I have been involved with a large political discussion over the weekend with a group of web friends. These are people I truly respect and love. I don’t want to hurt these people because I disagree with them. One person wrote to me that she is not sure about what I think anymore. So I decided for my own sanity, I need to write this. I have closed the comments because I don’t want to fight. I just have to write out my beliefs and feelings.
Friends from the Refuge: Please know I love you all. I know we come from different walks of life and we have all had different experiences. These reflect in our own actions and beliefs. I don’t feel any animosity towards ANY OF YOU!
This, I Believe:
I believe humans are, in general, good in behavior. They want to do the right thing and they want to be good toward other people. All humans have feelings of pride and honor, all humans can feel greed and envy. One of the wonders of people is that we share emotions regardless of race, class, religion or gender. We have a connection to our fellow man based on these base emotions.
I believe all people sure have their basic needs met. This means, food, shelter, clothing, health. Right now, our country makes an attempt to help people. We have homeless on our streets. We have people going hungry. Clothing can break a family’s budget. Health is a large issue in the United States. People go without regular doctor visits. Your health care is directly related to your income. Those who have little money still use ERs for basic care. A good insurance allows a person to get good care. Some parts are regulated by states. Other parts allow people to go without. Despite research indicating that dental health is important for the entire health of a person, dental coverage is often separate and sometimes, not even offered.
I believe that people should be able to donate their money where they wish. However, a 2005 study found that 8% off all the money donated was directly earmarked for meeting basic human needs. Yes, the arts, science, religion, etc should be donated to also. However, this 8% figure is strong evidence that PRIVATE DONATIONS ARE NOT ENOUGH! We need the government to step in to help our fellow Americans and the immigrants. It is in the best interests of our country to meet the basic needs of all citizens. To create a population that lives in basic human conditions will probably reduce crime. If the government doesn’t do it, no one will be able to help this happen. And I don’t mean a steak for dinner every night or a house for everybody. I mean that nobody should HAVE to sleep on a park bench with an empty stomach. A shelter with meals can help, but now they are overcrowded and underfunded. We currently can’t help people enough.
I believe taxes are reasonable. Even though I keep getting told that 50% of my money goes to taxes, I don’t mind because we have a strong military, a strong government, arts and sciences are funded, history is preserved, items that make a culture are funded.
I believe we need to cut pork projects. I believe that if we took the 0.1% of the federal budget that is pork and tossed it towards basic human needs, we would do much better as a country.
I believe people WANT to bring themselves up. I have been told that if people have their basic needs met, they will be lazy and not work to improve themselves. I do not believe that! Every generation has wanted better for their children. Every generation wants the pride of being on their own. I know very few people who have been on some form of public assistance who want to stay there. They want to do this on their own.
I believe public assistance needs to be changed for the economy of the specific region. I believe taxes need to be adjusted accordingly also. You can’t say that someone earning $10,000 in the rural mid-west has the same expenses as a person in an East Coast city. You can’t force people to move because of the higher costs of some areas.
I believe the organization of federal programs needs to be streamlined. Part of the bulk and bureaucracy is based on changing laws. Let’s find a streamline for programs. Find a way to get money to people and spend less on overhead. Savings on the process in time and money come back to the people in a way that we can help people more.
I believe if you tell people that they are stupid and will not succeed, they will not. We need to change our mindset and believe that we can all have a happy life in America. We need to stop the cycle of poverty. We need to respect the jobs that the blue collar workers do. We need to pull people up so they can move forward instead of pushing down by saying that pregnant teens are crack whores or that if you live in a certain area you are a delinquent or if the color of your skin is different, you’ll never go anywhere.
I believe there will always be people who cheat the system regardless how positive the program is. This is unavoidable. There are some people who always have an ulterior motive and are looking out for themselves. I DON’T think programs should NOT be funded because there are those who abuse the system.
I believe there is a group of people known as the "working poor". These families fight paycheck to paycheck to raise their kids. They want to do better. They try to save and then the furnace goes, or the car dies, or another unforeseen problem. This wipes out savings and sometimes causes a downward spiral of debt. These people are currently over qualified for help from our government, but they are struggling to keep just above water.
I believe the wealthy (people who earn $1M or greater a year in my opinion) can afford to pay higher taxes. We Americans like our space and toys, but do we need quite this much money to keep to ourselves? When we see bonuses going to Wall Street execs that exceed 5 digits, I wonder why these people are earning so much money. Why is it bad to tax those who can afford more, more? A flat tax is scary because 10% for a person earning $20,000 is a much harder hit than 10% for a person earning $2,000,000. It is not equal.
I believe people who are given opportunities to improve their lives will.
I believe people who are given positive assistance and encouragement will have a better chance to improve their lives.
I believe religion has no role in politics and morals that are given by one’s religion should not be imposed on other people.
I believe no one person can make all of this happen. You can be inspired by Obama or McCain, but if you go out and do something, it will never be enough. We all need to find a way to help.
I believe that helping others through the government is NOT SOCIALIST. Socialism is everybody having the same share and all work for the state. One for all and all for the state. The United States will never because socialist. We are far to independent here. We are the land of golden streets and a chance for everybody to move up, but unless we have a national system that provides the basic needs for everybody, we are not giving everybody a chance to move up. We are creating a system where some will succeed and many will fail.
I believe people will be upset with my beliefs. I understand. I don’t want to set up fights, but I just have to get this out of my system.
We all have different backgrounds. Here is mine
I grew up in a small town. I knew people who got divorced and needed to take public assistance. These people who cried at night because they were taking "a handout". People who took hits to their dignity because of our country’s view of the lower class. I have worked 2 or more jobs at one point. I have worked through college to get where I am. I have lived paycheck to paycheck. I have seen families destroyed by bank charges. I have seen people I love hurt by a simple illness that takes out their savings.
I don’t give nearly enough to charity. I always feel like I need to give more. I am not perfect.
And neither is the US.
I am looking for a change.