LISTENING TO HILLARY
Hillary Clinton was in town today, and they broadcast her speech on the radio. I happened to catch quite a bit of it because I was driving a long distance today. And a lot of it made my skin crawl.
I'll be fair here; it's not just Hillary. John McCain's speech the other day made me want to puke, what with his global warming and closing Gitmo. I don't like listening to politicians in general. I hate how politicians promise everything to everyone. If I'm elected, I'm going to do this and this and this. No details, no actual plans that can be analyzed for efficacy, just feel-good drivel. Ick. I want my politicians to be like my husband or my dad, putting out the vibe that life is hard and you have to make tough choices sometimes. You can't always get everything for free, and government isn't here to grant your every wish. I want Rachel Lucas' news network called "Tough Shit, America."
Instead, politicians promise the moon. Hillary said she's going to create more jobs, make college more affordable, give everyone health care, fix social security without privatizing it, and a host of other stuff. And all of this is supposed to happen without raising taxes on the middle class. Well, the poor don't pay squat, so guess who's footing the bill: people who actually do create jobs.
I don't want politicians doing most of this stuff. Make college more affordable? College should be a privilege, not a right, and newsflash: not everyone should go. Moreover, you don't have the right to borrow money at 2% interest so you can better yourself. Get real. I've been reading Milton Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom, and he advocated no government funding of higher education at all. No state-run universities, nothing. That's hardcore. But education is not the role of the federal government.
And creating more jobs, what an empty promise. She said that the backbone of any economy is "making things" and that we need to stop losing our manufacturing jobs. Why? John Stossel says
Manufacturing jobs are no better for America than other jobs. Some argue that they are worse. How many parents want their children to work in factories rather than offices? Increasing service jobs in medical, financial and computer sectors while importing manufactured goods doesn't hurt America. It helps America.
I think it was Neal Boortz who said a while back that manufacturing jobs are beneath Americans. That thought raised my eyebrows, but I see what he means. Why would we want to increase the sector of the economy with the lowest skilled jobs? Let's work with our brains, not with our fingers.
And during the question period, someone asked Hillary what she'll do to fight racism. Tom tapdancing Cruise. I don't want my president to do anything to fight racism, save not being racist himself. Otherwise, the federal government has no business meddling in race relations. Blech.
Hillary also told a sob story about why we need health care for everyone. Some girl in Ohio got pregnant and couldn't afford the $100 fee to see a doctor. In the end, she had to get taken to the emergency room and she and the baby died. Sad, terrible story. But here's the bitch in me: if you don't have $100, why on earth are you having a baby? Don't get yourself knocked up if you can't afford to protect the baby's health or your own. I don't want the Face Of Health Care Woes to be that rich SCHIP family, but I don't want it to be pregnant unwed girls either. I don't want to foot the bill so some other pregnant girl doesn't have to pay to go to the doctor, when we saved every spare dime we've made for the past six years so we'd be ready for our own baby.
The speech closed with a question on what Hillary planned to do to prevent heart disease. She actually said the phrase, "We're gonna have to do more to change people's behavior." Gulp. That's not the government's job either.
Bleh, government makes me ill.
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I had this really long comment typed, but I don't want to subject anyone to my endless tirades about entitlement attitudes.
Posted by: airforcewife at March 27, 2008 02:47 PM (mIbWn)
I just had a conversation this morning with a friend about this! I'm with AFW, I could go on and on about entitlement issues. It makes me sick.
Posted by: ABW at March 27, 2008 04:47 PM (Y3JJK)
I'm with you on listening to Hillary. Or any political speeches, for that matter. I always want to slap her, though, moreso than the other candidates.
In fact, (and I cannot believe I am putting this in type), if by some miracle for her campaign I have to choose between her and McCain... I'm voting for McCain.
As far as entitlement... I'm always at a loss here. I have been in situations when I desperately needed a hand up. I have friends who have needed that as well. All of us have used what little we could get by with and managed to get back up on our feet. That's the way "the system" should work.
However, I also know people who have lived in public housing for SIXTY years. Without ever trying to leave. People like that ruin things for everyone else who just need a boost.
So I really don't know what the answer is. I'm torn between compassion for people who are down on their luck, and the whole "Tough Shit, America" concept. Recovering from bad decisions shouldn't be easy. At the same time, I don't think people should die or children suffer because of lack of funds (regardless of the decisions which led them to the rough spot).
I think I'm rambling and exhausted. I should delete my long comment like AFW, but I'm too dang stubborn for that.
I might come back tomorrow and clarify. Because that's what you need, more wordiness in your comments.
Posted by: Sis B at March 27, 2008 06:41 PM (0ZS+T)
I read the Stars and Stripes the other day - rag that it is - and of course Ann Landers, or Dear Abby or whatever's in there. The writer was a single female, had bought a house and her parents lent her the money at a low rate of interest so she could afford it. She's writing to say that her parents paid for the weddings of her two sisters (she's forty and has no plans to marry) so she was ENTITLED to the money and her parents should just give it to her and erase the loan, since they didn't have to pay for nonexixtent wedding. SMH. (Are you impressed I'm up with the 'urban' culture? That's "shaking my head" for those of you who aren't sad enough to bookmark the online urban dictionary.)
Posted by: Oda Mae at March 28, 2008 12:26 AM (1xh4T)
I listen to Neal a lot. I've heard him make similar comments & usually it has to do with people who are not educated, but who see good, honest jobs as beneath them because, you know, they are BETTER than that. Not sure if that's the rant he was on when you heard him, but usually it's more of a: Hey, get off your arse & go to work & quit making the rest of us pay for you." No, a job sticking together parts is NOT worth $35/hour, so don't be surprised when your jobs move south BUT don't lie around whining that McDonald's only pays minimum wage when you didn't finish school or take advantage of opportunities in life either.
Posted by: Guard Wife at March 28, 2008 03:52 AM (GPWZ1)
"Manufacturing" doesn't always mean "low-skilled"...see my post Misvaluing Manufacturing
. Also, there is a lot more manufacturing going on in the U.S. today than journalists and politicians seem to realize; see this
Much of the employment decline in U.S. manufacturing is due to improve productivity, just as farm employment declined while food production went up. There have also been many government actions & policies which have been harmful to U.S. manufacturing, and a high % of these have been sponsored by Democrats.
Posted by: david foster at March 28, 2008 04:53 AM (ke+yX)
There are times in life when people need help, and I think it should be there for them. Someone can't help getting laid off from a job. Or their spouse leaving them with the kids. But they are not entitled to it for life.
I totally agree that higher education is a privilege and not a right. It's also become an industry. It's like our educational system has been extended to 16 years and you have to pay for the last 4.
Posted by: Mare at March 28, 2008 04:56 AM (EI19G)
I could write a whole blog post on employee attitudes about jobs being beneath them, but lacking the skills to do a better job...I think I just might.
But I wanted to put in my 2 cents about manufacturing in the US. I think there is always room for highly efficient/good quality manufacturing. For example, Germany still does a lot of manufacturing: its secondary sector is about 35% of the work force, and German products are held in high esteem: Zwilling knives, Audi, VW, Posche, Mercedes, BMW, Siemens products, etc, not to mention plants making many of the sub-components for these products.
And because the manufacturing is highly mechanized, the employees are actually paid quite well. I remember when I had a summer job in a factory in Germany, and I parked in the employee parking lot among many Mercedeses, VWs and BMWs.
So, if America were to take the same tact and focus on highly efficient high-quality manufacturing, there would definitely be a world market for that.
It was pretty interesting: recently we got an inquiry from China about our manufactured product, and they wanted to sell it there...and we replied: well, we don't actually have plans on opening a Chinese factory anytime soon. And the representative protested and said: no, no, no, we want American-made products! They are very prestigious here in China!
It's all relative, I guess...
Posted by: CaliValleyGirl at March 28, 2008 05:29 AM (U2RJu)
It would be nice if we focused on high quality manufacturing... which is actually more like craftsmanship, I think. And some people are better suited to working with their hands than solving complex equations.
I had one student in school who was consistently getting low grades in academic subjects - his parents were mortified he wanted to be a foreign auto mechanic and came in to talk about preparing him for college.
I asked them if they had realized he would make a LOT more money being a mechanic than he would, you know, teaching.
and one of the points I can't help but resurrect from my deleted Russian-novel-length comment was about Hillary's "poor pregnant woman". I got pregnant at 17 - with no insurance. That's why medicaid will cover ANY pregnant woman no matter how much money she makes. They also cover ANY child under a year of age no matter how much money a parent makes.
The thing is, you have to actually go sit in the Social Services office for hours (sometimes days) and actually bring in documents and fill out paperwork. In other words, you have to take some sort of responsibility for your own actions. I know, I know, it's totally fascist of them to expect someone to actually jump through some hoops for medical care!
Politicians pushing these programs count on the fact that few people have any understanding of what is already in place or what is required for them. So they leave crucial details out of their "oh, the poor victims!" speeches.
Posted by: airforcewife at March 28, 2008 06:05 AM (mIbWn)
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