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Memories of the 28th Century

Polarization

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I was thinking about political polarization, but it just occurred to me that there is a deeper layer involved, the matter of people being completely certain that they are right, regardless of actual facts. The actual facts usually show that something else entirely is real. For example, I recently saw that fifteen new Republican members of Congress swore to get rid of Food Stamps.

I will ignore the fact that the Food Stamp program was converted to SNAP a few years ago; although that item shows something. Apparently the people who took that oath didnít remember that most people who get SNAP benefits do so for a relatively short time, and they are In need of it because of a loss of a job; a job lost because of some action or inaction by the government. Both Congress and regulatory agencies have been putting up more and more barriers to starting or continuing businesses. It is more profitable to make things in other countries that do not have environmental regulations and to ship goods half way around the world than it is to produce the same things a few miles down the road. The cost for labor in the U.S. is absurd, because there is a minimum pay requirement, and many fringe benefits are required. Here in Massachusetts in November a referendum requiring sick pay for part-time employees was passed on top of all of the other expenses. In addition, to there being greater costs due to legal requirements, there is competition for jobs by illegal immigrants, who are still in the country, because the government hasnít bothered enforcing laws that require that they be deported. So we have workers who are out of work because they are victims of government, and now some politicians who donít bother looking at the whole situation want to take away a relatively small benefit that partly offsets the ill-designed programs that put them out of work.

Well, some ignorant politicians might not understand that they (or their cohorts) caused a problem, but most other people can readily see that ill-conceived government programs created the problem. But such problems donít arise in the U.S.A.

I wonít mention Israel, because thatís like shooting fish in a barrel, but that region now has IS or ISIS or ISIL or something, and that is an organization that sees the world only as it wants to see it. They have been killing and carrying off people of the book, even though the Koran forbids making religious war against people of the book (people who follow a religion based on an inspired religious scripture, such as Parsees and Yezidis). I may be making too much of IS, because they generally are people who want to kill, and they are working of that. If IS werenít there, then they might be doing something useful instead; the Chechens could be making war against Russia.

Then there are the Russians who seem to be continuing to support Putin so give themselves the false impression that they are great. The real issue in Russia is that the economy has been shrinking, and a few invasions took peopleís minds off that until the price of petroleum started to drop. Now thereís nothing holding the Russian economy up. Maybe the people in general will start to notice that the economy has been hurt by Putinís moves, and maybe theyíll dump him in favor of a government that will do something for the country. Thatís probably too much to hope for. Russia has been run by people who made grandiose gestures for a few hundred years. By setting up the U.S. and the EU as opponents Putin is trying to make the Russian people think that he is doing something useful. He has been creating a background against which he looked relatively good. The background isnít an accurate depiction of reality, but it does make Putin look relatively good.

IS appears to be trying to show themselves as a good alternative to governments, and they may be succeeding among some Muslims. They certainly are showing the differences between them and the governments, but whether IS looks better to anyone other than themselves is questionable. But IS has been attracting recruits from other areas.

Here in the U.S. the major political parties have been playing to their members, rather than playing for the country at large. The result has been that they have shown the differences and polarized political thought, but they havenít played to the middle, where most people do not belong to a political party but whose votes carry elections. Well, nothing is getting done, and the government that governs least governs best, but now and then action is necessary, so someone will have to try to understand the thinking of the opposition.

Synthesis developed from thesis and antithesis might work, but some of the ideas are completely irreconcilable, so something will be lost, and neither side wants to lose anything. Some people will have to learn how to compromise, unless they want to make me emperor, which would be interesting.

I just remembered that the third year of the New Era is almost a week old. With the New Era we should be ready for some new ideas.

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