February 05, 2007

Why I Don't Argue Politics With Those Who Do Not Agree With Me

Here is a conversation I had yesterday with someone close to me:

Him: Why should I be subsidizing health care for poor people?
Me: I don't hear you complaining about your Medicare drug benefit, which we are all subsidizing.
H: Why should we subsidize health care for people making over half a million a year?
M: Good question. Why are we subsidizing oil companies making tens of billions per quarter?
H: Because when oil was in the twenties per barrel, the oil companies needed the subsidies to explore for new oil.
M: That was years ago. Now that oil is $60 and $70 a barrel, why not simply end the subsidy?
H: Now the oil companies are getting subsidies to develop alternative energy. Why don't you buy stock in these companies? Middle class people are making a bundle on these stocks.
M: Huh? It's the wealthy who own the stock in those companies. Who do you think owns most of that stock?
H: Farmers own it. And factory workers are retiring on their 401ks in their company stocks.
M: Farmers? That stock is mostly held by the companies' upper management, wealthy individuals, and institutions.
H: Who do you think the institutions own the stock for?
M: Themselves, of course. And wealthy investors. Individual farmers and teachers and firemen own only a tiny fraction of stock relative to the wealthy. Those workers are losing their pensions when their companies, like United Airlines, go bankrupt, and upper management earns millions in golden parachutes.
H: When are you going to stop being a communist the rest of your life?
M: When are you going to stop being a fascist the rest of your life?


At 5:53 PM, Blogger Aileen said...


all I can say is- I feel your pain! :)

At 9:31 PM, Blogger Chrystina said...

Case in point: When my friend's (60-year-old, republican) dad asked me what I do, I told him I do marketing and communication for a mutual fund. He then asked me whether he would recognize any of the accounts my ad firm represents. (I re-explained what a mutual fund is and that marketing doesn't have to mean advertising). When I told him that we specialize in socially responsible investing, he responded with "which is bullshit". While it's not perfect, and cannot be perfect (there aren't perfect companies), it is not bullshit. It is a viable way to at least attempt to make your values match what you do with your money. It's completely defeatist to say that this method is so restrictive to be counter productive. There are many examples across the spectrum of the method working both to make money and to influence corporate behavior. Main stream firms are now picking it up as a style, though not generally with the activism that the pure play folks generally do.

At 11:30 PM, Blogger media concepts said...

Three and half years of disaster in Iraq convinced a bunch of them to question the government line and vote the other way. As for the others, I'd hate to think what it would take.


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