I’m not in the least impressed with President Obama’s attempt to raise the minimum wage or increase taxes on the obscenely wealthy. Suggesting the minimum wage should rise to $9 an hour is truly pussyfooting. If the minimum wage had kept up with inflation over the years it should probably somewhere closer to $20 per hour. I understand why Obama would not suggest such a dramatic increase all at once, but $9 an hour, while somewhat helpful, would still leave workers basically in poverty and is little more than a polite gesture in the right direction.
Similarly, the attempt to raise taxes on the wealthiest individuals and corporations, currently making more and more money all the time, a mere 3 or 4% is pussyfooting on a grand scale. When you realize their taxes are at an all time low, and have been as much as 90%, the piddling amount involved is just that piddling, more pussyfooting. I don’t know exactly what the increase should be, but it should involve far more than merely closing some obvious and totally ridiculous loopholes. As profit comes from exploiting the environment and labor, and as the filthy rich are exploiting both by far the most, they should pay the most by far. If they were our national debt would soon decrease significantly while at the same time workers could have decent wages and a decent living above the poverty line. There is plenty of wealth in the U.S., it is unfortunately distributed so unequally as to mostly be wasted.
I believe that those who are talented enough or hardworking enough to do better than others should be rewarded for their talent and effort, but certainly not in the obscene amounts they currently enjoy. So enough pussyfooting around, we should go for the major changes that need to be made, eliminate the national debt, help everyone better their circumstances, and forget the greed driven unchecked capitalism that has created the current mess. It can be done, should be done, must be done. We need a form of democratic socialism that does away with the terrible imbalances that are leading us inevitably to doomsday.
I must say, as I’m sure I have said before, it is hard to comprehend Republicans. Here they are, opposed to just about everything ordinary citizens want: abortion, contraception, minimum wages, universal health care, food stamps, Planned Parenthood, equal wages, unemployment insurance, environmental protection, women’s rights, fair taxes, even government itself, and somehow they think all they need to do is explain these positions more adeptly to attract votes, apparently oblivious to the obvious desires of the citizenry.
Along these lines it is being said by many, or at least some, that Republicans are “out of touch” with the people, or “not paying attention,” or oblivious to the polls, and so on. I think what is meant by out of touch needs to be clarified. They are out of touch if you concede their positions are contrary to the desires of the majority, but if you mean they are out of touch because they don’t understand the situation that seems to me quite misleading. I think they understand the situation full well, they just don’t care about ordinary people. When you consider what many of them say from time to time it is pretty clear they would be willing to let the poor live in misery, poor health, and just die, rather than provide for them. Think of the 47% Romney spoke of, or the 51% Herman Cain recently spoke about, those without health insurance Ron Paul spoke of, the comments of the “Base” in Arizona to McCain, those who would suffer from the lack of food stamps, health care, and so on. Think also of their callous attitude towards the Palestinians, Iranians, and others who do not enjoy the same “exceptionalism” they do.
I suspect nothing of substance will be accomplished until our timid pussyfooting is abandoned in favor of genuine attempts to change things: poverty, guns, fairness, global warming, environmental degradation, superstructure, education, health care, and just about anything else you might name. And I assure you no positive changes will result from “privatization” and the “free market.”
But pain... seems to me an insufficient reason not to embrace life. Being dead is quite painless. Pain, like time, is going to come on regardless. Question is, what glorious moments can you win from life in addition to the pain?