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Barrett Manor

Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

I'm A Complicated Person

Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett


I expect most of us are, though some aren't keen to admit it. I don't see the world in black and white absolutes. Frankly, that infuriates some people, particularly those who prefer to talk in sound bytes and talking points. 

With that in mind I'd like to go beyond the limits of comment boxes and take some time to explain my positions.

I am a fiscal conservative and lean liberal on social issues. I suppose that makes me moderate overall, though I acknowledge those definitions tend to vary by region of the country.

While I'm not sure we pay too much in taxes (though I'm not especially keen on paying more), I believe we're spending money in places that we don't need to spend it, and we have politicians and their cronies making out like bandits at our expense. You've no doubt read about our governor. Or check today's news regarding Newt Gingrich taking a huge chunk in consulting money from Freddie Mac. It's not just Republicans, but Newt is in the news today. I realize that Waste, Fraud, and Abuse are not line items, but when we can't adequately educate our children or provide even basic health services to the most needy among us while our politicians hand out money to to businesses who do nothing with it other than hand it back to them, something is wrong.

I believe that the Tea Party and the Occupy movement started out with the best of intentions, but have been taken over by the fringes. If you take a close look at the roots of both movements, they really do have a lot in common, and there are plenty of folks supporting either movement who bemoan what's become of them.

The city of New York had a right to evict the protesters in Zuccotti Park, but to attempt to bar credentialed reporters, close the airspace, and lock residents inside of their own homes while they did it harkens back to the reasons why this country had a revolution all those years ago. Credentialed, professional reporters know to stay out of the way of cops while getting their story. In addition, the courts have confirmed time and time again the right of Americans to photograph police as they carry out their duties. 

People complain about the Occupy Dallas movement, but conveniently forget that the protesters are there by an agreement with the City of Dallas. If the protesters can't abide by the agreement, then they have to go. Likewise, the city needs to abide by their part of the agreement.

The right to protest is enshrined in our Constitution. However, all rights have to balance. It's the old "you have the right to swing your fist as long as it doesn't hit my face" issue. Civil disobedience is one thing, but when people start getting hurt as a result of your actions, then you have a problem.

I also believe it's possible to have a good job with benefits and still have compassion for people struggling to make ends meet. "Get a job" doesn't work when the latest unemployment statistics show that there are three times more unemployed than there are jobs available. Are there people who would rather just be lazy and live on government handouts? Yes. And I wish they'd get off of their collective a$$es and look for work. But to lump them in with people who have been looking for months or years for a decent job is wrong. 

I'm not against anyone profiting from their hard work. More power to them. What I am against is greed. There's a difference between a fair (even healthy) profit and squeezing every last penny for the folks at the top at the expense of the people in the trenches. There may come a time when the money is all squeezed out and the folks who made it all for you don't have enough to buy your goods and services. Then what do you do? 

With that in mind, let me state that it's possible to be in favor of fair wages and hours and not be in favor of massive income distribution. People should work for their money, but they should have the opportunity to earn enough money to make ends meet. 

And yes, I'm in favor of healthcare reform. If people don't have access to basic health care, they're not going to get treated until they get sick. And who pays? We do, one way or another. Also, healthy people are able to work and earn money. It makes fiscal sense. 

I hope this helps people understand my positions.

Feel free to leave comments. Just be respectful.

Tags: Life  Politics

Filed under: Life   Politics         
11/16/2011 11:05:56 AM
C'mon, leave a comment. Make with the clicking, already!
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