A few days ago I was debating someone who considers themselves a "conservative libertarian", while debating things like social issues, economic issues this person after hearing that I was a proponent of investing heavy in education and a big advocate for either some type of universal health care system, which is my first choice, or hearing a real plan on how to stop the current 150K Americans who die every year due to a lack of medical coverage
in the early 90s 45K Americans died due to a lack of medical coverage which is when you saw the Republicans of the 90s put forth several individual healthcare mandates
Now, 20 years later the number of Americans who die due to a lack of medical coverage has grown 300% to 150K
Well after going back and forth this individual stated that I advocate for a "nanny state" and that makes me a bleeding heart leftist which makes me anti-American.
At the time I commented back with, I am not a bleeding heart, I am a pragmatist and historically, investing in education has shown a direct correlation to lower crime rates, thus lower prison populations, lower unemployment numbers, lower numbers of people dependent on welfare which would seem everything that he advocates for
They replied that getting rid of the social safety net would give them incentive to find work and health insurance
he is also a proponent of drug testing those on welfare..
Want to get people off welfare?
Sure, first pour billions of dollars into your education system that have been continuously cut under Democrat and Republican presidents. Education is key!
Invest in real life sex education classes which would cut pregnancies, which would also get more people off of the government dime which many of these new cases are teenage mothers usually.
Reinvest in your proletarians like many European countries by covering education up to a basic college level which would have the effect of a better educated society that by the end of this recession is more prepared for the work force.
If someone wish to receive welfare and do qualify for it, have them volunteer at places while their kids may be at school versus just sitting around. As well as combine several trade schools with welfare programs and basic college level entry classes [with GED classes if need be]. The goal should be to find them a job so that they do not need welfare; not say oh well you have fallen on hard times
that is all your fault now get away!
Though the usual pejorative statement about those on welfare is that the majority of them are abusing the system and thus drug testing them will cut down on abuse of the system. This only falls under the false premise that all people who cheat the system uses drugs
Are there abusers to the system? Sure. I have seen no evidence to suggest the majority of people who receive welfare do not need it... perhaps if I could get an unbiased source I would be most appreciative. Though since most people on welfare
As per the drug testing anyone who is on welfare I am against this as it is economically unsound.
Florida tried it and a whopping 2% of people had illegal drugs in their system, but that was people receiving welfare.
Average drug test cost 42 dollars
Number of people on welfare .. just food stamps as of 2011 -47M
total cost per month to test each person: 1,974,000,000
total cost per year to test each person: 23,688,000,000
If like in Florida 2% test positive... 940K people... this only calculated if they get 1,000 a month...some get 500 some 800 ..
11,280,000,000 saved ... for the year
23,688,000,000 spent just on the tests
This DOES NOT even factor in the costs of those going to prison [of which we currently spend on average 40K per year per inmate, and does not even factor the costs of if they have children and the foster care costs, NOR does it even factor in the new people coming into the system that year]
So just with the costs of the tests, + what is being saved it will never really be economically sound.
For the record, I am all for if a case worker believes the person is on an illegal substance and wishes to test
That in the long run will save the money compared to 42 bucks spent with what the individual was getting. But testing every person on the system I do not see how it saves us money. I am all for spending a little more to get them off the system completely without in the end costing us more such as job programs, GED classes, trade schools which makes them ready for employment so they can get off the system completely.
Then you have to use the reasoning skills. The average person received in welfare per year 20K according to one conservative
not true but let us work with your numbers
We spend on average 40K per year per inmate so if they get arrested we would be spending double what we have given them in welfare to imprison them not to mention if kids go in the system then that is tens of thousands more.
We went back and forth with his eventually just saying I would not listen to reason and that I hate reason
After a few days of thinking of it I decided to write this piece, it made me wonder about a few things. To which, I thought about the reason in which in his eyes I am anti American and bleeding heart
YES, I AM ANTI-AMERICAN AND A BLEEDING HEART.. if it is Anti-American to worry about your fellow citizens, then yes, I am proudly anti-American. If it is anti-American to feel saddened at in such a rich and powerful nation you have 150K people dying every year because they do not have enough health insurance, then yes, I am proudly anti-American. If it is anti-American to wonder why in such a rich and powerful country you have 50,000,000, of your citizens living below the poverty rate and another 100,000,000 million citizens that are making just enough to break even, then yes, I am proudly Anti-American.
As one of my favorite Senators, Bernie Sanders, the Independent Senator from Vermont, who himself is a democratic socialist said.. [linked below in artist comments] to which politifacts has already rated his statement as completely true.
"in the year 2007, the top 1 percent of all income earners in the United States made 23.5 percent of all income...1970s. In the mid-1970s, the top 1 percent earned about 8 percent of all income. In the 1980s, that figure jumped to 14 percent. In the late 1990s, that 1 percent earned about 19 percent."
If it is anti-American of me to discuss that in the past forty years the lower and middle classes have seen their wages stagnate, yet are also fighting for smaller and smaller pieces of the pie and my refusal to smear them as anti-American because address the economic inequality is a real problem that will not be solved with your talking points.
I wondered, if from his position I am anti-American for not agreeing with his views then that makes me feel great. Since even on my worse day I would be in direct opposition to all of his ideological positions. So, yes, I am proud to be anti-American from his perspective. From his perspective a "true American Patriot" is one who seems not to worry nor wish to even acknowledge the woes of his fellow citizens.
Yes, you oppose my position with passion.. yet if my wishing for universal health care system and heavy investment in education system means I am anti-American and wish for a "nanny state" even though heavy investments in education and modernization of the school system has been shown to directly link to less people dependent on governmental programs, less prison population, less STD rates, abortion rates, and everything that I generally hear the conservative fringe of this country claim they are so worried about
then yes Mr. Conservative Libertarian, please paint this unapologetic liberal, progressive, democratic socialist with that big red paint of anti-Americanism, bleeding hearted leftists. I shall buy the paint for you to mark me with your views to show that caring for your fellow citizens is anti-American
I am not Anti-American, I am anti-irrationality. I am anti-doing what is clear is not working yet keep advocating for it because it is a nice talking point. Such as the continuous advocating of the failed economic policies of Reagan, if increasing the debt and deficit more by percentage than any president in United States history is where you wish to take the country, then by all means please keep harping on your fiscal conservatism; I am not nor have I ever considered myself to be a fiscal conservative, I am fiscally pragmatic. For the ideas and views espoused by modern conservative seems from an outside perspective at least; to focus, solely on profits and not enough on people nor focus much on the elevation of the nation as a whole not just a few wealthy individuals.
I am anti-placing profits before the people because we can sell it better if we place it under the guise of liberty. Liberty which lacks humanity lacks everything. If your idea of freedom is not addressing the 50M people living below the poverty level then I am quite pleased to be against your idea of liberty...
I was called anti-liberty by another individual just earlier for similar circumstances, who considers himself a being who believes in absolute liberty regardless the cost. Well sir, "absolute liberty" is not liberty, it is anarchy. You must be granted the freedom to do as you choose, but you are not granted the absolute freedom to do as you choose without consequence
. He said, if I believed in liberty as I claim then I am really a libertarian because they are the only ones who believe in the maximizing of liberties. No, the style of libertarianism he advocated for seemed to maximize the anarchy and while anarchy has its place I would not consider that a stable liberty based society. Anarchy is revolutionary; anarchy without revolution is just useless destruction. In reply to his comment I said plainly
I am no libertarian!
I could never be a libertarian for I live in a country where 100-150K people die each year because of a lack of medical insurance. I live in a nation where the majority of the bankruptcies are due to medical bills. I live in a nation where 1/6 of the citizens live below the poverty level... while a stoic man on most issues, the ideals that used to be the American dream does not sit well with the liberal, progressive, nor the democratic socialist in me. While our leaders bicker over term limits and their precious special interest groups gain the ear to the elected.... the proletarians die waiting for the dream to finally come true to them.
Those who wave the constitution around and say we should do nothing for the 150K Americans that die each year because of a lack of medical coverage are in no moral, nor any constitutional position to preach anything to me on the false patriotic position of apathy. . Those who say we should not address the fact that a majority of bankruptcies in this country are due to medical bills cannot claim to be economically sound. Those who dare to say that we must continue to beat up on teachers who for the past 30 years have had their budgets continuously cut cannot therefore act surprised that in those 30 years America has went from being in the top 10 of all academic subjects worldwide to now being in the late 20s and early 30s of most academic subjects worldwide. It does no good to wave a constitution when you clearly know nothing of the ideals. This is America, we are supposed to take care of our own... not say well you are on your own ... I got mine so who cares that my fellow citizens are dying and starving... that is not the American way; at least it was not the American way that I was brought up. Where your fellow citizens are not to be looked down upon with such disdain for needing a bit of help; where they are not called useless, and anti-American for speaking of the flaws in our system
. It was not at the time of our founders, nor is it today. To preach anything other than that shows a constitutional ignorance and lacking any claim of economic, moral, or liberal/liberty superiority."
You needn't take my leftist word for it, look at our history. When we invested heavily in education, America was in the top ten of all academic subjects worldwide, we had a strong middle class, we had less people dependent on government programs; we had literally a smaller government because the need for it was not there. You do not decrease the size of government by taking away things like education which has been shown to make people more independent and as such less dependent on the government. You decrease the size of government by making it unnecessary to exist. If you invested heavily in education, as well as put in place some simple economic reforms and you saw a more intelligent populace that would mean more people starting businesses, more people employed, more positions available, more people employed, more people who will therefore [with the exception of the sick and elderly] not need help from the government which is when you will see a decrease in these departments and as such a decrease in governmental power/size.
Yet claiming to hate governmental powers and then doing the very things that would make it necessary for government to grow as you cut education and as such breed a nation of people that would be more dependent on social programs for their survival that seems rather counterproductive from where I look at it. Whereas my route, has historical, national and global precedence.. when you invest in your population, with a strong education system you therefore do not need many of the social programs
but this idea of .. doing nothing under the guise of liberty and the faux position of equality.
Yes, I am a liberal, progressive and democratic socialist, to the untrained mind the first thing that comes to mind, and yes many untrained minds have thrown this at me.. OH, SOCIALIST, SO YOU ARE A COLLECTIVIST. No, democratic socialism does not advocate for collectivism, and I, myself am an opponent of collectivism aka libertarian socialism. I advocate for equal opportunity, not equal share.
Let us look at education, personally for me I would cover education up until four years of college for every American that wished to go. Now I know you may say, but we do not have the money for that and that it is too expensive. If you look at it from a purely tax based argument you would see this not exactly true. If you look at how much debt the average student incurs from their years in college and then look at overtime, in a better market how much they will pay in taxes you will see that what was "invested" in their college education will be more than paid back over their years of paying taxes. It would be pretty "cheap" to pay for students to go to college which then mean that they will be starting businesses, employing people, or simply going into higher paying positions for themselves.
To my libertarian friends, apathy is not a social policy. Saying oh let the market handle it
the market has been handling it. In the early 90s we had 45K Americans dying each year from a lack of health care, since then our nation's population has grown by 16% yet the number of Americans that die each year has increased nearly 335% to a whopping on average 150K Americans that die each and every year because of a lack of medical coverage. This number does not include the other 100,000 that die each year from medical malpractice.
I expect to get quite a few responses since when I let my friend, who considers himself a fiscal libertarian and social liberal. He said it is not apathy and that I simply do not understand what it is. Yet it seemed everything I asked him, how would you handle the failing economic system.. government should have no place in education.. okay
how would you deal with the 50M Americans that are currently below the poverty levels?
you get the government out of it and let the private sector take over and things will work out.. I mean this with the utmost respect but these are not policies they are political talking point that may sound nice
they also do not actually answers the question.
Okay I understand your disdain for the government and if you have an idea I am willing to listen but if your general idea is to "do nothing and just let the market handle it, then I find no use in that idea.. you may consider that liberty but I see it as nothing more than masked apathy.
My values are those of Thomas Jefferson saying every citizen should have the right to an education and according to Jefferson the government would provide this [Since he tried, yet failed, for years to implement a Public School system in Virginia]. My values are Thomas Paine who spoke of the use of tax dollars to take care of the elderly and infirmed. My ideals are Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican, who spoke of a national health care service, who spoke of a livable wage, who spoke of the people electing their senators, who spoke of limiting lobbyist in Washington, who spoke of limits on political campaign donations, who spoke of recording ALL congressional committee meetings, who spoke of true government transparency. My ideals are that of Franklin D. Roosevelt, a democrat, who also spoke of a livable wage, who spoke against business democracies that root out the local businesses, who spoke of housing, medical care and education being human rights to the people. My ideals are that of Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican who warned us against spreading our military too thin, my ideals are that of Barry Goldwater, a Republican, who warned us against the religiosity in our politics. My ideals are that of Martin Luther King Jr, Eugene V. Debs, Bayard Rustin. A. Philip Randolph who were prominent supporters of the unions that gave America a middle class, that fought their lives, and in some cases gave their lives for an ideal of something greater than the self, from Thomas Paine to Bernie Sanders, there is an ideal of something greater than the self and it is all predicated on a very simple premise of not what is better for just me but what will elevate the country as a whole and if power being to the people, if businesses prospering, if middle class flourishing, if education being important, if not having 1.5 million of your citizens dying every decade due to a lack of health insurance makes one anti American because they wish to better the country then I am proud to be anti-American from the conservative stand point which is not founded on any principles of liberty nor is it grounded on any truths of pragmatism and it has truly lost all sense of empathy, thus its humanity.
Good day to you sirs and madams.
I shall take my leave of you now, going back to that big evil, liberal, progressive, democratic socialist, anti-American [from your perspective] dwelling in my mind