Skip navigation

Someone asked me a big long political question on my Facebook page today and I gave him a big long political answer. If you’re into that stuff, read on:

ISAAC GILPIN
Hello mr. Brentalfloss, as an american citizen struggling with the hardships mentioned in topic that i am about to post on your wall, i would appreciate your attention for a second and hope you would stop and think about, and mabye even do a blog or possibly a video apon this touchy subject that involes the american people and how we are being robbed of our every day rights, along with being told what we are supposed to be focusing on, rather than the real problem at hand, meaning “our horrid economy and the twisted politics by jack booted thugs that created it” give focusing on them a try, and maybe you and the rest of our nation will see that ron paul is the only candidate who means something in this god-forsaken country, see what you can do with it. get our minds focused back on the important issues such as: “why our jobs are over seas” and “why is our economy in such a dramatic state” as well as “why is america subject to corporate control” my thanks for your possible cooperation and reply.

sincerly,
Isaac Gilpin

ME:
First, there are a few reasons “our jobs” are overseas, Isaac. Our young people are getting less disciplined in terms of education. As a nation, we don’t read, write or think critically as well as we used to. This lessens our ability to excel at service industry jobs (which are one of the biggest if not THE biggest part of our economy) and it also hurts our ability to export our culture, which is still our greatest resource.

Also, it’s not exactly a matter of other countries “taking our jobs,” as much as it is the fact that our nation’s workers are a bit spoiled when compared to other average salaries worldwide. The political right often praises a free market economy, but on a worldwide scale, free market principles dictate that when someone in India or China will manufacture a product for a lower wage, they will get the job over a comparatively expensive American worker. This is not to say that I am anti-union or that I think Americans should be paid lower wages. It’s just a problem inherent to the world right now. Again, one thing no one else can manufacture is American culture, but if we raise a generation of entitled, illiterate children, we can’t expect to have much of a culture to export to the rest of the world.

That said, Ron Paul is a lot of things, but he is not as perfect as his biggest fans think he is. He truly seems to believe what he says (which is a refreshing virtue in this world of bullshit focus group sound bite 24-hour news cycle politics) but many of the changes he would propose as president are impractical and would have major unintended side effects. Libertarianism is a cool idea, but it doesn’t work unless EVERYONE agrees that EVERYONE is free in pretty much EVERY way. You can’t claim to be for “small, unobtrusive government” and also want the law to get in between a woman and her doctor or in between a man and another man who love each other.

As for the state of our economy: The economy is never in such an “awful state” as it is when the party opposing the current administration is describing it during an election year 🙂

So here’s my opinion in a nutshell: A lot of people are quick to tout America as “The Greatest Country In The World.” But countries are made of people. If we want to be the greatest country in the world, we have to earn it by BEING the greatest country in the world.

The end.”

…thoughts?

Advertisements

8 Comments

  1. A big problem I have discovered is that a diploma doesn’t mean much anymore, and I have two. I learned the hard way that the job scale is basically a pyramid, with the jobs needing an education at the top but there are very few, and the farther you go down the more jobs there are but are lower paying and don’t require as much education. But because there are more lower end jobs, a high school drop out or someone with a G.E.D. is almost just as valuable as someone with a college education because they are much easier to program. So what has happened is that there is a whole talent pool that is stuck in an economic limbo, who can’t find work to help stimulate the economy and are building up debt because of it. And because a lot of the jobs that have been created are near the bottom of that pyramid (and because most of those jobs are low paying) there just isn’t a lot of money for these people to spend to help stimulate the economy. As far as who I would vote for, i’m pissed at both parties so I don’t know. If Ross Perot ran again I would lean towards him and his crazy ass pie charts.

  2. As Jon Stewart would say… BOOOOOOOOOOOOOM! Ziiing!

    I honestly haven’t got much to say about Ron Paul, or any other north-american politician for that matter. But I know this: there are a lot of biased/stupid/ignorant/whatever people among politicians in a worldwide scale, and the sooner we get rid of them, the better.

    Unfortunately, those same biased/etc people are also commonly full of charisma and attract crowds easily. So it’s not us versus them, it’s us versus them and their people… It’s a tough fight.

    Where am I going with this? Good question, I’ll shut up now.

    • Staying Out of Trouble!
    • Posted February 11, 2012 at 8:10 pm
    • Permalink
    • Reply

    Hello Brent,

    I could start in many places, however I feel as though an agreement would be appropriate. I work in a car dealership so on a daily basis I meet some… very interesting people. Young and old I have noticed a trend that sometimes frighten me. Today for instance a couple fellow coworkers came over and spoke to us. What made me cringe was the fact that they both openly admitted that the feel those who spend time reading are wasting their time and need to “get laid.” In our industry, and i hope everyone knows this, most of the cars are not truly “American” and that is for the exact reason you specified.. Poor work ethic. I for one am glad I grew up in a poor family so I could learn to work hard for what I want. I had no cable so I read for entertainment. Now as a young adult I can appreciate the things I have now that came from my hard work. Another point that I would like to add on to is about our education here in America. If you do not have money your education is quite different from those who do have money. I was fortunate to have a European mother who taught me as if I were in a private school long before I started school here in America. I noticed right away that there were many lies taught to students, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo, Civil War, Thanksgiving, and more. Looking at those I went to school with I felt awkward being the only kid in third grade that could read and write… (as well as do trig) I could blame the schools, but it’s not completely their fault. I could blame the parents for not explaining the importance of education and helping them along. I could blame the government for allowing poor standards, yet there is only so much that can be done. Then there is the work ethic of the ones being educated. To this day I still remember talking to the foreign exchange student who went to our school. I asked him, “why did you take the classes that do not require much work?” His reply was, “because I do not want to learn English and work hard, I just want to finish High school and work.” Unfortunately when I asked a friend who later joined the military he shocked me with a similar statement, “cause it’s easy.” We are truly raising an illiterate generation… As far as Ron Paul, I’ve heard good things, but I truly don’t know him so I cannot offer any opinions on him.

    Sorry for not properly separating the paragraphs. I just got done boxing so this is actually quite the task at the moment. When it comes to our economy… I feel you should be worried when other countries own quite a bit of our country. Although our government tries to make it sound complicated it truly isn’t. Just bad money management and we allow it. As far as robbing of our rights, that is also something that we have been allowing. If you wish to oppose something then do something about it. Words have no backing without the action that follows it. I believe you can agree with me on that point. We can sit here and talk about how to fix everything, but how does that solve it if we don’t do anything? Sorry I only did the rephrasing for the new majority. The new minority probably understood that.

    Before I go I would like to add one final comment. If you ever want to learn the truth find it for yourself. What a Republican news station and a Democratic news station will always be different. One will tell you how the bill will save America thousands while the other tells you how that bill will cause aids. Now I realize that this statement is an overstatement, but it’s to be my way of saying how the two are completely different. As for me I don’t claim affiliation to either party. My beliefs are my own and nobody can influence them. It’s a little silly to me to use labels, but again that is just me. My good sir I hope you are having a beautiful day.

    Your Fan,

    I don’t want to get fired for saying my name.

    ps. This isn’t targeted to just you, but to anyone who reads. Thanks for your time. ^-^

  3. hello Mr. Brentalfloss I am a good friend of Isaac Gilpin but i have one question for you, but what is your opinion on the sopa act. What I was told by Isaac was how it was going to censor the internet and i was wondering on what your opinion on this was. Because the reason I am asking this I do not fully understand this act they are trying to pass.

  4. “Libertarianism is a cool idea, but it doesn’t work unless EVERYONE agrees that EVERYONE is free in pretty much EVERY way.”

    Just leaving my thoughts on this statement Brent. I’d just like to point out that libertarian philosophy doesn’t require that everyone agree with everyone being free in every way; libertarianism states that any interpersonal interaction that is voluntary & peaceful in nature is not subject to interference by anyone who isn’t involved in that interaction. It’s a philosophical system built on the idea of property rights and ownership.

    Taking your examples, under libertarianism a doctor’s peaceful & voluntary relationship with his patient would not be subject to interference by any outside party -even by people who strongly disagree with what that relationship will produce- & the same goes for gay marriage. (http://t.co/a05x7eIP)
    Another way of thinking of this is under the current big government environment. The only way two gay people can get married is if a vast majority of voters agree with it so that doesn’t really make a strong argument for a statist approach to marriage.

    I’m not a libertarian. I’m an anarchist but I’ll still correct people when they misrepresent libertarianism because it’s the closest political ally to my philosophy & it (libertarianism) is often times a direct intellectual path to understanding & embracing anarchism. And this is something I’d like more people to do.

    ….against_statism (aka @blistexfan)

    • You’re right about the fact that Libertarianism doesn’t require everyone to agree, but if they don’t, then pure Libertarianism wouldn’t work in a practical sense. I hate to compare it to Communism, but what the two have in common is that it is difficult to transition to them from any other form of government. You can force a population into Fascism or Communism, but you can’t really force people into Libertarianism because it’s all about personal liberty. So again, unless an entire culture generally shifts to a place where it’s much more receptive and ready to transition (like Russia during the Bolshevik revolution), then a practical switch to Libertarian principles would be a very rocky change, with a significant opposing insurgency.

      Libertarianism is an interesting philosophy (as is Communism) but I’ve never seen a practical plan for how to put its principles into place.

      Also, I think anarchy is a silly idea. Someone you love gets killed. The only recourse is–what? You kill them? You privately hire someone to carry out justice on your terms rather than the agreed-to-terms of your society? No, man. Sorry. That’s a return to pre-civilized chaos and, again, it just wouldn’t work. People would organize. You can’t unboil that egg.

      Thanks for contributing to the discussion.

      BF

  5. In my experience, it absolutely appears to me that our students aren’t reading, writing, or thinking critically nearly as well as previous generations.

    I think that No Child Left Behind, while an admirable idea in principle, has ultimately done a great deal of harm to educational reform and to our students. It stemmed from this idea that ALL students should be able to go to college if they want to, and thus all students should be college-ready upon graduation from high school. The mandate of NCLB legally required all schools to get 100% of all students (including subgroups and special ed) to test at a level of “proficient” or higher by 2014. This is an impossible goal, yet it has forced schools to go to all-inclusive classrooms that make it very difficult to provide each student with their own specific needs. The gifted are not being as challenged as they should be, the struggling students are being left further behind, and those in the middle are getting a canned curriculum that doesn’t teach them very much about critical thinking, communication, or professionalism. We are effectively lowering the bar in order to meet the legal requirements of an ill-conceived mandate, and that is a serious problem.

    I have much much more to say on this topic, but I need to stop before I write a rambling, incoherent manifesto.

  6. Thanks for replying BF.
    One last comment on where you’re right on anarchism if I may. Yes, even under anarchism people will organize & they’ll do so in ways they consider beneficial to them; I would suggest that this is why various private (as in non-government) organizations exist today.

    In a sense this is the point of anarchism (& also libertarianism), that individual people (or individuals assembled into groups=organizations) only operate on the basis of voluntary interactions.

    In an anarchist society (a non-government society) an organization would have no power itself or no access to a higher power to appeal to, to force its rules or its products or the bill to fund its existence on people who want nothing to do with that organization. This is the goal of anarchism (& libertarianism); a society built on voluntary interactions. (Contrast that with government that exists only through non-voluntary methods)…but as for anarchism (&libertarianism) getting there isn’t too difficult or too far away…

    For an example of this even today think of how often Jack in the Box, Wal-Mart, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Fed-Ex, Amazon.com, Pinkerton, 7-11, etc…forces its products, its ethics, or the bill to fund its existence on people who want nothing to do with them. These (& other) private non-government organizations all exist strictly on the basis of voluntary trade or voluntary donation & they all function according to their own set of rules that they figure will best serve their interests by best serving the interests of their usually non-loyal customers.This is what I imagine an anarchist (or libertarian) society as; these types of organizations except with a more widespread application of the principle of voluntary interaction.

    But okay. Again, thanks for replying. Take it easy.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: