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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Politics Schmolitics

It’s been a while since we talked politics, which, of course, PAINS me. There’s no need to worry that I’ve been so consumed with life that I've had to put politics on the back burner. Never fear! I am as left-leaning fiery as ever, it’s just been difficult to find time to blog.

Today, unfortunately, is no exception. I only have a few minutes of blog-time, so I will bullet-proof the political issues most plaguing my thoughts these days:

*WTO (World Trade Organization). I’ve been anti-WTO since my early days in university, studying developmental politics. It’s ridiculous to think that a globally sanctioned (well, realistically, it’s more WESTERN-sanctioned, which is all that matters in the world of developmental organizations) supports anti-agriculture policies in developing nations. The WTO has been DISCOURAGING impoverished countries to grow their own food, because, in their opinion, importing cheap food from overseas was the answer to the world’s hunger. Well, hit me with a hot note and watch me bounce, this policy is coming back to bite the overly-compensated scientists and politicians in the butt, isn’t it? A part of me wants to scream, “I told you so!”, but at what expense? The fact that MILLIONS of people are starving does not make me feel vindicated.

*Immigration. Did you know that sneaky-snake Stephen Harper hid an immigration bill in the budget last month? Oh yes. Bill C-50, if passed, would give the Minister of Immigration God-like control over whose applications for immigration are accepted and expedited. It’s pretty terrifying to think of a right-winged, Capitalist-crazed, power-hungry politician holding the key of entry into our country. Unless, of course, you agree that anyone who looks differently, thinks differently, prays differently, and has no formal education, should be pushed to the back of the line.

*SUVs and not-for-farm-use trucks. I know a lot of you readers, some of my dearest and sweetest friends, drive SUVs and trucks. I’m not trying to step on your toes, and I respect everyone’s freedom to choose what type of vehicle they will drive. But, I have to admit that I would throw a huge party if there was a moratorium on SUV manufacturing. I’m selfishly hateful of the gigantic pieces of steel because THEY are part of the reason why I’m paying more to fill up my compact car, by increasing demand for fuel. It also hurts my heart to think that our society has become so very wasteful and entitled. SUVs are so disproportionate to what we need. I can’t tell you how many childless couples own SUVs. WHY?? I can understand the need for vehicle space when you have 3+ children, but for any family smaller than five, an SUV seems ridiculous. (Chrystie waves good-bye to half her readers, who are so offended by this last paragraph that they’ve decided to remove “Revising the Dream” from their favorite list…)

*Good Policy. I don’t want this to be a complete government-bashing session, so I will close with a list of some really great laws:
*No tax (well, PST) on books in Canada.
*Free counseling at the Rehab Centre For Children (where Ellie gets all her equipment and sees many of her CP doctors. Parents can access free therapy from counselors who are familiar with special needs parenting and all that entails).
*Tax deductions for charitable giving.
*Income Tax due date extensions for those who receive any self-employment income (not just because Richard started doing our taxes at 10:00 THE NIGHT BEFORE THEY WERE DUE, oh no!).
*The adoption tax credit. Unfortunately this is only in the US, but I love the concept nonetheless. You can get back nearly $11,000 of what you paid for adoption because of this tax credit. Awesome!


Bill said...

I just deleted your blog from my google reader.

no, but seriously... how can you be in favor of tax reductions and whole sale social services??? that's so un-socialist of you. What are governments supposed to do? Print Money from thin air?! hmmmm, come to think of it, the US is becoming pretty adept at that.

well I guess I will chug home in my gas guzzling truck, which I kept for 10 years in order to increase gas prices (opec and saudi kings have nothing to do with that by the way) and push the world to the brink of a global warming holocaust. Hope Al Gore is stocked up on his sun screen!

Jane said...

I am in complete agreement with your disapproval of SUVs. Now let's hold an intervention for Jack and Sal - they have been unable to drive anything but giant gas guzzlers since they became empty nesters. Strange. The kids move out and what do you need? A giant vehicle that you cannot possibly use.

Peitricia Mae said...

There are at least three families at my kids' school who drive Hummers. One of them always has dealer plates, so not only do they drive one, one of the parents actually sells them. Which suggests the market in this town is larger than three people.

Because this is Minneapolis, of course. One never knows when one will require a Hummer in order to...what purpose *do* they serve, anyway?

Peitricia Mae said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peitricia Mae said...

Oh crap. Double post. And now I deleted it and now it looks like I said something unbelievably rude and/or totally incendiary and then thought better.

Talk about putting your hand to the plow and looking back.

Bill and Melodie said...

Some great things we have been able to do because of our SUV...
Take youth on misson trips to Mississippi, Drive our SUV full of luggage and donation items and pulling a trailor full of stuff to Atlanta so that a group of about 20people could fly to the Bahamas for a mission trip, Take tons of our youth on different outings because they don't drive yet or their parents won't take them, help numerous friends move, help strangers move, fill it with all kinds of things our friends, family and neighbors have dontaed to us for our adoption yardsale... the list goes on and on.

Chrystie said...

You make an absolutely fantastic and valid point, Melodie (I'm assuming it was Melodie who just commented, since Bill did earlier!). It does my heart good to know that you use the space in your SUV. Several times this year, we could have used a larger vehicle for hauling around our youth kids. But, instead of buying an SUV, we have actually rented vans (which are usually more fuel efficient and seat more passengers than SUVs) for the evening at minimal to no cost. It's worked out great. In Texas, on the rare occasions we needed a truck to haul larger items, we would rent one from the Home Depot for $20. Renting has been a really great option, as it is most certainly more fuel and cost efficient for our little family, as we only need our compact car 90% of the time. ;-)

Chrystie said...

Oh, and...I wasn't sure if you were joking or not, Bill (cuz you're normally a very serious-all-the-time guy :-)), but just in case you weren't, I wanted to make it clear that I've never supported tax reductions. I like warranted tax credits (like the adoption credit), but I've never advocated for tax cuts.