Category Archives: Thinking Points

A Thinking Point

If a socialized health industry is bad, why is a socialized police, fire, and rescue industry good?

What Does It Do?

Thinking point:

What is the purpose of a society’s economy?

Thinking Points

“RightNetwork launches on television, web and mobile in the summer of 2010.
Mission: To entertain, engage and enlighten Americans who are looking for content that reflects and reinforces their perspective and worldview.”

Wow. Check out that mission statement.

“…content that reflects and reinforces their perspective and worldview.”

Another way of saying that is, “We will tell you what you want to hear.” I’m not kidding; that is exactly what that means. Is that really considered a good thing, now? I suppose it is. There are, sadly, many people who are only happy hearing things that ‘reinforce their…worldview.’ Hearing different point of view just angers and upsets them.

Personally, I am always questioning my worldview, trying to gain a deeper, not necessarily more comforting, understanding of what is going on in the world. Sometimes that results in me changing my mind about things, which is something else that makes a lot of people uncomfortable, and is seen by many as a sign of weakness.

Surely I can’t be the only one, though. Thus, my ‘thinking points.’ As contrasted with ‘talking points.’ I don’t necessarily have answers to them; they are things to think about. If I can make even one person uncomfortable by challenging their worldview and making them think, that’s a good day.

Thinking is good for you, right?


Thinking Point #4

Does a country have a right to restrict who can come and live there? Or, conversely, does a country have an obligation to accept everyone who wants to come and live there?

Brown’s Law of Politics

Any mature political system, no matter what it’s particular mechanisms, is based on increasing the wealth and power of the wealthy and powerful.

Thinking Point #5

Coward: A person who shrinks from or avoids danger, pain, or difficulty

Remember that word. It defines 21st Century America. All of our politics, the security state that we are in the process of welcoming, are all based on fear, and cowardice.

The next time you see some story on the news talking about how we must give up not only our freedom, but our dignity as well, so that we can be safer, remember this: A coward is someone who shrinks from danger, pain or difficulty. A coward is ruled by fear.

Are we now a nation of cowards?

Thinking Point #6

Do the citizens of a democracy have the right to know what their government is doing in their name (and with their money)?

Thinking Point #7: What You Pay For Is What You Get

What we, as a society, want from our domestic security apparatus (the TSA, Homeland Security, the armed forces, etc) is for them to keep us safe, to let us feel secure.

The security apparatus, however, is rewarded when we feel unsafe and insecure. When danger is around every corner, they need bigger budgets and more power to keep us safe.

What we, as a society, want from our healthcare system is for it to keep us healthy.

The healthcare providers, however, are rewarded when we are sick. If you are healthy and never have to go to the doctor, your doctor doesn’t make any money.

See the problem? Imagine if firefighters got paid only when buildings caught on fire.

When there is a disconnect between what society at large wants from an organization, and what actually benefits the organization and its members, society is going to be poorly served by that organization.

Thinking Point #8: A Modest Proposal

In 2010, US imports totaled just under $2 trillion. A 2% tariff on imports would generate about $40 billion in revenue. That would be sufficient to give each of the 13.3 million unemployed Americans a $1500 worker retraining grant. Make companies pay in a reasonable amount (say $10,000) for every American job they move overseas and even more money becomes available.

If 100% of the tariff were passed on to consumers, that would add ten cents to the cost of a $5 t-shirt, or $500 to the cost of a $25,000 car (about the same as the ‘destination charge’).

The point is not to seriously impede trade, but to add a tiny bit of economic friction at the country’s borders, to the benefit of American companies and workers. Of course, none of the people with the power to make this happen have any interest in such things, so don’t hold your breath.

Thinking Point #9: Two Way Street?

If it is morally right and acceptable for the rich to break the law, and make new laws, to take money away from the poor, how is it not morally right and acceptable for the poor to break the law, and make new laws, to take money away from the rich?

If anything goes if you can get away with it, why doesn’t it work both ways?