Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My Hippie Socialism

I have moved recently, and my house came with an old Zenith stereo. This has allowed me to acquire the habit of listening to the radio. I like news radio, less talking heads, more back and forth, better moderators. Today they were talking about the new Consumer Protection Agency the U.S. Government established.

They were arguing about the nomination the head the bureau Elizabeth Warren, a supposed enemy of the banks and champion of the people.

The topic got off subject, but as I was sitting there thinking about the upcoming payments to the bank who owns my house, I realized something. Nobody wants to tell people where to spend there money, because America is free.

Freedom causes problems, then we institute taxes, like tobacco and alcohol.

I couldn't afford a mortgage if I owned a car. Nobody in the government is telling people to ditch their car. Yet according to this fun graph, Americans spend 17% of their income on transportation. Do the people getting foreclosed on all over america have a car and if so why isn't Obama telling them to rid themselves of the money pit? I think I remember, he needs the automotive industry to create jobs.

I like to think about politics in an anthropological way often, and prioritize thusly.
#1 Food
#2 Shelter
#3 Transportation
#4 Babies
These are the most needed things in society, and in the american society only one is in crisis... shelter. Housing should be helped by reforming food and shelter.
This is how I would do it.
If you look at the FUN GRAPH above, you could lower health care costs if you increased food costs, you lessen the transportation cost by making local food cheaper. Subsidize the neighboring farmers who are willing to travel to the city to sell their food cheaper then your average grocery.

Transportation- This is tricky but try to follow my naive logic, in New York and large cities on the east coast people spend more of their budget on housing, I wonder why that is?
They have better public transportation! Think if people could reasonably get to and from their daily destinations without driving. But then they would have to walk a few blocks to and from the stations, and that might make them healthier, cutting into the profits of drug companies, who like people fat and sedated.
If the money we used to bailout the car companies was put into building a transportation infrastructure we may end up ahead in the long run. But people can live in their cars, the singer Jewel did it, Mad Money's Jim Cramer did it, and Doc Paskowitz did it. So maybe the housing crisis is really an opportunity for people to experience the open road, like a mix of Little Miss Sunshine and Grapes of Wrath (a often excluded movie from the Road Trip genre).

But if we started telling people what to do that would take away the freedom of america, the freedom to be stupid, crazy, fat, lazy, and everything in between. We can't tell alcoholics not to drink because it causes health issues that cost money to the system, just like we can't tell the obese to eat vegetables. We can't tell people to sell their car, junk their TV's and the rid themselves of cable, or never use their expensive energy consuming air conditioner. We like our creature comforts and the ability not to sweat when the world gets hot. We ain't no third world country and we ain't going to live like one.