A Conservative friend of mine struck back; correcting my grammar as well. What surprised me was not that he replied back, but how he did so. First he attacked a off the cuff comment I made concerning Universal Basic Income. In a nutshell, it's an idea that you can give the average person anywhere between $1000 to $10000 a year. What they would do with it would be up to them.
In theory, that could be seed money for a new business. Used to pay for education, health care, debt...a rising tide lifts all boats. The argument against it basically states that people would either spend it on negatives (drugs or gambling) or that it takes away the intensive to work.
Personally....I'm on the fence. I understand the for and against argument's, and agree with both to some extent. I do feel the idea is worth exploring more because automation is coming for our jobs. Take trucking for example. It's been estimated that automated trucks could put 1.7 Million truckers out of work.
The industry is short of drivers now. It's ripe for change. By the way, not only would 1.7 Million people lose their jobs, but it would also affect those that work in support roles for truckers. So yea, we need to talk about UBI.
He also attacked the $15 minimum wage increase idea with the old tired argument of "16 year old burger flippers". McDonald's own website states that the average age of their employee's is 20. So we're dealing with kids that have some college education, may be pregnant or already have a kid(s). In fact, the Atlantic reported roughly 25% of fast food workers were raising a child.
The Dept of Labor also reported that the average age of a fast food worker was 29!
Taken in that context, the "Fight for $15" takes on a different perceptive.
So why the attack? We've known each other for over 30 years and do have different perceptions. He was a career officer in the Air Force, he grew up in a conservative household both religiously and politically. My household was Democratic, Pacifist and Catholic, but a liberal Catholic.
He has a Master's degree in Political Science and has written several papers. I've two degrees (Biology and Education) and suck at grammar and spelling. We've been friends for a long time. He was my best man at my wedding.
So why this line of debate? Why this "disconnect"? Why did he ask me not to cherry pick an argument then snap at me when I pointed out he was doing the same thing?
I doubt I'll lose a friend over this. I also doubt he'll ever see or read this. I don't publicize this blog and do it more for my own peace of mind than any other reason. It was an off the cuff comment he made however that exposed the root of the problem to me.
An older article found in Psychology Today pointed out that those with a conservative bent has a enlarged amygdala; it's the part of the brain that helps process emotions. It's also apparently where our "fear" lives. Using MRI studies, the researchers found that Conservatives tend to react more strongly to negative stimuli than Liberals did. It's actually a amazing read and makes some sense biologically (another blog entry perhaps?). Frankly the more you read about it, the more it explains...it's not a complete answer, and it also says something about the Liberal mind as well.
Indeed, one study I read actually made Conservatives into Liberals and vice versa for a period of time.
However, if true, it would explain much about our current state of affairs. It also would explain a self fulfilling prophecy the many religious conservatives seem to fall into. For example: God will punish America for X. Their have been lots of X's throughout American history. A perfect modern example is gay marriage. For a long time being gay was seen as a choice. Now it's understood to be a biological function. No punishment from God. Rarely will you even hear of homosexuality being a choice today.
Gay marriage is an abomination. Gay marriage is legalized, no punishment from God. Gay adoption is wrong, they will make that kid gay. Gay's adopted straight kids and yet, no punishment from God. The kid turned out straight anyway.
So...a logical conclusion would be either God got more important things to worry about then if Adam is putting his penis into Steve. Or, worse yet for a religious conservative, God doesn't exist.
As a religious friend of mine once said. "Conservative Christians only want the black and white and have to choose what to believe since they can't accept that God can't be wrong. If God can be wrong, then their whole world view crumbles. That's impossible in their world view."
Of course, the Bible is full of things that we no longer practice. The message of God is worth studying and understanding. However it can not be taken literally. Most religious people understand that.
Interestingly enough, the Conservative Christian still holds a lot of political power even though their influence and membership (and the membership of all religious groups) has been fading. The resurgence lately of religious conservatism is about the fear of losing that power.
The fear of Communism/Socialism has been replaced with a sinking fear that Capitalism no longer works. We saw that with the growth of the Tea Party, which correlates with the economic collapse. A reaction to "socialism" that Obamacare offered. After the election of Barack Obama, you can see a direct correlation with the membership increase in hate groups.
Recent vile attacks by gun right groups have more to do with the fear of losing their guns than any actual fear of crime.
For my friend...his attack on me was nothing personal. It's just fear. Fear that the way he was brought up may not be correct. Fear that the economic system he grew up with is no longer working for a majority of Americans and that change is not only coming, it's inevitable. That we need to start discussing ideas that "smack of Socialism" like universal health care and basic income...because the world won't stop.