Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A few recent thoughts.

Thought 1:
Humans have significant subconscious minds. There are things which are understood and known innately even if it is not discussed openly. Killing other people is wrong it does not take a lot of training to convince someone that they should not kill others. In most cases you have to do a lot of training to get someone to kill someone else. While this is not an absolute rule we can safely say that it is much more often than not.

Thought 2:
There is a big difference between what a person is entailed to unconditionally and those things that they are entitled to only on certain conditions. These benefits should be kept and shared in accordance to the rules for them. When these rules are broken it does harm to the people involved. A mother that does not show love to their child will cause harm to that child. She has kept a benefit that she owed to her child. She would also do herself harm she has robbed her child of a benefit that he needed. Her lack of care for her child will result in feelings of guilt and shame. When a person gets benefits that a person should not have or that are contrary to the rules set up for it harm is done. A husband that receives the benefits of love from their wife while instead of returning that love only gives hurt is robbing her. He has received that which he has no right to and has denied her that which she has a right to. An employer who undercuts an employee a few hours on their pay check has robbed them just as an employee that has turn in hours beyond what they have worked. Harm can also be done if the payroll clerk gives more money to an employee than they have earned. Every penny given to that employee beyond their agreed wage takes it from the share holders, owners and other employees of the company. It could also lead to the employee to an inaccurate understanding of the demands of their employment and the compensation for it. Over time the employee might incur unreasonable debt based on the inflated wage. It also creates a situation of inequality with their fellow workers who agreed to the same work and same pay, but who are in fact being paid less. (This does not mean that a person can not honestly have a higher rate of pay than another if they and their employer have agreed to that.)
Thus everything you have or do not have in violation to the rules that determine who gets what (I should have a catcher phrase for that) causes harm to those involved.

Thought 3:
Humans need mental/emotional/spiritual etc. equilibrium. Equilibrium keeps things in balance. It can be as simple I hit Johnny so Johnny hit me. The same rules apply to larger interactions. When this system gets out of balance we have to do something to fix it. If Johnny can hit me and no one cares but when I hit Johnny I get in trouble I have to find a way to make that make sense. Now if Johnny is 2 and I’m 15 we have an age rule that allows us to bring some balance to the inequality. When we are not able to find a rule that can make the inequality work it creates a pain and anxiety. Overtime we have to find a way to address these pains. There are healthy and unhealthy methods for dealing with these pains. Some inequalities will heal over time (few if any people are still annoyed over their sibling getting the biggest peace of cake 20 years ago). Others are too large to heal themselves without effort (A parent who abused their children often for their entire childhood may have their children’s anger out live them.) When we are in pain we want relief. When the pain is bad enough we will do just about anything to make it stop or at least go away for awhile (think about the last time you had a bad case of the flu). Most people can take some pain for awhile, but if it is ceaseless for years people become desperate.

Thought 4:
Much of the addictive behavior in our society starts as an attempt to end pain. There are those who are board or curious, but I believe that the vast majority of people start addictive behaviors in a self medicating attempt. Once they are engaged in the behavior it takes on a life of its own and the involved person may need help to stop, but stopping the behavior (treatment) without addressing the causes of the pain that lead them there in the first place is only a temporary solution. The pain will in time drive a person back to their earlier addiction or another addiction (remember the bad flu even if you don’t like the side effects of the medicine the pain often seems so bad that nothing could be worse).

Thought 5:

Government, in particular the federal government can impact the conditions of people living in this country. Policies made can either promote a proper balance or an improper balance for the population. A rather popular government policy is that of wealth redistribution. It works by taking a larger portion of a persons income in taxes than is needed to run services and giving that to another person as a form of income. This can be done in a variety of ways but the effect is consistent. Policies literally rob Peter to pay Paul. This upsets Peter who has worked for his money and it harms Paul by making him dependent on Peter through the inefficient policies of the Government. Paul has to address this problem. He may find a means to alter his situation so that he does no longer takes Peter’s money. He may decide that he is somehow entitled to it and start asking why not rob Mary too. Or he may find some means of taking his mind off of the imbalance. (see thought 4).

Thought 6:
People are creatures of habit. Over time we develop a way of doing things and we have a hard time changing. This is extra true when the change means more work for us even if it would be better for us. Seriously ask yourself about your exercise habits? Maybe you are the exception, but many of us don’t do as much exercise as we should it is inconvenient and not a lot of fun. Animals have the same problem. Many parks have sings instructing people to not feed the wild animals. This is because they quickly become dependant on handouts and lose their ability to provide for themselves. This is bad enough when a single creature becomes dependant on handouts, but they teach their offspring how to get food inside a few generations the basic skills to live can be lost. I’m not saying that we should not have any emergency programs for people. Just like animals if there is a major shortage of food a human could supply for a short term an alternative food source if it is done rarely and only when it is needed it will not become habit forming for the animals. Some might say that a dependant animal is just fine like a domesticated dog. The problem though is in the loss of freedom and over time the loss of an understanding that they can be free. An animal that can only eat when its master feeds it will quickly learn to do as it is told or it will die. When human basic needs are supplied from a single source the source can (thought it may not always) become abusive. One of the great strengths of the free enterprise system is that a person can get their needs meet through different means depending on their needs. I recently got upset with a can insurance provider. I made the choice to change to another one. If there was only one insurance provider and I was compelled to have the insurance I would have to comply with whatever they demanded no matter how outrageous it was. When there are choices there is freedom. If we become conditioned to getting things from a single source we will over time lose our understanding of other choices. Our children will be like the domesticated animal that has given up a great deal of freedom for its food. Don’t get me wrong I like dogs and I okay with someone choosing to be loyal to something or someone, but when that choice is forced or when our choice means that our children can not choose we have entered a dark place.

Thought 7:

The farther a person goes down a path the harder it is for them to change to another path. At present the United States has a large number of persons who can with no reason beyond having no money get a large sum of money cheep or free health care, housing, food, power, phone etc. There are some safe guards in place, but they can be worked around. The culture of I deserve what you have earned is frightening. If while walking down the street a person pulls out a gun and demands your money we would say that you had been robbed and that the person who took the money committed a crime. The place we are very near to now is one where you are walking down the street and a cop pulls out a gun and demands you money. He than keeps some and gives the rest to others. He states that these people where called names and therefore decided to not get jobs and that because you have a job you have to give them all the money they want. They have a house that is about as nice as yours they have about the same number of kids, but because you work and they don’t you must support them. Aside from the obvious moral issue here there is also a practical issue at some point the person working will decide that they are not being paid well enough for their efforts. They will quit their job and collect money from those who do work and keep their current life style with the added bonus of not being gone 40-80 hours a week working. At some point enough people will be not working the number of people who are working can not support them all. At this point we will have to force people back to work. It will be hard remember they have had years of not doing it and have been told they don’t need to. Their skills will be reduced and they will scarcely be able to provide for themselves. We will than be at a point of choice do we take from those who do well and give to those who don’t or do we encourage those who don’t do well to do better. Option A takes us right back to the point where everyone quits working. Option B is hard, but takes us to a place where everyone provides for their own needs.

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