In Defense of a Progressive Point of View

I wrote this in answer to a comment made by a conservative friend.
OK, Harry; I agree with your comment, “if only we could do the same for abused children…”
It’s where your philosophy and mine differ.
I read this, and I think you’re right, and that we, collectively, human beings all, members in this case of a city, a state, a nation, even a multinational organization, need to do this. We recognize that it’s much easier to breed children than it is to care for them. Across the world, from the fields of starvation in Africa to the favelas of South America, to the slums of America and even to places where the abuse isn’t always the practice solely of the impoverished…and there’s no place for the abused to turn.
There is no help to be had.
Once in a while, we hear of someone helping. Occasionally, abuse comes to the attention of overworked, understaffed police (twice yesterday in New Mexico, fortunately not life-threatening) and something gets done. But in so many cases, a child is born, dies through abuse and neglect, and the world never sees it.
And I think that this, being a collective responsibility, is a job for government. There really is no other agency that represents all of us.
And that government must be paid for by taxes; in this case, a tax would buy us some peace of mind and self-satisfaction that we’ve acted to ameliorate a problem.
But according to your expressed philosophy (shared by many others, of course), government has no role to play and we shouldn’t pay taxes to solve this problem. Taxes are best spent by those who’ve earned the money, right? Even though that means that nothing will be done. I’ve got mine, tough shit for everyone else. Besides, those kids are worthless. There’s no profit to be made from them.
And so, you and those who style themselves conservative see, wring your hands, and then do nothing. Those of us who consider ourselves progressive see, think that we as a society can do better, and seek to use our collective identity, our government, to try to find a solution.
It’s seldom a pure exercise; government is messy, sometimes foolish, sometimes corrupt, and sometimes efforts fail.
But are the shortcomings reason enough not to even try?
The abused children are still there.
Abused animals are still there.
Crooks in the stock market are still there, because we don’t have enough regulators and a regulatory system that would discourage them.
Teachers get laid off, others face overloaded classes, the best see this disfunction and leave or never enter the profession. The children, even those not subject to physical abuse, never see opportunity. The children of the wealthy, of course, attend the best schools. But don’t suggest that this amounts to abuse of children who are denied education and opportunity and later comfort and a life of fulfillment instead of a life of impoverishment and lack of success, always exploited by and at the mercy of those at the top. Work, save, buy a house, see a downturn, lose the job to ‘efficiency’, lose the house, get sick, see a whole life washed away in a short time as your house and everything you’ve worked for goes to a bankster…because government isn’t the employer of last resort, and there aren’t enough regulators to control the greed of the banksters who indeed have legal protection for their crimes…they’ve bought it from congresscritters, and healthcare still isn’t available to all through a single-payer system…
Multinational corporations and businesses are still there, still purchasing loopholes from venal congresscritters to protect gains, loopholes not available to the rest of us, money hidden offshore so that profits aren’t taxed, while we have the world’s most complicated and lengthy tax code, all consisting mostly of loopholes purchased from congresscritters to benefit someone.
A small group of elites buys our politics. We know it, but can do nothing. There is no mechanism to prevent this, no functioning Supreme Court (constant 5-4 decisions along ideological splits defines judicial non-functioning; what is the law if it can only be determined by ideology?)
Such a little thing, Harry; a human regret that children are abused…


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