Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Two ways to get better

Debbie and Frank are really in debt trouble and go to two counselors. The smooth talking counselor’s plan has multiple parts: increase their credit line; get money from a few strangers who have more money than they do; over the next 10 years they will have to spend less than they had planned to – more than they are spending now but less than they had planned on. Debbie and Frank are excited about this new way of saving and promise to plan on spending even more so when they cut back a little the savings are even greater. With this savings plan and the counselor’s optimistic projections about their future income growth, they will be in great shape in about 10 years if all the assumptions work out. The other counselor is not as popular with all their friends, seems be less optimistic and his plan is harder. He does not want them to increase their credit line. He wants them to stop spending more than they take in. He notes that their spending has gone way up in the last few years but their income has not – he wants them to go back to that spending level. And he doesn’t think that a slower rate of increased spending is the same as savings.


Over the last few weeks, I have learned that I support terrorism, hostage taking, and those who hold a gun to the Government’s head; am in favor drilling for oil, rivers that burn, dirty air and water; am a racist; anti-education; against everyone paying their fair share of taxes; and generally an ignorant, beer swilling, gun toting, religious fanatic who only listens to my side of any argument.
I have apparently earned all of these labels not because I actually hold those opinions but because my opinions are radically different from most of those in the media and the entire Democratic Party. To be clear:
I do believe that a Government that spends 40% more than it takes in is not a supportable policy.
I do believe that there is a place for sound environmental policy. I just do not believe that that is what the EPA or the Department of Energy is doing. There is a middle ground between preserving the environment and stopping everything because there is a lizard crossing the street. And exactly what is the Department of Energy doing?
I do believe that no one should be discriminated for or against based upon the color of their skin. I also believe that when exactly the same guy tries repeatedly to kill us all, it is only reasonable and prudent to pay particular attention to guys like that.
I do believe that most teachers and other workers want to do a good job. I also believe that people should be evaluated and paid based upon their job performance and that there are some organizations that go overboard in protecting poor and unqualified workers only because they are part of that particular organization.
I do believe that everyone should pay their fair share of taxes. Whether fair share means that 50% of the people pay nothing for the privilege of voting and living in this great country while the other half make up the difference is something that needs to be determined based upon a policy more thoughtful than to “tax the rich” because they have money.
Most of all, I believe that all these issues should be debated based upon their merits. The current situation is that people I agree with present their positions – which admittedly can make your eyes glaze over – and the other side calls us names. There is no real debate between the positions – being able to hear both sides, hard as that is to do with the current media – would be a help to us all.