Fixing the World, One Step at a Time
Our lawmakers write legislation for, say, giving veterans health care benefits when they return home following active service. Then someone else tacks on a provision that would allow fracking in national parks, and both issues are voted on as one. If we're lucky, the fracking bill gets defeated, but now veterans are still without benefits, and politicians start telling the media about how their opponents "voted against benefits for veterans."
Someone notices that it's pretty hard to support a family on minimum wage, even working full-time, and then notices that the minimum wage really hasn't kept up with inflation and other increases over the past forty years or so. So they suggest that maybe we should look at that because, hey, shouldn't someone who works full-time be able to pay for a home, a car to get to work, food and heat, and maybe even those things for his family as well? Then someone else yells that if we raise the minimum wage, it will cost more for employers (so what? it's called a cost of doing business, and it's part of real life for someone who owns a business and employs others - that's why they're called employers and not slave owners.) They claim it will drive prices up and result in more jobs being sent to cheap factories overseas or to poor illegal immigrant workers in the US. Those things are separate issues, and come under the heading of corporate misconduct. Employers have to be prepared to pay their workers a living wage. If they inflate their prices as a result of being forced to be a decent human being, then we consumers should stop purchasing from them. If they give jobs to people who are not citizens when people who ARE citizens are looking for work, there should be some legal repercussions. But these are not good reasons to prevent people who work full-time from supporting themselves and their families.
We need to change our lawmaking system and begin voting on one issue at a time. We also need to require our lawmakers to READ these issues before voting on them. If any one of us tried on one day to do our jobs as shoddily as these people do every day, we'd be fired immediately. It's time for all of us to take a closer look at what we currently accept as normal everyday ways of doing things, and re-evaluate whether or not they actually make sense.