Yes, I’ve been watching the U.S. election, but I’ve been keeping my mouth shut. I’m Canadian so it seems like it is none of my concern. So we’ll not discuss who should win.
But I do want to tell you, that what I find most irritating is the long, never abating, attention given to ‘spreading the wealth’ around. All I can think with impatience, is ‘What do you want, and how do you want it?’
Political science is not my forté, but this is how I see it.
When I was a child and asked why we got great huge boxes of free canned lunchmeat, I was told it was a gift from the Government. When I asked why cod-liver oil pills were distributed to each child every morning in school, this was spawned by the Government to make sure none of us got Rickets or other diseases from lack of sunshine. When I asked why I got a Child Allowance, I was told it was a gift from the Government.
When I asked who was tracking the movements of my dearest friend in Grade 1 when her parents separated and moved away and I knew not where, I was told that Government was tracking her. Through the intervention of Health Unit nurses, the Old School in consultation with her New School, and to ensure that her Allowance was paid to her parents, specifically for her needs – her physical location would be ‘absolutely’ verified, by the Government.
Man, that Government. It was looking after everyone everywhere. Good. Very Good.
No children hungry, no children with Rickets, no children missing.
So now, this is how I see spreading the wealth around. The Government can let us keep more of our tax dollars by slashing the special programs that track and support the needy. But when that happens, they force us to sate our own guilt with the inconvenience of canvassing and volunteerism.
Or, for the heartless, which are not part of this discussion, we can choke on our guilt and simply ignore the need of physically challenged individuals, or the poor or those in want while we count our extra shekels. But with no umbrella of Government support, then what happens?
Without government programs for those in need, our door bells and phones ring endlessly soliciting support for these people. Volunteerism becomes mandatory if you want a good work resume. And we live with the searing pain of our guilt if we don’t give and give and give some more. We are compelled to do door-to-door soliciting and canvassing even though we hate it. Still it is the only antidote for the guilt overwhelming us as we partake of our turkey dinner while thinking of those that have none. And always in the back of our minds, we cynically wonder how much of the gifts we give go to those private (non-profit – oh yeh??) organization’s top dogs and how much of it to those in need? And we further wonder how many ‘have’s’ are exploiting our generosity by going to food banks and suppers that are intended for those in need.
So me, I’m in favor of taking it off the top. Take it out of my income. Add it to my tax dollars. Just leave me alone to sleep sound at night without guilt and without having to go around knocking on doors, begging for money to recycle in ways that give me no assurance that the intent has become fixed reality. Let me find comfort in the fact that the Government has in place programs that will track the needs of individuals and ensure their needs are met. Someone has to do it and I would rather it were them.
Because they can more adequately locate those in need, more adequately track those that are missing, more adequately distribute lunch meat and Vitamin D to those that have none. I know they can do all this, cause they did it when I was a child. And I know they still have that ability if, in Australia, they can locate and fine those who do not vote!
So you see, the need is there. The need to spread the wealth around. The only question remaining is “What do you want and how do you want it?”
[I now want to say, but I won’t say it out loud – ‘this Palin moment’ of philosophical expression brought to you by Roberta.]