Posted by Charity on March 28th, 2006

I don’t have a lot of time to write today because we are doing a lot of homeschool activities that need my undivided attention today, but I wanted to throw up a thought.

This morning, my two-and-a-half-year-old son came into to the room I was in and announced with absolute glee that he had done something by himself. He was waiting for me to do it, but I was in the middle of something, so he tried it and accomplished it without my help.

It got me thinking about a comment Haik, owner of the now defunct, said on the right to healthcare thread. I went to quote it, but I see that he has erased all his comments on that thread. Luckily, I have all comments e-mailed to me by Blogger, so I was still able to get the direct quote.

He said, “At our core humans are social animals. We need each other to do just about everything. Alone in the woods, none of us could build a computer or phone or a pair of shoes. The whole point of civilization is that we work together. That is why socialism is a much more natural philosophy that ‘conservatism.’”

First, I must point out, as I did in the comments, that there is a difference between what people should do and what the government should make us do. Conservatism does not say that we should not work together. It says that the government should not force us to do anything that violates our rights (as long as we are not violating anyone else’s rights).

Now back to my son. I do not deny the fact that we are social creatures. That is a fact, but what socialism seems to overlook is another human trait, which is our natural desire to do things for ourselves, our desire for independence. The pursuit of that feeling of accomplishment when we are able to provide for ourselves and do not need to rely on others to provide for us. If you could have seen the look on his face when he realized that he does not need to wait for mommy to do everything for him and that he is capable of doing things for himself, you would understand where I am coming from when I say that reliance on the government to provide us with our basic needs is not a philosophy that is in tune with human nature.

42 Responses to “Social, but independent”

  1. Oh the joys of parenthood! It’s great to watch kids become more independent. Little Koko often insists on holding the spoon himself. If you try to give him a drink from a bottle, he’ll insist on putting the cap back on, then taking it off himself, THEN taking a drink! Despite this, he still is happy and grateful for his state-run health insurance from Dr. Dynasaur. It just doesn’t make sense.

    “Thank you veddy much!”

  2. Well, I’m sure he would also appreciate the generous health insurance that your employer provides, too.

  3. If I could afford it. I haven’t been a cab driver for as long as Judd Hersh, Danny DeVito or your guy. He’s much higher on the pay scale. I don’t lie on the applications. As long as Koko qualifies, his doctor will be a Dynasaur. His Mom and I buy VHAP for $75/month, which is still a good bit cheaper then MVP through the taxi company. Better coverage, too. As long as we qualify, that’s what we’ll do. I’m not going to waste money trying to stick to some ideal I don’t even believe in.

    “Thank you veddy much.”

  4. “I don’t lie on the applications.”

    Who lied on their application?

  5. We really could use the extra money from not having private insurance, too. We choose to make other sacrifices, such as not eating out or buying coffee, and things like that. We also don’t have a home phone and our cable only goes up to channel 22.

    I suppose if one does not believe that health care is not the responsibility of the government, then that person would have no reason to pay extra money for a private plan.

    There has been no shortage of times in my life that I have paid extra for something in order to not have to rely on the government. To me the extra cost is worth the value of independence. It is clear that we just have different philosophies.

  6. No- I’m just saying we really qualify and don’t cheat. I always hear Republicans complaining about welfare mooches who cheat the system. I was just trying to set your mind at ease lest you think we’re cheating the system. We’re not cheating, we’re just really poor enough to qualify. That’s all I was saying. Oh and I meant Mrs. Kaufman and I pay $75 each for insurance, not total.

    Tony Danza cheats on his taxes, though. He doesn’t claim tips he makes in the cab. Devito cheats too.

    “Thank you veddy much!”

  7. Oh we were writing at the same time, I see.

    Yes. I agree. We have totally different philosophies. Are you saying you qualify for VHAP but choose not to take it? Really? I would never give up coffee just to save the government money. I think that’s crazy.

    I try to save the government money buy supporting policies and candidates that oppose unnecessary half-trillion dollar wars, for example.

    The war is costing nineteen thousand dollars a second. Go ahead and have a cup of coffee.

    I have the same “broadcast level” cable package. It’s actually a pretty good deal, isn’t it?

    “Thank you veddy much!”

  8. If you pay $75 each, then you are only saving about $6 per month compared with the cab company insurance rate for a couple.

    Just so you know, I did not think you were cheating. The state has high income limits. At least, higher than I would set them – especially for people who have affordable plans through their employer.

    The state system is obviously flawed when some one who has an employer who is willing to pay for insurance is allowed to get insurance at the expense of the tax payers.

  9. Hmmmm… you’re right. Actually it’s only $4.48 cheaper than MVP for a couple- but Devito kicks me an extra $25 per check for not taking MVP. That’s a swing of $54.48/mo. in my favor for going w/ VHAP.

    You gotta figure if VHAP and MVP are about the same price, I’m probably not costing the state anything for VHAP for Poopsie and me. I mean I am paying for this welfare, after all.

    Dr. Dynasaur is free and it saves us another $56.14/mo. because the MVP family plan (whether you have one Koko or 20) is $206.14/mo.

    Do I feel bad for getting free insurance for my kid? HELL NO! As I’ve said before I think healthcare is a right, not a privilege. I don’t think anyone should pay anything out of pocket for it. I truly and honestly believe it is the government’s responsibility.

    If they can pay to drop depleted uranium on Iraqi children, then they can pay to vaccinate mine against mumps. That’s just the way I see it.

    “Thank you veddy much!”

  10. “Are you saying you qualify for VHAP but choose not to take it? Really?”

    I have never applied, but as far as I can tell, one can qualify for VHAP if they make 185% of the FPL (Federal Poverty Level) or lower. For a family of five, which I have, 185% FPL is $43,290. Without divulging too much personal information, yes, we qualify.

    We also qualified for earned income credit on our tax return, but did not take it. The IRS even sent us a letter to let us know that we qualified and did not take it. I guess they thought we forgot or didn’t know or something.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are programs that I support and there are programs I have used. I would just rather not rely on the government.

  11. You’re right. I forgot the differential you get for not taking their insurance.

    “You gotta figure if VHAP and MVP are about the same price, I’m probably not costing the state anything for VHAP…”

    Ummm…you are forgetting that the employer would be paying the rest of it, so they don’t cost the same. In your case, the state pays the rest of it (the part your employer would be paying).

    Anyway, it’s like I said, if you think the government should be providing it, then you would have no reason to not take it. I happen to have a different philosophy.

  12. Oh yeah… forgot about the part the employer pays. But whatever you’re right- my beliefs allow me to let the state pay it, no problem.

    Wow! I can’t believe you’d rather pay for Bush’s war, interest on our debt to China, FEMA ice trucks to go to Maine, etc. than keep the EIC for your own family.

    Do you really think you’re making a difference? Holy Moly! I wish I could say your strong adherance to your beliefs was honorable, but I can’t. The way I see it you’re taking from your own kids to give to that monster in the White House.

    Look, no offense- you’re a really nice person and I don’t want to upset you- But U IZ CRAZEEE! :)

    I should really try to work a little now… Enjoy the day Charity.

    “Thank you veddy much!”

  13. “I truly and honestly believe it is the government’s responsibility.”
    “my beliefs allow me to let the state pay it”

    “The government” and “the state” don’t pay for it. Your neighbors do.

    “Wow! I can’t believe you’d rather pay for Bush’s war”

    So if someone chooses not to accept welfare, that money is redirected to the war? I thought I’d heard every welfare recipient rationalization out there, but this takes the cake.

  14. The EIC is federal and does, in part, pay for the war. I agree with Ladka. You should take the EIC. You E’d it.

  15. What about Corporations that move to the Caymans to avoid US taxes? I guess a true conservative would have them shot, no?

  16. I am not taking anything away from my kids. They have not only food, clothing, and shelter, but also two loving parents, a mother who stays at home with them, they get to homeschool and don’t have to put up with the crap at school anymore, they also have access to the TV, a VCR, plenty of books and videos (their own and the library’s), bikes, roller blades, a nice computer with internet access, they even have their own gameboys. They have lots of other stuff, too. Oh, yeah, and health insurance.

    This weekend, they even got to get out and see how maple syrup is made and have some sugar on snow.

    Anyway, I don’t pay any taxes, so I am not paying for anything. That’s why I object to the EIC – it is given as a refund, even after your tax liability is gone. If it was just taking away my tax liability, that would be one thing. Instead, it is a hand-out from the government above and beyond the taxes that were withheld from my husband’s check. That is why I am opposed to it. The IRS is not a welfare agency. I guess I should say it shouldn’t be.

    I’m not so much trying to make a difference as I am trying to not be a hypocrite. I try to live what I believe. Call that crazy if you’d like.

  17. You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and then you have the facts of life.

    But if conservatives think the government should take less taxes, why would a conservative pay more then she has too?

    When the world never seems, to be living up to your dreams…

    Anybody seen my roller skate key?

    …Hey! Why am I on the set of Taxi?

  18. Oh. Question answered… and I found my key.

    Blair Warner took it.

    Her daddy moved Warner Co.’s HQ to The Grand Caymen Islands to avoid taxes.

    Is that OK?

  19. “What about Corporations that move to the Caymans to avoid US taxes? I guess a true conservative would have them shot, no?”

    I’m not sure where you get that idea from, but no. Last I checked, shooting someone is a violation of their rights and we are against that sort of thing.

    Just curious, how do you equate cheating on one’s taxes with opposing IRS welfare hand-outs?

  20. Our timing sucks.

    I don’t think Mary Lou was equating those two things.

    Let’s take it as a seperate issue. Shooting aside, what about companies that do that? OK w/ conservatives?

  21. “The EIC is federal and does, in part, pay for the war.”

    So you think that the US government only spends money that it actually has, I guess. Decisions on government expenditures are made independent of revenues. If they need more, they take it from those of us who pay taxes. And if you wouldn’t otherwise owe taxes, the EIC is welfare. Some people still aspire not to take any, as crazy as that may sound in Burlington.

    “Is that OK?”

    It’s not good but it’s legal. Have you written your congressman to ask that the offshore loophole be closed?

  22. Last I checked, shooting someone is a violation of their rights and we are against that sort of thing.

    Unless I do it, of course.

  23. I know my congressman is already against that treasonous crap. He’s awesome.

    It takes a lot to get ‘em right…
    When you’re learnin’ the facts of life!

  24. Unless you are refunded every bit of taxes taken out of your husband’s checks, you do pay taxes.
    And I’m not even talking about Social Security and Medicare deuctions!

    “You don’t pay taxes. They TAKE taxes. You get your check, taxes already gone!” -Chris Rock

    (The funny thing is, I died before Chris Rock made that joke, but I quoted it anyway!)

    “Thank you veddy much!”

  25. I don’t know if “Andy Kaufman” is an appropriate persona to adopt when talking about the delights of taking welfare, his estate might take exception. Maybe “Claude Henri de Rouvroy” or “Bernie Sanders” would be more believable.

  26. Sorry to leave so suddenly, but I went out to play with my kids.

    -Yes, this year we did get every penny back that was withheld. We had no tax liability. It’s one of the pluses of having a lot of kids. That’s only federal. The state does make us pay taxes because there are so many people on the healthcare dole! :)

    -If a business wants to move to another country they are free to do that, but anyone who wants the benefits of being an American should pay their taxes.

  27. You know, I was just thinking about something funny. The first year that we did not have a tax liability (when tax deduction number three was born), I felt guilty that we were not paying taxes. My husband assured me that when the kids are grown and we are both working full time, we will pay plenty of taxes. I guess that is true, but I still feel kind of guilty about it.

    At least the city funds everything through property taxes, so I can sleep well at night knowing I contribute my fair share! :)

  28. First of all, we are social creatures, that is something which cannot really be disputed. Our interactions with each other help us to learn behavior, how to interact with each other, and give us the ability to teach others.

    As far as your point relating to being social creatures and government intervention, there is a fine line there. On one hand, your son took pride in doing something for himself he didn’t think he could do. When in tough situations, adults can do the same thing. One who is in poverty can find a job, go back to school to learn to skills, and then better their lives. The thing is that in many cases, that person needs some help. If a person has the desire, and proves they are willing to do something about their current situation, I strongly believe government should do what they can to help that person. Think about it; if I lost my job and became homeless, and wanted to go back to school so I could live in an apartment instead of a cardboard box, I couldn’t advance my education without help. I would go to a school, request aid, and then go to another agency to ask for assistance in paying rent, food, etc. Here is the thing though. I also believe if government help is given, the person should have to work for it. Go to school, get your degree, but then as your “job”, one must do community service. This gives the person receiving aid more job training, and then can help/mentor another who may be in their same situation.

    Oh yeah, having government provide assistance in that long winded case has another benefit. Once that person is done and employed, they are paying taxes. To me, there is a return on the government’s investment there. What is sad is that there are so many who have abused government help that many don’t think it should be available at all. (See cases of women having more kids to get more welfare.)

    I have rambled enough….Hopefully I made SOME sense.


  29. Not only did you make some sense, but you are far less liberal than you think you are. The things you talked about are exactly what the Republican-proposed welfare reform of the 90’s was all about. It was about still helping people get on their feet, but holding them accountable to do their part.

    I have no problem with people who need temporary help getting on their feet. I was in that situation once when I was younger. There is really no reason that the government needs to do it though. It can be done by private charities. They are much more efficient (does the government do anything efficiently?) and the people who need help would most likely get more personal service.

  30. Once again, this is totally entertaining to read. Keep up the great discussions.

    Mr. Kaufman – I’m sorry to see that your blog is defunct.

  31. “does the government do anything efficiently?”

    The Post Office is pretty darn efficient considering the bulk of mail it handles. Oh, and the Social Security Administration too. Far less overhead for them than the Bush-proposed Wall Street financial firms.

  32. The Post Office is Vermont does a pretty good job of getting most letters to recipients in Vermont the next day.

    But, taking 1440 minutes to deliver the mail compared to under 1 minute for the internet does seem like a long time. :-)

  33. ” I don’t think anyone should pay anything out of pocket for it. I truly and honestly believe it is the government’s responsibility.”

    Where does the government get the money to pay for it?

    Just because you aren’t paying for it at time of service doesn’t mean you aren’t paying for it.

  34. You OK w/ the war, hardy? intrst on Natl. debt? Why compln bout hlth care for chldrn? piroritys?

  35. “You OK w/ the war, hardy?”

    “Universal health care” doesn’t suddenly become a good idea without the war, and that is the subject at hand. The two things have nothing to do with each other. Sure, the uninformed see both drawing from the same big pool of money – a buck that goes to one being a buck that doesn’t go to the other – but it doesn’t work that way at all.

    By the way, that has to be the worst attempt at obfuscating an identity I’ve ever seen, “Andy.”

  36. Ya got me bob!

  37. I’ve never used any variant of the name “bob” on or offline. Do you have any more rationalizations or contorted arguments to offer, or are you just threadjacking?

  38. hmmm. not bob? my mistake. I have nothing else to offer.

    Everybody just wants to hear themselves talk (not just here, the whole blogoshpere, that is)and nobody is convincing anyone of anything.

    I think you’re wrong. You think I’m wrong. Nothing’s changing.

    I’ll stop threadjacking. You can have at it without me, not-bob. Enjoy the day.

  39. Are you talking about my Bob? Because if you are that is not him.

    You know, there actually are other people who read this blog. I had a link on 802 Online yesterday and iBurlington today. There’s also a link on the Burlington GOP site. I think at least 5 people read it who are not related to me.

  40. Not Andy Kaufman
    March 29th, 2006 at 8:25 pm

    OK. My mistake! What do you expect from a raving socialist?! Perfection?

  41. I expect that from no one, least of all from a raving socialist.

  42. Charity,

    Actually, I am turning into more of a moderate than anything. Maybe I am becoming jaded in my old age and it is turning me to the dark side. :-)