Politics? Why Not?

Lori at Write Mind, Open Heart, posted an interesting piece recently: Before we talk Obama vs Romney, let’s explore our core beliefs

Now, I know this is supposed to be an adoption and family blog, but I actually come from a fairly political family. I also found Lori’s questions intriguing.

A. Overall,1 do you believe people are basically bad (1) or good (100)? Try to put a number on it.

This question is harder than it sounds. I believe that a person is basically good. However, I think that the larger a group you get, the more potential for bad happens. It’s that line from Men In Black, “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it.”

If we’re talking individuals, then I believe individuals are basically good – 75. If we’re talking groups of people, that number goes down.

B. Overall, do you think the better economic system would reward people based on what they need or on what they deserve (meaning what people will pay for one’s skills/talents/expertise, according to its value to them)? Again, put a number on it, with (1) favoring need and (100) favoring deserve.

Here’s the thing: I think that people deserve what they need. Food, health care, shelter, education, a clean environment – everyone needs these and everyone, regardless of what they do, how much they make, where they live, or who they are, deserves them. The better economical system would be balanced – 50. People deserve what they need. Beyond that, once everyone has what they need, then we can reward people with extra based on their skill/talent/expertise.

C. What do you think are the main functions of government (say, 3-5 of them)? You could do one list for Federal and another for State & Local. If you need inspiration, you can check the preamble  of the US Constitution.

  • A government must protect its people, which includes protecting them physically (defense, safety) and protecting their rights (religion, free speech, privacy).
  • A government must ensure that its people’s basic needs are met.
  • A government must ensure that its people can pursue “life, liberty” and happiness, though not at the expense of other people. I’d put ensuring access to education in this category.

D. In an ideal society, what percentage of the wealth created by citizens should go to fund government?2 In other words, what portion of the fruits of your labor should be spent at the discretion of you and your family, and what portion should fund the functions of government you list in Question C?

I’m kind of a socialist. I’d say at least 50%, but then, I’m all for government paying for health care, quality education, a clean environment, even child care. Yeah, I’d live in Sweden if it weren’t so damn cold. Take 80% of my income, but provide me with a free education, free health care, free elder care, and three years of paid maternity leave.

That’s what I think.

And yes, if it wasn’t obvious before, I’m voting for Barack Obama.



5 thoughts on “Politics? Why Not?

  1. Thanks for sharing, a lot of people are unwilling to talk about why they believe certain things regarding politics, but it reveals a lot about how people think, and what is important to them.

  2. I agree completely, Robyn! Totally willing to pay more for good roads, clean air and water, etc., but I also agree people should be provided basic needs regardless of income so they don’t have to make tough (and sometimes destructive) choices.

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