rolls should be come workfare rolls. A person with any pride doesn’t want a hand out, they want a job. Help them learn a skill by on the job training, grounds care, street maintenance, or any job that a municipality has to pay some one to do. Pay a fair wage, or any wage, if you don’t work, the checks stop. I would not be at all surprised to find more people finding their own work. I have some experience
in this area, I have hired winos and homeless people off the street and paid them $10 an hour to run a weed eater. When it got hot, or dirty, they got real hard to find. They would rather draw free money than work. In short, remove the incentive to be unemployed.

Appointees, managers, supervisors, and any other brand of government employee should have a standard to work to. It should lead to a quantifiable, auditable, positive change. The rule of thumb is people will perform to the expectations you give them. If not, then expect to be encouraged to pursue other interests. The corporate world does it, and it works. Government waste, cost over runs, insane prices for mundane items are legend. When we know these things why do we allow them?
If federal contracts are fair and competitive why do so many look at them as a pot of gold and a rainbow.

The image of the oppressor in the minds of many people is a middle aged conservative, marginally successful, white male. It is not a felony to work with in the law and rise in the community. I have never owned slaves, hired or fired anyone on the basis of anything except availability or performance. The availability thing is because if you can’t come to work, I can’t pay you. Many of the supposed white devils have created jobs, donated time and money, trained, paid taxes, lived as role models, and supported our families. While being vilified as the good ole boy network, or facing the implication that my only worth is the color of my skin.

There is a perception that morals, ethics, laws, or just plain right or wrong depend on whether you got caught. It doesn’t count if the referee didn’t see. Unfortunately some parents have taught their children, it isn’t wrong if you don’t get caught. Most victims don’t feel that way. I can’t recount all the weird explanations I’ve heard for why stealing isn’t stealing. (If you walk up and look the man in the eye, that’s TAKEING, sneaking is stealing)

The most common thing I have heard in regard to the forcible immigration of indigenous peoples to this country is “my people didn’t ask to come here”. Ok, well, the door is open, have a nice day. If those folks who support reparations for involuntary servitude were to consider the current infant mortality rate in the country of their origin, the literacy rates, available medical services, housing, nutrition, and the tremendous number of things that we take for granted that define our standard of living. Perhaps they would sit quietly and hope no one noticed they didn’t pay for the ticket. Another conveniently overlooked datum is that most of the suppliers in that trade were Arabs (dare I say Muslim) or the tribe down the road who wanted the victims possessions. The British actually put an end to the trade in country, against serious opposition, actually. My ancestry is Irish. In New York in 1861, the Irish immigrants were herded to induction centers for the Union Army. Fighting in a Napoleonic style battle involves dying, not plowing someone’s fields for no pay. That’s the only time “no Irish need apply” would have been welcome. Not to mention the many who sold themselves into servitude just to get here, indentured it was called.

There is a feeling in some circles that people who are rich have somehow cheated to get there. The government annually fines those people for no other reason than “they can afford to pay more”. Well I suppose that’s true, but they also earned more, and that implies that they made good decisions somewhere to reach that level of income. I would like to be rich, good or bad, and I promise to pay my taxes. I cannot quote a source, but I have been told that the top 10% of taxpayers pay 90% of the taxes.
Poverty is not a virtue, wealth is not a sin. One may lead to the other, but virtue enforced by poverty is merely an absence of choices.

The unproductive view the government as an endless entitlement. The cradle to grave care of the entire population, with the collection and redistribution of wealth by the
government is Socialism. In Russia, China, Europe, and various mud holes in between, Socialism is a Train wreck. If the incentive to work is removed, production drops. Those countries that are opening up a market economy are starting to recover from 50years of arrested development. With those examples, why are we moving steadily down the tracks to the same train wreck? What logic says that the government should do for me what I can’t or won’t do for myself. I want an airplane, but I can’t afford it, should the Feds’ give me one? I would be much happier, and I promise to keep my room clean.

Many well intentioned people all over the world see the death penalty as cruel and unjust punishment. The perpetrators of heinous crimes are also against the ultimate penalty. That should give you a hint at where we should be. Unless the person involved is loony as Daffy Duck, they should be at risk. The victims of violent crimes probably feel their loss was not fun either. The death penalty is not revenge, it is self defense on behalf of society. If it were revenge, it would work better. Give the evil ones to the family of the victim, televise that and I bet the crime rate would drop.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

Wandered over from Ambulance Driver's and Cranky Prof's blogs, and I'm starting at the beginning.

Couldn't agree more with what you said here.