I bought a bird feeder. I hung it on my back porch and filled it with seed. What a beauty of a bird feeder it is, as I filled it lovingly with seed. Within a week we had hundreds of birds taking advantage of the continuous flow of free and easily accessible food.
But then the birds started building nests in the boards of the patio, above the table, and next to the barbecue.
Then came the poop. It was everywhere: on the patio tile, the chairs, the table ... everywhere!
Then some of the birds turned mean. They would dive bomb me and try to peck me even though I had fed them out of my own pocket.
And others birds were boisterous and loud. They sat on the feeder and squawked and screamed at all hours of the day and night and demanded that I fill it when it got low on food.
After a while, I couldn't even sit on my own back porch anymore. So I took down the bird feeder and in three days the birds were gone. I cleaned up their mess and took down the many nests they had built all over the patio.
Soon, the back yard was like it used to be ... quiet, serene and no one demanding their rights to a free meal.
Now let's see .... Our government gives out free food, subsidized housing, free medical care, and free education and allows anyone born here to be an automatic citizen.
Then the illegals came by the tens of thousands. Suddenly our taxes went up to pay for free services; small apartments are housing 5 families; you have to wait 6 hours to be seen by an emergency room doctor; your child's 2nd grade class is behind other schools because over half the class doesn't speak English.
Corn Flakes now come in a bilingual box; I have to "press one" to hear my bank talk to me in English, and people waving flags other than "Old Glory" are squawking and screaming in the streets, demanding more rights and free liberties.
Just my opinion, but maybe it's time for the government to take down the bird feeder.
If you agree, pass it on; if not, continue cleaning up the poop!
That lit my fire pretty good and I responded with the following:
We wouldn't be having all this discussion about illegal immigrants if they were white Canadians. Racism against dark people who sound funny is the fuel of the immigration debate. It's a politically correct cover. Every single person I've encountered who is up in arms about the bad things illegal immigrants are doing to America is white and privileged. Sometimes they are good people otherwise and just can't face the fact that different sorts of people give them the willies. The people in Temple (the Texas hometown of my youth) who set up a private swimming pool didn't think they were racists. The just didn't want to share water with those icky black people. It can be a sneaky thing.
In Paul Krugman's new book, "The Conscience of a Liberal" (which I highly recommend), he did a study of how Republicans have been able to win elections despite being the party of rich, white folk. The data made it clear that won by finding the right euphemisms to appeal to closet racists who would otherwise have nothing in common with the Republican agenda.
I am no longer content in letting those euphemisms go unchallenged. So I stand by my position.
You and I differ because I think that the evidence shows (cf Krugman above) that by-and-large big government has been a good thing. Your generation especially benefitted from big government in the form of the New Deal and the GI Bill. Unions were strong and poor and middle-class incomes were at a peak that hasn't been seen since. Tax rates on the wealthy were high. The range of incomes between the richest and the poorest was sufficiently narrow that Krugman labels the era the Great Compression.
Today, thanks to the Republicans and complicit Democrats, big government functions more as a pipeline for big business and special interests. The farm bill is a case in point. The way it is currently structured it is filled with subsidies for inefficient and archaic practices that tend to benefit agricultural middlemen and corporate entities instead of farmers. For example, when we provide food aid to foreign countries the grain must come from government surplus stockpiles and be shipped on American-flagged ships. With demand for corn so high that it is driving up food prices at the grocery there are no surpluses any longer. So we buy grain on the open market here at high prices. The tiny fleet of ships that are American-flagged then transport the grain at high rates because they have an unassailable monopoly. When the grain arrives it rarely is what is appropriate for the local economy so the recipient NGO's have found that it works better to sell the grain on the international market and use the money to buy local products that support the local farmers. The right way to do it would be just to give the NGO's money directly. But this byzantine process lines middleman pockets all along the way with your tax dollars.
Big government isn't evil. Just big government by the richest 1%. And others who aspire to that.
The conversation continues in the comments. Please free to add your two cents.