Listening

Feb. 28th, 2011 01:38 am
stoutde: (Default)
[personal profile] stoutde
A lot of people these days are complaining about government being too big or too out of control.

To counter that, a lot of people are saying that we have fewer government employees per capita now than ever before, and federal spending as a percentage of GDP is lower than ever before.

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Some people are unable to understand what other people are saying.

When someone is complaining about the government costing them too much, they're saying that they're taking a ton of money and not giving enough service back. They're also saying that they are not making enough money to live a life worth living.

Now, one can argue the subjective concept of "a life worth living", but let's look at whether or not there might be an objective measure that makes a person feel the need to say that.

This requires some psychological study. First of all, "hard work" is a subjective thing, and what I consider "hard work" and what someone else considers "hard work" can be two different things. To me, lifting 50 pounds is hard. Arnold might disagree. I find building a web server fairly easy. Arnold might again disagree and call it hard. So, in all things, we have a subjective concept of what is hard and what is easy.

Having "a lot" and "not much" is also subjective. I consider myself to have a lot. I have knowledge, I have information, I have memories, I have skills. These are things that are important to me to have. Some people look at the fact that I have a small house, am using fourth-hand furniture and still don't have enough to furnish the house, and say that I do not have a lot. I also look at other people and determine that some have a lot while others have little, and I like to consider material assets to be a part of it but not the whole thing. And still other people with more than I have look at themselves and all that they have and say it just isn't a whole heck of a lot.

So, we have two different subjective things. "Hard work" and "a lot".

When someone is doing what they consider to be hard work and has nothing to show for it sees someone who they believe is not working very hard but yet has a lot, that builds contempt between the two.

The reality of the situation doesn't really matter. Consider the subjectiveness of it. If the guy making the claim that he's working really hard and the other isn't is looking at his life as a mechanic versus the other guys life of pushing paperwork, he is correct from his point of view. Then you get down to the compensation of it and the guy making the claim might be making the same wage as the other guy, but chooses to stick a bunch in savings so he can one day retire. The other guy might be blowing every paycheck on all kinds of knick-knacks and vacations. The guy making the claim that he doesn't have a lot only sees the other persons material wealth compared to his own, and might be making the assumption that not only does he have those things, but he is preparing for retirement as well, because it's just common sense that everyone is saving up for retirement.

The concept of subjectiveness and who has what information is very important. In my example above, the guy claiming the other guy had more than he did actually has less.

But, you have to recognize error when you see it in order to figure out why someone feels the way they do.

Now, how does this fit in with wanting smaller government and government to be more controlled?

I look at how hard I work, doing what the bossman tells me to do day in and day out. I am oppressed by the loans I had to take out to get the slip of paper that allowed me to get the job. I live paycheck to paycheck. Due to inflation, it costs to much for me to go have new experiences to generate more memories with, so even though I have everything I want, I am no longer growing as a person. That means I am dieing.

Then I look at politicians, who are not doing what I tell them to, and they are making money hand over fist because their position allows them to engage in insider trading without punishment because they passed a law legalizing it for congress and the senate. They truly are above the law. Can I pass a law that disallows them to engage in insider trading? No.

Can I elect in other politicians? Yes. Will they persuade enough of the rest to change the law about that? Probably not. And so it goes.

Do they work hard? Not really, they just get up and talk on the floor. They have staff who write bills for them, they present them, and they have staff who reads the bills for them and gives them highlights. That was made evident most recently by the healthcare thing.

Since I am in the position prescribed by the system to be in control of them and I cannot, then is the government out of control? Absolutely.

On the other hand, there are people who are living almost as well as I am but don't have to deal with the misery of soul crushing work. They are welfare recipients. They are not required to work; they are only required to look for work. They get less money than I do, definitely. But they have more hours in a day to do things I can only dream about doing for lack of time. They get to have meaningful conversations, play role-play games like D&D, and enjoy the outdoors when the weather is perfect.

Me? I don't have many meaningful conversations these days, and definitely not every day. My work shift pretty much precludes me from any activity that involves other people socially - I have played exactly one session of D&D since I moved to TX and it was rather unsatisfying (but I appreciate that the two involved gave it a shot). I also don't get to enjoy the outdoors at all.

So.. I make less money than politicians who have all the time in the world to run marathons and attend fancy dinners, I have more money than the welfare peeps who lead a life of adventure and meaning... and here I sit with nothing from either world, but I am told by the politicians that I need to give what little I do have to the poorer people.

Fuck you. The poor people have more than I do. If you want them to have even more, give it to them out of your coffers of millions of dollars. Leave me alone.

The government is out of control, and it is costing me so much that I cannot fight against it.
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Dennis Stout

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