This is what happens when shit gets unreal
A Hypocrite With Issues…
February 23, 2011Posted by on
I am starting to admit the myriad of hypocritical aspects of my life. I’m a Green Party supporter, who drives a big ass diesel truck. I make snide comments about others’ lack of classiness, while dropping F bombs all over the place. I rail about the crap people serve their families, but I’m not above a bag of Five Guys French fries, oh no, I am NOT.
However, the news over the last few weeks has really brought out some loony hypocrites, and I won’t stay silent. (Like I ever do, am I right? Shut up.)
First: The events in Northern Africa and the Middle East. I repeat, I am a diesel-guzzling-truck driving fool. So yeah, perhaps I should zip it. But I’m not going to. Here are MY issues:
1) I saw this on an FB friend’s wall today:
“Getting sick and tired of these idiots in the Middle East dictating our gas prices here. We have two options as I see it. #1 – let us drill for our own oil here now, and our other resources that will produce plenty of oil or #2 – turn the Middle East into a sandbox and just take their oil.”
The fact that Americans who can’t even find countries like Yemen, Bahrain, or Libya on a map are having conversations about how we should “Go over there, take control, and take the oil while they are fighting amongst themselves” is ridiculous.
Two options? Really? Jesus, we must have at least 5 ! (Hint: use your whole hand to count, not just the fingers you use to roll your boogers)
2) “The revolution in Egypt is going to create an untenable situation for Israel, and as such, we should have propped up Mubarek.” (Further, we have made a peace of sorts with Khaddafi, so he’s our guy, as well I guess?) So sayeth the screaming heads on the teevee, at least on some stations.
Didn’t we do this with Saddam Hussein? Prop him up, as our guy who helped us out with Iran? Truly, that worked so well, didn’t it? Should our foreign policy always be based on which bastard is the least insane on any given day? Well, it will be, as long as we remain THEIR least insane bastard, I guess. I’m taking bets on how long that will be our status. We have had some insane moments, in recent days…
Second: The protests in Wisconsin, and now Ohio, with more states to come. Again, I am happily hypocritical when it comes to unions, because I don’t think all forms of employment that HAVE union representation probably need it anymore. Here are MY issues:
A) Yes, unions in the manufacturing sector have basically priced their workers out of the American market. Why do you think it is SO attractive to American companies to do their manufacturing overseas? Because people there are willing to do the job for a pittance, duh! Certain manufacturing and maintenance labor jobs became so $ bloated that the American people could no longer afford the product. Do you have ANY idea what a pair of jeans would cost, if it was made exclusively in the US, using only US manufactured goods? Easily $200 dollars or more. Should people be paid a fair wage? Absolutely. How do you fix this? Well, you could start with a federal minimum wage that actually allows a person to support themselves. If a garment worker could SUPPORT THEIR FAMILY on minimum wage, their union would have less bargaining power over income. But $7.25 per hour? Bullshit.
B) The issue in Wisconsin is being blamed on Teacher’s Unions. Do the people bitching about this have any clue what a teacher makes? If a teacher lives in a one income home, with a spouse and 3 kids, they may be living within 15,000 of the national poverty threshold for this country. Now, add to that the fact that they do not, in fact, work a 40 hour week. They work far, far longer. And are often fiscally responsible for their own certification upkeep, meaning that they MUST have extended education, in order to keep their job, but that education is NOT paid for by their employer. So, Joe Teacher works as a HS math educator. He has to report to school at 7:AM, and may leave campus (barring staff meetings, parent/teacher conferences, IEP meetings, mandated chaperone sessions like dances or games or detention duty) at 3:30. Because he no longer has a planning period at school, due to cutbacks, he must grade papers for over 100 students at home. At a rate of 1 minute per test or homework assignment, this will take almost 2 hours. Time for class! His continuing education is taught at the local university in the evening (lucky him!) 2 hours, 2 nights per week. On his dime. Using his fuel to drive there. So our guy Joe, if he makes the median income for a HS teacher, of $43,355 per year, is making about 14 bucks an hour, before taxes. BEFORE taxes. And these people bitching are going to say ol’ Joe shouldn’t get his health care paid for? His vacations? Are you KIDDING me?! He’s supposed to make your children ready to take on a global employment atmosphere, and help them learn enough to function in the world, and he can’t go to the doctor on occasion on your dime? Screw you.
Third: And this brings me to my FAVORITE rant. Taxation, and it’s conjoined twin, corporate greed. Here is MY issue:
Who do you think really want the unions gone? Who do you think wants us so freaked out by the idea of imagined terrorist enemies coming to the fore half a world away that we aren’t paying attention to our own back yard? I’ll give you a hint , it ain’t the middle class. Who benefits? Poor people? Nope. Their jobs will continue to disappear, as middle class people work their way down the pay scale, in search of anything they can get. The middle class themselves ARE the union workers. No, folks it’s the corporate giants who make bigger profits, obviously, when the little guy gets squeezed. Not just in wage payments saved, but in larger, more nefarious ways. Did you know, when a big box store, say, Walmart, or Home Depot, comes looking to build in a community, that generally the community pays for the infrastructure to support the store? So those fancy new 4 lane roads, leading to the parking lot. Local taxes. The street lights, traffic redirection, etc? Local taxes. BUT, you say… that will be recouped, once the store opens! Not really. In an effort to win their area as a store location, many local governments offer incredible tax incentives to big box stores. In some cases, property taxes are lowered to a level only a couple hundred dollars more than the average household in the area. In some cases, sales tax skimming, to the tune of millions, nationally. In short, if you shop at a big box store, instead of a local business, you are causing your taxes to go up. Not the Teacher’s Union, not oil from the Middle East, it’s you, when you go to Walmart, or Kmart. YOU, at the Safeway, and the Home Depot.
So. I am a hypocrite. A middle class hypocrite. Because I KNOW all these things, but I don’t radically change my behavior. I do not always shop at the local hardware store although I’d like to. I drive a big truck. I go to the Savemart rather than the local butcher, sometimes. But I do at least try to shop local, if I can. I went to 3 local fabric stores, just the other day, even though I could have gone to Walmart or Hancock’s in the same amount of time. On the rare occasion my friends and I have the time, we try to go for breakfast at Shingle Springs Coffee , rather than Starbucks or McDonalds. As we go into a time of higher gas prices, again, and higher food costs, I look to growing my garden, and getting more hens.
And I wonder… if you lead a hypocrite to reality, can you make them think? I know I have at least started to. Have you?