This presidential election has caused to me to continuously question what I am voting for and why. In the past I have been a very extreme, nearly anarchistic libertarian, those views have become more and more mild as I realize we are nowhere near intelligent enough for that extent of freedom. As things continue to get worse in our country I tend to wonder what will make things better? This question has two completely different questions in itself. The first question is what will make things better right now. Asking what will make things better right now would lead to the logical following of more government to fix current systems that are being taken advantage of by those in power(economically, socially, and politically). The second question is what will make things better in the long run. In the long run it would seem that the best solution is less government. Letting our capitalistic society work itself out is generally a good idea, as we have seen with the financial district, if they are too greedy, and if Americans are too careless, bad or corrupt systems will collapse on themselves. It does take time and patience but it has been proven in the past that it works, albeit very slowly.
Our current standing leaves us in between big government and little government, a place that does not seem to work as well as other things in the order of balance. When we look at the problems individually we find that a capitalistic society or a socialistic society does not answer the questions or solve the problems. What is best for our environment and thusly us in the future (the earth doesn’t share our biased towards pollution, it will be just fine and work its way out naturally, it’s us who are in trouble) is definitely not best for the economy. There is simply not enough money in nature; in fact there may be more money in what is unnatural. Bad environment causes health issues, energy issues and other various issues that a capitalistic society can greatly benefit from. As we see with the slow reaction of our current system (cars for example, we have the knowledge to make cars that are much more efficient, but money is lost by this and thus the technology is held up, almost as if we are in a new form of a dark age) we cannot rely on a money based system to do what is morally right for humanity, as money will easily ignore humanity.
At this point you would think I sound very socialistic which may be true of some of the above criticisms with capitalism, but now I am going to talk a bit about socialism. People who have no desire for personal enlightenment and spiritual deprivation will never work hard at something without any personal reward. This is simply the state of our current human existence. Look at what we generally spend money on and value as a society. This sort of society will never be able to accomplish anything in a socialistic democracy. Health care is a good example, our doctors will not work their asses off to get their degree and be great at what they do if they know they will be getting paid just as much as somebody who is careless and just does what he needs to get by. It may not be simply that the doctor is a bad person, most of them are good, but if they can move somewhere to get paid more for doing the same thing they are currently doing chances are they are going to take the opportunity. It works the same way in any field. What reason is there to work as a poor person if the best job you can get pays less than what you would get if you were unemployed? One may say a good solution to this question would be to raise the minimum wage, however, this pushes more jobs to become under the table, taking away more tax money, and it also discourages employers to employ more employees. This socialistic solution fails in the long run. Another solution may be to completely get rid of welfare and/or employer regulations (such as minimum wage and mandatory employee benefits). This solution fails because bigger corporations can simply find the most desperate(or stupid) person and what they will work for and employ them at that very low paying, no benefit, bottom line, leaving thousands of Americans jobless, homeless and working or practically slaving to live.
Should the needy, less educated, physically or mentally handicapped be taken care of through mandatory government law? Most people’s reaction would be yes, of course they do. What is difficult about this question is how do we protect and help these neglected citizens. We could tax people and pay public servants to help them, we could give them the money to help themselves (though if they were capable of spending money wisely themselves some of them may not need this to begin with), or we could give out ration stamps(such as food stamps and health insurance). The least corruptible option is most likely the rationing; however rationing has to be paid for in some way, most likely through taxes. This basically boils down to mandatory charity. Now to hold mandatory charity up to the constitution is the next question in my line of thinking, but if I am going to base my theories solely on the constitution it changes the entire outlook of everything I have already discussed.
All of these thoughts and problems have haunted me and I still have yet to come up with a proper solution, I only know how to help and affect myself and those around me, when it comes to helping society as a whole It is an extremely difficult and exacting science. One thing I know for sure is that most people refuse to look at the questions this deeply, they see in black and white, and what upholds their personal beliefs and biases, they rarely care about what actually works and what does not work in the now and in the long run. Disturbingly, as a whole we very little about that which does not affect us directly. We may say we care but until you take action you are simply not as realistically empathetic as you believe yourself to be.
If I wished to vote to help the society, I would be voting for whatever made Americans think the most. In order to inspire Americans to think more we need to learn to see more than two sides of every argument, or in most people’s case more than one side of every argument. At this day and age personal conviction, care and honesty are much stronger deterrents of evil and suffering than your vote will ever be.
The power of our elected officials is steadily growing, and we are facing a new issue. American voters are on a dangerous pendulum of voting back and forth, changing our principles at the drop of a dime due to fear that we are either going to be killed or we are going to be poor, because we are afraid we push the responsibility of fixing the problems onto our leaders instead of ourselves and our communities. With this fear we give the president more power & control to “fix” things that perhaps could be fixed better with patience, a good understanding of the past and a heavy dose of reality. We are very comfortable and do not want this to change, so it distorts our views on reality. Nobody ever feels that they are to blame, partly because humans generally want to be good and will ignore the bad they are doing if it is not being thrown in their face.
It makes no sense for somebody who was put out of work because of a big company moving in to town, to buy from that company for having a cheaper product but it will happen because of personal necessity. The way businesses are set up by stock share pressure, media pressure and personal investments, an employee or even owner, who is doing something to lower the profit, and not doing something, that could maximize the profit, will be spit out of the company. Morals do not prevail once you have lots of peoples fortunes resting on your shoulders, once you start to make the moral decisions you are either fired, asked to resign, or people will start to take all of their money out of your company and you will die off that way. The natural progression is for companies to continually consolidate so they can raise their profit margins and own a bigger part of the market, and we allow it to happen. Eventually it will hit a point where we cannot afford anything and this processes will stop, but the system has a lot of room to spread a lot of people across America out thin economically before meeting the breaking point, and it will go to the breaking point and stop right before it.
I have no solution to this problem and know for a fact none of the candidates have a solution to this problem, most of them will not even consider this possible. The system should work itself out, but it will take a very long time, and lots of learning and adapting. Necessary change is just like the natural burning of a forest so that it can come back and flourish even more than before. We are not prepared for change; we are not comfortable with real change and most of all we are scared of anything that threatens what we are used to.
This society will work itself out, and there will be lots of suffering before it gets better. We will continue to follow the path of least resistance to the change and suffering, dragging the processes out for as long as we can until the levee breaks. I am neither condoning nor criticizing this, I am simply acknowledging it. I for one am in favor of the quickest path to fixing all of the problems, which in my opinion is the path leaning closer to smaller government. Smaller government will definitely cause a lot of suffering for a lot of people but it will bring about the necessary change that we need to reduce overall suffering, the quickest.
With that summation it would be obvious that I would vote libertarian. This is not the case however, I disagree strongly with the current libertarian nominee Bob Barr, on many topics, the biggest being illegal immigration. It is obvious that plans to deter immigration are towards Mexicans and not directly towards terrorism. They are using the fear of terrorism as a reason to close our borders. America was built by immigrants and almost all of us can trace our roots back to immigration. Illegal immigrants come here and work jobs that Americans feel better than, and we want to tell them they cannot have benefits, when they are being more productive members of society than most of our own members? It is completely illogical and in my opinion completely and utterly immoral and irresponsible.
I realize that finding a candidate that believes in everything the same way that I do is impossible, I simply find it very difficult to give my support to any of these candidates. I will eventually choose the candidate who I least conflict with, and believe will bring about the quickest change, regardless of whether I believe he has a shot to win or not, because voting in this manner, is basically political suicide, you lose before you even begin. Sure you may not affect this election directly, and you may be able to vote for the lesser of two evils and contribute to giving the world a little less suffer in the short term, but in the long run this is ridiculous thinking. The poll results will be in and if more people see that there are people voting for their actual beliefs and not just on the fact that only two people have a real chance, than we will get the real change that I desire and feel is the best for the overall good of our people.
Arguing, thinking and feeling are the most important aspect of being a member of a particular society. As soon as we accept the role that is the norm and give up on ourselves for being different or for not believing that we have to get instant gratification, we are dead as a society. We will first lose all of our ambition, why should we try when we don’t have a chance? We will lose all our integrity, because, if it’s been accepted for so long it can’t be so bad. We lose all of our rights, because, we do not need them, they can decide for us, and protect us. We trust those whom we should trust the least, and we vote for something with which we should place the highest scrutiny on as if it was a popularity contest or a test of how strongly you believe in a certain ideology. We must stop our need for convenience and instant gratification. We must be patient, we must be strong, we must be empathetic, we must be open minded, we must think out each scenario good and bad, and we must strive to be the most informed and intelligent people that this earth has ever offered. If we can strive towards these goals we will someday find global happiness.