It’s All Too Expensive

Cops. You want ’em, you can pay for ’em yourself.

This gets back to what Watertiger and I were chatting about Sunday night, which is … what is our endgame here? Spin this out to years from now, years in which we’ve completely ceded the economic argument to Republicans and Fauxpublicans and Rand Paul-type assholes, and what do we have? What does our country look like?

Because we’ve been hearing this shit for years now. We’ve heard it under Republican administrations and we’ve heard it under Democratic ones. Anything that might help someone, anything that constitutes a service, is simply too expensive for us to continue to afford. Here, look at a pretty chart I’ve made showing you how costs are increasing. Don’t the lines look scary? Don’t the arrows? Isn’t it just awful?

And as I tried in my own muddleheaded way to say Sunday, I’m not so much pissed that this argument exists as that there seems to be some kind of unwritten rule that this is the case and anyone who disagrees is crazy. We’re not having a debate, Bernie Sanders aside, about what our taxes pay for and how much of us are happy about the allocation of funds. We’re having a debate about how it’s all too hard and how many poor people can we so completely fuck over in order to satisfy the people who are shouting at us on our TVs.

Let’s stop taking care of people entirely. It’s too much. It’s always too much, when it’s something like keeping the lights on or feeding somebody or educating him. That’s too much, too expensive, and so what if we lost entire PALLETS of cash in the Middle East? So what if we shoveled cash at two wars and never bothered to ask where it was all going? That’s not too much. In fact, even bringing it up just proves that the argument is over. It proves you’re not serious, because serious people know the only thing that can really be questioned is what brand of canned fucking chili somebody bought with his goddamn fucking food stamps.

I think the reason this makes me so angry is that we’re not like this, really. America, out here, in the world, is not like this. I’ve known so many people, in all kinds of income strata, in all kinds of living environments, who would never dream of closing their hands to someone in need. Maybe this is me working with nonprofits, the way I argue all the time about how college kids are actually pretty fucking great because the ones I know all are, but I seriously know so many people who help each other out. Not all of them are rich. Some of them just have a spare minute to visit an elderly friend or to throw together a meal for someone who’s sick, make a phone call, give up a couple of hours to volunteer, write a letter. Send a coat across the country. We’re good people, we are, and it’s thewasting of that by our leaders that makes me see red.

I see the country we could be, and the conversation we could have, and if the rich fucks like the one in the post right below this could see it too they’d be scared shitless, because where they live isn’t where most of us want to be. So we have to talk about something else, they decree, and our punditry follows along. And the whole conversation is about what we can cut, cut, cut, cut, cut. How we can do less. How we can be smaller. How little we can get away with achieving, for our fellow man, for ourselves.

And the false inevitability is the worst part about it. That’s what drives me to homicidal fantasies, it really does, the way people equate their own inability to conceive of a way out with the lack of an exit. They’re not the same fucking thing, God, they’re just not. If you’re gonna tell me, if you’re gonna tell anybody out here in the world that there’s no other way we can be, you’d goddamn fucking well better be able to back that up because I’m gonna argue the point and so are lots of other people. Don’t just fucking shrug at me about “whaddya gunna do, budget constraints” and act like that’s supposed to mollify people.

You wanna tell us there’s no other way, we’re gonna demand to know all the other ways you’ve tried, and why they failed, like the fucking Mythbusters of politics, until we find a solution, because people are like that. Everywhere but the halls of power.


13 thoughts on “It’s All Too Expensive

  1. we should have swung the other way on the pendulum for a TYPICAL ‘reboot’ or the national zeitgeist BUT FOR THE MEDIA”S GNEWS DEVOLUTION AND CONSTANT BRAINWASHING.
    this will end up at a great revolution/crash if amerikans don’t wake up to what reagan did to them.

  2. Ron Paul has got it right.
    defund the Democrats’ welfare state
    and the Republicans’ warfare state.
    stop handing out money we don’t have as “foreign aid”
    and stop paying farmers to not produce food.
    stop borrowing our currency at interest from the private “federal” reserve cartel.
    enforce our immigration laws
    and stop making it profitable for corporations to send our good jobs overseas.
    that’s a program which will work in everybody’s interests.
    everybody that’s interested in freedom and prosperity
    and is willing to work – that is.
    charles ranalli

  3. …that’s a program which will work in everybody’s interests.
    Except, oh, say, women’s, the handicapped’s, people of colour’s, the poor’s, people who work in shaky industries’, and generally anybody who isn’t a wealthy, able-bodied white male. In case you hadn’t noticed, the members of set “non-wealthy, able-bodied, white males” outnumber the members of set “wealthy, able-bodied, white males” by a considerable margin.
    Case in point, the unemployment rate among handicapped people who arewilling and able to work, right this minute, is about 35%. Even with antidiscrimination laws and incentives, most employers still won’t hire handicapped people, because they see them as expensive liabilities, and can usually get around the laws by claiming “We didn’t discriminate; it’s just that Able-Bodied Candidate X wasmore qualified.” So explain to me, oh Randroid, how exactly gutting the government and handing everything over to the unaccountable fascist dictatorships known as corporations is going to improve that any little bit?
    Oh, that’s right, it won’t, because wetried that already and got even the toothless protections in place because, far from solving the problem, the Invisible Hand persisted in giving handicapped people the big fat finger.
    Athenae, if you want to get really pissed off (and get a good bird’s eye view of how the rhetoric here really works), pick upShooting the Hippo by Linda McQuaig. It talks about Canada in the 1980s, but everything old is new again, apparently.

  4. Thanks for saying that, Athenae. Very timely in this holiday season, when lots of people are giving money or taking extra steps to help those less fortunate.

  5. I know that the day I decided that pretty much everybody was okay, and that most people are good, and that nobody’s really going to want to steal my crust of bread but I should share it anyway, was the day I was able to walk out into the world and not be so god. damned. scared.
    I’m still pretty scared most days, but it’s the usual shit that parents shove into their kids’ heads and not the raging fear of “other.” I can walk up to anybody and talk, because of the day I decided that everybody else was as scared as me.
    It’s Maslof’s pyramid, writ large.

  6. You nailed it again, A. Most of the people I know and run into are generous and kindhearted. We’re not *really* a nation of assholes, we just play one on teevee. Mind you, at least 1/4 of the population are creeps…

  7. charles ranalli,
    dare I take it that you’re white, employed, over 50, straight and probably evangelistic?
    Rand Paul has it absolutely wrong.
    What we have to do is drain the goddamn swamp. The fact that we’re all up to our ears in
    alligators these days is just fucking icing on the hellborn cake.
    Tax stock trades. One half of one fifth of one cent (a monetary unit once known as a mill)
    per share per trade, charged to both seller and buyer, on every trade in which any US buyer
    or seller participates or in which any share of any US company is traded, would see us out
    of debt as a nation within five years. It would, if combined with sensible foreign policy
    (aka get us the fuck out of wars of choice in the Middle East) see us able to fund truly
    good health care for every American (and the insurance companies could kiss my shiny white aunt fanny, to boot).

  8. The thing is, I know a bunch of people who are like you say, totally ready to lend a hand – to people they know. These exact same people go ballistic at any kind of taxes, any kind of social programs – anything they perceive as taking money from them to help people they don’t know.
    I’ve tried out different theories over time but really, it’s just such an alien way of thinking to me that I have no idea how it works in their heads.

  9. From recently discovered lost quatrains of Nostradamus, courtesy of D. Aristophanes at Sadly, No! :
    The fearsome mob grows in the New Land
    Gathering in ignorance to sip upon tea
    Loyal pets they shall yet prove
    For monied masters who hold their leash

  10. I know that the day I decided that pretty much everybody was okay, and that most people are good, and that nobody’s really going to want to steal my crust of bread but I should share it anyway, was the day I was able to walk out into the world and not be so god. damned. scared.
    THIS, exactly. I mean, I lock my doors, I’m a big girl, I know I live in the city, but nine times out of ten in my life I have been helped by random people when I’m a quarter short for the train fare or the car’s broke down or I’m lost or I’m looking for information. And as much as the world is random and scary (and it is), I have been helped so much more often than I’ve been hurt.
    I think most of our problems come from having this desire be decent and lacking direction for it.

  11. Athenae, in reading this post and the previous one, I’m reminded of that old story of the turtle and the snake. These people are sociopaths. You can’t expect a sociopath to not act like a sociopath. Do you get mad when someone who has Tourette Syndrome blurts out crazy shit? No, because you know they can’t help themselves. You except that they will occasionally blurt out crazy shit, and you move on.
    The real problem, as I see it, is not that they are sociopaths and that they say sociopathic shit, but that they’re in power. Focus on changing that.

  12. Hey, you know it COULD get worse. Because sooner or later some brilliant Repub idiot is going to say we should PRIVATIZE police and fire departments(and that’s likely just the beginning). Because obviously, For-Profit Free Market Enterprise is better at Getting Things Done than anything else…

  13. Warmest Greetings, Although I thoroughly enjoyed your post immensely, there are issues I must disagree with. The economy world-wide is set to get much worse. But anyhow, you have an interesting viewpoint and I thank you for letting me share this with you.

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