Sunday, January 8, 2012

Where the Right Goes Wrong

I like to suggest that all sides of a debate generally bring something of value to the discussion.

With the current flavor of attack politics that we see this can often be hard to fathom. However, let's take a look at the concept of lower income level citizens and social programs that exist to support them.

What we often hear from the right is that people depend on these programs and become a burden on society. The preferred solution seems to be to cut funding and propose that everyone is personally responsible for themselves -- never mind that many effects in society are well outside the scope of personal ability to affect.

So, where does the right go wrong?

In the parlance of the right wing the policy they propose will leave the class of citizens they decry in a state that suggests many will receive less education and income than other segments of society. Strangely, these attributes are also ones that often lead to larger families and less advantages for children. What the right wing response is most likely to do is create a cycle of self-fulfilling prophecy.

What is even more strange is that the right wing often assumes that poorer people vote left as it is the left which is most likely to extend aid.

Now, let's take a look at a solution that involves elements of both left and right thinking. From the left we start with the assumption that most people do not want to be using government assistance and that they would prefer to be self-sufficient. We help them get back on track.

However, we have to be able to find what merits may exist in the right's arguments. We need to make sure that people who are on assistance for longer periods of time find it harder to stay there. We need to find ways to both help them integrate effectively into the economy and later to be more forceful in that regard. This implies all of our bleeding heart tendencies can be expressed during the first segment of an assistance event and gradually tail off into a harder nosed right wing stance.

Obviously, this is fairly superficial analysis. Even so, I hope you will realize that moving lower income individuals into higher layers of the middle class is perhaps one of the easiest ways to increase productivity, lower taxes, and reduce the ranks of those most likely to end up on social assistance of some type.

Both the bleeding heart liberals and the hard nosed conservatives actually have an ability to contribute to a more optimal solution.

Sadly, we don't get this. Our politics are broken.

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