Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Friday, June 05, 2009

Cassandra Ciardi

She is thought provoking and intellectual.

Ok, I am going to preface this by saying that I vomited a couple of comments on Cassie's blog, and now I am trying to clean up that mess. Cassie's words will be in purple, while mine will be the standard for this blog.

Many of your statements and self presentations are hypocritical which bothers me a bit but far, far less than your emotional style of debate, which is what I suppose leads you to be so very rude. I don’t like to argue that way. I don’t see a need to insult. Perhaps you have mistaken my not attacking you for being too weak to do so or maybe you just think bullying is winning. So perhaps, in this post, I think I might indulge in a little of it since time and time again you have not afforded me the courtesy of manners. I will try to stick mostly to facts though.

As will I.

First you say there is no such thing as a free lunch, and in the very next sentence you say we have universal healthcare. The two sentences after that I haven’t a clue what you are even talking about. So, I’ll stick to the first two.

There is no such thing as a free lunch, and we do have universal health care. It just sucks, we pay too much for it, and we expect our government to reform a system that took two hundred and thirty or so years to get where it is... in two or four years. What I mean by universal is that the most homeless person in America can walk in to a hospital and expect to be treated... and that most homeless of persons WILL be treated. I highly doubt that you want a system where that is not true.

Apparently, there DO BE in fact a free lunch, and GM is chowing down on that mofo. THAT is hypocrisy. You advocate handing money out to GM because their workers’ children might not be able to go to college (oh, and you better believe I’m coming back for that estrogen tidbit) and then try bitch slapping me for looking for a free lunch. You have the wrong bitch here my friend – I am actually okay with the idea of socialism. Switzerlandize my ass. It is this current oligarchy bullshit that runs up my ass sideways.

I was imprecise, and you read more in to my rhetoric than I do. I really do forget that my words can mean different things to different people. No, the soup kitchen that GM is currently catering is not "free". GM will have responsibilities that it must meet, and we the taxpayers ought to be very vocal about having those responsibilities laid out very clearly. At the same time, we taxpayers had better put up or shut up. GM is not going away, and the market forces that would have let that happen don't exist anymore. So, we will either have to punish this current administration at the polls, which given the sad state of the GOP is not really an option... Or we can invest in our investment. By the way, I do not consider you to be an intolerable woman under any reasonable metric.

As to our universal healthcare, I am psyched to find out we have cuz I can stop paying my $160 a month for that shit. There is no universal healthcare. There is critical care, you are correct about that. Let me illustrate the difference – if I didn’t have healthcare I paid for they would have cut off my leg. That is NOT an exaggeration. They talked about cutting it off anyway – it would have been the most direct way to save my life and stop the infection. Because I had healthcare we went through nearly 2 years of other alternatives. I pray it doesn’t happen to you or yours but you truly haven’t a clue what you are talking about. Check the statistics about how many people have lost everything because they didn’t have healthcare or even adequate healthcare. Then check the statistics on how many of them live in Michigan – maybe if a sufficient number of them are your friends and neighbors you might give a fuck.

Yes, our universal care program is shit. It is, however, universal. Universal does not mean "good", and anyone who uses it to imply that is a weasel fucking bastard. See, that is the problem with text-based communication, and why I am such an insufferable pedant. I am a poor communicator to begin with, and thoughtless to boot. As for whether or not I care... you know I care. I apologize for somehow implying that I didn't. I really am glad Kim is here to point these things out to me.

Better yet, ask the UAW to drop their healthcare, including pension care. That will cut their pay by quite a bit and allow a greater budget to keep more jobs. Just tell ‘em they already have healthcare.

Obviously, that is absurd. However, it does bring up a good point. Honda, Toyota, Hyundai... their domestic workers do not have to bargain for such things because they are a part of the South Korean and Japanese social safety net. Japan and South Korea actually DO have "good" universal health care. The Honda and Toyota plants in America offer health care plans without a union contract in part to not have to worry about unions, but also because their parent corporations can afford it due to a government subsidized cost structure.

I actually am not that attached to Massachusetts – don’t speak for me. And I can promise you that if there was no work for me here I would move my ass because I signed up to live in a free market society. You know where I would LOVE to live – Hawaii. I bet a lot of people would so the government should create and / or relocate a lot of jobs to Hawaii so all of us who live there can go.

You didn't sign up for a "free market society". That's Somalia. You signed up for a constitutional democratic republic that allows a free-ish market because of its obvious benefits, and uses the power of the state to mitigate its costs. Sometimes, you disagree with how it does that, but you also realize that this is as good as it gets without moving to Canada.

It's cold in Canada.

Honda is not subsidized by their government. There is a complicated conversation to be had about the way that they have fluctuated the value of the yen and the advantage that that might present (notice how I can be honest even when it doesn’t serve to prove my argument). However, as I have pointed out to you before our country already assists American car companies – we enforce ‘buy American’. Also, when the big three were trying to push our patriotic buttons they pointed out that they produced in great volume for the military. Well, Japan doesn’t have an active military. Oh, and our military, they don’t pay wholesale. So if we do talk about the yen issue then we need weigh it against the money the big three gets from the government.

Ok, we must both come to an agreement as to what we understand the phrase "government subsidized" means, or we will just keep talking past each other. I think I have expressed what I mean by that phrase pretty well, though. Any way, please expand what you think is and is not "government subsidy".

But all of that is meaningless anyway because most Americans WANT to buy American and if the big three had offered us anything worth buying . . . . we . . . would . .. have . . . *bought* . . . it. Hell, I’m a pinko socialist and I WANT to buy American but I can’t afford to, maybe I could if I was UAW.

Why a self-proclaimed "pinko socialist" would be blaming the UAW... a workers union, for the failure of GM is beyond me. Any way, you will probably be able to buy American very soon.

I will edit this as the night goes by.


A continuation of this conversation...

Your 47 dollars is probably right because you said “without benefits” – if you had responded to what I actually said and not tried to bastardize it into a point you could easily argue you would have notice I said “(the above of 80/hr is inclusive of benefits and pension plans, car stipends etc.)”. But okay – 47 – still not sure that I see why assembly line work is worth 47$/hour. I’m open though – show me why. Seriously, convince me that that is a reasonable salary. I don’t see it. The median income in the United States is 43k / year – less than half of the UAW. The median teacher’s salary in the US – 42k/year. The average teacher’s salary in Michigan is about 55k.

I can't do this right now... I'll be be back.


cassdawn said...

we don't have universal healthcare we have universal critical care. there's a huge difference. and no i don't want to live without that but i'd like to live one step better. and again, if you think anyone can get care why is the healthcare bit so important for the uaw?

sure - we have to put up. i agree. i said - i too hope it succeeds cuz we are already stuck. but i don't like that we got here and i'd rather see us not go down this road.

when i wonder about whether you care - i mean, i think that your comments on how we should handle government have been very heavy handed on the 'everyone should have to take care of himself' (ie when i pointed out the libertarian parties viewpoints on schooling and healthcare) but when it is someone / some place you know or care about . . . it's a natural human reaction that i can appreciate but . . .

i would really like it if you would prove to me that the japan government subsidizes any company and / or that it is more of a leg up than the 'buy american' advantage. in dollars. not exact dollars. anything besides rhetoric. okay i just reached further down in your post - i don't know what you mean by government subsidized. here are the dictionary definitions of subsidy
1. a direct pecuniary aid furnished by a government to a private industrial undertaking, a charity organization, or the like.
2. a sum paid, often in accordance with a treaty, by one government to another to secure some service in return.
3. a grant or contribution of money.
4. money formerly granted by the English Parliament to the crown for special needs.

i am referring to number 1. that is what we do for amtrak and what we did in the bank and car bailouts.

actually, while it would require more investigation i think switzerland might have some good ideas.

i guess i really have misrepresented myself. i am not blaming the uaw. i still don't understand the pay or the pensions but hey, they were in the bargaining position to get that so they got it. but that is kind of the point - supply and demand. there was a huge demand so they got to dictate the terms of supply. there is nearly no demand now.

as a side note - while i think 50 years or so ago union might have been equated with pinkos now there isn't much more american. which is why i was calling myself a pinko socialist. it was um - not quite irony - er, it will come to me.

Krissyface said...

this is very interesting and thought-provoking, and sure kicks the shit out of my topless coffeehouse post. Sigh.
I like it when smart people debate.