Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Socialist and the Party of Mad Hatters

I am the proud daughter of a single mother who worked two jobs to support her children, my mother never once accepted or sought out state or federal aid during her working career. She believed in the capitalist economic model, working for years to pay the rent, put food on the table and make miracles at Christmas. I was taught from a young age that if you don't work you don't eat, to never depend on anyone but yourself and to be independent in all my business dealings. 

Imagine my surprise when someone recently deemed me "comrade" Stefanie, as in you know those scary people who want to make us all stand in bread lines and drink vodlka for breakfast? Although a light hearted jab from a friend I was flummoxed by the accusation. What could prompt such a crazy jump? Because I as a forward leaning American believe that we need to hold not only normal citizens fiscally accountable, we need to hold corporations, massive organizations and the financial sector responsible for their decisions as well. 

Conventional wisdom holds that the "invisible hand" of the economy will right itself and government should mind its own business. The problem with that is that most large corporation receive some kind of federal or state or both funds to run their business, corporate welfare.(which we as tax payers bear the burden of) If these large businesses and organizations expect to be subsidized by tax payer dollars, which Wal Mart and Mc Donalds are, (both which outsource labor to other countries) then they need to be held accountable for shipping jobs overseas, if we give corporations large tax breaks to do business in our country, then shouldn't they reasonably be expected to keep jobs here? After all it is OUR money they're pocketing. 

Would you pay a little more for that shirt at your local Wal Mart if you knew it was being made at a plant in Minnesota, instead of by some poor soul in China who is beaten if they don't meet their quota? Wouldn't you pay a little more taxes on liquor or cigarettes if you knew that we could feed most of children, would people smoking marijuana really bother you that much if you knew the proceeds from the tax revenues were funding low-income after school programs to keep kids out of gangs? 

I'm not sure where the idea that caring for our fellow Americans, for our fellow man will somehow end up creating a welfare state. Is the current system perfect, absolutely not. But it has helped a tremendous amount of people in one of our country's most devastating financial time. We need to work on solving the actual issues at hand, at fixing broken systems, at valuing education, we need to be the change that we're all screaming for, yes we need personal accountability, that doesn't necessarily mean turning a blind eye to poverty, social injustice or inequality in civil rights. 

We our liberals, we our radicals only in the sense that we will radically change the tide of this country to one of common sense, one of restoration not derision, we are a united front and we will not be divided by bigots who seek to pander to the few ignorant people who would believe their bile, nor will we be fooled by so called "grass roots" candidates who are nothing more that career contenders and have no inclination or desire to govern, governing requires choice, informed decision making which the likes of Christine O'Donnell and Joe Miller have never been interested in. 

It is our job this November to remind politicians that running for office is not a job in and of itself, you actually have to do something to warrant that right and I for one refuse to go to the Mad Hatters Tea party.