Politics Prevents Progress

Cannabis is legal in a handful of states, and gays can now be equally unequal to everyone else! But the public didn’t want to throw anyone in jail for weed 20 years ago, and where I reside in the northeast hasn’t given a crap about stopping gays from being together for at least as long. So why are these things hailed as political victories?

It takes the government way longer to catch up than the public. And in the mean time gays are marginalized, kids are thrown in jail for possessing a plant, and countless other atrocities occur just waiting for the government to stop being so stupid and repressive.

The government has all the advantages in the public discourse. They can repeal some ridiculous law that THEY put in place, and everyone hails the government as having solved the problem! Are you freaking kidding me? Don’t give the government credit for removing a ridiculous law that they put in place in the first place, causing countless innocent people to be locked in cages!

The government stalls progress, and should never be given credit when they finally catch up to the wishes of the public. The public actually gets along pretty well. And if the government didn’t stand in our way, we would solve these issues way before the idiots on Capital Hill ever get around to it.

Another way of saying WE would solve these problems without government obstruction is to say the market would solve these problems. Who would arrest pot-smokers if not the government? Murderers would still be arrested, because there would be a market for it: we would all want to solve the problem of crime. So we would spend our money, and figure out a fair trial system to make sure we take criminals off the street. Not many people will pay to police “crimes” where these is no victim. There would be no special treatment for government cronies, and enough competing agencies to hold the other ones accountable!

joejarvisedmeme

Having government educate children is like a death sentence for humanity. We can be sure they will never make kids smart enough to know they don’t need government! In this modern era, we can easily figure out how to educate kids for very cheap, and in a way that doesn’t make them hate their lives in a classroom for six hours a day. Humanity is ready for the next generation of education where the possibilities are endless, government is holding us back.

And another thing, the people of America aren’t at war with the people of where-ever. We might not like their government, just like most of us don’t like our own government. But don’t let our scumbags in charge convince us that the people of those countries mirror their scumbags in charge. If anything, we are worse in America, because at least we ELECTED our scum to office. Most of the people we condemn got their leaders by outright force (or by the U.S. installing them)!

So again, without the bumbling government machine, we would already be hanging out with Iraqi’s and North Koreans.

And without the government ruining lives over victimless crimes, and arbitrary laws, we would all be sitting around the campfire singing Kumbaya.

Government is why we can’t have nice things. End rant.

Government is Like a 5 Year Old

Something happened in real life that ended up being the perfect analogy to describe government. Specifically I thought of this as similar to how government has inserted itself into marriage, but it could apply to many scenarios in which government has barged in and messed things up.

A few months back I was hanging out with my sister watching my two nieces and their friend, all 5 and under, play on the swings. Although there were three kids and only two swings, this had not yet presented a problem, as my younger niece was playing nearby happily without a swing, until…

My older niece decided it was time to announce that the swing she was swinging on was her swing (actually it was the neighbor’s swing set) and that her sister could swing on her swing because she was her sister, but their friend could not swing on her swing.

Well before this announcement, the friend couldn’t care less about swinging on my niece’s swing, she had her own! Ah but the forbidden fruit! Now she wanted to swing on my niece’s swing. “No!” my niece insisted, “I just said this is my swing!”

My sister, annoyed that my niece had created a problem, and wanting to appease their young friend as well as promote sharing, forced my niece off of the swing so that her friend could have a turn. (Keep in mind there is now an identical empty swing for the taking.)

When my older niece was finally wrenched off her swing crying, so that her friend could have a turn, my younger niece swooped in and attempted to usurp the chosen swing, as according to her sister, it was her birthright. In the end one swing was empty, one was occupied by a crying friend, and my two nieces were crying and being gently restrained as not to attempt to retake the desirable swing.

In this scenario, my older niece would be the government, arbitrarily making up rules and instigating fights. My younger niece would be the anti-gay marriage people who have always been “allowed” by government to get married. And the friend would be the pro-gay marriage people, happy until others were granted special privileges by the government, at which point they felt wronged by comparison.

But my niece is actually generally well mannered, friendly, and caring, as opposed to the government. Oh yea, she’s also 5 years old! Yet everyday the government acts exactly like she did in this scenario.

Gay couples were living together and dedicating themselves to each other for life, for better or for worse, long before the government decided they were going to be the ones who said if people were married or not. But when the government arbitrarily excluded gay couples from the special marriage privileges they gave to straight couples, instead of saying, “Hey, the government shouldn’t decide who is married!” many gay couples said, “hey, we want to be married too!”

So, like the excluded friend, they left their swing, in pursuit of what appeared to be a better swing, according to the government. But with support from anti-gay marriage types, the government refused to leave the swing, and when they were finally forced into a corner, the anti-gay marriage types ran to fill the swing, insisting that they be the only ones who government calls “married”.

And in the end, no one is happy. Not the gay marriage advocates who still feel wronged, not the anti-gay marriage advocates who didn’t get their way, and not the government who’s authority to label people has been challenged.

Ah-ha, you say, but indeed there were only two swings, and three children. Yes. That is one swing for gay couples who just want to be left alone, and one swing for straight couples who just want to be left alone.

The ones who want to force their will, the ones who arbitrarily make up rules, the ones who exclude some, and reward others, in a word, government, can shove off. They don’t deserve a swing to play on.

Get the Government Out of Marriage

by Jen Lade

One of the many divisive issues in the United States is whether the federal government should allow two people of the same gender to get married. Ballot questions try to legalize it in some states and ban it in others; supporters have rallies and preachers rail against it from the pulpits.

For those in support of gay marriage, the issue is usually twofold: they want homosexual couples to be afforded the same rights as heterosexual couples, and they want them to be recognized by society as having a legitimate marriage. For those against it, they see the federal recognition of gay marriage as a cheapening of the definition of marriage, which in their religion is between a man and a woman.

The way everyone is up in arms about this, you’d think you’d have to be pro-gay marriage or anti-gay marriage. But there’s a third option, and it’s my personal favorite: get the government out of marriage.

What if the government just stopped recognizing marriages? What if they stopped with the benefits or penalties that married people get so there was no reason for the government to have to sanction marriage—and no reason for people to want a government-sanctioned marriage?

Or what if these benefits and penalties weren’t linked to marriage in the formal sense but could be conferred on any two people simply by the signing of a form?

What would remain is a bunch of couples—heterosexual and homosexual—who want to make a commitment to each other ‘til death do them part.

For many, just pronouncing that commitment to each other will be enough. Others will want their commitment to be recognized by their family and friends with a secular ceremony. Many others will also want God to bless their marriage, and so they will get married in a church by a celebrant of a religious denomination. But they’ll all be equally unmarried in the eyes of the government.

To get the federal benefits of marriage—more than 1,000, according to religioustolerance.org —two people would have to register with the government.

I went to Nolo.com to find a list of some of the more notable benefits, currently reserved for married heterosexual couples. They include:

Tax Benefits

  • Filing joint income tax returns with the IRS and state taxing authorities.
  • Creating a “family partnership” under federal tax laws, which allows you to divide business income among family members.

Estate Planning Benefits

  • Inheriting a share of your spouse’s estate.
  • Receiving an exemption from both estate taxes and gift taxes for all property you give or leave to your spouse.

Government Benefits

  • Receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses.
  • Receiving veterans’ and military benefits for spouses, such as those for education, medical care, or special loans.

Employment Benefits

  • Obtaining insurance benefits through a spouse’s employer.
  • Taking family and bereavement leave if your spouse is ill or dies
  • Receiving wages, workers’ compensation, and retirement plan benefits for a deceased spouse.

Medical Benefits

  • Visiting your spouse in a hospital intensive care unit or during restricted visiting hours in other parts of a medical facility.
  • Making medical decisions for your spouse if he or she becomes incapacitated and unable to express wishes for treatment.

Death Benefits

  • Consenting to after-death examinations and procedures.
  • Making burial or other final arrangements.

Family Benefits

  • Filing for stepparent or joint adoption.
  • Applying for joint foster care rights.

Housing Benefits

  • Living in neighborhoods zoned for “families only.”
  • Automatically renewing leases signed by your spouse.

Consumer Benefits

  • Receiving family rates for health, homeowners’, auto, and other types of insurance.
  • Receiving tuition discounts and permission to use school facilities.

Other Legal Benefits and Protections

  • Suing a third person for wrongful death of your spouse and loss of consortium (loss of intimacy).
  • Claiming the marital communications privilege, which means a court can’t force you to disclose the contents of confidential communications between you and your spouse during your marriage.
  • Receiving crime victims’ recovery benefits if your spouse is the victim of a crime.
  • Obtaining immigration and residency benefits for noncitizen spouse.

It appears to me that most of these benefits deal with two people having special rights associated to one other person. You can visit your spouse in the ICU after visiting hours; you can file a joint federal tax return with your spouse; you can adopt a child with your spouse.

For most of these, it also doesn’t seem to me to have to be someone you are romantically involved with. Why can’t your aunt be the one to make medical decisions for you if you both consent to it? Why can’t the one person receiving an exemption from estate taxes and gift taxes for your property be your brother if you so choose?

Instead of all these benefits automatically falling to your spouse, you’d have to fill out the proper form to appoint the one person who gets payments in the event of your disability, the one person who makes burial decisions after your death, even the one person with whom you can jointly file your taxes. Is there a reason these couldn’t be three different people?

As for consumer or employment benefits, such as getting discounted insurance or getting paid time off to care for an ill spouse, these should be up to the retailers and employers anyway, not the government. Maybe my car insurance company wants to give a family discount to the honor sorority at the local college, even though none of them are related. Great. Not the government’s problem. Maybe your company gives people paid time off to take their dog to the vet. Maybe your company doesn’t allow for any paid time off, even to care for a spouse. If you don’t like it, work for someone else.

I think the Webmaster’s comment on ReligiousTolerance.org put it nicely:

“If marriage were considered like baptism, there would be no problem, because it has no civic meaning; it is purely religious . . .

. . . If marriage were like a driver’s license or registering a business, there would be no problem. Any two people who could meet the qualifications (fee, minimum age and genetic remoteness) would sign an application form, and the government would assign them certain rights and privileges.

The problem is that marriage has traditionally been interpreted as having both a civic and a religious function. Perhaps it is time for a change.”

The point is, if there is no federal benefit to marriage itself, there is no need to fight over the definition. It can be different for every group of people. If it’s legitimacy a couple is looking for, they will be sure to find it with some institution. Any given couple’s “marriage” will also probably be rejected by some people. But that’s OK; without government interference, popular opinion is just that—an opinion, with no consequences for the couple’s way of life. And if it’s God’s approval we’re looking for, a law isn’t going to change His mind about which marriages are legit—and I don’t profess to know God’s mind on the topic.

So am I missing something? That’s not a rhetorical question. Couldn’t we just erase all government recognition of marriages and call it a day? It seems to me that like 95 percent of the things Americans fight over, this would be resolved a lot faster if the government would just back off.