June 29, 2017

Wealthy parasites are still parasites

Nematode erupting from the abdomen of its host.
Image via Alex Wild, h/t Popular Science.
 
People who dismiss the unemployed and dependent as "parasites" fail to understand economics and parasitism. A successful parasite is one that is not recognized by its host, one that can make its host work for it without appearing as a burden. Such is the ruling class in a capitalist society.
-Jason Read

Death to parasites

This is something I've said before, but I'll say it again if only because I want to: parasites should be either literally or figuratively killed with fire.

I may be a permanent resident of Canada, but I'm a US citizen and care rather deeply about the direction my native country is taking if only because I may someday wish to return there. Or, you know, I've got friends and family who live there and I don't want to see them suffer as a result of severely poor public policy.

If you've followed me on social media for a while, you might know that I care rather deeply about the state of health-care in the USA and the plus eight-year campaign waged by the Republicans to eliminate Obamacare the Affordable Care Act.

Nobody but me!

If you're a Satanist who cares to do so, you can make the argument that nobody deserves anything. Everybody is an individual! Nobody's truly responsible for anybody else! Community is an illusion! And you know, I mostly agree with that argument: I am myself, I'm not responsible for anybody except myself, and I'm not a part of an arbitrary communities. But then, what happens when a bunch of individuals get together and decide as individuals that they'd all be better off if they created a system to look out for their mutual interests? You know, like... roads to aid free commerce; plumbing to deliver potable water; or law enforcement to preserve hard-won social order?

Individual support

I'm a really big fan of the luxuries that come with modern living, and part of the individual responsibility that comes with all of that is the individual support that comes from paying taxes. Some people pay more taxes, and some people pay less taxes, but everybody pays taxes. I agree that successful and productive members of society should be subsidized, so I'm not against people having millions or billions of dollars in personal wealth.

But I am against people who have millions or billions of dollars in personal wealth crying poor and insisting that they can't afford to pay their fair share of taxes, and I'm against it because money is figuratively like water: the financial ecosystem depends on fluidity, and if all the fluid is being hoarded in ever greater quantities by ever smaller numbers of people who are all insisting that they should release ever smaller quantities of fluid back into the ecosystem, then the system as a whole dehydrates.

Self preservation

To be sure, I understand that money is also literal and figurative power, and nobody wants to give it up without a fight, but at what point do people who have more money than they can ever spend on themselves on a single lifetime begin to realize that they're destabilizing the very environment in which they live and are supported by? 

So when I see legislation like the American Health Care Act being pushed by the US senate which is taking tax money from the people who most need it and then giving it to people who don't need it, yeah - I call bullshit on that.

Thinning the herd!

And yeah, you can make the argument that this policy is just a manifestation of "Might makes right!," and that all the people who would suffer and die as a result of losing their health coverage is necessary to thin the herd, but I think such an argument is severely misguided if only because poverty is expensive.

Poverty is consistent with higher crime, which drains tax money to support police departments. Poverty is consistent with disease, which drains tax money in combatting the spread of disease and public health concerns. Poverty is consistent with drug use, which itself is consistent with crime, the spread of disease, and public health concerns.

Need I go on? I'm not saying that you have to care about everybody - it's impossible to care about everybody, so don't pretend that you do - but I am saying that public health policies and national health insurance policies are simply good math, and people who deny their individual responsibility and refuse to pay into the equation are parasites who are damaging the system. Kill them with fire.

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