Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Listening to the Radio

Usually, I ride my motorcycle to work, but since we've had rain for the past 24 days straight in Seattle, my wife thinks I should be driving the car instead. So, I've been driving the past few days, listening to the radio on the way in. I listen to KZOK-FM in Seattle, and the morning guys are Bob, Spike, and Joe from the Bob Rivers Show. They're reasonably funny, have good on-air chemistry, and I like them...

Until, that is, they start talking politics - I've turned them off more times than I can count when they start talking politics.

This morning, for instance, they were talking about the rebuilding of New Orleans. Apparently, a recommendation is being made that would allow local neighborhoods to decide how they would like to rebuild - what kidn of buildings, what kind of houses, etc. A good idea on the surface, but remember, this rebuilding is being paid for with tax dollars, not private money. The show's resident babe and socialist, Kaci (who, from her bio, has a PoliSci degree), said she liked it, because it got the free market out of the equation (???).

A caller with a definitely libertarian bent (although he called himself non-partisan) said it was a bad idea - New Orleans was a horrid place to build even before the hurricane, because it's below sea level. He was advocating letting salvage companies have the place, and if they took the risk and could make a profit, that's the way it was supposed to work. He also said what I feel - that his tax dollars shouldn't be going to New Orleans to rebuild restaurants he'll never frequent. Kaci commented, "Way to help your fellow man." In other words, a bleeding heart socialist.

There are a few things Kaci is completely missing. First, we have helped our fellow man - perhaps she forgets who was first into New Orleans to help. Hint: it wasn't the federal government. Give up? Private charities and companies were there to help when FEMA couldn't find it's ass with both hands.

Second, taxation is a poor way to "help your fellow man". It's theft, and if you believe the ends justify the means, then extra taxes to help rebuild New Orleans could be considered a charitable contribution, which means I can deduct them from my taxes next year, right? Come on - if I had the money the feds took from me every pay period, I might have some extra to donate to a rebuilding project in New Orleans - as it is, the feds take my money before I ever see it and use it fund imperialism in the Middle East, propagandize our kids, and subsidize failing businesses and stupid people who build houses in places that are doomed on a regular basis (flood insurance?). Given that my money already is going there, I don't see a need to donate to charities to do the same thing.

Third, why is this a federal problem? It's the city of New Orleans, wholly and completely located in (and under) the state of Louisiana. Where was the New Orleans money for the past 30 years when people in this area had their homes flooded due to heavy rain? Or was the fact that a person who builds a home at a place called Washaway Beach is obviously much better off than the working poor of New Orleans, and therefore doesn't need any help when Mother Nature knocks his home into the sea?

Kaci is a bleeding heart socialist - she's not talking about economics or politics in any objective or realistic way. She just wants to help the poor folk stuck in New Orleans because they can't find a way out. Everyone there should be getting the same education most of us did, in public schools - everyone there should be getting paid at a decent minimum wage - everyone there should be getting enough welfare to keep a roof over their head and three squares a day - so why is it that some people have more while others have less? According to Kaci, I guess, it's not because she and I are smarter, or have more initiative and drive to learn and succeed, or were fortunate enough to not be born into poverty (I was born into working poverty) .

I'm not sure why she thinks this, but I think I know her solution - simply redistribute the wealth. Tax people so that we can spread the money over the populace in an equitable manner. She and I and every other person making more than the median income should work hard so we can give all that excess to the poor in New Orleans (and New York, and Compton, and south Chicago, and east St. Louis, and presumably Seattle as well).

I invite her to go first.

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