Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"I Want Your Money..."

ObamaCare- the term sends shivers down the spines of so many Americans... and for many different reasons.

Some see the Affordable Care Act as the panacea for the disaster our health care system has become.

Others see it as one more violation against the Constitution, one more tax added to the list of taxes Obama promised to NOT implement.

I don't like state-managed anything.. state assistance/state welfare, public education, and yes- healthcare.... Not because I think everyone shouldn't support themselves.. although I do. There are people whose situations simply don't allow that. Some disabilities simply make it impossible for a person to support themselves.

My objections to state assistance are with the "state" part, not the "assistance" part.

See, there are basically two kinds of people who are on government support/assistance.

1- Those who truly need it. Those whose disabilities are prohibitive to supporting themselves. These people really do need it. Without outside help, these people would most likely be dead, unable to work to feed, clothe, and house themselves... let alone be able to afford their own health care for said disability.

Their disability isn't something they chose, or something they caused to come upon themselves. They don't want to be on welfare, but they have no other options. I don't begrudge these people the support they desperately need.

2- Those who see state benefits and support as the ideal to which they aspire. Women who bring in their pregnant daughters, celebrating that Little Miss can now qualify for benefits- Yay! Career and generational welfare recipients who really could support themselves. These people rub me wrong in so many ways, there are words to describe how I feel, but they're not used in polite society.

Anyway, back to the original topic-
My problem with state assistance programs is with the idea that the government should be doing it.

See, there are 3 basic kinds of spending:

First-party spending is when I spend my own money on something I will use. I'm interested in value because it's my money. I'm interested in quality because I will be using it.

Second-party spending is when I spend my money on something someone else will use. I'm interested in value because it's my money.. but I'm not so worried about quality b/c I won't be using it.

Third-party spending is when I spend someone else's money on something I won't be using. I'm not too worried about value because it's not my money... and I'm not too worried about quality because I won't be using it.

By definition, all government spending is third-party. Legislators are using tax money (not money from their own pockets) on things they may or may not be using.. like infrastructure, education, health care. They're not too worried about value because it's not money from legislators' pockets. And they aren't as bothered by quality because they aren't home as much to use the infrastructure, they can afford to put their kids in private schools, and they're exempted from ObamaCare.

Do you see where I'm coming from? I, as a tax payer would like my taxes to go to those who actually need it.. not the girls who have been slutting it up so they could get pregnant and can finally join the family business of living on the dole.

I've never had a problem with those receiving help who truly need need it. I don't like those who abuse the system. I don't like other people deciding where and how my hard-earned money is spent.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Analogies, Parables, and Teaching Stories- Part 5

I've always had a thing for analogies, parables, and the like. As teaching tools, they use every-day situations and ideas to explain complex principles, making those complex ideas a whole lot easier to understand. Often, they can explain ideas that would otherwise be nigh impossible to explain accurately.

Jesus Himself used parables all the time in His teaching. Sometimes this was to make the teaching of a certain principle easier. But often He didn't give an explanation. He simply allowed people to take from the "nice story" what they would- an act of mercy, given that we are each held accountable for following the doctrines we understand.

The first in this series was about ducks. The second one was about medicine.. and salvation. The third was about math class. The fourth was about engines and society.

This time, I'd like to talk about dirt--

A seminary teacher was trying to teach a rather delicate topic and not making any headway. He finally took the class outside, asked the kids what was the cause of all the life around them- the trees, flowers, grass...

Dirt? NOOO, NOoooo, Nooo... it's Soil.

With the nutrients in the soil, the plants could grow, bloom, and produce their various seeds and fruit.

He then took the kids back inside, and he took a handful of soil from a potted plant and crumbled it, scattering it all over a desk, a student's lap... making a massive mess...

He asked his students what it was now... Just filth.

Just as sex in the right context and place is a beautiful live-giving thing, when it's scattered all over or in the wrong place/time, it's just filth.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Algebra of Marriage

I took algebra in middle school, calculus in high school... so I like formulas. Here's one I've been working on for a while:

H = husband
W = wife
T = history or past, cumulatively variable with time
C = Choices- actions, words, attitudes
E = environment- work, in-laws, kids, the economy, bills, ex's...
P = present
M = Marriage

Wp = W (T + C)
Hp = H (T + C)

M = E (Wp x Hp)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Mind Control???

Once upon a time... ok so it was probably 8 yrs ago or so, I started a new job. They were big on co-worker relations-  they did personality tests in training, work games, department parties, etc. One day during training, I was pulled out of class by the HR woman who had recruited me. In a private conversation, she addressed a behavior I had that wasn't necessarily bad, but it bothered the others in class.

She said, "You need to manage other people's perceptions of you."

That pissed me off!! That's not possible- how can I possibly control what others think?

But I knew she wasn't a stupid woman- she didn't get where she was by demanding the unreasonable.

"You need to manage other people's perceptions of you."

Ok... what is this "other people's perceptions of you"..?

It's your reputation... and that IS your business. There are a lot of industries where everything is about reputation. If your reputation becomes sullied, you're out!

And what is reputation based on?

What you do, what you say.. and how you do it, how you say it... and that is TOTALLY under your control. You decide what your standards are. You decide if you act w/integrity to your chosen standards and values. You decide how you interact with and treat others. You decide what words you use with others, what tone you employ.

Your business, your responsibility, your control.

These were the thoughts went through my mind over the course over the next couple days, weeks.

Since then, I've thought about this a lot. I try to look at myself and try to see what others see. If I can see that, then I have a starting point for managing what others think of me.

Do I come across as a know-it-all? Sometimes. Am I ok with that? If not, what can I do about it?

Do people think I'm mean or abrasive or harsh? Again, sometimes. Is that ok? If not, how do I soften my approach?

Do I see any other qualities in myself that are off-putting? Am I ok with it? What can I do to fix it, to change my behavior or mindset to be less awkward, less harsh, less selfish, more kind, more pleasant, more capable, more humble.

What kinds of things are you working on?

(PS- And please post comments here, so that other readers can see it. Thanks!)