Thoughts on politics and economy

I was commenting in a recent comment that I lamented that I did not have John Herberg around with me.  We both used to live in Eugene and would go to a coffee shop and debate politics and philosophy.  He is a good one to debate with because he is intelligent and doesn’t argue the hairs of the horse, but the horse itself, without getting bent out of shape.  I’ve tested out lots of other folks by challenging them here and there, in person and through Internet, and found that most people will get really bent out of shape about a political stance.  Not the people I want to debate with, for I debate to learn and grow and not to prove you wrong.  There are times when I seek out the dumbasses of the world and try to put them in their place, but by far most of the time I am simply trying to learn about myself. 

Remember, I am a guy who has been Democrat, Green Party, and Republican.  I have no loyalty to any party when it all comes down to it, but loyalty to my principles and ideals. 

Thinking about local events I am still for capitalism.  I see a great number of coworkers and people I’ve dealt with who simply do not try all that hard, who pass the blame, who will take all the blood in your body that you have and demand more.  There are lots of people in the U.S. who will do just enough to get by, who demand they be carried by those working their asses off, who have no clear idea of the difference between wants and needs.

But listening to radio and t.v. and such, my views on a global level are shifting.  That some countries cannot compete with others and so have to cut corners, that entire populations of people are living in poverty, all seems to be a different issue, to me at least, than the hordes of lazy people in the U.S.  Yes… I said lazy.  There is ample opportunity in this land for people to get what they need.  There are genuine circumstances, to be sure, but there is so much offered people that there is no reason for 22 year olds to be standing on a street corner with a sign asking for help.  I’ll go in an help the single mother who is working all she can to provide.  I’ll give to her.  I’ll give time, money, food, clothing to her.  To the vet that is homeless and needs medicine and who can’t leave the jungle, I’ll give of my self to him.  But to the 30 year old man on the corner asking for handouts because he was laid off?  No.  Get on the street, walk up and down, look for jobs, they are there.

I probably sound harsh.  I’ve been hungry and have taken food from a the alley of a restaurant as they passed it out after close to the bunch of people that congregated after midnight, a mixture of homeless people and environmental workers volunteering time to work all they could for a cause they believed in.  I eventually left as I was tired of being hungry and needed a place to live. 

So I find within me a shifting of attitudes.  I want less government and I want business to be left alone, however I want a double spending on current school programs.  And I mean ALL school programs, to include art and music and poetry and sports as well as literature and foreign language and such.  Need people to be chaparones or to guide student groups to museums but can’t pay them?  How about asking the Senior Citizen community for volunteers, or a stipend in return.  I’m sure there is a lot of experience in some of these people that would benefit young minds.  Lengthen the school year a bit, though I am still a big fan of Summer vacation. 

Increase the police presence and all the departments within.  Police in Eugene are not responding or even following up on car thefts or breakins because there are not enough police to do it and they have more important crimes to follow.  The paperwork that is created is staggering.  Is it feasible to create a new type of job, a job where the police officer can give the facts to the person and this person would fill out and file all the paperwork?  A police officer in Eugene told me that they are forced to ignore lots of crimes, he said the DA had a website with something 42 (or was it 72) crimes on it that they would not follow up on.  Because they have been cut so much they ignore alot.  This is the first steps down a bad road.  Ignore the small weeds in the garden and you’ll come back to see your gardent is overrun.

I loved Eugene’s new public library.  I wish that Beaverton had one as good.  It isn’t.  Eugene is more into  reading and literature and such than Beaverton is. 

Infrastructure!  One of the biggest problems in getting work is the barrier of transportation.  Public transportation is okay, but who in their right mind wants to spend three hours every day on public transportation?  Not I.  That’s why I quit it and drive myself, cutting my time by 60 percent.  More long parks.  Every creek should be a park, or at least every creek of any size, should be a park in the city wtih bike paths and meadows and tree stands.  This helps in moving around the city.  I can bike in Eugene from one side to Sringfield in a relatively easy time… slower than driving, but faster than the bus schedule to be sure!  Taking these green belt zones from one spot to another allows one to get to different areas of the bus routes and to minimize their time on public transportation.

People who complain about some of the crazy environmental laws in Eugene or Portland and how they can’t build what they want and such, should take a trip to the South where such considerations are ignored.  There are some truly ugly towns in the South.  I think of Pine Bluff, Arkansas for one, but really most any town in the South has it’s ugly parts.  There are nice looking parts, to be sure, usually the square, and to be sure the rich neighborhood, but not the business parks or industrial parks.  They are just thrown together with no consideration of how they fit.  Imagine how much environmental thought went into them also.  There is a large portion of Louisianna called Cancer Alley.  No surprise.

So I am for chemists to work on something for money.  They work on a pill that gives a man an erection.  Hey, good job.  Now make some money young man!  I’m for that.  Yet, to keep medicine in the country something that is run by business and market forces… we get cheap pills for erections but there is no cure for some diseases, or someone must pay an arm and a leg every year for the medicine just to stay alive.  Somethings out of whack here.

Lots of thoughts this afternoon.  Tonight is the Full Moon.  I’ve got to get ready for a ritual in a little while.  A thin cloud cover is in the sky.  Even though, I might do my ritual outside tonight.

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