Jobs, Benefits, and Thoughts

  • I was talking to someone at work this week, and he swore up and down that he was poor.  He works a job 3-4 days per week and makes roughly $55,000 per year.  He has a nice house, insurance for him, his wife, and his child, a nice car, goes out to eat when he wants, and does not lack for material goods, but he argued with me for 15 minutes that he is poor.  What is wrong with this picture?
  • I had another discussion for over an hour with a friend who is a veteran, pro-American, free market minded, and has a strong opinion (like myself and others who disagree with my position).  He raised some great ideas for ways to fix our current health care problems.  Be ware, this could be offensive.
  1. Make a separately run government health system of hospitals, doctor’s offices, and clinics which utilize students and doctors who went to school under a government contract who must give a certain number of years service at a very modest salary.
  2. The current medicaid recipients and income qualified get to use the services of this health system.  If you agree to those services, you waive the right to sue for monetary damages.
  3. Hospitals that are not under this system do not have to do more than basic treatment to stabilize a patient who shows up.
  4. Legislate a restriction on the amount of money that can be awarded for damages, both actual and punitive in court and mandate that attorneys cannot receive higher than a certain percentage of those damages, and institute a “loser pay”  requirement on the plaintiff side.
  • That should reduce expenses and the continued problem of costs being passed on to the payers from those whose bills are written off due to their inability to pay.  Those who utilize the private system through their insurance benefit from the weight of non payers being lifted, tort reform bringing relief to the massive liability insurance required for doctors to practice medicine, and the emergency care of the uninsured should be reduced if not ended.
  • As for our food stamps system, why do we give cards to those receiving benefits to go to a grocery store where they can buy name brand products, cola, candy, and cake?  I am of the belief that grocery stores and big food companies have lobbied the government for the current system.  A much more efficient system would be to end the qualification process so that everyone can benefit from government distributed food.  You could have surplus foods marked with “government issued” which would supply staples but no frills.  Milk, canned meat, rice, beans, and veggies available for all.
  • As a case manager for 7 years, I have seen the cart of many food stamp recipients.  This may not apply to some of you out there who receive food stamps, so do not take offense if not applicable.  But many times it is filled with sugary snacks, junk food, name brand colas, name brand cereal, and so forth.  I am no person to look for nutritional advice from, but if you look in my grocery cart (paid for with money I have had to earn) you will find fresh meat, frozen veggies, cheese, lettuce, and very rarely a case of store brand cola.  Yet, a food stamps EBT card cannot be used to purchase cleaning supplies, bleach, diapers, or toilet paper.  Something is wrong with this picture.
  • If you closed out the current system, it would be so much more cost efficient, it would end the common practice of food stamp recipients of buying groceries for people without benefits and selling them for cash at a discount rate so that they can purchase booze, cigarettes, and even drugs.  If people are forced to go to a government center to receive their benefits or vouchers for commodities and staples, it would hopefully cut back on the fraud and place back a level of accountability on those who anonymously shop for their groceries without the stigma of the old food stamp system.
  • The current front runner according to the national polls believes in a system of taxation that is in essence a form of welfare.  95% of Americans under his plan will get a tax cut.  Roughly 60% of Americans pay taxes.  Therefore, if you look at this promise, there will be a significant portion of Americans who will receive more tax refunds than they pay in, in some cases receiving a check even though they paid no taxes at all.
  • The purpose of taxation should be to fund legitimate functions of the government.  If it was about fairness, everyone would pay the same rate and all credits, deductions, and graduated rates would be stopped.  Taking people off the tax rolls completely takes away incentives to succeed and move from one class to another.
  • As a married couple who own a house and have no children, Marcela and I pay more in taxes than most.  We pay for schools we do not use, do not get to claim more exemptions on our taxes, and we do not get the child tax credits.  Those who have children and do not own a house or property get the credits for the children, they get to claim more people on their taxes, and they do not pay for the schools they use.  Like I said, our current tax system is not geared toward fairness, but welfareness (my new word).
  • Enough of that, lets talk about something else.  I am considering accepting the offer to take off Sunday so I can be at church.  Usually on Sundays, they ask for volunteers to go home since we are overstaffed on weekends.  If I go home, I will lose 8 hours of pay, but I will get to be at church.  I still have not decided.
  • I am considering heading down to Plantation Key for service if I do.  We will see.
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11 Comments

Filed under Blogging, politics, thoughts

11 responses to “Jobs, Benefits, and Thoughts

  1. You work with someone who makes $2.86 million dollars per year, and he thinks he’s poor ?

  2. Sorry Chris, I corrected it. 🙂

  3. Oh I see. $55,000 per year is indeed poor. 🙄

    Of course I’m kidding, but one should not gauge rich vice poor in mere financial terms. One who knows and follows Jesus is indeed the rich one.

    Proverbs 16:8 puts it slightly different – It is better to be poor and Godly than rich and dishonest.

  4. billyfinch

    Are you sure you want to stir up James right before the weekeend?

  5. I am putting the truth out and I am trying to put warnings out so those who don’t want to hear the truth don’t have to be offended or hurt.

  6. Nice post…errr…. NOT!

    I can appreciate someone else’s point of view, no matter how skewed it is. However, there are too many flaws in this “plan” you posted here. Namely, who get to decide what is considered a “legitimate” function, you?? me?? umm, no, it is again the corrupt beaurocrats who decide with the lobbyists whispering in their ear.

    Your health care plan is noble, however in this reality it is something that is not plausible. How much “government” do you want to run our lives? I am confused, is this a democracy or a communist community we are referring to here. Again, you major flaw is leaving the decision making to people who continually FAIL to do the best thing for US and instead take care of their own concerns first.

    Taxation is something that anyone can argue for days on and never find a fair resolution. I lived next door to someone who paid less than HALF of the taxes I paid. He had a higher paying job, same house but did I receive any “special” benefits from paying more in taxes… NO! I have to find the biblical verse for this, but put succinctly, LIFE IS NOT FAIR!!! Oh wait, wasn’t that Habakkuk.

    I understand your angst towards a Obama, but can’t you see that our nation is barely a shadow of its former self. This election might have the most votes cast in history, people are worried about the economy, fears of recession turing into a modern era Depression.

    We will agree to disagree, however I would hope you see that Bush’s Regeanomics and his terms as president are a complete and utter failure.

  7. So James, you believe that taxation should not be in place to fund the legitimate functions of the government? Which illegitimate functions do you support?

    Of course my healthcare plan is not plausible. People on the government system that I would propose would say that they are getting a second class system to the private system which only the rich could afford. And politicians pandering for the votes would agree that not only should health insurance and care be right, but that all health care should be equal. In other words, quality should not cost any more. Let’s spread the misery.

    As for taxation, you totally avoided the point. Changing the rate of taxation does not end the loopholes, deductions, penalties, or policy of rewarding laziness and unproductivity. You and I, who earn money, pay our bills, make sure that we have a roof, food, and healthcare, are being expected to pay the tab for those who do not. It’s that simple. We are removing incentives for success, stigma of laziness, and creating massive barriers for success. And please explain to me how “trickle up” economics is supposed to work. I have never been employed by a poor man. The poor cannot become not poor by making high income earners poor or less productive. It is a recipe that we have seen fail time and again all over the world. Let’s talk the Bible. Jesus said he that will not work, will not eat.

    I don’t think you do understand my angst for Obama. He is a redistributionist who stands for almost nothing that this great nation was founded on. With all its warts, this nation is the greatest, most benevolent, and best nation in the world. This nation is one of the few that allows for incredible religious freedom, freedom of speech, and protection for her citizens to the point of footing the legal bill for those who she charges with a crime.

  8. By the way James, who do you think will be in charge of the health care system if Obama gets his way for a single payer system? It will still be government bureaucrats. I say give us a real shot at a private system. As it is right now we have a mutated government/private system where people who pay their bills (that would be me and I assume you too) have to make up for those who do not because the government has mandated their treatment. It is driving costs up. Then, you have an uninsured non payer who sues for millions and wins. Who pays for that? The rich hospitals and insurance companies? No, they just pass the costs to you and me. Don’t be fooled into thinking that your bureaucrats are less bureaucratic than the current bureaucrats. I just want them out completely so I can actually pay for the services I need instead of mine and everyone else’s too.

  9. I vote ‘P.J. For Prez’.

  10. If nominated I will not run, if elected I will not serve!

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