(this is for Robert, and our new "Anonymous Cowards" as other sites often say. i'll write ya'll something specifically, but i thought you might enjoy this recent essay. whoever referred to me as moonbat... i LOVE that term. it's so cute! i like to think myself more of a MOON BUNNY tho, like the ones that my dogs keep mistaking for Satan coming over the fence at night and you catch in your headlights sneaking out for a beer run. Moon Bunny works for me. anyway, if you read this and see where it's going, you might notice that it's not left or right. liberal or conservative. clink on the link and check out the response i got to it DU. i have no fight with you guys and certainly don't have any want or need for this thing you call "credibility." i think you need to be employed or important in some way to have that. i'm just a girl with a laptop and, as i type this, a headache. at any rate, i'm glad anyone is here...left right north south big small etc. just play nice. -- peace, brook)
it's not the Great Society. it's not the Ownership Society.
it's the HOMEBOY REVOLUTION
There's blood in the water, and (surprise!) I'm not talking about indictments. I'm talking about the whole conservative program.
Here's the level of desperation: "Conservatives to Hold Press Conference on Capitol Hill Thursday; Recent Republican Spending Cut Proposals Not Enough, Say Groups" (American Conservative Union, Heritage Foundation, Family Research Council and Club for Growth).
It's going to be a public hissy fit, and here's their message: "poverty is the result of weak families."
Poor, silly conservatives can't help but sound like cartoon villains when they tout this message. They can't bring themselves to treat the poor with any dignity. So, I'm gonna help them. While they're busy with indictments we have the opportunity to advance. We can polish this turd. They are just unable to bring themselves to take their argument to its logical conclusion.
I think I can help.
WHAT WE AGREE ON
We can agree that the poverty PROGRAMS of the PAST do not address the kind of POVERTY we have NOW, and will have IN THE FUTURE.
We can agree that "the government" isn't doing a bang-up job of helping the impoverished, or anyone, really, who isn't a corporation.
We don't have to "stop Norquist," and his ilk in their drowning of Great Society programs. The Great Society was meant for a different time. The Great Society drowned in history; in Katrina -- and lay rotting on the curb outside a municipal convention center.
PRINCIPLES AND PROGRAMS
The GOP has a PRINCIPLE that anti-poverty PROGRAMS don't work. They don't have a replacement PROGRAM except to say "the free-market" will handle it. It's a faith-based program which is to say there's no program except FAITH in the free-market. Why shouldn't they have faith in the free-market? It's worked pretty well for them.
Lets see what it can do for US.
We hear the GOP talking points about "strengthening families," "supporting communities," and "creating security." These are PRINCIPLES. They don't have a PROGRAM. The Democrats have PROGRAMS that are outdated. Katrina for all it's terrible destruction, performed an important job to LAY BARE the wrong-headedness of The Great Society as it is practiced now. The Great Society is little more than a scrimmage between state and federal agencies. They don't trust each other and we don't trust either of them. It wasn't the storm that disappeared almost 10,000 people in New Orleans. It was the crumbling infrastructure followed by a strange war between state and federal leaders. Victim-blaming, race-baiting, and intense xenophobia were drizzled on top of this steaming pile of shit.
IT'S THE FAMILIES, stupid.
In the conservative mind people are poor because they can't get married or stay married. Conservatives claim that if "families" have their lives in order, they won't be a drag on society. Raise the ratio of wage-earning adults to non-wage-earning individuals and enjoy strengthened "families" and communities. The larger the group, the more efficient the economic engine. Duh.
The ONLY difference between moderates and conservatives is the DEFINITION of FAMILY. As a matter of fact, we are locked in a culture war for what constitutes a family. Ironically, conservatives say "it's the sex." People of reason say, "it's the economics." I say, lets take sex out of the family debate entirely. Anyone who has been married will tell you this is the case, anyway. I've written about the operation of SEX in this essay. It's a psychological projection and has no place in public debate.
Focus on the ECONOMIC Family
DEFINE FAMILIES AS ECONOMIC UNITS and provide the SAME benefits any economic unit enjoys. Use the metaphor of corporations. Use the metaphor of tribes. Use whatever metaphor works for your worldview, but RECOGNIZE the truth of our economic relations in the 21st century: people are pooling resources because they can't make it on their own.
People have already taken on the additional RESPONSIBILITY of people outside of their marriage -- aging parents, children of other family members, and friends in need. Pooling resources to protect the vulnerable is already an American "institution." We have moved in to fill the gap left by a broken system. IT'S TIME WE ARE SUPPORTED IN OUR CONTRIBUTION.
Our country's nobility -- big business, and local/state government -- NEED strong communities, workers and taxpayers -- to participate in societal production. They aren't going to retool business to clean up society after hurricanes, riots and epidemics. No reasonable person puts their FAITH in the free market to house a homeless person or provide care to heal people and whole communities. We rely on any other person who can help us. We turn to family, friends and open our homes to take in those who can't make it on their own. Sometimes we put them to work in our home: watching children, fixing leaks, and mowing the lawn. Sometimes we only ask that they heal; get back on their feet; and live another day.
Here's the solution: OPEN the DEFINITION of CORPORATION to include all people who "incorporate" -- who co-operate -- to provide basic economic security for each other. We are on the cusp of invention, as necessity has grown to threaten each and every one of us. NOW IS THE TIME.
HERE IS THE "PROGRAM"
-- Open up the definition of "family" to include any group of people who form an economic unit.
-- Support the New American Corporation by strengthening these families with economic incentives.
-- Apply the corporate model to families.
Rich people form corporations to support their "tribes"; to employ their good-for-nothing in-laws; to build and protect their wealth. Since we apparently can't reel in the misuse of The System by corporations, lets AT LEAST extend The System to everyone who NEEDs the support. By all means, lets CUT TAXES for these corporations.
Forget the ridiculous and divisive debates about marriage, gay or not gay. Families should be defined by their economic impact, not the kind of sex they have. Change this and declare TRUCE in the CULTURE WAR.
Look at it as "incorporation" for families and change nothing else. When I buy computers for my home business, I can deduct the cost from my taxes. Doesn't it seem FAIR that families should be able to deduct the cost of computers used in the micro-business that is their family economic unit? Are not computers and cars and appliances OPERATING EXPENSES? These operating expenses are taxed upon purchase and taxed again when they aren't recognized as meaningful economic resources that benefit society.
Put the burden of proof of familial relations on ECONOMIC IMPACT. Win the culture war. Help the needy. Cut taxes. See how this might work? Use any metaphor you like -- I call it THE HOMEBOY REVOLUTION.