Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Plan A, B, or C?

Our middle daughter is a freshman in college and this summer we had to sit down and figure out which dining hall plan to purchase for the semester. I got to thinking about that… What if we Americans could purchase specific plans in regard to our government? What would that look like?


Rights: Jobs, Food, Housing, Healthcare, Education.

Advantage: Freedom from responsibility.

Price: Choice


Choice: Jobs, Food, Housing, Healthcare, Education.

Advantage: Freedom from government control.

Price: Hard work


Freedom to pick and choose from Plan A and Plan B

Price: Currently undetermined. To ensure availability of this plan in the future, we advise you purchase Plan B.

Of course, we would be told it isn’t that simple. But, what if it is? Clear away the smoke of debate and the rhetoric thrown out by both sides. What are we left with? Aren’t there ideologies at the very base of these candidates? What are those ideologies? In my opinion, it is either Plan A or Plan B.

Now, I know that life is not that simple and there is much left out of the above equation. However, wouldn’t those basic ideologies be the driving force behind the candidacies?

When I was a little girl my Aunt told me a story that made an impression on me that has stuck with me through the years. She was a wonderful story teller and I very much enjoyed how she changed her voice to make the story come alive.

There was a village in which everyone was starving and one man went into the village square and put on a large pot of water to boil and threw in a stone. This caught the attention of the other villagers and they secretly watched from within their homes as this man stirred the water in the pot and talked of how glorious the soup would be. He would then mention something that might make the soup better… onions, potatoes, carrots, etc. One by one the villagers came from their homes with something they could add to the pot. They came together as a community and no one went hungry that night.

Imagine that the story went a different direction for a moment. What if the leader of the village went and entered each of the villagers’ homes and just took what was needed for the soup? What if some of the villagers had worked hard and stored up more than the other villagers and instead of being given the opportunity to share willingly, their stores were taken and split evenly among those that had not worked hard and planned ahead?

People that work hard and plan ahead are not bad people. People that don’t have the ability to work hard and plan ahead through mental and/or physical limitations or circumstances beyond their control are not bad people. Even the people that do not work hard and fritter away their resources are not necessarily bad people. Many people learn valuable lessons from making those kinds of mistakes. What if those teachable moments are interrupted? What if, rather than experience some discomfort they are just given what they want or need? Is that good for the person? Is that good for the community as a whole?

I personally believe it is much more effective and much more beneficial to the community to inspire those with more to give willingly of their resources, time and money rather than to have a mandate requiring more and more from them. We already have differing tax rates for those in differing tax brackets. What Obama is proposing will seriously affect small business and have a negative impact on our already suffering economy.

Just as trickle down economics has not provided what was hoped for, neither will trickle down change. Change is something that has to occur from the inside out. It begins in our individual hearts and then spills out into our homes, then into our towns, cities and states. The spirit of America’s citizens is what makes this country great, not its government. It is that spirit of freedom that launched this country, the very spirit of freedom that is in danger today.

You are purchasing a plan with your vote. Which plan will you choose?


Sarah said...

Interesting analogy. I think you might be on to something there. The next political revolution, perhaps? ;)

Roland Hulme said...

I love your story - but, of course, it relies on the milk (or carrots) of human kindness to work. VERY unfortunately, not everybody is as generous.

Your Option A wasn't really socialism - it was more like communism. Having LIVED in a Socialist country, I can assure you that Obama is NOWHERE NEAR a true socialist - despite what the talk show hosts like Sean Hannity and Mark Levin tell you.

Obama and McCain have different tactics, but a common vision.

They both see that the country is 'broken.' Obama wants to fix it with the might of the government. McCain expects it to fix itself (thanks to the average American worker.)

It depends who you believe can get the job done.

If you support McCain, you clearly have a better impression of the average person than I do - and I commend you for that.

Coffee Bean said...

Your comment makes me sad Roland. I don't know how the people in your circles throughout your life have responded to the need of others, but I suspect you haven't seen what can be done for yourself. I am fortunate to move within circles of people that truly do care about the welfare of others and will do everything within their means to help. Of course, I do know many who do not. I'm not so concerned with those who won't help. That is their choice and I do not see their choice as impeding the work of others. Taking money from everyone is not the only solution... and it isn't a good solution. I really like you and I believe that you would be one that would help given the chance in the face of real need. Unfortunately, so many are removed from it that everything is relative rather than real.

Roland Hulme said...

Hey, Coffee Bean!

Actually, I've seen some wonderful things from my own circle. My wife helped raise £50,000 to help a girl in England come to America for an operation to remove a tumour (more proof that the National Health Service is rubbish.)

She shaved her head for charity!

My mother spent years doing 'riding for the disabled,' giving severely disabled kids the chance to ride horses. She loved doing it because the poor kids, who spent most of their time in a wheelchair in a home, just ADORED having the chance to ride and stroke the horses.

Working in radio, I've always been involved in various people's charity work so I've seen how generous and giving people around me can be.

It's just the people outside of that circle who don't seem to care.

Two Dogs said...

Plan D for me. No federal government control over anything other than securing our borders and providing for defense of our country. This includes absolutely zero federal dollars towards highways or any regulation of business. Of course, federal intervention in the school system is patently unconstitutional. I don't even need to state that even though I did.

For my response to Roland as always, why are you liberal if the rest of your family is conservative? I only assume they are conservative because zero liberals engage in any charity work at all or donate any of their personal wealth in the US. You see, in this country liberals are deadbeats that sit at home watching their plasmas while the normal folks work to put beer in those liberals' refrigerators.

Sarah said...

Two Dogs for President anyone?

Two Dogs said...

I certainly appreciate the support, The Other Sarah, but I am certain that I couldn't pass the vetting process of our wonderful mainstream media. I am also afraid that I would not be able to keep from hitting a girl when Helen Thomas or Andrea Mitchell opened their cakeholes. I have made it forty-four years without hitting a woman, I want to keep the string alive and you know how y'all get, it is hard enough as it is.

Oh, and I would never accept a job where I was expected to receive a paycheck from the fed. I have morals that I am unwilling to sacrifice. You know, sacrifice, like Barry says that we will all have to do when he is annointed?

However, I would agree to be the person that manipulates the strings on my chosen puppet candidate. And I shall willingly do that job for free as long as I don't have to live in DC.

Sarah said...

I could stand being a puppet... ;)

I understand where you're coming from, which is exactly why I don't want to *be* a politician, just politically active. However, it seems the powers that be have other plans for me...

Roland Hulme said...

Two Dogs for President!

Of some South African Dictatorship!

And don't say I'm not charitable. I'll throw in five bucks for the plane ticket!

Two Dogs said...

Roland, you just want someone to change your diaper. Grow up already.

If you would take the time to think about the things that you believe government should do, you would also come to the conclusion that all you have to do to accomplish exactly what you want is to bring a crackhead into your home and support him/her/ambiguous other for the remainder of his/her/ambiguous other's life. You could actually make a difference. Get after it.

I shall continue to contribute to charities that actually appreciate what I have to offer. Like Habitat. 'Cause I already draw every single set of plans they require in my area. Fo' free.

And also understand that since I have become self-employed, I now qualify for earned income tax credit, so I can be on the government dole, too. Despite the amount of spoils that I have been able to accumulate since I was 13. And trust me, brother, if your moron does get elected, I am going to ride the system like Ali did Joe Frazier.