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My how things have changed...

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  • My how things have changed...

    I was reading this article in the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/11/us...within.html?hp and one quote at the end struck me.

    On Jodi Baraniak’s stately front porch, not far from the Bud Shuster Byway, Mr. Halvorson made his appeal for smaller government. Ms. Baraniak, a 44-year-old lab technician, fretted about a straining middle class.

    “I don’t understand why we’re hurting our own people,” she said, worrying that the government was trying to support too many people on the backs of too few taxpayers. “We’re not communists, are we?”
    It struck me because it seems like things have changed from the old refrains. The Republicans used to stand for a bootstraps mentality, for a mentality of personal responsibility, so that when things turned south it seemed the refrain always was "you can make it, don't blame others for your failures". Now, it seems like the refrain is that everything is the fault of the government, that if you are having trouble making ends meet, or just don't have the luxuries that you would like, it isn't your fault, it's not because you're not achieving enough, it's because govt is hindering you, it's taxing you too much or regulating you too much, and THAT is the reason you're having trouble.

    That just seems like an odd shift, and not one that the conservative moral compass has wrestled with yet.

    I know that complaining about Big Govt is nothing new, but it seems like the last few years (it was brewing long before 2008 but I think got kicked into high gear when Obama took control, which coincided fairly neatly with the recession and the desire to blame something for it) the complaining about Big Govt changed tenor, it became more than complaining about Big Govt, it became blaming govt for your own lack of success. Just seems like an odd switch, and one that in the long run won't serve the cause well.

  • #2
    and btw, this is mostly just navel gazing, but I figured the forum could use another discussion topic.

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    • #3
      If government would just get out of the way, I'd be Elon Musk.

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      • #4
        I am not sure I really have my pulse on what goes on in the minds of rural republicans anymore then I understand inner city liberals but I get the same feeling as you. I also get really pissed about how selective the rights distain for big government is. How about government interference in pro choice or letting other governments make their own choices on how to run their country.

        I just spent the week with my family most of whom are RWNJ. They are very intelligent but some of the conversions made me feel like Nancy Pelosi arguing with Michelle Bachman and I am not very close to Nancy Pelosi in ideology. The one that really got under my skin was the comment that if you don't pay taxes you should not be allowed to vote. Forget the idiocy of the comment or the definition of taxes paid they could not grasp the difference in payroll taxes and income taxes. The conversation ended with me in the dog house when I suggested that to be able to vote you should have to be able to name 4 of the supreme court justices, the speaker of the house the, majority leader in the senate and perhaps the difference in income and payroll taxes.

        I think that blaming other people or things in general is gaining traction in this country and is a real bad thing but is not unique to conservatives.
        Last edited by James; 11 November 2013, 08:28 PM.

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        • #5
          James, some of the conversations I have here in Boulder make me feel like a RWNJ. Funny how that happens.

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          • #6
            Danno reinventing himself as a "moderate"......funny as hell !

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            • #7
              I didn't realize how right James was in this post because I never participated much in the old WOT. But it seems he is.

              I am a good bit to the right of the average person for the town I live in, that's for sure, which was the only point I was making. And within the general "party" (though I'm by no means a true Democrat, I hold no allegiance to my party and am only a member because I want to vote in primaries), I am almost surely to the right of the average overall (on individual positions, of course, I may be left or right of the average). Whether that makes me a "moderate", well, that was your word, and not one I used. And, quite frankly, I don't know how you'd know where I stand on any particular positions anyhow.

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              • #8
                R's (and others) have blamed taxes and gov't regulation for their business problems for as long as I can remember.

                I think the big difference is, in the past, you had some people who were very vocal about their opinions, while the majority leaned one way or the other in what they had a "gut feel" was right, but weren't confident in their opinions. Also, those who failed at business took a greater personal responsibility in the outcome. Now, everyone is an expert on government's problems and few people admit to their mistakes.

                Trust me on this, I'm never wrong.

                That, and everything is Danno's fault.

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                • #9
                  People tend to become more conservative as they get older. I'll admit it, no matter how hard I try, there are times when I can be rather conservative. I'm fighting back though

                  It's hard to have our cake and eat it, we want folks to be healthy, we want them to be productive, we realize that not everyone has the same abilities or access, so we know that some folks will be more productive and more healthy than others, the struggle is in how much "the healthy and the wealthy" want to provide to "everyone else".

                  The "everyone else" is a very mixed bag, some are clearly in need, whereas others are probably capable of doing more for themselves. The problem is that we as a people are not so good at judging everyone else's abilities, so we develop blanket programs that provide inadequate services to a lot of people vs adequate services to a few people, the result being that we spend a lot and no one is satisfied.

                  Need and cost are outstripping resources, so what to do?

                  Do you increase taxes? Do you put in yet another layer of triage? Is there really any answer that will solve the problem or is the problem inherent to society as a whole? Can you really have equity?

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                  • #10
                    NB, have you read anything about the discrimination against lung cancer patients? Evidently providers typically assume that they are smokers. Also, per capita cases the funding for research is much lower than more "popular" causes like breast cancer. Epidemiologists predict that rates will increase with the degradation of air quality in urban centers too. You don't have to smoke to get lung cancer.

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                    • #11
                      I work in community health, many of the people I see are poor, their families are poor, they have state insurance for medical care, many also receive disability, some come from a family history of receiving disability. I don't believe in the "welfare mom" but I have seen many people on welfare who's primary means of income is welfare. Do they all "need" welfare? That is a tough question, cuz some could do more for themselves, and in some situations I have had people give up the "inadequate" SSI payments for paid employment.

                      I don't have a source of data for this, but let's assume that 25% of the folks on SSI could survive on their own without those benefits. Okay, how many people are we talking about, millions? So are there jobs for those people, jobs they can do now and "forever", that would equal or surpass what they get on SSI? If the number of people on SSI was reduced by 25%, would that make it "palatable" to those who pay the for the programs?

                      The unemployed, the underemployed, the physical and/or intellectually challenged, the single parent of kids, these folks would likely be in a world of hurt without some safety net. So how do we remove some from the rolls without leaving off those who really need the support? Do you stop with SSI, what about veterans, retirees, do you cut back on their supports as well.

                      If we are really gonna talk about social programs, don't forget the ones that we all use: Roads, bridges, natural resources, etc... these are social programs as sure as SSI. Some folks would suggest that we should use our resources to support our needs, meanwhile waiting for the judgement day, hoping things last long enough...
                      Last edited by Nurse Ben; 19 November 2013, 12:29 PM.

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                      • #12
                        NB, have you read anything about the discrimination against lung cancer patients? Evidently providers typically assume that they are smokers. Also, per capita cases the funding for research is much lower than more "popular" causes like breast cancer. Epidemiologists predict that rates will increase with the degradation of air quality in urban centers too. You don't have to smoke to get lung cancer.
                        I try not to assume people are sick for the most common reasons, but then, the most common reasons are common for a reason

                        Yeah, any environmental pollutant can mess up your lungs, which is why I didn't consider moving to SLC or Denver.

                        I really need to start doing all my tinkering with a respirator, I'm probably dying of cancer from all that junk I inhaled

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