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Not just any kind of liberal. No. I'm a special liberal. I'm a progressive liberal. Know what that means? It means I want to take all your money and give it to low-lives and welfare queens; I want crackheads to get all the crack they want and I want you to pay for it; I want to turn the constitution into a party hat, for the crackheads; Oh, and I want to eat your babies. All that's true; except for the part where I don't.

I believe in work. I believe in family. I believe in freedom. I believe in fighting for what's important. I believe in the inherent goodness of people. I believe a nation's greatness is based on how it treats it's most helpless.  I stole that last bit from Aristotle. Pretty good, right? Stick around I might give you more Philosophy 101.

I believe in taxes. There I said it. Taxes. Taxes. Taxes. Know why? I like roads, and police, and firemen, and libraries, and schools. I like knowing that a safety net of social services exists should me, my friends, or someone I don't even know, need it. And no I don't believe that we have an evil cabal of welfare queens and crackheads waiting to suck every last cent out of the system. Do they exist? Sure. But stopping the programs because someone may get something for nothing is foolish and short-sighted. Oh, and no, I don't agree with drug testing AT ALL. Whether I have something to hide or not. It's like saying "Why do you care if government listens to your calls if you're not saying anything incriminating?" Oh, I don't know, a fundamental right to privacy, perhaps. I don't think you abdicate that right if you fall on hard times.

Mostly, though, I believe in the middle class. The backbone of America. The group responsible for making us great. Sure the industrialists had the capital and the means to start companies but without the us, the middle, the workers, the people who pride themselves on hard work, they'd have nothing. Truly nothing. I wasn't born into the middle class. Nope, I'm working class. I envied the middle class. I aspired to the middle class. Teachers, nurses, police, fire. People who make a difference in others lives. Union people.

We need the unions. More now than ever. Why do you think they came into existence? Was it because of the safe and secure working environments of the late-1800's and early-1900s? A greedy middle class not satisfied with the benefits of a living wage and reasonable hours? No, they grew from a need. A need that still exists.  Unions are not the reason for the mess this country is in. Try greed, corporate greed. The constant outsourcing of jobs in this country.

Now before you go off assuming I'm some starry-eyed hippie, I'm not. My husband owns his own business and has for years. I understand profit-margin and the need to have a healthy financial company for everyone to prosper. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about greed plain and simple. Not being content with a comfortable life. The relentless pursuit of luxury - no matter the cost.

We're dying. A slow, painful, ugly death. A death that some are happily assisting with.

I wrote this during a self-imposed Kos-exile but thought it was a nice introduction to who I am and what I care about. It is cross-posted on my blog: Did I Say That Out Loud?

Originally posted to Barbie02360 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 06:35 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, In Support of Labor and Unions, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This echoes my beliefs pretty completely. (22+ / 0-)

    I am a bigger believer in investment and profits, having worked in personal financial management for many years.  My primary political belief is as a capitalist, and capitalism is built on investment.  But we need BOTH private and public investment, because it is more difficult to separate private and public goods than most people assume.  If you own a retail shop, YOUR business only exists because people can get to it on public roads.  And your business depends on publicly paid police and fire protection. And your business depends on employees having had some level of education.  While that education may not have been in public schools, it HAS been dependent on public resources.  

    Thanks for posting.

    I woke up this morning only to realize, it's opposite day again.

    by Melanie in IA on Thu May 05, 2011 at 07:56:24 AM PDT

    •  I agree 100%! (13+ / 0-)

      I hadn't thought of it from that perspective. Thanks so much for adding it.

      If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.

      by Barbie02360 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 08:05:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ...and... (14+ / 0-)

      a middle class that is prosperous and able to "consume" the things that your business makes (or even your financial products), and a middle class that has some real hope of making it up the ladder (because otherwise, they quit in despair), and employees who are healthy and feel they are participating in the good fortunes of the business they are working for.

      Join us at the Amateur Radio Group. Serving the Left Side of the Dial since 2011.

      by briefer on Thu May 05, 2011 at 11:48:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No kidding! Usually, every Xmas, I'd get calls (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        El Tomaso, mollyd, briefer

        to install/network/transfer data to new computers. Kids with their first laptops, a new "family" workstation, why does my new photo-printer/fax/scanner not work? Last Xmas? Nuthin'. I think everyone got "practical" gifts; underwear and school supplies.

        If the consumer economy doesn't pick up soon, I'll be on the street, holding a sign: "Will Network for Food".

        “I’ve come to the conclusion that people who say they never have had a second thought most probably have never had a first!”‘

        by BobSmith415 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 04:52:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  As a political liberal- (6+ / 0-)

      these are my politics as well.


      The midle class matters and taxes matter-for all of us.

      Kudos to the Diarist-also.

      I love seeing liberal-progressive ideology clearly stated.

      This is who we are-and what  we stand for.

      We just need to spread the good word-get the message out!

      "A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future." ~Leonard Bernstein

      by lyvwyr101 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 02:26:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Great point (and great diary) (5+ / 0-)

        An ideology clearly stated ...

        That is part of the problem with being a liberal. Most positions in life are grey. They are nuanced. There is not one easy right answer. That makes it hard to sell in a 30-sec sound bite (like it or not, the current reality of our political system).

        I think the progressive movement would be much more influencial and popular if we could isolate 8-10 key platform issues that can be easily and succinctly stated. And then repeated over and over to pound home the difference between what we stand for and what the cons stand for.

        Its a guaranteed win.

        And Barbie, not sure why you were in self-imposed exile, but with writing like this....welcome back.

        Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers. -Aristotle

        by beefydaddy18 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 03:48:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks! (5+ / 0-)

          I agree that a platform is necessary. Unfortunately, nuance is a tough sell!

          I took a break from politics to deal with family issues. My 15 year old had surgery to repair a torn ACL and his needs consumed most of my time. Throw in the holidays, work, blogging, volunteer work...  something had to give.

          I appreciate your kind words. I've only been writing for about a year and it's hard when you first start putting yourself out in public.

          If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.

          by Barbie02360 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 03:57:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  You Can't Have Healthy Big Business Without (18+ / 0-)

    much more severe upper end income taxation that begins to take most of income beyond something ballpark half million to million dollar a year income. That's what keeps the wealth from gushing up into the upper class, that's what takes away the incentives to run businesses with extreme efficiency for the sake of owners and top management.

    The last time we had an economy that was healthy for the middle class was a very, very long time ago. In those days the income taxation began to rise at quite modest levels, which would very likely hit your family, and business taxes were higher, which would likely also hit you.

    These rates create incentives to share revenues in the longer term health of the business and with employees, even local charities, to keep profits and top salaries more modest.

    We don't currently have a party for safe progressive taxation. If you're for a large comfortable middle class with strong upward mobility from the very lowest rung of the ladder, you're a liberal in the sense of being too extreme for today's Democrats.

    That's why liberals and progressives need to build a movement to change the party.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu May 05, 2011 at 08:10:00 AM PDT

    •  Hear, hear! (3+ / 0-)
      That's why liberals and progressives need to build a movement to change the party.

      When I was in high-school was pretty much the high point for an advancing, stable middle class. I remember working at McD's part time in '74 or '75, and my manager's wife was taking time off from her fast-food job at a competitors to have their first child. They were both immigrants, both had jobs, but in those days, two working class people could afford a small apartment on the San Francisco peninsula, and health insurance and build up enough of a nest egg to hatch a child.

      Now, even though CA has a higher minimum wage, and SF has an actual living wage standard, w/health insurance, I really don't know how people live.

      P.S. Whenever you eat at a restaurant or even a taco truck, tip, and tip well.

      “I’ve come to the conclusion that people who say they never have had a second thought most probably have never had a first!”‘

      by BobSmith415 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 05:03:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I Like the Way this Dairist Talks (Writes)! nt (8+ / 0-)

    "With those taxes in there, no damn politician can ever scrap my Social Security program."-Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by Aspe4 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 09:06:34 AM PDT

  •  Preach on, Barbie! (8+ / 0-)

    I'll be over here in your choir.

    ...and dropping a bar bell he points to the sky, saying "The sun's not yellow-it's CHICKEN!"

    by porchdog1961 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 11:13:09 AM PDT

  •  Your opening prargraph is EXACTLY how cons think (13+ / 0-)

    of us. They have this completely unreal caricature of  liberals that have been drummed into their heads by Rush Limbo.

    One time I was arguing with a tea partier at a tea  party protest. The first thing he said was "I've been working my whole life. I've never been on welfare"

    I said "well, I've been working since age 16. I joined the army at age 18. I've been working in private industries since I came out of graduate school at age 23, and I've never been on welfare neither"  After I said that he actually started talking to me in a fairly reasonable conversation (mostly ranting about 'those welfare queens').

    Another guy came by and asked me if I paid any taxes (it was 4/15) or if I got any tax refunded. I told him I was getting a $8000 refund. He was incensed. He kept accussing me of not paying taxes and kept saying he had to pay taxes to cover people like me. Somehow it completely escapes his mind that, in order to get $8000 back, I would have had a pretty sizeable tax withholding to begin with, and a substantial tax bill to begin with.

    These people just believe in absurd caricatures.

    •  Welfare queens? (13+ / 0-)

      "Did you say Welfare Queens? You mean like Exxon or BP or Banksters of America or Asshat Insurance Group (AIG) or Citigroup? Yeah, I hate them too!"

      "Do I have any regrets about the hard votes I took?" No. Not at all...and I never will. --Mary Jo Kilroy

      by Kurt from CMH on Thu May 05, 2011 at 12:29:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here is another reason (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      liz dexic

      A lot of the Great Society programs benefited the hardcore poor without any work requirement. They didn't really help the middle class. However, the middle class expected to support those programs without deriving much benefit.

      •  But The Middle Class Did Benefit a lot ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        We are only as strong as the weakest among us.  Our society benefitted a lot. By giving the weak a better chance to succeed we strengthen everyone.

        Did some bad apples take advantage of The Great Society?  
        Damn right.  But overall more were helped...and America was stronger for that.

        Sorrry, just tired of hearing that old Reagan refrain against the poor.

        "But such is the irresistable nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants is the liberty of appearing." -Thomas Paine

        by Tommymac on Thu May 05, 2011 at 04:34:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But put yourself in the position of (0+ / 0-)

          of a two-parent working class family. You barely make ends meet, but pay taxes. And then they want you to pay taxes for social programs that don't benefit you. You are there working 40+ hours a week, have a paycheck that isn't much after taxes, and then you're supposed to "support the poor". I can understand why many of those voters became Reagan Democrats. They make too much money to qualify for most of those programs, yet they were expected to support them anyway.

          •  You describe my family almost exactly (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BobSmith415, Marie, Tommymac

            Only my husband is a professional (architect). He's firm has been hit hard and hasn't received a paycheck in about 3 years. Prior to the economic downturn, Romney's mishandling of Massachusetts resulted in difficulties in the architectural community.

            We've been through all his unemployment and extensions. Currently, our family (of 4) is living on my 40K salary. We have no savings, that was wiped out by my major illness 2 years ago.

            Still, there are people in worse shape than we are and I don't complain about a penny I pay in taxes. It's the price of admission, so to speak.

            Luckily we've not had to resort to public assistance but it's made me sleep a little better at times knowing it's there.

            If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.

            by Barbie02360 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 04:45:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's part of my responsibility as a citizen to (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Barbie02360, Melanie in IA, Tommymac

              keep "public assistance" alive, and cheaper than getting you anti-insomnia meds. You're welcome. Sorry the social safety-net's been shredded over the last 30 years, I did what I could, but we've been losing for a while now.

              If things don't turn around fairly soon, I'll be needing public assistance myself...


              “I’ve come to the conclusion that people who say they never have had a second thought most probably have never had a first!”‘

              by BobSmith415 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 05:20:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Several points (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Barbie02360, Melanie in IA, Toon

        1. There is no more long term aid with no work requirement. The old AFDC has long since been replaced by TANF, which is temporary, and forces you into work placement.

        2. What makes you think welfare doesn't help the middle class? I am solidly middle class. Yet at any given time I am only one lay-off (or one bout of cancer) and one year away from complete destitution. Being an aging engineer, that could come at any minute. If that happens I will be darn glad there is a safety net to help me and my precious kids. I don't need it now. Just like I don't need the fire dept now. But when I do need it I will darn glad it's there for me.

        3. Even somebody who never uses any welfare programs (me for example... knock on  wood) still benefit from them.  When people get hungry and desperate they steal. They rob. I don't need that.  When a kid is hungry at school he won't be able to learn. He'll drop out and turn to a life of crime (or drug addiction). I don't need that around my neighborhood. I also don't need to see legions of destitute people and starving children begging for scraps every time I go to the train station. Having a welfare safety net to help these people definitely benefits me as well.

  •  May I see your long-form birth certificate... (10+ / 0-)

    because you sure as heck don't sound 'merican to me, ma'am.

    Your diary has a sorta Kenyan feel to it, if you ask me.

    My school district is facing a serious deficit, and it's resulting in teacher layoffs. At one point, before it came to its senses, the school board considered abolishing elementary gym, art, and music. Still, classes will be bigger next year, and other services will be cut.

    My son's teacher is one of those being furloughed. She's a wonderful teacher, and the whole situation is lousy. My feeling is, raise my taxes. It's not that I desire to pay higher taxes -- who does? -- but I'm willing to take a hit for the greater good because...

    I, too, am a liberal, and I like your definition of what it means.

    •  Can we please stop funding schools (3+ / 0-)

      on property taxes? Or at least stop funding them on a particular district's property tax-values? How about funding every school district in a state with the pooled resources of that states property taxes? Or a national pool of property value, with every school district getting the same amount per student?

      Add a surcharge for industries/corporations that need educated workers? "Hey, you need chemical engineers? You need to chip in $x.00 for national Head Start, and grammar school. In return, we'll tell kids how great chemical engineering is..."  

      “I’ve come to the conclusion that people who say they never have had a second thought most probably have never had a first!”‘

      by BobSmith415 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 05:27:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not a liberal. I'm a social democrat or (5+ / 0-)

    if you choose, a progressive. I have a real problem with the word liberal simply because it doesn't mean what the vast majority of people who describe themselves as liberal think it does.

    Just because you shout doesn't mean I have to listen.

    by kev9100 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 11:34:47 AM PDT

    •  hmm (0+ / 0-)

      "Liberal" means what the people who call themselves "liberals" say it does.  

      I rather think those who think liberalism is about laissez faire capitalism are actually the ones misunderstanding what liberalism is really about.  I know what the 19th century "classic" liberals were in favour of, but they're not the end all definition of liberalism, or we could still fairly say conservative = pro-mercantilism.

      Liberalism is an evolving school of thought, not a dogma handed down and frozen forever.

  •  Thank You (4+ / 0-)

    for believing in me, in America, and thinking outside the box.

    Cheers ;-)

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace- Hendrix

    by Maori on Thu May 05, 2011 at 11:39:32 AM PDT

  •  good post! like what you say (7+ / 0-)

    i find it kind of interesting, however, that when i was a kid in the 60s, calling someone middle class was considered a bit of an insult.  back then calling someone "middle class" was branding him or her as conformist, bourgeois, blindered.

    now, it's the middle class that those of on the left are working full time to save.  after all these years we've woken up to see that the middle class is, essentially, the very core of our social structure and its demise will, most likely, spiral the country into chaos.

    hope springs eternal and DAMN is she getting tired!

    by alguien on Thu May 05, 2011 at 11:40:32 AM PDT

  •  Tipped and rec'd... (8+ / 0-)

    by another progressive liberal who believes in unions, taxes, and all those other great things that (for some reason) give Republicans nightmares.

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Gandhi

    by AuroraDawn on Thu May 05, 2011 at 11:43:57 AM PDT

  •  Thanks tipped and rec'ed nt (5+ / 0-)

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear and loathing.

    by a2nite on Thu May 05, 2011 at 12:30:08 PM PDT

  •  Questions regarding unions (4+ / 0-)

    I have to admire you for putting these two thoughts in apposition: 1) “We need the unions. More now than ever.”  2) “My husband owns his own business and has for years.”
    That raises questions: Are the workers at your husband’s business unionized?  If so, why?  If not, why not?

    •  My husband owns his own architectural firm (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OhioNatureMom, lyvwyr101, AnnieR

      the only "employees" are he and his partner.

      If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.

      by Barbie02360 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 01:22:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Next question (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Thanks; reasonable answer.  But, now I have to ask why, based on your experience, you think we need unions.

        •  Because unions are the only guarantor of a (5+ / 0-)

          middle class? It's kind of obvious, really.

          Truly the destruction of the earth only results from the destitution of its inhabitants, and its inhabitants become destitute only when rulers concern themselves with amassing wealth. Caliph Ali, 7th century

          by SadieB on Thu May 05, 2011 at 01:42:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I believe in unions because (5+ / 0-)

          unions are representatives to advocate and negotiate.  You have power on one side, the corporation.  You have a relatively powerless individual worker.  In order to create a balance of power, workers "unite" and either advocate and negotiate on behalf of the group, or hire someone to do it for them.

          It is not intellectually different than hiring an agent or attorney to negotiate for you.

          I woke up this morning only to realize, it's opposite day again.

          by Melanie in IA on Thu May 05, 2011 at 02:07:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Great point! (0+ / 0-)

            Melanie (great name!), you have made a very key point: union reps are like lawyers.  I doubt that you’d have me, but just suppose, for argument’s sake, that you and I are married.  But wait!  We’re really not getting along, so we hire a lawyer to help settle matters.  I think that you’ll agree that, if you view our marriage as an entity, the lawyer will subtract from our net worth.  You may say that I had it coming, but the fact remains that, on average, we will both be the poorer for failing to work together.
            By the same token, the company I work for is an entity.  If we succeed as a team, on average, I will be the better for it.  The harder I work, the more likely it is that we will succeed.  At the moment, we are in an very competitive environment.  The last thing we need is for some “agent” to come in, subtract from our net worth, and institutionalize an adversarial relationship.  If such an agent does show up, I will suggest that he visit our competitors.

            •  Unions are pretty important in some cases (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              and those cases are pretty common.

            •  no (3+ / 0-)

              Employment is not like a marriage.  Your analogy fails.  Marriages are much more inherently equal than the employer-employee relationship.

              Unions don't usually form in companies that treat their employees well.  Happy employees don't bother forming unions.  So where you see a union, you almost always find a company that made a point of screwing its workers.

              Unions are imperfect, but until someone proposes a better self-reinforcing institutional mechanism for equalizing the relationship between capital and labour, they're the best we've got.   The results of their absence in the American scene has been glaring and obvious.  Employees are not better off for it.   Executives and sometimes shareholders are, but not the employees.

              •  Bad management (0+ / 0-)

                I have to agree.  Unions are an unfortunate reaction to poor management; unfortunate, because as I said earlier, they instantiate an adversary relationship that sets a company to working against itself.
                Please re-read my marriage analogy - it works perfectly to explain how outside agents subtract from the value of the entity.
                Your terms, capital and labour (are you Canadian?), depersonalize the equation - we are discussing people who, though they may be at different phases of life and career, must have the same goals (customer satisfaction and employee morale).  When these goals are not shared, we do indeed have a case of bad management which is a precursor to decline (as, I daresay, are unions).

        •  The more I think about this question, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          the less I understand it.

          What is a union? A union is 'employees working together to achieve common goals relating to the conditions of their employment.' Right?

          So: 'Why do you think we need employees working together to achieve common goals relating to the conditions of their employment?"

          Well, to achieve common goals relation to the conditions of their employment! Because if they didn't work together to achieve c. g. relating to the c. of their e., that'd be weird. It's far stranger that there are places where the right to join with friends and co-workers and, without breaking any laws, demand whatever on earth you wanna demand, is forbidden.

          "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

          by GussieFN on Thu May 05, 2011 at 03:07:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's just me and my boss, too. If I were (0+ / 0-)

          to "unionize" the first thing I'd do is a negotiated "giveback". Every month we get a check from a service corporation that I convinced him to join in a "partnership" program with. (This is one of those deals where you get paid a percentage for every customer you send them, for as long as that customer subscribes to a service.) And, every month the check comes in, and he buys me lunch. So, my first "union" negotiation would be, "Quit buying me lunch with that money; you haven't taken a paycheck in years. Take six of those 'partnership' checks, gas up your Harley and go to Reno, or something!"

          Really, dude's to responsible lately, hasn't had any fun since the Bush economic plan took effect...

          “I’ve come to the conclusion that people who say they never have had a second thought most probably have never had a first!”‘

          by BobSmith415 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 05:35:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Hey! (4+ / 0-)

    This is me too! I could never write it as well though!

  •  Thanks everyone for taking the time to read (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OhioNatureMom, lyvwyr101

    and comment.

    If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.

    by Barbie02360 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 01:24:29 PM PDT

  •  I don't agree with you on drug testing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have no problem with testing welfare recipients for drug usage. I don't want those on welfare using taxpayer money to finance their drug habits. I think it's perfectly reasonable request unless you support welfare recipients using drugs.

    I would set it up where, if a welfare recipient fails a drug test, he or she gets referred to a treatment program. If he/she fails a subsequent drug test he/she should lose benefits until he/she can be clean.

    I don't have a problem with helping those down on their luck. But I do support time limits and requiring those who do get benefits to find work as soon as is feasibly possible.

    •  No prob. We can drug test every Fed employee too (3+ / 0-)

      Including Congress and Congressional staffs - including contractors.

      Best of all, we need to get lobbyists in there too.

      My book idea: I go back in time, translate "Atlas Shrugged" into ancient Hebrew and give it to Jesus for his Bar Mitzvah present...and follow his life's much different trajectory. Working title: Shrug This...

      by etlingjm on Thu May 05, 2011 at 02:09:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Most, if not all, Federal employees and those (0+ / 0-)

        in the military are subject to drug testing. I think most government contractors also test their employees for drugs.

        •  That's true of some government contractors (0+ / 0-)

          I turned down an offer of employment because it contained random drug-testing.

          They don't only test for illegal drugs; according to the company literature, they could test for prescription drugs as well.

          If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.

          by Barbie02360 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 03:08:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Most professional employees now test their (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            employees for drug use. Good luck finding a job where they don't do that that actually pays decently well.

            •  I'm lucky (0+ / 0-)

              I work for a small engineering firm in Massachusetts and they're weathering the economic downturn OK.

              I'm clinging to my right to privacy as long as I can. When I was looking for work (I'm a secretary), I refused to work with agencies that required credit reports and drug testing.

              Probably won't change any policies but a girl has to have her standards!

              If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.

              by Barbie02360 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 04:30:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I guess it depends on the job (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I think looking at credit reports is fair for certain jobs, such as those dealing with finance, national security, and other sensitive information, but not all jobs.

                •  I agree with that as well. (0+ / 0-)

                  But the agencies required it as a matter of course.

                  An a personal anecdote: Back in the mid-90s I worked for a govt contractor (that didn't require drug testing or credit reports). I held a secret clearance for 5 years.

                  So more a function of how the workplace has evolved in the past 15 years.

                  If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.

                  by Barbie02360 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 04:38:58 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well that was probably before Aldrich Ames, Robert (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Hannsen, and other employees who betrayed the US. After the Aldrich Ames incident the US government became MUCH more concerned about peoples' financial records. That's why, if you apply for a clearance today, they will ask info about bankruptcies, unpaid debts, and credit problems. That's why some agencies require employees to disclose their assets and liabilities.

                    But, even if you have had financial problems, if there is a legitimate reason for them, such as medical expenses not covered by insurance, legal expenses related to a divorce, or prolonged unemployment, and as long as you trying to correct the financial problems, government agencies will still likely grant a clearance. Now, for the person who just decides to buy out Neiman Marcus, drive luxury cars, and not pay bills, that's a total other issue.

    •  I look at social services through (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Melanie in IA, GussieFN

      the eyes of my mother.

      She and my father separated in the 1970s for a brief time and my mother applied for, and received, state assistance.

      It nearly killed her. She had 5 children, a mortgage, and an alcoholic husband. I'm not sure she would have had the courage to submit herself to the kind of humiliation drug testing would have required, regardless of the need to her family.

      There are more women like my mother out there than can be imagined. More now since the economy collapsed.

      I disagree that since I don't think drug testing should be required means that I support welfare users doing drugs. (I'm not sure if I read that incorrectly or not but wanted to respond.)

      I agree that moving people off assistance should be of primary importance but how much time is reasonable? 3 months, 6 months, a year?

      Thanks for your comment, I do appreciate your point of view even though I disagree.

      If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.

      by Barbie02360 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 02:17:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The humiliation is often intentional. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Barbie02360, Scientician

        The more burdensome and exploitive the program, the less money it spends. And the more we can be sure that our taxes, which reflect the purity of our souls and lives, isn't wasted on the unworthy and ungrateful and uppity.

        "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

        by GussieFN on Thu May 05, 2011 at 03:17:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  There's a lot of misery (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      hidden in the white spaces of your comment.

      Which treatment program? Which drug tests? Which benefits? How much support? Cut them off completely? Take their kids away? Put their kids where? What if the kids fail a drug test? What if there's no work? For how long?

      "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

      by GussieFN on Thu May 05, 2011 at 03:14:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why some in the middle class don't like welfare (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't think most people have a problem with helping those down on their luck. What they do have a problem, however, is with enabling pathological/irresponsible behavior.

    •  I struggle with that as well. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marie, bushondrugs

      Ultimately, for me, it matters more that those in need get it.

      The issue of systemic abuse, in my opinion, will not be settled quickly or easily. Honestly, I see it as a problem that will require generations and not merely years.

      It's education, education, education. Making it a priority as a society. Stop demonizing it as a profession and stop treating students as cattle. But that's a subject for a whole other diary.

      If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.

      by Barbie02360 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 02:32:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And if the irresponsible ones have children, (0+ / 0-)

        it hurts those children to take the money away from their irresponsible parent(s).

        I don't know how to make a system that funnels the money to the kids instead of their parents, if the parents mis-handle the money, but the least we can do is to solidly fund those services that directly go to kids: Head Start, school meals (breakfast and lunch), health clinics, public education, after-school program like P.A.L.S, and so on.  

        I would like to see that any child of a drug addicted or neglectful parent be able to have meals, health care, education, mentoring, and a safe space for playing with friends, regardless of the status of his or her parent.

        It is impractical to pretend that the answer for children of irresponsible parents is to take the children "away" from their parents.  ("Away" to where? To an overburdened foster-care system?)

        Any discussion of drug-testing for welfare recipients and taking the welfare money away if they fail ignores the likely impacts to minor children in the family.

  •  One reason why Americans are hostile to unions now (2+ / 0-)

    is that the vast majority of people weren't alive back in the early 1900s. Those who were alive in the Great Depression era are starting to die off. They have no recollection of the abuses against workers that occurred in the Industrial Revolution and Gilded Arge eras.

  •  Aristotle? (0+ / 0-)

    "I believe a nation's greatness is based on how it treats it's most helpless.  I stole that last bit from Aristotle."

    Shucks, I thought it was Phil Ochs!
    Or the prophet Isaiah?!

  •  Be Proud. You have a lot in common (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Barbie02360, beefydaddy18

    with Alexander Hamilton.

    From The Federalist Papers:

    The conclusion is, that there must be interwoven in the frame of the government, a general power of taxation in one shape or another.
    Money is the propriety considered as the vital principle of the body politic; as that which sustains its life and motion, and enables it to perform its most essential functions. A complete power therefore tp procure a regular and adequate supply of it, as far as the resources of the community will permit, may be regarded as an indespensable ingredient in every constitution. From a deficiency in this particular, one of two evils must ensue; either the people must be subjected to continual plunder as a substitute for a more eligible mode of supplying the public wants, or the government must sink into a fatal atrophy, and in short course of time perish.
    How is it possible that a government half supplied and always necessitous, can fulfill the purposes of its institution - can provide for the security of - advance the prosperity - or support the reputation of the commonwealth? How can it ever possess either  energy or stability, dignity or credit, confidence at home or respectability abroad? How can its administration be any thing else than a succession of expedients temporising, impotent, disgraceful? How wil it be able to avoid a frequent sacrifice of its engagements to immediate necessity? How can it undertake or execute any liberal or enlarged plans of public good?

  •  Very, very nice. <!--defang_eom--> (0+ / 0-)

    Peek-a-Blog "The thirst to know and understand, a large and liberal discontent." - William Watson

    by TheSpinnyLiberal on Thu May 05, 2011 at 02:22:05 PM PDT

  •  Well said! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I feel the same way.

  •  Degenerate Liberals Believe In . . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Barbie02360, Marie

    social and economic justice for the poor and disenfranchised, NOT social and economic ADVANTAGE for the RICH and PRIVILEGED.

    using taxes to better the lives of everyone instead of just the filthy rich.

    freedom to do whatever makes your heart content as long as it doesn't adversely affect others.

    strong government regulation of corporate GREEDmongers.

    liberty and justice for all, NOT just for the rich and privileged.

    equal protection under the Constitutional Rule of Law.

  •  What are you views toward Euthanasia (0+ / 0-)

    Mine is this,you want to kill yourself,you just have to prove no one is pushing you.But,I think no 2nd party cases.And you must be terminal.

  •  The conservative brain is weird. (4+ / 0-)

    When confronted with the term "Entitlement programs", their first thought is welfare, and don't realize that 90+ percent of the money in entitlements is in Social Security and Medicare, which they always claim to love.  

    I know several conservatives who seem to believe that half or more of their entire tax bill goes directly into the pockets of lazy welfare queens, illegal aliens using government services, and people faking disability, poverty, or unemployment to get a free ride at taxpayer expense.

    When confronted by the fact that only a fairly small fraction of taxes goes to those entire programs combined, and of that total, an even smaller fraction goes to waste and/or fraud, they get angry and don't want to talk about it any more, just ignore you, or quote some Fox News story or urban legend they heard, or bitch about some cousin or acquaintance of theirs who is gaming the system.

    They seem to think that 90% of the money going to those plans are going to those fraudsters, instead of to legitimately sick and disadvantaged people.  This makes them more likely to want to kill all the programs outright, rather than to fix them to target the abusers and reduce waste and fraud.

    Even more weird, it seems conservatives are the first to stand in line when they need something, and often are the very fraudsters mentioned above.  They just don't want anyone ELSE to be sucking on the gravy train they want for themselves.

    New favorite put-down: S/he's as dumb as a flock of Sarah Palins

    by sleipner on Thu May 05, 2011 at 04:41:45 PM PDT

  •  I thought I was a Moderate Pew Research didn't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I was reading this article  Political Opinion more complex than Left or Right

    A link in the article let me take the Pew Research Typology
    Quiz Link to Quiz

    I think they need a new category Rational Sensible Informed Citizen

    The past, present, and future are equally compelling; none of the three are easily understood.

    by Grey Panther on Thu May 05, 2011 at 06:02:36 PM PDT

    •  Interesting quiz (0+ / 0-)

      I'm solidly liberal. Nice to have the confirmation!

      I would like to have had a third choice on some of those options.

      If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.

      by Barbie02360 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 06:12:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Conservatives, if allowed, will kill the goose (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Barbie02360, NM Ray

    Conservatives in their magical thinking re "the magic of the marketplace", will kill the goose that lays the golden egg in our economy;i.e., the working/middle class.  Without working people who receive enough pay to have discretionary income, then there will be no one to buy the goods and services upon which our economy is built.  

    Now multi-national corporations care not if our working class has discretionary income.  If we do not have the bucks, then they will just switch their efforts to China or some other developing nation that does have worker bees with an increasing discretionary income.

    Where the supporters of conservative politics err in their thought processes is that they assume that supply side economics...a cruelly false construct that was vehemently espoused by Repub politicians starting with Reagen....  

    If we want to grow our economy.  If we want to keep our country an economic powerhouse, then we will eschew free trade.  We will embrace enacting tariff policies that create a level playing field for our country.  We will support unions and we will support a balance between labor and capital.

    We will ignore the above if we are willling to accept a future certainty that without balance between labor and capital and without a level playing field created by proper tariffs, then we will all be able to stand by and watch our great nation fade into 3rd. world mediocrity.

    After all, for progressives, taking one for the team is desirable, but all too often at present, we are taking one from the team.

    by El Tomaso on Thu May 05, 2011 at 06:39:24 PM PDT

  •  Brava. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Well handled, ma'am. Well handled.

    (My new phrase, stolen from someone high up...)

  •  OK, Great! Now Tell Me What You (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    are doing here??

    "progressive liberals" are running a bit thin.

    "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

    by Superpole on Thu May 05, 2011 at 06:49:01 PM PDT

  •  Conservatives (0+ / 0-)

    are not against  "taxes."

    We are against higher taxes, especially in a time of tough economic trouble like we are in now.    

    Conservative, NC-06 (SC-04 college) "Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged." Ronald Reagan

    by aggou on Thu May 05, 2011 at 06:57:38 PM PDT

    •  Exactly. (0+ / 0-)

      That's why we continue seeing Cons trying to eliminate taxes.

      Makes sense.

      IF you don't want higher taxes, do tell us how you plan to correct our economic troubles?

      (I can't wait for this talking point riddled response)

      More and Better Democrats

      by SJerseyIndy on Sat May 07, 2011 at 05:15:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  But...but...but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Quidquid id est, timeo Republicanos et securitatem ferentes.

    by Sura 109 on Thu May 05, 2011 at 07:46:33 PM PDT

  •  I'm also a liberal (0+ / 0-)

    A liberal with religion but a liberal none the less. As such I want to thank you for your post. I agree with it on a lot of levels. So thank you and I wish you all the success in the world.

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