I’ll Be A Republican If…
One of the many things I’ve said about the Republican party and the people who vote for it is that they simply lack vision.
Their party is based upon what sounds right or fair (not always), rather than what makes sense. Is it fair rich people pay more in taxes? Nope. Why should someone pay more simply because they make more. Because they “owe it” to us? No, they don’t. Do you owe it to your neighbor to subsidize their life or family simply because you maybe earning 6 figures and they’re teachers? Sure don’t. So in simple rhetoric or political talk, they’re right about some of these issues.
Problem is life isn’t talking points. It takes objectivity. It takes big picture viewpoints and application. Which is what the Republican party and its voters seem incapable of doing.
Anyone who says we need to eliminate the poor and poverty simply has no idea what they’re saying. We can’t. Not because in theory it isn’t possible, but because society will adjust and if the bottom for pay is $40K a year, every level of our society will adjust for that uprise in income among the lower tier of society. If $40K becomes the new poverty line, lower middle class will suddenly be entered at $70K a year and you’ll be hitting up the McDonald’s $18 extra value meal.
Society will simply adjust. Just as it did with degrees. There was a time where a high school diploma was a big deal. We still celebrate it now, but that’s out of tradition, not because of the actual degree earned. It’s more a step to adulthood. But essentially people expect every kid to get a high school diploma and it’s a travesty if they don’t. But as college degrees became the benchmark for education, high school diploma essentially became worthless as a standalone. The same goes for income. If we eliminate the current state of poverty by successfully moving the cellar of income to $40K a year, you’ll see an adjustment upward everywhere in our society from fast food, to car price, homes to healthcare and $40k a year then becomes essentially the same value as $17K, so what’s the point?
But, in that understanding people need to understand that for our society to be fully functioning and successful, we must have people who are willing to do the $8 an hour jobs. Who, as sad as it may seem to some, make a career waiting tables or flipping burgers. If we don’t have people who’ll work for minimum wage or slightly above how would we afford the things we do? What would life be like for a family of 4 if a McDonald’s happy meal was $10 a piece? Imagine taking your wife and kids to McDonald’s and for a simple fast food lunch you spend nearly $70, would you be able to afford to go? Probably not. So what happens? Well, McDonald’s goes out of business, millions of jobs are lost.
If a Target cashier made $40k a year, suddenly for that pair of jeans you just bought that was $35.99 they’re now $89.99, would you still buy them? Doubtful. Wait you say to yourself, “for nearly $90 I could go buy designer jeans” well no you couldn’t. If cheap Target Merona jeans skyrocket to $89.99 you can bet any designer jeans suddenly become $300 or more because you still have to pay for the premium name. If the bottom level of jeans becomes the designer price, then designer price will adjust and the only person who suffers is consumers. Now everything at Target shoots up 300%, would you still be able to afford to shop there? Probably not. What happens to Target? Closes, tons of jobs are lost.
Remember, this is a rise in pay for poor people so that they pay more in taxes, pay for their own health care and no longer need government assistance. This is not a rise in pay for the middle class. Pay must remain the same because if we adjust the middle class income levels to afford the suddenly inflated fast food and retail prices, the entire system adjusts, this is just an income spike for those making the least to make it fair that they cover their own share.
So what does this say? This says that if we want to continue to enjoy the things we do as a society, we must help the people who lack the education, skills or abilities to seek higher income and work the jobs we only did as sixteen year old high school students, and unfortunately is a career for them. Is it fair we need to do this? Not if you simply say, “Why should I have to pay more, I have my own struggles, and it’s my money”. But, what people who think that fail to realize is that you wouldn’t have 70% of that money if it wasn’t for these people. When you complain about a universal healthcare package you fail to understand that there are simply millions of workers even with full-time jobs simply do not make enough money to afford healthcare.
A breakdown of someone making $10 an hour earns (and trust me very few people working at McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, Target or your local grocery store are making $10 an hour):
$10 an hour + 40 hours a week = $400 a week (before taxes)…That’s $20,800 a year before taxes.
After taxes, they probably bring home more around $17k a year. That’s $1416 a month.
-$250 car payment and gas
-$150 electric bill
-$100 car insurance
Basics…very basic. Assume this is a single mother of 2. Just with those very basics a month, nothing else added, she’s at -$114 a month. So you say eliminate the car payment, car insurance and lower the rent. Fine, sure it’s plausible for a mother of 2 to raise 2 kids with no reliable car, in Section 8 housing and just hope their kids are safe and get a decent education. So fine we give her another $400 a month with those adjustments (ignoring the fact relying on bus transportation or trains almost certainly means she’ll need daycare, which would cost more than the car payment and insurance combine) that then gives her $100 a week.
So, we have a single mother of 2, working full-time at $10 an hour. No car, poverty-stricken 2 bedroom apartment living in a bad area, rocking the hefty extra spending cash of $400 a month. Well, then I suppose she can afford “luxuries” like health insurance. That is if her children weren’t born with some genetic illness which insurance companies would refuse to cover them.
So when Republican politicians and voters perpetuate this myth that those wanting universal health insurance and rely on government assistance are lazy, moochers of the system they do so because it’s good politics to say so. They know most of their followers will never really think objectively or big picture about the statement and instead simply repeat as told with vile and hate towards anyone poor and needy, then grip the Bible tightly and say I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I’m saved because of him. What hypocrites.
So when someone says poor people just need to get a better job, get an education and take care of themselves, they obviously have no understanding of even the basics of how our society works.
So, I’ll be a Republican IF:
You can explain to me how we can build a successful society in which we don’t have poor people to work the jobs most of us don’t want to work, for pay we want no part of and everyone makes enough money to afford to pay income taxes and their own health insurance, all while keeping price of products at the same basic rate of inflation we’ve seen for decades. Because trust me, the single mother of 2 making $10 an hour at a full-time job won’t be able to do so, she’d need at least $30k year to do so, and very few people flipping burgers or folding clothes are making over $14 an hour.
Tell me how we keep children with their parents cover their healthcare, keep them fed, and give them the best education and opportunities possible, yet eliminate welfare programs, and make health care so expensive their parents won’t be able to afford it. Remember, the children are innocent, and as anti-abortion as Republicans are, you simply cannot abandon the child once it’s born to fend for itself. You claim life is so sacred, well life does extend beyond the womb, which current Republican policy seems to forget.
How we essentially get every American into a pay range to afford even the basic low tier quality of life and health insurance, while keeping prices low and the middle class pay where it is. Because you know what’ll happen? If they had to pay the janitor more money so he can afford health insurance, that pay isn’t coming from executive pay and bonuses, it’s coming from middle class jobs and pay.
Then what happens? Yup, suddenly the lower and middle class are essentially making the same, and the upper class and wealthy keep and increase their pay and benefits.
Remember not a single big corporation, wealthy individual or middle class person enjoy their level of income simply because of their own abilities. They enjoy a higher income because of the low wage work being done by individuals inside whatever company their employed. That same low wage which makes it nearly impossible for those people to afford “luxuries” such as health care. The wealthy got their wealth from that low wage, low skill work at some point, very few people won the lottery. Never forget we all enjoy these lower prices and better pay and companies enjoy better profits because there are people who don’t, and never will. So if you want to enjoy those benefits on the backs of the poor, and you need the poor, it IS our responsibility as a society to make sure that at the very least, they’re given the very basics a human needs to get by and raise their family. And like it or not, fair or not that includes ensuring they have access to healthcare and government programs.
Remember, no one got anywhere on their own.