Those Middle Class Values

Middle class values: the idea that you are sure anyone decent believes the same way you do, and that OUR LEADERS  have the perfect fix to solve a problem.  The idea that all people are honest, practice the golden rule, and  don’t act irresponsibly.  That people  obey the law because it IS the law.

Registering gun owners.…to solve  shootings of innocent people.  The fact of the matter is…people who enjoy guns have justified in their minds that it is ok to kill something.  Many might never actually kill anything. They might just do target practice,  but  no matter.  Registering  people will not solve the problem. Why?  Several reasons.  Many people  who kill are already registered gun owners.  The ones who are not don’t plan to register.  Registering won’t stop them. The government is broke, and they are not going to  peruse the  sales records of  legal gun sellers, &  there are many more illegal street sales of guns, and that’s the bigger problem.  Mental health issues? Who is going to test people to make sure they are sane/sober/calm/INTELLIGENT/have self control….before they are allowed to buy a gun?  Psychologists?   You are going to trust the foxes running the henhouse who are justifying their jobs, many manipulative psychopaths themselves, to judge who is sane and who is not?  & what does that solve if the  insane can buy a gun on the street?

A  better  idea:  registering ammunition buyers only.  Taxing it extremely heavily.   Even that won’t solve the problem! But….. if ammunition is much more expensive,  and not legal to buy if you are under 30…and there  is a limit to how much you can buy, and only if the sales are very tightly regulated (like morphine), will there  be  even a dent in the problem.  Not possible? I think it depends on  your  location  and overlay of  government transparency.

Keeping drugs illegal.  We now incarcerate more people than any other country in the world.  It is an acknowledged fact that  many  people who are imprisoned  either have mental health issues and/or are functionally illiterate. They can’t make their way in middle class society.  Many of those people choose  mind altering drugs to cope with life.  There, ‘for the grace of God’,  go all of us. Yes…any one of us who has  ingested coffee, tea, chocolate, cough medicine,  beer, wine…all mind altering substances. We’ve created a class to make the ones we artificially describe as more dangerous…. illegal.

Nobody thinks being high all the time is a good idea, but jail clearly does not solve the problem.  It makes work for  law enforcement,  lawyers, and prison guards, and makes  work for  the foxes running the henhouse:  the psychologist who are drug counselors.

A better idea:  legalize drugs and  the infrastructure  to sell and regulate the  industry.  Put the cash we now put into  arresting these people trying  these people in court for a medical problem,  into counseling and education, as well as job creation.  People who work on farms  become so exhausted from the physical labor, they  just sleep at night.  Doncha think most of the families of these people would  support getting them  into a work environment?  In fact,  paying the addled to  enter programs overseas, where  there might be a language barrier might be very effective!  Plus, there are private drug treatment programs that operate this way now…in the USA…

Mandatory Spay/Neuter of pet animals.  Sounds great, but  most RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERS already know the benefits of spaying or neutering their pets.  However,  the middle class has declined and the ‘working’ class is desperate for cash to support…guns and drug habits….or maybe their kids.  They don’t do any research…or rather…the ‘research’ they do amounts to seeing pets for sale on Craigslist & seeing what people are charging for the  puppies and kittens.  Doesn’t mean they get sold, but no matter.  When people can’t sell them, they give them away or dump them…even abandon them.  Heart breaking how many people move and  abandon a pet without food or water, to starve to death.  It’s illegal, but, again…the government is broke:  we can’t get  police to bring cases to states attorneys to prosecute.

For people involved in pet rescue who think mandatory spay/neuter will make a difference… this hope is based on no evidence. Only ethical hobby breeders, who breed  maybe 1 or 2 litters a year and always have a waiting list for puppies will be affected.  They are now, and there is a shortage or purebred pups available from hobby breeders. But the large breeding operations—the puppy mills…their scale is large enough!  They can pay for licensing.   But  there is statistical evidence that  most of the  pets in shelters are from neither of these sources:  they are from the ‘backyard’ breeder—the family breeding a single (or 3 or 4) pets who are under the radar.  They give their own shots (or not), don’t check for parasites, sell  on Craigslist  and other free websites, and they do no screening.  they never see a veterinarian, so you can’t rely on  veterinaqr8ians to turn them in to the government.

Were we to deputize volunteers as inspectors for licensed animal shelters  to respond to the posts, visit them,  talk to the breeders (that’s what they are) about the odds of  over half their pups winding up euthanized, and  keeping the contact information on them  and  the  facility (house? Garage?  outbuilding?)  as to cleanliness, or how often they post pets for sale, and  monitor them, we’d make a huge dent in the problem.  Penalties  could be levied and our state departments of agriculture   could either confiscate the litters, or  fine the breeders.    The breeders then know the  community is watching and might give pause to  breeding another litter for money…or at least pay the state for the privilege of not being responsible for the pets they produce, and enabling the Department of Agriculture  pay for itself.

Freakenomics  subtitled “a Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, (William Morrow/Harper Collins 2005) addresses , in six essays how  we Americans generally trust wrong research, and end up not solving social problems.

I’d love  to hear opinions on these ideas, and please forward the link yo your friends.


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