Saw this on FB. Such a perfect illustration of the concept.
Sadly, many “tall” people don’t recognize that they were born with that advantage, and didn’t earn it, and therefore balk at the idea that they should give up any of their disproportionate power so that others have a fair chance to compete. Some will even argue that though they were born into power, and didn’t earn it directly, their ancestors did, and thus they should be allowed to benefit from the previous work done (conversely, they also often believe that people suffering now are suffering justly, as they’re reflecting whatever misdeeds their ancestors did. Sins of the father and all that.)
At the very least, they argue, they should be allowed to give up their box voluntarily, should they deign to do so, rather than being forced to give it to the short people. (Or they believe in the magical Market beast, who will somehow provide the short person with an extra box, so long as said short person ensures that the tall person gets to keep their own box, too.) Problem is: most people won’t actually give up that box voluntarily, hence why we have public policy that compels them to do so.
The fact is thus: virtually everyone in a position of significant economic and political power got there not by their own, personal hard work, but because they were born with privileges others don’t have. Often, these folks were born in, say, the top 20%, and worked to get to the top 5%, and thus feel that that alone is effort enough to deserve their high position. They don’t realize that being born in such a high position to begin with—high enough to reach those single digits—wasn’t their doing. (Nor do they usually realize that getting from 20 to 5 wasn’t entirely due to their own efforts, and that they had help along the way.)
It’s therefore reasonable to require those people to give up some of their unearned privilege so that others suffering from misfortune not of their own making may have an equal chance at success. This is why the estate tax is fair. It’s not a tax on the person who has died and who theoretically earned the money. It’s a tax on the person who receives the windfall, because they did absolutely nothing to earn it. Likewise with capital gains. If the only reason you receive a certain sum is that the value of something you own has gone up, without your doing jackall to increase that value, absolutely you should have to pay a bigger tax rate than that on actually earned income.
I’m in a relatively comfortable position now, but I grew up poor. Getting to this point did involve significant effort on my part—getting a job at 14, getting good grades, etc.—but it also involved a lot of luck, help from others, and, yes, help from the government. (Private charities, OTOH, did next to nothing for me, because I didn’t qualify for their services or because I had to pay for them with religious faith. I do give back to the ones who did help me, FWIW.) I’m therefore perfectly happy to pay a higher tax rate than I did when I was poor, to account for the percentage of my financial state that was not due to individual effort. “The people” helped me to help myself. I’m therefore perfectly happy to pay it forward, so others can get here, too.
Gee, ya think?
Here’s what the 2012 electoral map would have looked like if only white males had voted.
Wwwwwooooow. I wish I could say something intelligent about this, but I can’t.
Given that it also includes the rednecks and white supremacists east of the Cascades, I’m utterly delighted that Washington is still blue.
Of course, we do have a LOT of queer dudes here (and yay for that), which might explain it, but FWIW, even most of our straight guys are decent, because most of them are raging nerds. When you’re smart enough that you feel no need whatsoever to assert your dominance via cheesy displays of traditional masculinity, the politics just sort of naturally follow.
Breaking my politics-dark promise because this shit happened on Twitter tonight.
Granted that the tweet itself is a week old, but his PR team promoing that in the middle of a massive natural disaster is just gross. But then again, the dude did say he’d kill FEMA, so maybe it just doesn”t matter to him that millions of Americans are in deep shit right now.
Last political post for now
Two weeks out for us USAians. I’ve already voted (yay for mail ballots!) and have donated what I can for the races that still need a little boost. Which means my ability to really affect the outcome at this point is limited. It’s in other hands, now. I’m finishing revision on my last novel and have two major events coming up, so I need the mental bandwidth back, and therefore will be going politics-dark for the next two weeks. I know, yay for you, right? ;)
But before I go back to fandom squee, I have one simple request:
If you are a USAian of voting age, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE VOTE if you’ve not already done so.
I’ve been voting for 20 years, and I think I can safely say this is the most critical election I’ve ever voted in. Yes, really. I know that sort of hyperbole gets tossed around a lot, but the political landscape is sharply different now than it was even a decade ago. These are not your dad’s Republicans anymore. They are hard-right, Tea-Party-backed and have utterly horrifying views on women, GLBT folk, the poor, people with disabilities and people of color. If we don’t have good turnout this year from young folks, particularly young women, they are going to have both houses of Congress and the White House, which means rubber-stamping for every nauseating bit of hateful legislation they can dream up. These people make Nixon look like a liberal, and I am genuinely scared about the hell they will wreak if they have the power to do so.
There is a very real chance we may lose reproductive rights and that every GLBT-rights gain we’ve made in the last few years may be rolled back—maybe even as far back as Lawrence v. Texas. There is a very real chance that critical services for the most vulnerable people in our country may disappear entirely. There is a very real chance that they’re going to provoke war with Iran. This is not crazy flailing, folks. This is a genuine reality we WILL see if they have that much power.
I know our political system is broken, and that most of the people running, even on our side, are creepy to at least some degree. But don’t buy into people trying to sell you on false equivalence to get you to stay home. There is a very, very real difference in the candidates this time. I’d personally like far more progressive candidates than we have now, but we’re never going to get there if we pretend that voting doesn’t matter. It does matter—YOUR vote matters. Please don’t throw it away.
And if nothing else, if y’all get out there and do this and we’re more-or-less safe for another four years, my annoying political rants may be fewer and further between. That’s a bonus in itself, yeah?
Dying, here. This is perfect.
Add (for me!): Jay Inslee, Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Duckworth!
Best quality video Youtube had, sorry.
SNORTS CHOKES SNERKS at the last one.
THE SHADE OF THE LAST ONE.
And we wish you could’ve run off your middle name too Barrack D:
I love President Snark. <3
Also, I hope every of-age American who liked/reblogged this is registered and will vote!
… or at least I hope it does. :) This is my pledge to vote this year, and I hope you’ll join me. Politics might not be as entertaining as our lovely pop culture escapism, but it’s incredibly critical to us as human beings, if not fans. U.S. voter turnout, especially among young people, is notoriously low, and I’d really like to see that change. We are a mighty force as entertainment consumers. Imagine what we could do if we put our numbers to use as voters, too.
Please read on for an explanation of why voting is so important (short version: downticket races) and join me, if you can, in registering, and pledging to vote, by reblogging or posting your own Fandom Votes pledge.
Also into: Game of Thrones, Sinbad, Arrow, Vikings, Continuum, Leverage, Warehouse 13, Fringe, Criminal Minds, Sherlock, LOTR, BSG, Lost, Sanctuary, Downton Abbey, The Hour, Being Human (UK), Eureka, Longmire, Merlin, Wilfred, The Borgias, True Blood, Grimm and Lost Girl. Among other nerdy entertainment delights.