Thursday, March 23, 2017

Let's talk conservative and sustainable

Being conservative is virtuous.
We should be conservative in our judgement of others. Civility is a conservative approach. Holding back harsh words is conservative. It reflects pragmatism and an understanding that time often serves a person well in dealing with untruth.
Conservatism can be a virtue.
Conservation can be a path to long term sustainability. With that motive, being conservative is a virtue. We need thoughtful focus on sustainability. Sustainability is very complicated. It deserves thoughtful discussion.
We've really messed up the labels "conservative" and "liberal". They have been turned into divisive terms that now have little meaning and are counter productive in dealing with serious issues that impact us all. We need to stop that. Let's talk about what works and what doesn't and let's talk about the reasons - really talk about the reasons.
As an example, let's look at Social Security. When Social Security was introduced in this country and if it were introduced today, the program would have a "Liberal" label. If this program was being introduced in Congress today, it wouldn't even get a hearing. We'd be hearing LIBERAL, SOCIALISM, and a thousand other slurs.
But reality is that millions of Americans - conservative and liberal - depend upon and love Social Security. The general perception is that we paid into it and we have a right to expect a return on the investment we have made. That is both conservative and liberal. And why has it worked for decades?
It's worked for decades because it had a basis in sustainability and conservative oversight. It has been a lifeline for millions and millions of Americans. Those of us who have paid into it for decades feel ownership and rightfully so. Our expectation of a return on that investment is conservative. We expect that we are investing in a sustainable program and insist that it is because we paid into it.
Social Security is a government administered program. Yes, the government is controlling this program that is favored by both conservatives and liberals; that benefits both conservatives and liberals. Yes, we pay for it for years in social security taxes. Yes, we should expect a return. That is both a conservative and a liberal response.
Perhaps our taxes should be further divided so we can assess an appropriate response to return on investment. How much would you conservatively say would be an appropriate tax for military spending? How much would you conservatively say is appropriate for human services tax? Perhaps our entire tax payment should be specified so we are seeing exactly what category we are paying for so we can assess our expectation on return on investment. Most Americans would find it rather shocking. We are currently blind to it unless we educate ourselves.
The most liberal spending of our tax dollars lies in military spending. Here is a chart of YOUR tax dollar spending. Where is the liberal part and where is the conservative part?

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