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I just watched a movie based on a book that I’ve read, called ‘Atlas Shrugged’. I’ve also finished the Fountainhead, which was suspenseful. Rand has been attacked by many psychologist’s who call her a ‘narcissist’. Still, while in many ways her methodologies are flawed, I respect her for being a woman who was speaking her mind during a time when it was even more difficult to do so than the present.

Anyway, this blog is titled ‘freedom’ of the United States for a reason. Anyone who has read the previous posts, may notice that I do not side with any particular political party. This is because they both have flaws. This country was founded based on ‘freedom’, and the right wings have diverged from that in terms of social situations, the left in terms of economical circumstances.

While not a ‘republican’, this state country been established as a republic, and that is the best case scenario. It allows people to live under a government that suits them, while still in the same country as many other governments- with a federal government regulating extreme corruption. It also lets states to take different measures into effect- and allows other states to reflect on how that is affecting their crime rate, economy, and quality of life in order to determine whether these practices would be productive for their own states to adopt.

The social corruptions of the republican party are not only causing them to lose the popular vote, though, but destroying freedom in the way it is most important. It is ironic that the same party that tends to boast ‘freedom’ also tends to try and dictate whether people of a specific sexual orientation marry, people who are under certain circumstances get abortions, and what type of religion they should follow. Also, I am probably not the only one who has noticed that it seems to be the right wing extremists who tend to become the most disillusioned and commit the most atrocious crimes. It’s ironic that the party who seems so ‘anti fiscal manipulation’ is the most manipulative in terms of people’s personal lives. I don’t know about you, but I would rather have my finances manipulated. Still, again, this can result in negative conclusions and fiscal problems can effect someones personal life as well.

The financial ironies of the left wingers are going to probably send a lot of businesses and wealthier people packing- and in many ways already have. This, I suppose, was Ayn Rand’s ‘objective’ in writing Atlas Shrugged- to show that an economy that helps certain people too much and taxes business owners significantly ceases to become an incentive based economy- and incentive based economies tend to be the ones that thrive the most in terms of fiscal superiority. Kind of the ‘you can try to carry more but if it is too heavy you could end up worse off than you started’ type of mentality. Still, this can be flawed if you don’t look too deeply into these issues.

For example, the republicans are claiming that the democrat’s ‘socialist’ system, as they like to call it, will choose who lives or dies. The irony of this situation is that the system in place already does so- as the wealthiest get the best treatment. Also, people who can afford preventative care tax the system less, which ironically tends to be the wealthy. If healthcare were socialized to some level, it could actually end up costing us less in the long run- which would explain why many government run healthcare systems have fewer expenses and higher life expectancy rates. Some lefties are not understanding, though, that we have regulations such as not being allowed to turn people away from emergency rooms- which could thus tax the economy and healthcare system to a point where it isn’t as efficient, or ‘healthy’. This could explain the US healthcare statistics being so poor and costs being so high compared to the rest of the world. You can’t blame this on genes, as this includes diverse areas, as well. What the righties aren’t understanding is that a more ‘socialist’ based healthcare system could eliminate a lot of those problems.

Then, you have the issues of illegal immigration. The right wingers don’t seem to understand that making immigrants legal would make legal citizens able to tax those who were once illegal, and also put them back on the grid. Some of them seem more paranoid about a ‘big brother’ 1984 type situation, and anyone so afraid of being ‘watched’ has something to hide, in my opinion.

I have seen both parties bullying each other in the most unproductive manner- focusing on things like the statistics of the party’s personal lives or educational degrees, etc. as opposed to actually focusing on the objective at hand. This is where Rand’s genius comes in. Both sides could use a little of the lean thinking ideas she tried to create through her fictional situations. Both sides of the political spectrum spend far too much time trying to put each other down, competing, or out-do each other than actually focusing on the matter as opposed to what is trendy amongst them. While an economy without parties could be called many things, perhaps it is the most productive type of way to solve things. After all, the deadlock ‘conclusions’ (if you could call them that) our government keeps coming to obviously aren’t working.

My opinion? As someone who has no political authority, and will never be listened to when it comes to politics, but wants her voice heard anyway… both parties could learn a lot from each other, and if they could only understand that a law that applies to so many things- everything is best in moderation- applies to today, maybe we would actually get somewhere. Everyone wants freedom, but both sides need to reflect on what that really means. Both parties could use a dose of both logic and compassion- even for each other.

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I tend to prefer private organizations over public because sometimes something done poorly is better not done at all. Now, There are some things I agree with on the new healthcare bill, such as:

  • Mandating that everyone buys healthcare insurance. I agree with this because it is required that doctors treat patients coming into emergency rooms without insurance- as it should be. An emergency room should never turn anyone away that is dying, and I doubt they would be able to if they were supposed to. However, you have to deal with losing too much money here and thus hospitals have to drive up unnecessary costs, meaning a bigger price tag for YOU.
  • Revamping the justice system in healthcare is necessary, to drive down insurance costs that the doctors have to pay, again reducing costs for the patient. Too often people look at mistakes made by doctors- who are just human- as a lottery ticket win. While doctors that make serious mistakes due to malpractice or incompetence should be reprimanded, there is no reason it should drive up prices for everyone. There are adjustments to this in the bill as well.
  • Imposing greater restrictions on current insurance companies is a sure win for the public. It will keep insurance companies from charging too much and being unreasonable with their criteria and/or fees.

There are some major issues with the healthcare bill, and a lot of this includes the amount of patients doctors are going to have to see in order to keep their salary. This is going to drive down the quality of care patients will receive, as well as make doctors more apt to make mistakes. Also, people don’t realize that they are still going to be paying for healthcare, just with a wool over their eyes through taxes. Administration costs can get much higher than people realize when it comes to goverment run healthcare.

Tolerance

A lot of my articles on here are about individualism and from my libertarian tendencies it is obvious that I don’t conform just for the sake of doing so. Yet I still try to bring two sides together. It seems that most die hard conformists have very little tolerance, and it is exactly lack of tolerance and not a lack of conformity that causes harm to others. This works both ways, though.

Some examples of conformist regimes that lost their ability to see the big picture would be the Nazi’s, North Korea, Iran and unfortunately so many more. I highly doubt many in Nazi Germany were willing to break any laws, considering the type of government that held control- and everybody obeying the laws is the right idea. At the same time, however, these regimes were doing a lot of harm and the people of these countries were just following right along with it. It caused so much harm and suppression- with that mindset leading to not only a lack of natural progression but a lack of freedom. Thankfully, with a lot of our world having freedom of speech, this is encouraging a person’s ability to think for themselves as well.

If conformity and following instructions thrived as much as some people would like it to millions of years ago, perhaps we would all still be monkeys. It is divergence that causes evolution.

This idea greatly applies to political parties as well, and their intolerance sometimes for other parties. The way they behave towards each other before truly listening to the other opinion is how wars are started and while the mistakes are often realized with time they could have been prevented in the first place. There are those that try to put out fire with gasoline, and those who seek solutions through an intellectual process. It is this sort of lack of tolerance that produces ignorance, when someone closes their mind to an idea because it is not in line with what they knew.

It is not a lack of conformism that should be discouraged but rather a lack of tolerance, for it results in ignorance. This concept holds true when it comes to diversity in race, sexual orientation, different types of thinking, political regimes, and almost everything in life…even tolerance for those that are closed-minded. As long as someone is not harming someone else, individualism and freedom of thought is best when allowed to thrive.

Working Together

It gets a little tiring to see voters spend so much  time ranting about how they dislike each other or  calling each other names without coming up with  a solution to a problem. It is sad to see so much  energy wasted in such a non-  productive inefficient way of doing things. If both parties spent less time arguing and despising each other, maybe something would actually get done. It is in situations like these that emotions cloud logic in a most destructive way.

It seems to be the spectators, those who have not much control over the bills being passed that are the most immature, encouraged by the media. This behavior is likely stemmed from frustration, which is understandable from a position where one can do so little. People are becoming ugly for the causes they believe in, attacking each other instead of finding a solution that will work for all involved. The ugliness spreads; children watch their parents and continue to act like vultures, attacking instead of discussing. Too quick to write the other party off as wrong without ever considering they could be right.

The United States is divided into two main parties… Democrats and Republicans.  It isn’t exactly fifty/ fifty, and other parties exist as well, of course. But quite frankly, approximately half the country tends to be conservative and the other half are liberal. Yet both parties often think their way is the only way with little regard or respect for that other party. The more stubborn the parties become, and the more they belittle each other’s characters instead of dealing with the specific issues at hand, the more we regress to a country that needs to go back to kindergarten. In some cases, literally.

There are situations where one party is just plain unjust and cruel. There are some situations that just shouldn’t be a matter of opinion. These are often social issues, since fiscal issues cannot be wholly predicted based even on history due to changing circumstances and unexpected events. A good example of an unjust social issue that should never have been argued against is keeping African Americans as slaves, or not allowing gays to marry. Although I know not one person who would say today that having any sort of slave is okay, there are people out there who do not believe it should be legal for homosexual oriented individuals to be married as a man and woman would be. This is something that will of course be looked back in time as unjust discrimination as the times improve. So of course it is understandable for one party to get frustrated- but if that party ever wants to enlighten the other party they are going to have to be adult about it. Intimidation tactics don’t often work so well on the stubborn.

My opinion is that republicans could take some lessons from the democrats with social issues, just as the democrats could take some lessons from the republicans on fiscal issues. After all, republicans are often the big business types that understand finances, and democrats often the compassionate humanitarians that understand human rights. Instead of the two parties walking in with open minds and being civil, learning from each other and discussing… they go head to head. I find it amusing when people wonder how countries can go to war,  when the people within them cannot even be civil with their own country!

There needs to be serious change taking place in not just the government, but the way people behave and respond to it- including biased media. Intimidation and manipulation tactics do not do anything but cloud information. It is not until people can start respecting each other for having a difference of opinions, and learn to live with each other in their difference of opinions, that human beings will get along.

Of course, you still have those social issues that need to be passed quickly for people are not getting the rights they deserve, and the fiscal issues that need to be thought through before money is spent and our country is too far in debt and not in a position to help anyone. But attacking another person for their party is never a trait that is admired by many. It could be compared to attacking another race for their color or a religion for their beliefs. It starts with you, not the government.

Gold has been a form of currency for countless centuries all around the world. Our dollar used to be backed by gold, up until the early thirties hit along with some hardship. People no doubt tried to fix the economy by converting our onced gold backed dollar to paper money, or ‘fiat’ currency. The term fiat basically means ‘let it be done’ in latin and this term is used for this form of currency because it is not worth anything unless people think it is so. By the early 1970’s, almost all nations had abandoned their currency forms to  the fiat currency. The last country to do so was Switzerland in 1999. Now every single country uses a fiat currency, which is unprecedented in history.

gold

Many people believe that it was the gold standard that caused the great depression, which is why the gold standard was abandoned. While this is debatable, the switch to fiat currency is certainly responsible for inflation. What happens when you have a system built on fiat currency? It works, until the government starts printing more money.

marriagePersonally, I am socially liberal. I do not believe the government should decide what is morally ‘right’, and what is ‘wrong’. It is usually the Republicans that remind people that our government exists to preserve our freedom. I find this ironic at times, considering the freedom to marry is one I believe every adult should have a right to.

Yesterday, I asked a Republican their view on gay marriage. He answered, as a typical Republican would, that he does not believe it should be legal. When I asked him why, he said that he didn’t feel it was natural. I have noticed this to be a common response of those who oppose the marriage between two homosexuals. Then I asked him to put himself in the shoes of someone who is gay, and imagine that he only had feelings for other males, and there was nothing he could do to change that. Would he feel ostracized from society, considering that marriage to someone he is sexually attracted to is ILLEGAL? His answer was yes, he would. Then I asked him if he still opposes it, and he shrugged. I notice that many social conservatives object to this because they don’t understand it. I have also noticed most of the conservatives that tend  to be really adamant on rejecting gay marriage are typically religious.

I have a couple of things to say to those who feel that being gay goes against your religion. First of all, while our country was established as ‘one nation under God’ and should continue to remain so for historical purposes only, our country was also established as a haven for all types of religious people, and for those who chose not to be religious. Hence, the popular saying that America is a ‘free country.’  Now, the catholic church has just voted to allow gays to be priests and openly gay at the same time, just as the Evangelical Lutheran church just voted to allow homosexuals to be open about their sexuality and still pastors. These are arguably two of the strictest branches of Christianity. So if the churches are okay with it, and ones argument still has religious undertones, I suggest they think about that for a second.

I have heard people say that “if the government does not control our morals, then what would happen? People would be able to start killing each other?” and often scoff at that, for I have always considered marriage a positive issue. Murder is a lot more than immoral, it is intrusive  to the highest extent. Murder is the ultimate freedom eliminator as well as many other crimes. So to those of you so conservative that you worry where society is going if same genders were allowed to marry, rest assured, this will not cause our country to result in anarchy.

I have heard conservatives argue that this would produce more homosexuals. Even if it did, what is wrong with someone being able to openly homosexual if that is how they feel? But the fact of the matter is, it wouldn’t produce more homosexuals, but it would allow people living their lives in secret to have a freedom that previously only existed to heterosexuals. Homosexuals have been criticized and ostricized throughout history, and religious people have argued that all homosexuals are going to hell. Still, homosexuals existed, but in private. They were forced to live secret lives due to their natural feelings. So while homosexuals may seem more prominent in society if gay marriage was legal, it would only be because many people would finally be able to come out of hiding…or as some say ‘the closet’. Having to live a lie cannot be fun, and there is nothing wrong with allowing people to be themselves if they are not harming others.

Legalizing gay marriage is the first step to ending the discrimination and hate that exists against homosexuals today. To treat someone differently because of their orientation, or think they should not be allowed certain freedoms that others have, is as bad as being a racist and it is discrimination to the highest extent. So get with the times, because people are starting to realize that mindless discrimination is ignorant…even the churches.

Obama, January 2009: “Now most of the money we are investing as part of the plan will get out the door immediately, and will go directly to job creation, generating or saving three to four million jobs. Immediately.”

Obama, April 2009: “Because we know people are hurting right now, we need to create jobs and get money into peoples pockets right now, so we passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This government effort is coming in ahead of schedule, and under budget.”

Obama, July 2009: “The recovery act was designed to make sure local school districts didn’t lay off teachers, and fire fighters, and police officers and it’s done its job.”

“The stimulus package is working exactly as we had anticipated”

“As I made clear at the time it was passed, the recovery act was not designed to work in four months. ”

stimulus-vs-unemployment-may

It is now October 2009, and the unemployment rate and is 9.8% and rising. We can only hope Obama did not just prolong a present day Great Depression.