"Taking himself seriously, so you don't have to."

Consolidated Facebook & Reddit Comments

These are comments from various Facebook and Reddit pages, written over the last month. Unedited, uncensored, in no particular order, and completely without context. Despite that, there is a thread of consistency (mainly political and economic discourse), and a story to be found. I hope you find them enlightening and entertaining.

[WARNING: contains strong language and stronger rhetoric.]

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I was walking the streets the other day, and I saw some miserable people. Same in the country and the small towns where I often work. It is physically painful to see people feeling so, no matter who they are or what the reasons for their state of mind. You know, if I were a publicly elected official, walking the streets of Topeka or Lawrence or KCK or Wichita, I would probably feel such a thing even more, as a representative whose job it is to improve people’s lives. Please, elected officials, have some empathy for your fellow human being. And more, please show a little, just the tiniest, responsibility for the circumstances that effect such frustration.

As a guy who has a pretty comfortable life, it is all the more painful to see so many people driven to exhaustion, daily, for the counter-intuitive, asinine policies that benefit the few who do not need it. We need a political revolution in this country. And it has to start somewhere. Get out and vote! You certainly can today.

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With all speculation as to who Mona Lisa really was, and why it is so iconic, I would like to posit this hypothesis: The woman in the picture was a figment of Leonardo’s imagination, and he painted her from the scenes in his dreams.

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Yep, he’s got the establishment on the run, on the defensive. The possibilities are endless. If only for the change in rhetoric, altering the debate itself, speaking truth to power on the actually important, he has already done it. Let’s get this man in the white house.

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You could cut the hypocrisy with the knife.

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Fighting is a natural part of our evolutionary biology. It is still there and denying it does not necessarily help. This is part of the utility behind sports and boxing and other sanctioned fights nowadays. They provide an outlet, besides the entertainment.

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These people are supposed to be our leaders. If we can’t count on them to do the right thing, then we don’t have a chance to take care of our people. It is sad, but we can, and must, do something about it.

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Smug condescension and over-valuation of self? Right wing talk radio.

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Even more lurid is the brand of cognitive dissonance that allows people to consciously hold two or more competing, mutually-exclusive ideas at the same time. I.e., government officials who don’t believe in government.

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That’s not half bad. Were he capitalist, he would have taken the whole sign. Then cornered the market on signs, sued anyone who made something similar, and bought the whole sign regulating governing body.

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The leprechaun in his head tells him to burn things, and the people buried under his basement are much happier now.

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Finished raining… *sniff sniff* Smells like fishing.

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Our system works best when both capitalist and socialist tendencies benefit each other. It’s like yin and yang. Socialist policies are there to provide the basic common goods, and our capitalist tendencies for a decent life besides provide a drive to do more, and get our asses out of bed. Ya’ll need to get it though: we have gone way too far in the Ayn Rand-ian direction. It is killing us. It is wasteful. It is inefficient. It is unjust. We are better than this. It takes a little bit of faith in your fellow man. Do you know what that means?

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“Unbeweavable”. L O L

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Sorry dude, but those public services are socialism. That’s how it works. Period.

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That’s one big, fat ass straw man you got there.

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In regard to your comments, as this is a wonderfully stimulating discussion: First off, I am not a soldier. I did try to enlist some years ago, however, and was denied as a result of being honest about smoking weed in college. Anyway, as a civilian, and concerning federalism, these things require a strong central government (that is beholden to the people, otherwise it has no legitimacy, which has been advancing some odd 40 years): regulation of metrics (distance, time, replaceable parts, standards for engineering, chemistry, medicine, and other things for purposes of efficiency and high consequence), environmental protections (as there is a LOT of dangerous shit in this world that will kill anything it touches), nuclear weapons (every state with its own arsenal? yikes), interstate and international travel, large-scale disaster recovery, the creation and distribution of currency, conflict resolution, shared diplomacy, and large-scale projects. Surely I missed a thing or two. Help me out here. But besides, and for the record, and because I like to say it: I am a social libertarian, economic egoistical altruist, politically humanist, energetic anarchist, agricultural communist, educational localist, Platonically-democratic renaissance man. That is all. Carry on.

Oh, and I forgot to mention: I think my opinion is more valuable than most. Which is republican.

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Boom. Done. And I’m out. See ya’ll tomorrow! And tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow… until the bricks we hit. Or the fan. Or the turbine. Or a spinning wheel of any type.

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Are you f-ing… I don’t even… who does… what were… it’s about time to clean house.

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If by some chance Rome had happened to have built roads and provided water for all of the citizens, not just for a wealthy or noble few, then in that respect, yes.

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Don’t watch from a distance and fume. Go to the capitol and tell somebody. Speak your mind. These things need to be said, and they need to hear them.

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If it is to coordinate and arrange times, then fine, by all means. I like having some daylight at the end of the day. You may like it in the morning. Really, if schools are the issue, push the start time up to 9:00. Kids don’t need to be working like adults anyway.

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Oh Greenpeace, seriously?! *facepalm*

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Are you serious? Or just trolling? First off, don’t try to tell me what I think. If you are curious, ask. Which you did, so I will answer. Second off, please try to understand that the terms we use to describe actions taken by governments are the results of actions first, then terms used to describe them. In the case of Rome, I should have used the qualifier “for all practical purposes”, because that is what matters. It does not matter what you call any of these things. They are descriptors useful for efficient discussion. But, at present, judging not only by most people’s difficulty understanding what these terms mean (mainly because of endless, daily brainwashing and purposeful confusion), and as well of your personal inability to grasp it, I will refrain from that terminology. Anyway, the world has not “always been socialist”. Good lord, the assumptions… As for GOP candidates, and for others, in some respects, they are socialist. They won’t admit it, but they do drive the roads, benefit from public schools, police departments, fire departments, the military, sanitation, and other things. They claim they are against “socialism” because A. they don’t know any better. or B. they are insidious snakes, lying through their teeth, who will say whatever they can to get elected, make money, muddy the water. There are a few die hard political libertarians who will actually say the government should, in fact, get out of building roads, among other things. These people are few and far between, however, and bear more ideological resemblance to anarchists than anyone else. Oh, and you mentioned Marx. He recognized the dehumanizing nature of industry, the exploitation of workers, and changed our thoughts on “value”. As far as I see it, his thoughts, and actions encouraged by them, balanced out the brutal conditions of early industry. Though there was plenty of good and bad to come of it, however, quite necessary.

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Blast them tunes!

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Grrr. This is upsetting. Fucking company men.

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Good god. This can’t be right. We’re talking old school fascism here, no frills, no gilding, straight up hate speech. Quite unsettling. Please, keep your hearts in the right place people.

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Give them hell! They asked for it.

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Eyes on the prize folks! Don’t get distracted by the Trump circus. This is the real fight.

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Well done! Expose the lies, speak the truth.

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Famous on facebook is as much the same as being famous in the mainstream media. It’s a gradient, but part of the same scale. And for that matter, much of what I hear from “famous” facebook friends is superior to the nonsense you hear on the radio or the tv.

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Here’s the thing: the crowd appeared to be nonviolent in all ways. Good for them. If the PD pulled what they did in that case, shame on them, which seems surely the case. BUT, and here’s the rub, why were people protesting the Trump rally? What goal did they have in mind? To get the thing canceled like in Chicago? This is a classic tactic: divide and conquer, distract and pull the magic trick from your other sleeve. Please don’t fall for it. Donald Trump is not making the laws. Donald Trump is not responsible for the indentured servitude we call student debt. He is not responsible for the piddly minimum wage. He is not responsible for the bloated healthcare system. He is not responsible for schools potentially closing in Kansas. He is not responsible for any of the things that we are fighting for this year, this election. He’s a loony tune madman, old world fascist, that will billow all day and all night. Ignore him please. If you want a fight, and I know you do, please, please, please GO AFTER THE FUCKERS WHO ARE MAKING THE LAWS. There’s a statehouse in Topeka, one in Columbia, and there’s plenty of asshats in local government with their heads blatantly right up their asses. Go after them. Use non-violence, and don’t get distracted by the clown and his repertoire.

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This sudden energy for the political process, and a great candidate, is good to see. But, as you say, this is not something you do today and forget about tomorrow. They call it the democratic “life” for a reason. It’s not a holiday, it’s not a once-in-a-lifetime getaway, it’s not a quarter of the game. It’s life. But let me tell you: daaaaaaaamn…. it is worth it.

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In economics class, they termed this “structural unemployment”, and claimed that it was really nothing to worry about. But it would appear, and correct me if I’m wrong, that when automation replaces jobs, the market generally finds a way to employ people. In the 50s, after the great depression (the great “agricultural structural unemployment”) and world war II, the market seemed to respond by increased advertising, marketing, retail and service work. In modern times, it would appear that the market has responded by creating artificial “bloat” (needless busy work) through middle-men and administration in the healthcare and higher education industries. What other jobs have been created out of thin air to put people to work in the modern era thus far?

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“What’s the point of fuckin’ voting?”

It takes about an hour, counting drive time. And it happens once or twice A YEAR, depending on where you live. The vote is not the problem here. Voting has traditionally been very, very good to us all. And by traditionally, I mean over the last 200 years. It has extremely high utility, especially in the past when it was a bit more difficult to rig the elections. Want to do something good during that day but you think your vote doesn’t matter? Got some rage working up inside of you from having to work 3 jobs to get by? Bust a voting machine. Walk into your local district during the election with a bat and fuck that thing up. Paper ballots will then be required, making things more difficult for the establishment.

Besides that, I would encourage you to vote. Why? Giving people the illusion that their vote matters does not keep them from revolting. The greatest factor is personal well-being. That is the most important thing on people’s minds. Single yourself out, in whatever manner, and things get stressful. We are safest when as a fish within a school. It has been interesting to watch the nation-wide changes, as the establishment sucks as much as they can off the middle class, year after year, and still somehow claim their piss is rain. People believe it too. It is not easy to break out of that mindset. But with every person who votes, whether in actuality or through other action, makes their point known, the school shudders ever so slightly. And you see a lone fish break from the pack, and upon seeing this rebel nonetheless alive, the feeling dawns upon others, and another swims off, and another, searching for calmer waters.

Make a point of your vote. So even if the vote does not matter, the point ever shall.

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False flag. Bet on that. Paris attacks were by EU citizens. Perhaps the people who really want to terrorize the world are the folks who benefit from our fear? Does ISIS benefit from everyone hating them and bombing Syria into the stone age? It’s like what Lenin said, look for who benefits, and you know… I am the walrus.

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Universal healthcare would take care of that.

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When is the last time you heard of a high school that got defrauded for billions of dollars? Ever heard of firefighters in your town robbing the city treasury? As someone mentioned, price controls are huge. At present, the system encourages abuse, at all levels. Reduce the incentive to steal, and you will have less fraud. If healthcare is affordable, people are less fearful for their family’s welfare, both now and in the future. Less fear of disaster means lower need for personal, monetary safety nets. Which means less fraud. Still won’t happen overnight. The twisted nature of our healthcare system is hard-wired into people’s brains. Such a state encourages abuse. Et al.

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It is apples and oranges. That’s the point. If the physicians quit, then, sorry to say, fuck them. Anyone who claims to be a doctor, someone who claims to spend their life healing people of their ailments, but would only do so if paid exorbitant amounts of money should not be in the business, and the industry would benefit from their exit. And if so, with a shortage of real doctors, our workforce would compensate faster than you could even imagine. Remember when air traffic controllers went on strike during the Clinton years? They fired every last one of them. Air travel caught up. Same here. If you are in the healthcare industry to get rich, you’re in the wrong industry. That’s how it should be, now and forever. And if it ain’t, then it must be busted. Not to say they should not be paid well, but when people will pay anything and everything (which they will to save their lives and their loved ones), a laissez fare market mentality is madness, and we all lose as a result. All of us.

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Sorry to hear about your father, but again, this would take care of his firms problems. And a mass physician shortage? I think you’re exaggerating. The system is quite bloated at present anyway. Losing a few doctors would not be the worst thing in the world. And where would they go? Canada? Mexico? Europe? China? An overhaul of the system would already necessitate demolishing most of the health insurance industry. I don’t have the numbers on me, but we’re already talking a culling of at least a few hundred thousand or so jobs right out the window. Unnecessary jobs, but jobs nonetheless. Are they going to quit doctoring and join those ranks when that happens? I doubt it. And their skills will always be in demand.

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Nothing evil about that, of course. We’re getting into nitty-gritty details here, the sort of thing that requires full on committees dedicated to the subject to figure properly, but I’ll give my best effort to find a solution.

First off: in the event that there is a shortage of doctors, you could reasonably expect that there will be plenty of patients. How many patients could your father reasonably treat in the span of a day? I don’t know the number, but for the purpose of argument, let’s say 20. So, with 20 patients each day, how much would he need, per patient, to pay his staff and cover overhead and still make a decent living? I make ~70 dollars/day personally, which seems fair living wage for a single person with a basic college education. Let’s say 140/day a fair amount for his personal gains (again, these numbers are for argument’s sake, or perhaps a jumping off point), and for a small practice, say 2 employees at 80/day, and overhead costs (office rental, medicine, equipment, etc.), say 100/day. So, we have 400/day for 20 patients. That breaks down to $20/patient. How about we double his salary? Make it 280/day (~100,000/year), and it breaks down to 540/day, and make it 10 patients per day, 30 minutes per patient, with breaks and lunch. That’s still only $54 dollars per patient for a single appointment, no frills, no craziness, no insurance adjustments, etc. This is a simple example, of course, averaged, that does not include emergencies and other such things. Is that peanuts? If the costs make this example seem strange, it is the bloated nature of the whole industry that is to blame. When stripped to its basics, the process becomes quite simple. And please point out anything I missed.

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I read through the links. In the first and the second, they don’t really say what “shortage” means. How many people are we talking here? What is the metric for demand? The third link (from Forbes of course) advocates dropping standards, which I find unnecessary, and which you obviously disagree. The articles do mention a deciding factor in why there are fewer doctors to fill the vacancy: college tuition. Taking on sometimes hundreds of thousands in debt to be able to practice. This is not a separate issue. It is part and parcel to the whole scheme. The education debts crank healthcare costs across the board. Reducing them (or eliminating them altogether) would greatly encourage new doctors to fill the ranks, and reduce costs for patients, doctors, and facilities. And besides, would be an excellent use of taxpayer dollars, as we would all benefit.

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Gee, maybe if they really studied this problem, and figured exactly which poisons are killing the bees they might be able to, just maybe, with a little bit of gumption and ingenuity and with new technology they could find- STOP USING FUCKING PESTICIDES.

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Jeez, if only there was a way to lose weight in this world, it’s such a problem and maybe if we throw as much money as we can into scientific research we could just possibly find the- STOP EATING SO FUCKING MUCH.

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Hey, let’s try a traffic analogy:

The head of the department of transportation watches the traffic going round the interchange in a large metropolitan area. He is upset. “This traffic is going terrible slow! No one can even make it to work on time! Get me one of the engineers.” An engineer comes up to him. “What’s the deal with this traffic? We need these cars to move!”

The engineer says, “There are hardly any accidents. We could raise the speed limit.”

The boss says, “Alright, let’s do it. Raise the speed limit. We have to get this traffic moving.”

Just then, a Ferrari squeals to a stop from a private lane, and a guy gets out. He says, “Hey, that’s a great idea! I’m sick of only going 150 miles per hour. Faster is better, right?”

The boss says, “Oh, Mr. Rockefeller, yes sir. But we were talking about the public lanes.”

Mr. Rockefeller says, “The public lanes? Bah! You raise that limit here for me, and I’ll make sure they get to go faster. All you gotta do is help me out. That’s how it all works, you see! Speed trickles down.” The boss is intrigued. “And you give me that, guess what? I’ll let you drive in my private lane,” he says with a big smile.

The boss says, “Well, maybe you’re right Mr. Rockefeller. And heck, those private lanes are real nice.” He turns to the engineer. “Raise the limit on those private lanes. Surely it’ll help.”

Now what does the engineer do?

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I have to reply here. Most of the policies espoused by the traditionally republican leadership pertaining to the economy, do not necessarily help the small business owner either. As it stands, the present economic and political climate has been 90% created by the wealthy, business-owning class for the last 40 years. They have chipped away, little by little, at all the low-hanging fruit of the common good, in order to secure themselves lower taxes, and the pervasive mindset that “government is bad”, inefficient, etc. If these people crack social security and medicare… okay, i’m getting off topic. Anyway, so, for the last 40 years they’ve been pushing and pushing to create this “business utopia”. And here we are. What do you think? You can’t even go into a bank and get a loan to start a f-ing grocery store, and people, like, NEED FOOD. And yet, nothing. What if you wanted to make a toy or some luxury? Hell no. In the tech world, which is the poster child for all this at present, what do you have? Giant companies running the show. A few people who make an app that goes big. Everyone gambling on the next big app, which is as good a bet as the next super bowl winner. Not the sort of thing that has decent returns. A lottery at best. More gambling, speculating nonsense. And if you make that new great app, or that next invention, are you getting a loan to kick it off, hire some employees, make it happen? No. If it’s a good idea, the big companies will steal it (unless they need a poster child) and you’ll get nothing. The climate is worse under this ideology. The wealthy and powerful don’t understand culture anymore. The nobility of 400 years ago was better. They don’t care if you can make a great thing. They don’t care to even buy it. The ones with a sense of value might steal the idea and have Chinese slaves make it. That’s your best bet under this “business utopia”.

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Freedom of “choice” is not freedom. Being able to buy either Pepsi or Coca-Cola does not make you free. First off, is the money you used to buy these things freely supported by and adherent to the will of the people who created the social contract? Or is it, as money has in the past, been monopolized, as if the gold mine (the raw material to mint the coin) were owned by some other entity? Whoever or whatever owns that gold mine owns your choice. And if so, it is not free. You will bend over backwards, jump through all hoops, do a dance and a jig, stare at a clock, push paper, and bow down to your superiors all day for that gold. And then you get your pittance. The freedom of choice you feel is an illusion. The education system sucks because it is designed that way. Watch the clock. Put in your time. Punch your card. Get your lunch break. Listen to drivel. Fill the right box, the right variables in the equation. What does this formula mean? Don’t question the question, answer correct, and you’ll get your goodie, and your illusion satisfactory.

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“People are inherently greedy.” Exact-o-fucking-lutely. That is why part of any balanced society requires laws on the books that guarantee the basics of common good. Because it will not happen otherwise.

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Yep, that’s right. It is a shame. But that problem is not the fault of “government”. The fault lies, rather, in how it is arranged and practically run. There are possibilities besides, however. We have reached nowhere near the ideal state of government.

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Government overreach, eh? You know, I went to the first tea party rally way back in 2009. I almost made a sign, “More government = more oppression”. But when I said that, I had a revelation, and perhaps I can relate to you what this meant… So it would seem that you don’t like some of what the US federal government has done in the last 10 years, right? You don’t like the Patriot Act or Obamacare and those rampant welfare divas are a leech on the system, right? Those are your opinions, and that’s fine if you think that way. I would agree on the Patriot Act, not so much on another thing, agree on something else, etc. We can discuss the merits of these things without too great a quarrel, and it would be a beneficial discussion, because we are deciding what to do with our collective donation. Now, I have a question or two for you, since it would appear that you do not have a problem with these mere issues, but rather with the institution that brought them about. So the institution is to blame, you say? Well then, of what is this institution constituted? Is it a thing, like a rock or water? Is it plant or animal life? Is it US or is it YOU? Or are we all part of the whole damn charade? I’ll go ahead and answer: we are all the government. If you don’t like what it does, then vote for it to do otherwise. If you don’t think your vote counts enough, then run for office. “Government” is simply an organization of people. Our system of it is dependent upon YOUR INPUT. There are many ways to game the system, however, and it has been ruined by the rich and wealthy for the last 40 years. But that is not because it is “government”.

And for that matter, to follow on your last point: what has been keeping it alive? We have. You get up in the morning and you do something, right? Would you do anything otherwise? A question for you, that I hope you would categorically-imperativize across and around your neighbors: could you live to do nothing?

And if so, if you think the baseline of the vast majority of people, who you seem to lack any sort of faith that they feel the same as you, that they would live to be lazy, that they would live to produce nothing of value, that they would, if provided the bare necessities, do nothing of import; could you provide them a task worth doing?

If you could, you may be far ahead of the curve, because at present, guess what? Your ideology is running the country. I gotta tell you though buddy, I got a bone to pick there. We’re running short on resources. We’re fighting wars on the other side of the world for oil. People are dying. And just what good has your ideology, just what important task has this Ayn Rand-ian worldview provided the common people to do? At the top, when manufacturing and production of basic goods have been spread out across the globe, outsourced to whatever cheap labor in horrendous conditions were available, when the basic needs (and wants, of entertainment and cell phones and practical inventions) of the people in the United States have been met for the lowest bid, when we have such great wealth that the corner grocery store is beyond the dreams of a Russian king 100 years ago, just what has this system given us to do? The economy adds jobs. It does indeed. And what are these jobs? More bloat in the healthcare sector? Paper-pushers, clock-watchers crammed into cubicles? More marketers and advertisers? Salesmen? Retail workers in a mall in suburban hell that only get 2 customers per day? Building another golf resort on sacred Indian land? Mowing lawns and trimming grass where no one ever walks? Designing and constructing a building that will last 10 years and fall apart? This is a soul-crushing dance of death. And our children, all the best and brightest, are daily coming into this world with not only few prospects of doing anything fulfilling, but with a load of debt upon their backs akin to indentured servitude. No wonder we’re all hopped up on prescription meds, denying our basic human emotions. People are miserable these days, and with good goddamn reason.

The thing is, the private sector has no need nor want nor any motivation WHATSOEVER to improve on this situation. They are making money hand over fist. The only recourse we have to do anything about this, short of straight up revolt and class warfare, is, what do you know, GOVERNMENT.

One Comment

  1. Den var veldig fin, Marit. Venninnen din blir nok veldig glad når hun får denne flotte bugegarsdavsn fra deg. Ha en fortsatt god helg. Klem fra Jannicke

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