Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Empowering People: NILIF

Okay. I have a lot of work to do (here, at my job, which was not handed to me but instead required years of student loan payments even though I went to a public college) but I must get this out of my brain. 

I believe in helping people who truly need it, children in particular. There are folks who are legitimately disabled, there are people struggling with addiction, there are sick people and elderly people ... we are directed by the Judeo-Christian moral codes to help those who cannot help themselves.

I believe in the concept of "Capitalism". I do not agree with the redistribution of wealth. This is not the Caste System where people are not allowed to work hard and get ahead. All people should contribute to the betterment of society in some way, even if that means simply raising their children to work hard and have self-respect.  I believe that our current policies have contributed to the erosion of this idea of "contributing member of society", and we have created a generational nightmare that will take some drastic measures to turn around.

Now let's say I am given a magic wand and I can make everything better ...

(all people = those who are physically and mentally able)

Guiding Principle #1: EMPOWERMENT: All people should contribute someway, somehow. NILIF.
What would that look like? All able bodied people work. Period. And if it means you are keeping the sidewalks clean or picking apples (we have to hire migrants who are willing work in the orchards - I hear them behind my house singing and laughing and talking in Spanish) then you do it - and only then do you receive assistance. Your children see you working, and they see that NILIF (Nothing in Life is Free). We stop the cycle of laziness NOW. (This is where I could write on and on about the people who come to this country and thrive - because they are willing to work hard. It happened back when my grandparents came to this country from Germany, and it happens today. Want specific contemporary success stories? I have them. Just ask me.)

Guiding Principle #2: Simplify the tax code.
You make $20,000 a year? You pay the exact same rate as those who earn $20 million a year. No exceptions, except maybe if you make charitable contributions? Hmmm. I'm not an economist but I sure know what is broken.

Guiding Principle #3: End Cheating.
You are wealthy so you hide money overseas? No more. You really are able bodied (for some kind of job) but claim disability? No more. You are a small business man and you hire people under the table without paying workman's comp, etc.? No more.

Guiding Principle #4: Stress Education and early intervention.
Head Start, yes. Arts in school, yes. Opportunities to learn trades, yes. Your children's attendance at school tied into your government assistance, yes. PBS, yes (even though I am a little frightened of Big Bird, for real.)

Guiding Principle #5: Our "rights" in society are limited. Deal with it.
Yes, we are all equal and all that good stuff, but if you need assistance for food then you have to come and pick up food -- no more food stamps -- oh I mean a swipe card. You may have unlimited fresh veggies and fruit, pasta and bread, chicken and beef and pork, peanut butter and jelly, cheese and milk. Along that same line: You do not have a right to "purchase" luxury items unless you earn the money to do so. You do not have a right to a cell phone. You do not have the right to refuse a drug test. You do not have the right to say "I want to stay home and raise my child" unless you have the means to do so yourself. You do not have the right to have more children than you can afford. You do not have the right to hide your assets and not pay tax on them. You do not have the right to claim your knees hurt so therefore you cannot work.

Guiding Principle #6: You want more choice in your life? Work hard.


Of course there are lots of complicated things that people smarter than myself are struggling with: Healthcare, energy, rampant lawsuits ... all which add to the mix. The bottom line is that children are growing up in households without any role models for what it means to feel proud of what was accomplished that day. We need to stop this cycle someway, somehow.

~ the cartoon that made me climb up on the soapbox ~


  1. I'll vote for you for President

  2. Very well said. ...and Big Bird is a little creepy, so lets just cut him.