Thursday, August 6, 2009

Local Business Shows NFIB the Door

Today, while visiting Jane Hall, the Eyeglass Frame Fashionista of Damariscotta, I learned why we will never be able to afford health care for all in this country. A certain visitor to Jane's office told us in no uncertain terms that the rich have never and will never pay any taxes. Could that really be the difference? Could it be that the members of the Public Option contingent think Americans are law-abiding and will do their civic duty, while the No Health Care For Brown People crowd believe the rich are so powerful they are above the law?

Jane's a friend from when I lived in Tenants Harbor. Interrupting our catch-up chat, a representative of the NFIB arrived in her stacked heels, swishy petal skirt and big hair. She carried a clipboard and it was clear from the garish smile that she was selling something.

Jane, sharply observant as ever, said in her slightly gravely voice, "Aaaannnd, you are obviously on a mission." NFIB Woman sat herself down and said, "Yes, I'm on a mission to save this country from falling apart." She pulled out an application form and said she was from the NFIB, as soon as she got the letters out of her mouth, Jane leaned back and said, "No, thank-you."

At that, the NFIB lady leaned in. "Now would you mind telling me why?" Jane politely said she had been a member before and the membership did not offer what she expected. NFIB Woman persisted, explaining that her organization was dedicated to "making sure Americans have health care that we can all afford." She went on to say that proposals with "universal health care" would cost small businesses too much money. Jane shook her head and explained that she favored universal health care and that we had to have it regardless of the costs.

They volleyed back and forth a bit while I wondered why this gal had not left at the first sign of resistance. Clearly she was a rookie activist. Persuasion is possible only if there are openings. Jane left no room for doubt. This woman should have taken her minimal lumps and left. She didn't. She persisted. I stayed mum as long as I could, but when she started mouthing the FOX News line that runs, If they can't even run the Cash for Clunkers program, how can they run health care?, I had to say that I knew where that logic had originated and it was hardly logical.

Then came the middle bits, predictable and mundane, especially since the fearmongering perpetrated by the insurance industry has become all but rote. Things shifted when I asked NFIB Woman woman for actual information. Her claim was that we could not afford health care for all, but when I asked her whether she knew how the interstate highway system and the biggest school construction projects in this country's history were funded during the middle of the 20th century. She had no idea. Then, since I was not confident that she would know who was president in the 1950s, I asked her what the income tax rate for the richest Americans was under Republican President Dwight Eisenhower. She said she did not know. When I told her 91 percent, she looked dismayed. Then I asked her what the highest rate was today. Unsurprisingly, she had no idea. When I told her 35 percent, I added that I paid at least 28 percent and I am an underemployed teacher.

She said she paid 30-something, and I asked her whether it was right that the uber-wealthy, I think I called them gazillionaires, paid four percent more than she did when they made thousands and thousands times more than she.

Then she took her most surprising stance. By this time she had stood up and tottered on her six-inch wooden heels. "Rich people won't pay their taxes," she said. "Pardon, me," I said. "The rich never pay their taxes," she reiterated. Stunned, I said, "Well, in that case we have a much bigger problem than health care."

Nine hours later, I still wonder if she understands the gravity of her claim. I reminded her that our ancestors had left 17th century England to escape the corruption and injustice of the aristocracy and asked if she was essentially saying that our situation is now the same. She looked blank and began to blather about how we should "respect each other's point of view." You know, the argument that there is no analysis or truth, just opinion.

Going over the top, I broke Godwins Law and brought up the Holocaust. I said, "Umm. The Holocaust was wrong. Some things are just wrong. Not obeying the law is wrong. [The gazillionaire scofflaws] would be in trouble." To my chagrin, she persisted with, "Rich people have never paid taxes and never will." I said, "Maybe as long as they and their corporations can get you to do their bidding." I told her the most honorable thing she could do with her time was stop shilling for the insurance companies.

By this point I had already recommended Thomas Franks', "What's the Matter with Kansas," to learn how members of the protected upper class get others to vote in opposition to their best interests. She looked at me as if I was recommending Kafka. It made me wonder if she had ever read a non-fiction book in her life.

I had already suggested that she got her talking points from Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. She demurred saying, "No. I got [the Cash for Clunkers example] from the radio." Oy.

In her parting paragraph she again beseeched me to acknowledge her right to her opinion. As she backed toward the door, she said, "No matter what our opinions, we should respect each other's point of view."

Jane and I gave her crickets.

Grrr. Wonder what her salary is and whether she has health insurance.


Dave the free-enterpriser said...

Thank God the majority of small business owners are not arrogant smug over educated pretentious liberal leftist elitist trust fund babies who believe the government should redistribute wealth. If you’re into suggesting reading, I have a suggestion for you. First, let me recommend the US Constitution, please help all us confused “shills for the insurance companies” to see where the government has the right to commandeer business let alone entire industries. Your friend missed her opportunity to help protect one of our most basic freedoms in this country called the Free Enterprise System. (You obviously missed learning about it in whichever liberal indoctrination center your parents overpaid for)
I would love to have the same opportunity to demean you as you and your self-satisfied friend had. I doubt that will ever happen because unlike NFIB woman, liberals don’t possess the courage of their convictions to walk headlong and alone into a group of conservatives to try and espouse their beliefs. No, they don’t associate with people outside the safety of their little cocoons of academia or the union hall. Under employed? I doubt it. More like over educated .It sounds as if academia is the perfect place for you. After all, where else can you find a captive audience to whom you can force-feed your pretentious socialist viewpoints to who are unable to disagree without risking their GPA and future. My guess is you thrive on this autocratic dictatorial environment where you can reign, safe in your tenure. Always remember this basic truth. “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach”
Gee is that crickets? No it must be the sound of millions of taxpayers working in the trenches so you can rob them for your excellent pay and guaranteed benefits. After all, you probably have “Gold plated” health care paid for by some else. You are a great argument for vouchers.

snoozetska said...

Interestingly, I have never been in a teacher's union, though I helped negotiate our yearly contract with the board several times.

Never had tenure because it wasn't offered, and am working at a new school at less than half my normal salary as a long term substitute because I took time off to care for my son and am working my way up from the bottom again.

Not against vouchers either. Plus I favor standardized testing for students and teachers. That said, the only child left behind by NCLB was Dubya.

Also hardly anyone has had more interesting jobs--besides teaching--than I have.

How do you like me now?

Dave the free-enterpriser said...

Try starting and growing your own business, meeting a payroll, dealing with the ever growing government largess and watching Obama and Co. plunge this ecomony into $9,000,000,000,000.00 deficit over the next ten years.
What are you going to tell your son when his generation is saddled with this overwhelming burden?
Oh wait, Dubya right?
Your clueless like most liberals.
As far as liking you... I love you.
I just despise your politics.

snoozetska said...

It's nice to feel loved, even when my lover moves the goalposts when things don't go his way.

Before, I was scum because I was a tenure sucking teacher--now, I am supposed to have been a business owner, something I am entirely unsuited for and have zero interest in.

As you no doubt know, the debt burden nightmare began with Reagan, when he gave the uber-wealthy a free pass and sent the deficit into the stratosphere.

Heck, I could be a Republican if Dwight Eisenhower were in charge. At least he knew how to keep the middle class going without smoke and mirrors. We wouldn't even need to return to his 91 percent tax rate on the richest Americans. There's no telling what we could do if we just rolled back the charity for the aristocracy awarded by GWB.

As for meeting payroll, in the long run it would have been easier for every business had the U.S. had any other health care system in the industrialized world than ours. Sure, it was great for a while to suck the health and wealth out of the workers and the middle class--recently, not so much.

I love you too.

Dave the free-enterpriser said...

Because of your random and irrational arguments, it seems almost impossible to help you.
In your original blog, you claimed to have the answers. Now you admit your ignorance, yet still claim to have the answers...Come to think of it you sound like your clueless leader. Maybe he should hire you to be the Czar of,hmmm...class envy.
Why is it you continue to avoid the main question I have asked in my first comment? Will you show me where the constitution gives the Feds the right to nationalize private enterprise?
Once you can do that, I may be open to your reasoning. Until then, you just sound silly.

Stan said...


How is it possible to be over educated?

When the US Constitution was written, roads were largely privately held turnpikes. It's clear to me that our "socialist" system of national transportation infrastructure is superior.

Liberals lack the courage of their convictions? Rosa Parks? Martin Luther King? John F. Kennedy? Abraham Lincoln? Jesus Christ?

By the way "Dave", You paragon of courageous conservativism, what's your name?

Stan Tupper

snoozetska said...

Keep listening to the moronic and histrionic Glenn Beck, Dave. Beck's obsession with the word "Czar" borders on mental illness. Careful, it might be contagious.

Dave Tupper said...

Keep listening to the moronic and histrionic Obama, Snooze. Obama's obsession with the appointment of "Czars" borders on mental illness. Evidently, it is contagious.

I'll leave you and Stan here together to agree with each other.

My work is done here.