Originally Posted by EveTan
I really enjoyed reading this. It really resonates with how I view my surroundings. Being in Cali, I'm constantly surrounded by Leftists (not my favorite term, but I'll just use it here for now). Actually, my whole school has a very "left" slant. Personally I and my family are from Rightist background. We get quite angry over the fact that 50% + of our income goes poof into the gov's pockets and given to many of the "lazy" (again, not really liking this word, but that's what we norm call them) people who really have not earned that money. The people who are rich are the ones who take risks. Starting a company could leave someone bankrupt or leave them with riches. It is precisely that type of risk that allows them to be in "the 1%" blah. I certainly don't believe that people should be punished for taking the risks of entrepreneurship. They earned their riches from hard work, and it deserves to stay within their family.
And I guess this type of mentality does play into the factor that I don't support universal health care. I feel that the role of the gov should be limited to protection (internal/foreign)...not to provide wellfare. Personally, I don't find myself as an extremely "moral" person. But, I can definitely see this style of gov eventually crippling the US economy.
Oh, and on a side note, it's really interesting hearing opinions from other countries (or even other states) about US politics/politics in general. I guess to generalize, you (europeans) have more experience than us regarding what "hurts" and what "heals."
Great posts by Rikkun and Eve. In Australia, it's not really all that common to find people discussing left wing/right wing politics or what have you nowadays.
I think I fall somewhere on the leftist side of things, but let me explain myself. Around the 1970/80's, my mum had a largish family with around 10 siblings, they were doing just fine until Communism hit Cambodia hard, where most of her family was slaughtered. She was very lucky though, as she managed to immigrate here to Australia after Communism swept her country.
Not too long after, I was born in 1991, and things were looking okay as my parent's had just bought a house (home loan of course). Until my bitch ass mother ****** of a dad left my mum for some slut back in Cambodia, making my mum take care of two kids and a new mortgage all by herself. She was an unskilled worker of course, and like many asian mothers from that time, she was a seamstress who worked from home, with 110+ hour work weeks. I vividly remember falling asleep many times on a mountain of clothes, listening to the hum and clacker of a sewing machine throughout the night (thanks to that, I can fall asleep anywhere, even in a loud-ish environment ).
So obviously, we were very dependant on welfare while growing up, we had it pretty tough, living paycheck to paycheck for a decade. It's not all doom and gloom though, she did manage to singlehandedly pay off the house with about 12 years of hard work, I respect her greatly for that, and that's probably why we get along so well.
That's why I won't mind paying silly taxes when things kick off, sure, I'll be helping the "lazy", but I'll also be helping the people who really need it, the people who were like my family, and that idea completely overwhelms the sour notes from helping bludgers buy cigarettes and booze. I realise that I'm very lucky to have been born here, so why should I get angry that I have to pay taxes to the government? I could have been born in a third world country, and I wouldn't have had the same opportunity in life as I have here in Australia.
Do I feel that our tax dollars could be spent more wisely elsewhere? Of course I do!, but some people feel like that's the right thing to do, so who am I to judge on what's right or wrong? I practically owe my life to the government, so I'm not going to get my panties in a bunch every time they do something that I deem 'wrong'. And like Rikkun's example, I have mad respect for someone who studies a bazillion hours and works 50 hour weeks in a stressful job, but the thing is, that person is more likely than not, doing significantly better well off than some lazy hobo on the street living off welfare, so why are they complaining so much? Imagine how different that person's life would have been if he/she would have drawn a different ticket in the game of life. Mad respect for the hard work, they deserve it, but most people won't even have that opportunity.
I've always thought hard on how I can contribute back to society in my lifetime, and after many a drink, I've decided that don't want to live life like the stereotypical 'salaryman'. I'm going to work hard and start a business, I'm going to master the ins and outs of investing, and finally, I'm going to give my fortune away to charity and/or pursue other philanthropic ventures when I fade into twilight. I don't know why, but I don't really believe in inherited wealth, which may come across as blasphemy for most of you guys! I don't want my children to have a free ride through life just because I'll be wealthy, and I certainly don't to fund a dynasty of deadlylovers for hundreds of years after I disappear into legend!
I won't be doing it so I can feel better about myself for being more useful to society, for the ego or anything like that. I'll be doing it because I can, and I feel like that's the responsibility bestowed to me by the gods for drawing this ticket from the hat.
Or, I'll die trying.