Sunday, June 5, 2011

Some Things I Believe

I sometimes get asked why I have come to be a liberal (or progressive .. or whatever kind of label you want to put on my vaguely lefty way of looking at the world). I thought that I would try to put up a few bullet points to see if I could draw a bit of a line around the things that shape my world view.

  • I believe that people as a whole are not evil and while we may do selfish or nasty things on occasion, that is not what drives us.
  • I don't believe that people are inherently lazy. I think that the vast majority of people want to work at something productive and meaningful that pays enough that they aren't perpetually on the edge of starvation.
  • I believe that people want to have their own stuff. This is why I am not a communist, I think that having things of your own is important.
  • I don't believe that bona fide "self made" people do it for the money. Money is merely how the score is kept in the game.
  • I don't believe that increasing someone else's freedom necessarily diminishes mine.
  • I don't believe that government is inherently good or bad.
  • I don't believe that corporations are inherently good or bad.
  • I believe that technology is often the answer to our problems, but not without humanity in its application
  • I believe that every person has a right to health care delivered in an efficient, effective and dignified manner at minimal direct cost. Most patients will not abuse this and the few that do will frankly not cost that much to carry if the costs are spread across everyone.
  • I believe that it is my responsibility as a human being to help ensure that the least among us have what they need to live in dignity.
  • I believe that taxes are necessary.
  • I believe that "user fees" for government services are in general needlessly regressive
  • I believe that government should be the employer of last resort in an economic downturn
  • I believe that government should be the lender of last resort in an economic downturn.
  • I believe that every citizen should vote.
This is my quick list for this morning. I am sure that I will add to this list over time. Note that I said that I believe these things. They are the axioms that define the shape of my political views. If you change them, you get a different shape. It is an interesting exercise, everyone should try it sometime.

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