Friday, November 2, 2012

The Union of the United States of America

Last night I ran across a rant about people buying steak and lobster with food stamps. This was my response. [Apparently I vented my spleen on someone else's post, something I usually don't do. Apologies to Tree, and many thanks to her for bringing the whole situation to my attention, since I clearly needed to get this out of my system.]

Now, I have never been on food stamps, so some people will say I don't have a right to an opinion; that has never stopped me before, so feel free not to read on if you think I'm out of line.
Basically I would rather see them spend it on steak and lobster to celebrate than on junk food. Call me crazy, but wholesome food is a good thing for tax dollars to buy. In European countries, the real first world, families are given a stipend to help support young children; health care and education are free and available; daycare is subsidized. These are not perks or entitlements; this is a country that ensures the well-being of its citizens, which, if you think for a minute, is the Prime Directive of government. There is no excuse for belittling someone for paying for food. Other people need to sit down and shut up and reconsider why their noses are out of joint.
If I had my way, we would have thirty hour work weeks (including lunch, not excluding it) and six weeks of vacation for everyone. Infants would be subsidized at one-half the poverty level each year from birth until five (yes! Each and every one of them!). Minimum wage would be determined by the poverty rate, which would reflect the real cost of basic food and housing and gasoline, so that if you work a minimum wage job you can support a family [PovertyRate/1500=MinimuWage; it's not rocket science here]. Public schools and libraries would be palaces and teachers, librarians and police/emergency responders/military would be amongst the highest paid professions. Why? Because our citizens deserve to be through with worrying about bread and shoes and need to focus on learning, have time to be creative, and focus on being whole with themselves and their families.
Don't tell me we can't afford it. We spend more bickering with each other than other countries do on being decent. And this is The United States of America. We have every reason to expect to be able to hold our heads high as the wealthiest is the world.
If you think taxes are class warfare, you are absolutely right. Our founding fathers levied huge taxes on the wealthy, and plundered the hoard reflected in large estates with good reason - they were deliberately undermining the ability to create and maintain an aristocracy, for they knew first hand the evils it causes and brings. And most of them were not the poor huddled masses but were quite wealthy themselves. It was a matter of understanding that in this New World, no one would be hungry. No one. Not because of race, color, creed, or gender. Adams, Jefferson, Washington, Hamilton and Henry knew from the inside of the upper class the wrongs and dangers of allowing the very rich to sneer at the very poor, and there is only one way to ensure the basic necessities are not trampled: do away with the lower class altogether; dismantle extreme unearned wealth of inheritance; throw open the lanes of access to all that life has to offer; let the only dividing line amongst citizens be a matter of brains and hard work. Never would they have imagined the way we have mucked it all up. It is about what you do once your access is unfettered - a citizenry with no excuses would be an amazing sight to behold, a beacon to the rest of the world, and we are betraying their vision by impeding anyone from basic necessities.
Please feel free to send this to those who want to marginalize the citizens of the United States. I wonder why some people cry so loudly against taking care of our own.