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Jan 23

19th Issue New Voice For Politics

19th Issue New Voice For Politics

 

In this Issue

Is Nickelback Right? Are We on the Edge of a Revolution?
Can Nickelback foresee the future of Canada?

Time to End Job Inequality
We cannot have income equality until we have job equality.

It is Impossible to Regulate Good Behavior
It is possible for the Kentucky Legislature to make things worse once again.

 

Is Nickelback Right? Are We on the Edge of a Revolution?

Andrew Genesius

O Canada hatThe prophets of political prognostication from the Great White North, Nickelback, are at it once again, predicting the end of life as we know it and the dawn of a new age. The same Canadian band who spoke so eloquently about courtship in their song Animals and the importance of dental hygiene in Something In Your Mouth have graced the masses with their political commentary in their latest single, Edge of a Revolution.

Some might doubt the sixth greatest Canadian band of all time behind Rush, Loverboy, Saga, Triumph, and Stompin’ Tom Connors would have a great deal to offer in the realm of politics, but they seem to sum up the zeitgeist of the moment with their latest song. After the uprisings across the Middle East with the Arab Spring and the upheaval in Ukraine, one does wonder if the entire world is teetering on the Edge of a Revolution.

There can be no denial about the great deal of discontent and discord in the world. Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, progressive governments have promised to take care of all their citizens’ needs. When a person becomes sick, old, or unemployed, the government has pledged to be there for every citizen and their family. No longer will any individual be responsible for themselves or their children, the state has plans for everyone. Citizens will never have to worry again, because the government is watching.

After decades of promises, citizens are now shocked to find out that the government is not looking out for them, and they now need to look out for the government. The government is not providing benefits, but burdens on its citizens. The goodies are gone from the candy store and all that is left is the bill as Canadian Governmental Debt, particularly at the provincial level, are at alarming levels. For many, this seems unfair. Why was everyone else able to party like a Rockstar, while I am left with their trashed room and aching hangover? People are not satisfied with this new deal and they want a change, but will it be a revolution?

Discontentment does not always lead to change; if this were so, the Toronto Maple Leafs would have fired most of their players and won another Stanley Cup by now. People might be upset, but anger is not enough for a revolution to occur. Individuals need to come together and act in unison to bring about change. One or two protestors achieve nothing. A group of people coalescing around a vision of the future is needed for real change to occur.

Luckily for those in favor of the status quo, millennials are never going to rise up to challenge the system, because the youth of today do not join groups. This point was eloquently described in Robert Putnam’s book, Bowling Alone, and Jean Twenge’s Generation Me. Previous generations joined bowling leagues, churches, and political organizations. The youth of today refuse to join any organized groups, particularly political parties.

What is the end result of going it alone? The young adults have have next to no influence in Canadian politics. Society does not hear an isolated voice. A single lone wolf performing a cowardly terrorist attack against Parliament achieves no lasting political change. An unorganized mob is also easily ignored. Prior to the 2012 election, it appeared as if the Quebec Student Protests would significantly change the country, but the Maple Spring quickly cooled and the students failed to have much of an impact on election day.

Until individuals under 40 become members of groups, either established or new political parties, there will be no revolution. We might be on the edge of a revolution, but no significant lasting change will occur until a group has enough power to push the current government over the edge.

 

Time to End Job Inequality

Progressive Pete

Dr. DudeMany people complain today about inequality in pay, but this is not the real problem. The true tragedy is an inequality of jobs. For too long, only certain people have been allowed to do certain jobs. Who cares about people receiving the same pay in a single profession, when the majority of the population is banned from even being able to apply for many jobs?

People complain that 1% of Americans hold a huge amount of money, but no one seems concerned that only 1% of Americans are allowed to even apply for many jobs. If every American is not able to hold every available job, there can be no justice. Complaining about equal pay before even having the job seems premature at best.

At this time, less than 2,000,000 Americans are allowed to apply for a job as a medical doctor, fewer than 700,000 are permitted to fly planes, and even less are allowed to conduct research with dolphins. How can people sleep while this massive discrimination is going on? Where are the riots? Why are cars not burning?

Prejudice haters will justify their biases with arguments that people need certain skills to do specific jobs, but such a policy would discriminate between those who can perform a task and those who cannot. Such intolerance is simply not tolerable. A lover of pretty fishys should not be discriminated against because they lack a doctoral degree in dolpinology. If people want to play with dolphins, they should be allowed to play with dolphins!

Having required knowledge and skills should never be a prerequisite for doing something; otherwise, no laws would ever be passed by Congress. If a person’s heart is in the right place, they should be allowed to operate on another person’s heart, even if they are not exactly sure where it is located. Otherwise, we will devolve into an uncaring callous society where only those who know how to do things will be allowed to act.

We should be more open minded and enlightened. Hiring decisions should not be made on the basis of arbitrary things like ability or experience. If a person wants to fly a plane, they should not be bound to the earth by those who do not believe in them.

In order to live in a socially just society, we need to end job discrimination and embrace the “If you can dream it, You Can Do It” Plan. Under this scheme, the only deciding factor of whether a person is hired or not is their desire to do the job. If a person wants it, they can have it.

Undoubtedly, this new utopia will create more lion tamers, astronauts, and dolphinologists than we need, but this will not be a problem. The glut in certain fields will be alleviated by limiting each person to only one year in any one profession. This will allow people to pursue multiple dreams and allow for a fresh perspective from people who have never worked in their new field before. Today’s astronauts will be tomorrow’s garbage man.

Some small minded simpletons have suggested that the “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It” plan is reckless, because experience and knowledge are valued by these fools. They have even proposed that the more experience a person has the better they will be in performing their job, which would result in a better product and happier customers. Such thinking is heretical and should never be permitted, because who cares about what customers want. Who do these customers think they are to determine who is hired to perform a task they are paying money for? By this logic, a person who is very skilled at heart surgery should be paid more than a person who does not know how to hold a scalpel.

A world based on such reason would be horrible. If we paid people based on ability, it would lead to people trying harder to do a better job. Workers might practice more and learn new techniques to make safer, cheaper, and higher quality products. We should not live in such a hellish world where one worker is paid more than another. Everyone should be paid the same and be allowed to do whatever job they want irrespective of skill or ability if we are to live in a fair world governed by social justice.

 

It is Impossible to Regulate Good Behavior

Mary Sullivan

AlcatrazEvery New Year’s Day, many people make resolutions to become healthy. They promise to huff and puff in gyms, stop clogging their lungs with tar, and to eat those horrible, yucky vegetables. For the first week or two, people try, hit the gym, and end up pissing off the regular gym attendees by hogging all the workout machines. But before February arrives, most of these new converts have already lapsed, and their promises are quickly forgotten.

Despite their best intentions, they fail, because change is rarely easy. Even the most motivated with wills of steel find it difficult to switch from eating french fries to carrots. In a moment of weakness, many fall into the seductive snare of a Ho Ho.

Altering one’s behavior is even more difficult, when people do not want to change or, even worse, enjoy what they are doing. People who like to drink alcohol, eat fast food, and use meth are going to inevitably indulge.

Almost everyone seems to know that change is hard, except for politicians. They honestly believe if they craft the perfect bill, poverty will end, the lame will walk, and crime will never occur again. Their blind optimism in mankind’s ability to change knows no bounds.

At this very moment, politicians in the great Commonwealth of Kentucky are parading their naivete once again as they scheme up a way to end heroin use among Bluegrass residents. Members from both parties actually believe they can end the use of heroin with the right law. Naivete at such a grand scale as this is without doubt only surpassed by my sweet little niece who still believes in Santa and the Easter Bunny. While most would agree that such sentiments are cute when held by a four year-old little girl, they are disturbing when embraced by an august state senator. Legislative members should know that a fat man is not going to slide down a chimney and a bill will not stop people from using drugs for recreational purposes.

The only way a person is going to stop using a drug is if they choose to stop using it. At best, laws will only change the drug being used. A great example of this point in action occurred in Kentucky when the legislature tried to end prescription medication abuse. Many Kentucky residents were concerned about their neighbors using too many pain medications. Politicians responded to this apprehension by working really hard to shut down doctors who were deemed to be prescribing too many pain medications.

The politicians’ hearts were in the right place; however, the results were not exactly a success. Prescription abuse did decrease, but not because people stopped abusing drugs. The numbers went down, because the abusers switched to a different drug. What was that drug? Heroin. That is right; the current heroin epidemic was created by the Kentucky legislature writing laws to decrease prescription abuse.

What makes the situation even worse is that the heroin epidemic was completely predictable. Oxycontin and other frequently enjoyed pain medications are derivatives of opium, just like heroin. When the legislature dried up legal access to pain medications, the users switched to heroin, which created the current heroin epidemic. If the legislature had not intervened, the surge in heroin use would not have happened.

Legislators need to learn that making an unhealthy behavior illegal does not work. If people want to engage in unhealthy behaviors like unprotected sex, drug use, or jumping out of an airplane, they will. The best legislators can do is to provide people with an opportunity to change. Lawmakers can increase funding for drug abuse treatment programs, which would allow a place for the motivated to change. Jail deferment programs, where a person can participate in drug treatment in lieu of jail, could also be encouraged. These two options are preferable to the current system because they are providing a chance for people to change, instead of forcing them to alter their behavior.

Force does not work in the long-term; it will only divert people from one drug to another. Change can be encouraged; it cannot be mandated by law. If a person doubts this, simply ponder what the compliance rate would be for a law requiring every Kentucky citizen to work out four times a week at a gym.

 

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