A more perfect union?

     I am at the moment having a relaxed night just enjoying time with my wife.  Had some lasagna tonight, had some coffee, watched some tv and feeling thankful for everything I have.  

    I’ve watched Rick Steves a bunch over the years on his travel shows on public  television.  Never thought of him as much more than just a guy with camera crew who went places and  told you what places are like.  He may be only that to me, but he makes a few big points here.  I’ll only touch on one.  The question: “how can you pay so  much in taxes?” The answer, so simple as to defy the imagination, from his Swiss buddy, Ollie:  “What’s it worth to live in a society with no hunger, no homelessness, and where everyone has access to quality health care and education?”

   According to what information i have, that being wikipedia, who in turn use as their sources, the heritage foundation and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development)  The actual numbers: the Swiss pay 1.9% more in taxes than we in America do according to the Heritage foundation, and 1.4% difference according to the OECD.

    It might cost us more than a 2 percent tax increase to cover the difference and give everyone in America what Switzerland has, though.  The amount of people uncovered or under-insured as far as health insurance goes (though the health care bill will cover most who aren’t covered and save money to boot) and those who are in need of a better basic education would cost a ton, but we could figure out a way to make it pay.  We’re Americans, we can do that.  If we can shave $129,000,000,000 over 10 years with the health care plan thats in congress now, we can do this.    Fixing homelessness and hunger within our own borders seems like something of an impossible dream, but if paying more in taxes got rid of all the issues these 4 problems create, it would make the world a significantly better place, and American capitalism would survive just fine.

    It makes you wonder …  Yeah paying taxes sucks, but if paying some more got rid of the all the problems that these 4 things create , wouldn’t it be worth it? 

    But it couldn’t happen here.  The political climate here is just too damned poisonous for it to work, and anything that was started on this front would be so watered down that it would  be largely ineffective in combating the ills living in a society as stratified as ours is.

   Maybe society is going to hell in a hand-basket because of that stratification? You be the judge.  Look at the world, and knowing how much you pay to keep it going, ask yourself, if we all gave more, how much better would this world be?  How much more would you pay to live in a more perfect union? 

    You’ll never know until you try.


    Rep. Virginia Foxx, revisionist.  The dems weren’t much help in passing civil rights legislation? It was the passing of the civil rights legislation that drove most southern whites away from the Democratic party and to the Republicans.  D.Gregory is right to say that the divide wasn’t political, as members of both sides in the senate voted for the bill, it was geographical.  The south voted against, the rest of the nation for.

    The deep south has 22 senators, 21 of which at that time were democrats. One southerner of this number voted for the bill, Sen. Ralph Yarborough of Texas, the rest against.   45 of 46 non southern democrats voted for it, the only dissenter being Sen. Robert Byrd of W. Virginia.  Only 5 republicans voted against from non-southern states, 27 of the 32 Repubs from around the nation voted for the Civil Rights Amendment.  The numbers in the house of representatives, percentage wise, are similar. 

    While it would be wrong to say that the republicans have done nothing is false, and patently absurd, it is equally wrong to say what Rep. Foxx did, saying that Dems had not helped very much in passing the legislation. 


   That’s it from here. Later!

Today’s nuggets, from the ETC, University of Virginia:  

The Old Woman and the Physician

    AN OLD WOMAN having lost the use of her eyes, called in a Physician to heal them, and made this bargain with him in the presence of witnesses: that if he should cure her blindness, he should receive from her a sum of money; but if her infirmity remained, she should give him nothing. This agreement being made, the Physician, time after time, applied his salve to her eyes, and on every visit took something away, stealing all her property little by little. And when he had got all she had, he healed her and demanded the promised payment. The Old Woman, when she recovered her sight and saw none of her goods in her house, would give him nothing. The Physician insisted on his claim, and. as she still refused, summoned her before the Judge. The Old Woman, standing up in the Court, argued: “This man here speaks the truth in what he says; for I did promise to give him a sum of money if I should recover my sight: but if I continued blind, I was to give him nothing. Now he declares that I am healed. I on the contrary affirm that I am still blind; for when I lost the use of my eyes, I saw in my house various chattels and valuable goods: but now, though he swears I am cured of my blindness, I am not able to see a single thing in it.”


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