Daily Archives: June 24, 2011

way to go NY state!

gay marriage is now legal in NY state!  woohoo!  come on CA, you gonna let NY take the glory like that?!

went to dinner and coffee with a friend last night where we got into a debate about the constitution.  it migrated into a semi-economic conversation.  it was fraught with misunderstanding and difficulties in explaining myself.  in the end, i still don’t think i said what i really meant.  let’s start at the end…i think that silicon valley should subsidize the LA inner cities, in terms of education and health benefits, in the inner city LA has a very clear impact on silicon valley.  assuming you have the states as they are now, that we can’t reduce the units of organization anymore than they are now, if silicon valley ignores inner city LA, it is going to cause problems over time.  crime, economic activity (if not net cash flow), commercial flow, environmentally.  on the other hand, i don’t think silicon valley should subsidize south dakota.  they have created a unit of organization that causes a need for net inflow of cash due to social costs like unsustainable pregnancies, excess health costs and reduced productivity.  silicon valley doesn’t get enough from s. dakota to warrant silicon valley paying for s. dakota’s decisions.  ultimately what i want is policies and processes EVERYWHERE that encourage and support healthy/well-educated populaces.  because i believe when you have healthy and education, you proposer.  or at least you have a much better chance at it.  sure, some people are going to ignore it all, but then i don’t have a problem holding them accountable for their decisions, because i have given them every chance i could.  but i would cut off s. dakota (assuming i was silicon valley) WAY sooner than i would inner city LA, because of the impact it would have on me.  i mean, isn’t that my base most position?  i am trying to save myself time and money?  am i being consistent in treating s dakota one way and inner city LA another?  i think so.  because i would cut off inner city LA, as much as i could within the framework of a state (something that already exists) if through appropriate implementation of policy, inner city LA stayed a money pit.  but i wouldn’t do it as quickly as i would s. dakota because i can’t impact policy there with the exception of my federal tax dollars being spread there.  of course, this ALL requires a hell of a lot of changes in how our country operates, so it is sort of mute.  but you have to try, right?  you have to contemplate how you would want it to be and work that direction.  is my plan perfectly balanced?  probably not.  but i believe i do a pretty good job (even if i don’t think any of it is possible at all) in giving people, in this case the unsuspecting state of s dakota, the choice of how to proceed.  if they come to me and say “hey silicon valley!  we have these idea for reducing our constituents reliance on services using these empirically (or at least well supported) policies and programs but we need some help making them happen.  could you help us out?”  i’d be cool with that.  i want to help people better their and their neighbors lives.  and by better, i mean, provide for more reliable and quality health and quality of life.  is this me forcing my value system on them?  for some people it would.  for those that simply think living by the rule of the “bible” is the most important thing, i have rearranged priorities on them.  but i think the majority of people, even the religious, would agree that reliable and quality health and quality of life is something we should work towards for everyone.  it is a matter of how we disagree on.  then again, maybe that is where i am getting wrong.  i mean, a lot of people don’t think good health is a right, but a privilege.  back to my helping…on the other hand, if the US decides that people not getting services and unwanted pregnancy are a priority, i’ll just apply for asylum in france.  wanted to do that the second (or first, depending on your perspective about the 2000 election) time dubya was elected.

the conversation started because my friend is writing a paper advocating a tighter application of the constitution.  for example, he doesn’t think roe v wade was an appropriate decision.  he CERTAINLY agrees in the right to a legal and safe abortion, but he doesn’t like the application of the 14th amendment in this case (or potentially brown v board of education and a couple other significant cases).  i asked how you get social advancement if you don’t get it through the judiciary.  i don’t think he answered that question.  not because he avoided it, but because we got side tracked onto something else.  i think he said something like “isn’t that pushing california’s values on s. dakota?” and we went from there.  i don’t think i have such a problem with pushing my values on some people.  isn’t that how we have gotten a lot of the social changes that we have come to strongly agree with?  perhaps it is better to have the change come from something grass roots, but, isn’t it STILL ultimately the legislature that makes it official?  some say the legislature is more appropriate than the judiciary because it represents the people more as the people elected the legislature.  but sometimes, you take what you can get.  sometimes it needs to be a first step.  if the CA court of appeals hadn’t invalidated the ban on same sex marriage.  if the court hadn’t over turned prop 8, would the NY legislature taken the step they did today?  i don’t think the push would have been there.  do protests, like those of the 60s, work anymore?  there were a LOT of protests leading up to the war in iraq.  didn’t seem to make a difference.  legal action seems to make a difference these days.  anyhow, that’s how i feel about it.  and if you disagree, that’s cool.  it’s just how it feels to me right now.

seriously effin' awesome article

Five economic lessons from Sweden, the rock star of the recovery this article was fascinating.  the item that interested me the most was the item on providing services to the unemployed, as well as, not fighting about who paid for it.  why does the US have such an aversion to helping people in need?  sure, there are some bad apples that milk the system, but they are the minority.  is it a fear that without the threat of ruin americans will stop innovating?  stop being the country that invents things like the automotive industry and the internet?  we are already losing in terms of noble prize worthy research.  so it kind of seems like whatever did drive that innovation has already disappeared from american society.  is that the welfare state?  because that really came into place with LBJ.  sweden invented some cool stuff…the celsius scale, seat belts, hemodialysis, encryption machines, dynamite.  they also had several inventors that were critical in computer development.  ok, perhaps they haven’t come up with things so widely used as cars and the internet, but it certainly seems we needed what they invented.   of course, a lot of these were a long time ago.  but sweden has had benefit societies since the 1700s (they were governmentally institutionalized in the 1960s).  that seems to suggest that the welfare support of sweden has NOT prohibited the country from being prosperous and offering the rest of the world the fruits of its best and brightest.   it seems to me, though i admit this isn’t a scientific analysis, that everyone doing better would be better for everyone.  would the ultra-rich have less money?  maybe?  but maybe by paying more taxes they would get more because the rest of society would get more?  productivity would go up because everyone had an easier time?  is the US so different than sweden?  the US seems to make itself out as special, allowing us to invent and create bigger and better things.  but is that true?  or would it be any less true if we had a better governmental support system for those in need?  there is this idea floating around in my head and i can’t quite get it to gel.  the US is averse to higher taxes.  it is averse to people getting services “for free”.  it is profitable and has been very innovative in the past.  sweden learned from its financial crisis of the 90s in terms of banking and has supported its people with services since the 1700s.  granted they haven’t produced as earth shattering things as the US (with the possible exception of dynamite, no pun intended) but maybe that is related to other things…like the weather.  i dunno.  i just think that the US could learn from sweden and really wonder why it is we can’t get over this aversion and repulsion to helping those in need, with help, that would dig them out of their position (sliding scale UI/rent subsidies anyone?)

i’ve noticed i have NO interest in dresses with sleeves these days.  not even capped sleeves.  it is sleeveless or nothing.  have i mentioned that i am considering wearing colour again?