Wednesday, October 26, 2005

it's not the Great Society. it's not the Ownership Society. it's the HOMEBOY REVOLUTION

(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.

6 Comments:

Blogger Robert said...

I couldn't get through all this crap. I for one have been helped by the Bush Administration and I am not a corporation.

I realize some people are poor and in need of help but let's face it, this should be temporary - not a permanent handout. I love to see the poor poor pitiful poor complaining about no longer having the free government money to foot their hotel bills (those who have evacuated). How about do your part, find a job and have some dignity by picking up your own pieces rather than complain to the government.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005 1:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Bill said...

Robet. Your family currently owes about $124,000 of the national debt. At what point will you be saying to the Bush White House "Gee, Thanks for all the help?"

Thursday, October 27, 2005 7:47:00 AM  
Blogger elizabeth said...

How did you accept federal assistance, Robert, without becoming one of "the poor poor pitiful poor" you speak of so sneeringly? Is there some imaginary ethical line of conscience that separates those who accept assistance in good faith from those who accept it in bad? Do you have to be a Christian or something? Or is there some more intangible way you've been "helped" by the Bush Administration? Is it like the "servicing" of accounts Will Rogers used to talk about that involved a bull? And what happens to people who CAN'T find a job, or one that pays a decent enough wage to let them afford child and healthcare? Read "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America" by Barbara Ehrenreich before you go proposing any more pat, one-size fits-all solutions. Let me see how much dignity YOU have as a female with dependents waiting tables, getting your ass pinched and scrubbing toilets, then being told you make too much money to qualify for TennCare. Go drool over that for a while, since you obviously revel in every ounce of misery of the "poor poor pitiful poor" you can find - and don't hold your government responsible for ANY OF IT, oh no.

Thursday, October 27, 2005 8:15:00 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

Absolutely hilarious Elizabeth - the goverment reponsible for the hurricanes. Sheesh. Haven't we been through this before?

Bill: Thanks to Bush I have more of my hard earned money going into my pocket. Although it's not enough, I am thankful.

Friday, October 28, 2005 11:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Bill said...

So the cowards way out of sticking your head in the sand on national debt works for you Robert? What happened to fiscally responsible conservatives? If you meet any let them know the web url, I would love to talk with them. In the mean time keep covering your ears, closing your eyes and saying "Lalalala I can't hear you!!!"

Friday, October 28, 2005 5:00:00 PM  
Blogger Brook said...

robert of course misses the point. this is LABOR-based. we are already doing more than our part without any "help."

labor in exchange for the ability to LIVE is not a "HANDOUT." it's capitalism.

i'm proposing that we enlarge the market to include to include critical, but unrecognized contributions to SOCIETY.

it's a long-standing fact of life that "machines" and "productivity" will make human labor unnecessary. it's called The Enlightenment. you should read about it sometime. the GOAL of humanity has long been to reduce the amount of HUMAN LABOR needed to make the world go 'round. For centuries we've wondered what we should do with all the people who are displaced by TECHNOLOGY.

my idea is to rub the crust from your eyes and SEE the LABOR all around. see the artists and musicians who contribute everday without the promise of success or an evening meal. do they not contribute? families who care for their sick...do THEY not contribute?

this isn't about HANDOUTS -- it's about finally being real and paying people a living wage in a society that has displaced their labor.

Friday, November 04, 2005 9:46:00 AM  

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