Below is a partial transcript of a discussion I got into on Facebook. It’s not the whole thing: there were a couple of guys involved as well, but I found what the lady in question had to say most interesting. Some of the misspellings and grammatic mistakes are mine, and some hers, some are from my retyping the posts.
I suspect our arguments can be picked apart to some extent. I think that rebuilding infrastructure is a necessary step in any case, and doing so would add a lot of jobs, which would put money in people’s pockets, which would make the economy stronger (since they’d be likely to spend it), and broaden the tax base, eventually enabling us to pay down our debt to China. Rebuilding infrastructure was one of the things government programs did during the Great Depression. It didn’t entirely fix the Depression, but I think it probably was a necessary basis for the activity during World War II and after. Why not do that again? Exactly what do we have to lose?
Then the conservative lady asks why I live in this country. At the time I was replying to this post I wasn’t as awake as I might have been. If I’d been more awake, I might have said, it’s my country too, for all its imperfections. I don’t think conservatives disagree that the country’s imperfect, but rather about just what is imperfect about it.
She also seems to think I’m envious of the rich, a frequent conservative line of argument. I don’t think that’s true. I wouldn’t object to having more money, but I don’t ask anyone to give it to me. What I’ve often said on the subject is, I don’t object to people being rich, I object to them being rich at MY expense. My last post, below, gives an example of that.
After that post the conversation ended, I’m not sure why. I’d like to believe it’s because the lady (and anyone else concerned) realized that the way my friend was treated was indefensible. But maybe (at least in the lady’s case), the decision was that I was a bleeding-heart liberal, and no more time should be wasted on me.
Still, I persist in believing that this country is supposed to work for all its citizens, not just some, and I think the titlted playing field is the source of a lot of our problems today. I’ll be interested in any comments anyone cares to make.
Conservative Lady: Ok, let’s play “Field of Dreams if you build it they will come. First who is going to pay for this field of dreams? And when it is built on the backs of the taxpayers, who is going to come? Let us not forget that large organizations have left this country, why should they come back with all the federal regulations, rules and fines, then not to mention all the taxes these organizations will have to pay in order to reimburse the government for borrowing more money (from China) to build these field of dreams. Ok, let’s tax the rich, these same people who actually used their own skills and personal assets to build their wealth, while there were all those who stayed working for the “man”, who did not go out on a limb to start a business that evidently was successful, or maybe we can raise the taxes on all the people that are receiving their livelihood from the government programs. I know, the people that do have a job and have worked for years can foot the bill for this field of drams, or better yet let’s make our children and their children and even more, their children pay for this improvement that will make businesses want to go into those areas because they have a better infrastructure.
Me: So I guess the answer is, let’s NOT generate new jobs that will make the economy better, let’s let the successful entrepeneurs drive wages down in this country to match the slave wages of other countries, and just sit around letting the country go to hell. Goodbye American Dream. Apparently that’s just for entrepeneurs, and nobody else. Let’s allow Republicans and successful business people exclude any groups they don’t happen to like from the democratic process, and hate the way we’re told to hate. As long as we’re borrowing money from China, let’s start MORE wars. THAT will prove our patriotism. And, speaking of regulations, let’s just keep letting Wall Street gamble with other people’s money, and bail them out again when they screw up. Government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich just works so well for everybody, doesn’t it. Seems like the wealthy have their own :Field of Dreams”, which works quite well for them. Too bad the rest of us aren’t invited.
Conservative Lady: Just a question, why do you still live in this country? How do think that government money to fix our infrastructure will bring sustainable businesses to these areas? According to your statement, Those Evil Republicans are the only ones that have start and continued a war, weren’t you a young adult during the late 60’s, Democrats led that war! What about the money that was given to GM, yes, they went back to work, made a quick profit, gave out bonuses, laid off those people after given them the bonuses and now we have a huge recall on those vehicles. And why are you so envious of the people that have been able to utilise there skills and succeed?
Me: I live in this country partly because my grandchildren are here, and partly because I have a good job, and partly because this is the place to fight the nasty things going on, to even the small extent I do. I suspect that without infrastructure jobs WON’T come, but the investment in infrastructure will create jobs, which is at least a step forward. I didn’t like the Democrats in the 1960’s, and even now they’re only marginally better than the Republicans. I must agree that it’s been fashonable for at least the last 20 years for businesses to make a profit and then deny a share of that profit to the people who helped them make it. And I can’t say I’m particularly envious of the wealthy (I assume that’s who you mean). I’m a nurse, making more money than I ever expected to (with the help of government loans and several people who supported my effort to get educated), and live a pretty comfortable life, at present. On the other hand, I know people who DON’T live a very comfortable life, often through no fault of their own. One example: one of the women I work with in the nursing home where I work had to get surgery for two abdominal hernias (imagine working with those in a job where you have to reposition people). She didn’t heal very well, had to have a number of follow-up surgeries, and maxed out her health insurance. That meant she got her portions of her pay removed (can’t remember the right term for that), so she’s been struggling to pay those off since. One such bill she was about to pay off, when the people told her they’d lost her paperwork. Because of the aftermath of her illness, she’d lost her house and car, and she had also lost the paperwork to that particular bill. I suspect that’s a story that’s repeated over and over in this country. Is that the way you think this country ought to be? Keep in mind this was a woman who had a job (if not a well-paid one), and health insurance, but still got screwed. What exactly did she do wrong?