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29 June 2012 @ 10:20 am
I think I just realized something  
So I follow Joe Bethancourt on Facebook, because I like his music and am willing to overlook his politics. And he posts lots of things about, "What part of my property do you think you have the right to steal?" in response to the Affordable Care Act.

I haven't been able to formulate an answer.

I think I've figured it out. From my perspective, he's asking the wrong question, and that's why I can't answer it.

The question *I* ask is, "We live in a society that conveys many advantages. How can we most fairly distribute those advantages while not constraining personal incentive and creativity?"

I have no problem with people who invent really cool things, or provide really cool services, being fabulously wealthy. I have no problem with the idea that a job requiring 25 years of training pays more than a job that doesn't require that kind of investment.

I do have a problem with a society and culture that treats people who do the day-to-day work of maintaining the infrastructure (by which I mean both public infrastructure like road builders and forest rangers and police and teachers and firefighters, and private infrastructure like custodians and secretaries and house builders and factory workers) -- or who are unable to work because of disability, or who are able to work but cannot find a job because the economy is broken -- as disposable and worthless.
drewkittydrewkitty on June 29th, 2012 04:11 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure which distresses me more - that human beings are treated as fungible and disposable, or the illusion that they are worth more because they are for the moment useful.

Both have their costs. "Work harder: millions on welfare depend on you!" Is just as barbed and nasty as "Get a job!"
amaebiamaebi on June 29th, 2012 06:10 pm (UTC)
"Reserve army of the unemployed."
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on July 1st, 2012 08:03 pm (UTC)
I think we're in agreement here. If anything I said above implies the latter -- that I think people are only worth their current usability -- I'd be grateful if you'd point it out so I can correct it, because that was not my intent.