Florida, what’s going on? I just read some dude called a deputy to supervise while he spanked his daughter. That alone is weird, but apparently this isn’t even uncommon. One sheriff said he participated in this wackiness twelve times.
Oh, that isn’t the worst of it, Florida. A few of your counties ended courthouse weddings because they weren’t cool with performing ceremonies for homosexual couples. You cited a priest for feeding homeless people. The mayor of Gainesville is a drunk driver. The former mayor of Hampton (apparently the most corrupt town in your state) was arrested for selling drugs. Houses and people fall into sinkholes. THE FORMER F**KING PRESIDENT OF MOTHERS AGAINST DRUNK DRIVING WAS ARRESTED FOR A DUI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And oh yeah, hurricanes, crazy crimes, Flo Rida, and Carrot-Top.
Dude… I think it’s time we either have an intervention or castrate your admittedly phallic-looking state from the rest of the country. I’m perfectly fine with 49 states if one of them can’t get their act together. I mean, there are quite literally too many reasons as to why you suck for me to list. I’m not even joking. I did research for this post and somehow discovered a new emotion that is equal parts disgusted and depressed.
Let’s just get right down to it, people: I want to change the world for the better. At least right now I do. As soon as I get the opportunity to pick up and live a quiet life somewhere, I’m perfectly fine with the rest of the world figuring it out. But for now, let’s make some noise!
Last week I spoke about crime, but I want to take a step back and look at the bigger picture for a second. I often wonder how groups like Nazis and ISIS still exist today. Why is racism still an issue in the US and other countries? Why do the poor often remain poor? Why do people protest? Well, there’s not a single answer, but I can tell you this: having an influential voice matters.
We’re about to have a moment of honesty here: most people don’t give a damn about the affairs of the world. It’s true. For many of us, global (and in many cases domestic) problems are a point to debate and discuss, but the majority of people don’t care enough to make moves to change the world. I mean, the world is a big place with a ton of people. Most of us are just trying to live. Unfortunately, the people with the loudest voices are the ones who seemingly drive opinions and the trends of this world.
Corporations have loud voices.
Politicians have loud voices.
Extremists have loud voices.
You know who doesn’t have a loud voice? People who just want to live their lives.
It’s tough for people who want to make a change. I used to harp on people in America and wonder why they don’t come together more to make a change. Now I get it; most people just want to be content. The BS that we have in this world is just a reflection of people who care enough to continue negativity (and the people who don’t care enough to do anything about said negativity). Some type of collective voice on the opposite end of the spectrum should ideally be able to combat this.
Hmmm, should we make an attempt based on an ideal? Humanity’s been doing it for years, so why not?
I think there are tons of voices out there who care enough to create positive change. The problem is they’re so splintered. Although they all have good intentions, they’re currently not as big as the multiple issues of the world. Add in the differing focuses and you have people who are trying to constantly bandage a bleeding global society. But what if we all came together with a collective vision. That could make a difference.
So I’m not speaking to the people who are just trying to live their lives. I’m speaking to people who actually care about democracy and human rights. I’m speaking to people who care about equality enough to want to do something. If you care about poverty, discrimination, or war, I’m talking to you. If you just want to endlessly discuss ideas, feel free to do so with other people. I’m down for that too, but that doesn’t do anything significant. Discussions are good, but actions are better.
To all the people who actively want to let their voices be heard, I have a proposal for you. Let’s agree on the following:
All people deserve adequate food and shelter.
All people have the right to do what they want as long as it doesn’t hurt or infringe on the livelihood of others.
Global capitalism is mostly broken and actively works against points one and two.
People have the right to social, economic, political, and religious freedom as long as it follows point two.
All people are equal and have the same rights.
Pretty simple goal, right? At least in theory. If you believe in these ideals, let your voice be heard. Let’s move as one to make this happen. If these issues aren’t your passion, just live your life. All I ask is that you don’t violate any of these points in your personal lives. As for everyone else, you better believe this isn’t the last time I’ll be writing about this. At least until I finally secure that quiet little life away from all the nonsense of this world.
I must confess, I have a chip on my shoulder: I want to change the world for the better. Yeah, I’m an idealist. I see so much potential in this world being wasted on conflict at numerous levels and I want to do something about it. I write about various topics on my blog, I speak about it on my podcast, and I even write music about it.
I’m not a great intellectual or scholar.
I’m not a revolutionist.
I’m just a guy with ideas. Some of them aren’t even really that new.
So let’s start here: why do criminals exist? The obvious answer is criminals exist because laws exist. But we need laws, so let’s look a bit more deeply and separate crime into violent and non-violent categories.
There’s no excuse for violent crimes so let’s also put that aside for this post. There’s a simple solution for those in the form of prison, though I certainly feel we could do more to rehabilitate offenders on a wider scale than simply punishment alone. With that out of the way for now, what do we do about non-violent crimes? Why do they even exist?
Non-violent crimes usually involve some form of theft/fraud or something that can potentially threaten the safety of others or the violator (this includes drugs so let’s not go there right now). The former is fairly straightforward in terms of why it happens: poverty and greed. These are two things running rampant in our global society because of the way we treat distribution of wealth. If we all had enough, there’d be less crime.
But making that happen is just a pie-in-the-sky dream you say? Not so, naysayer! Let’s isolate the US for now, shall we? The federal minimum wage in America is $7.25. If a person with that salary works 40 hours a week for 52 weeks, they will GROSS $15080. That’s not much of a living to make, even before taxes. This is evidenced by the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita which is over $53K. If that should be a standard of living in the US, why aren’t more folks hitting it? Granted, there are states with higher minimum wages, but there are some with less or none at all. Additionally, the US unemployment rate is at about 6 percent (though I think it’s higher considering it’s difficult to track all the homeless). This means that our ideal is not being met across the board, especially when richer people skew that number.
Okay, that’s enough of that for now. How do we make the situation better? If we over-tax the rich, they may move to countries with less taxes (my girlfriend says this happens with Sweden). How about a federal minimum salary of $40K? I mean, one that’s standardized across all states. That’s still less than the per capita GDP, but it will allow for a better quality of life for more folks. The tough part would be with companies who would need to open their pockets more to obviously pay their workers. Well, a portion of people’s salaries could be supplemented by the government. We’re already giving back more tax refunds/credits than ever before; I’d prefer a better salary than a refund that comes once a year. Also, I feel the 40 hour work week is an archaic standard that may not be needed anymore. What about a 30 hour work week? The extra time means more jobs.
We could also greatly reduce our military spending, but I think that’s a conversation for another day.
Lastly, we should be evaluating the lives of those incarcerated for theft.There’s a stark difference between someone who is stealing because they are homeless and someone who steals because they simply want more. We’re not doing much to put the former in a better place once they are out of prison. They’re back in the same situation (sometimes worse) when they go back into the real world. On the other end of the spectrum, if folks are meeting the per capita GDP and still get caught for theft related crimes, we should be punishing them accordingly and rehabilitating the behavior.
It’s the circle of (prison) life.
All of this is to say money is an issue. Comfort is a great sedative. Sure, greed will always be out there, but I truly believe we aren’t solving any issues by building more prisons. Though I’d prefer to flip the entire system on its head and start over, I know that isn’t realistic in this day and age. But can’t we make adjustments to this system that is clearly not working for everyone? Are we actually trying to solve problems or are we just discussing/arguing how to solve problems? You can say I’m wrong about any of this, but we’re also not giving any of it a shot. The US has bailed out huge companies and the country has moved forward without an issue; how are we not taking care of our citizens better? Maybe if we were, theft wouldn’t occur as much. I wonder how we could apply this thinking to a global level.
Happy Thanksgiving to my American audience! I hope you guys are enjoying the day. Here’s a quick podcast on my thoughts about the day and why I’m grateful/lucky every moment of my silly little life. Enjoy!
My girlfriend joins me again as we speak/debate about the supposed trend of police shooting innocent people in the US, theories on why crime exists in the US, and how we would change things. Spoiler: I want to overhaul the system while my girlfriend shoots for a more practical approach. That’s pretty much the story of our relationship. Enjoy the improved audio!