The Shane Morris 11 Step Plan For A More Beautiful Majestic America
(August 14, 2012)
Over the past few weeks, many of my readers/fans have expressed their new-found interest in politics, and cited me as the reason why. So first of all: Thank you for giving me credit for that. I’m basically Jesus, but let’s not dwell on fictional, Jewish zombie-magicians. There’s work to do! We need a better America! “But Shane, how can dolphins make America, and the world, a better place?” Gather around this non-existent campfire I’m motioning towards, and I’ll tell you. (Just stay away from Intern Tynan, because he’s cranky about not getting any candy at the store.)
Before we begin, we’re going to call this Step 0.5, because I really don’t understand what the fuck our problem is here. Everyone is created equal, right? Okay, so fuck the evangelicals who spend big money telling you gay people can’t have the same rights as everyone else. Or perhaps they think they have a right to tell women what to do with their bodies. To take it a step further, fuck you if you think stem cell research is a bad thing.
Marriage for everyone, to anyone. Women can do whatever they want with their bodies. Scientists can get to work solving diseases without worrying what some illogical, “God-fearing” fucktard thinks about what God did or didn’t say. No one gives a fuck what you think about God anymore. The world is quickly moving in a new direction. Get on board. 2,000 year old superstitions don’t have a place in public policy. And now, we begin…
Step 1: Reduce Defense Expenditure by 80%. The military is an absolutely disgusting, expensive, and ridiculous expenditure. If you think about America like a household, we’re a household that spends 25% of our money on guns and explosives. If you had neighbors like that, you’d leave your neighborhood. Especially if your gun-toting neighbors had the bad habit of shooting at all the other non-white, non-Christian neighbors - and then stealing their stuff. (But don’t worry, because they’re just keeping the neighborhood safe from dangerous people that may or may not exist.)
I’m not saying the military is evil, or the people who serve in the military are evil. What I’m saying is that if you spend 25% of America’s money on the military, you might just end up using it. Defending against terrorism is a good thing to do, but we need to think objectively about why terrorists hate us. To put it quite simply: They don’t like that we mess with their regional business. If we stop bombing their families, they’ll probably stop hating us. You can’t make everyone like you, but it’s pretty easy to prevent people from absolutely hating you - don’t kill people they care about.
As a financial benefit, it’s expensive to operate what we have- to the tune of $702 Billion in 2012 alone. $702 Billion - just to give you an idea of how much money that is: It’s more than, Education, Veteran Affairs, Housing an Urban Development, the Department of State, Homeland Security, Energy, Agriculture, Labor, Interior, The EPA, Small Business Administration, The Corps of Engineers, NASA, Transportation, Health and Human Services, and SEVEN other smaller departments get… COMBINED. The Department of Defense has way too much of our tax money. If you spend more on guns and bombs than you spend on 25 other parts of your government, combined, you should probably take a long, hard look in the mirror.
Cutting defense by 80% nets $561 Billion to spend (or save?) on things that don’t involve killing people. Will defense contractors lose jobs? Absolutely. That’s okay. They can get jobs doing other things inside the United States.
Step 2: Completely overhaul education. We all went to the same schools. We all know they pretty much suck. It’s not the fault of the teachers. My girlfriend is a teacher: I love teachers. What I really hate is how archaic the system is. Schools were built around a factory mentality. Bells to go everywhere, trapped in a room for long periods of time doing mundane coursework. Books that aren’t updated often enough. And where the f**k are the computers?
I see no reason why computers aren’t on every desk, in every American classroom. Education is supposed to be about preparing for the future, and right now, the United States is getting its ass handed to it by Europe and Asia. If you don’t teach every kid how to use computers, then you’re doing them a disservice. The jobs are in science and technology - and you need to know a lot about computers to do those jobs.
Year round schools need to happen. We’re not an agriculture-based society anymore. Kids don’t need the summers off to help their parents do farm work. Right now, American children take off the summers to play video games, smoke weed, and play on Tumblr.
Do you want to know the real reason jobs go overseas? Labor markets dictate it. It’s really simple to understand: We don’t have the high tech jobs anymore. Building cars used to be a “high tech” skilled job. You needed an education to understand it. Now, robots in Malaysia can do that job better than you ever could. The other jobs lost were the result of emerging labor markets elsewhere willing to do a job for less. If you want American jobs to stay in America, you have to create jobs that cannot be replicated elsewhere for a lower price. That means high tech jobs with educated Americans, trained on advanced computer programs, doing work that people in Southeast Asia can’t do.
It’s not the answer everyone wants to hear, but it’s the goddamn truth. No one gives a f**k how good you are at photography or producing music. We’re all not going to be liberal arts, super-creative knitted hat Etsy millionaires. Fuck Etsy.
In fact, let’s boil it down even further. I manage bands, and 15 years ago, the internet didn’t have the same role in management it does today. I need to know how everything works online. The iTunes API, how Soundcloud plays translate to sales, video technology, TV-Internet-Magazine cross marketing, social media strategy, collaboration, Java-enabled MIDI control, analog to digital conversion, etc.
I innovated the way music is bought, sold and marketed - and that’s why I work with people who sell millions of albums. The managers who stayed doing the same shit they were doing in 1999 are now without jobs. If your industry doesn’t innovate and move with technology by pushing borders, you fail. The only way to overcome technology kicking your ass, is an education. Period.
Don’t listen to these politicians creating hot air with “job creating plans for America”, because it’s all bullshit. The only way to create jobs is to innovate through education. The world is changing. Ideas create jobs - not protectionism and tax-bending shit.
Step 3: Healthcare. Real. Universal. Single-Payer. Healthcare. Everyone wants to debate this issue, and it’s not even a debate. Every other industrialized nation does it. It works. They’re not all dead, bankrupt, or dying. Americans are so stupid, they believe the hype about “death-squads” and other nonsense. Look y’all, without getting too heavy, you’re going to get healthcare the right way someday, and it won’t be a bad thing.
Health insurance companies have literally spent hundreds of millions of dollars telling you that universal healthcare is horrible. The reason they do that is because they have money to lose. For-profit healthcare is a joke.
Health isn’t a commodity like apples, computers, and tennis rackets. It’s not a tangible thing - so don’t treat it like a tangible thing. It’s an intangible thing. There shouldn’t be a counterpoint to your health called “profit”. That’s the absolutely dumbest idea ever.
For those of you up for a debate, I submit to you my proof: EVERY OTHER FUCKING INDUSTRIALIZED NATION ON EARTH.
Step 3.1 Healthcare means you have to take care of yourself. Seriously, we won’t be able to afford healthcare as long as America is roughly 40% obese. I live in Tennessee, and I see it every damn day. The people around me look like they’ve been main-lining Big Macs like it’s heroin. Food and exercise aren’t a joke, and if you get healthy, your healthcare costs go down - effectively saving you money.
Obese people spend more money on medication and are more likely to have certain types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes (or as Wilfred Brimley says, “Dia-beet-us”), etc. So, diet and exercise, because you’ll die early - and that would suck because the world is awesome.
Step 4: Figure out some way to solve this little $15 Trillion budget crisis we’re working on. The first step being don’t do anything Paul Ryan thinks is a good idea. At some point, we’ll have to realize taxing wealthy people isn’t the worst thing in the world, and everyone isn’t going to be taxed equally. People may be equal in terms of rights, but not means.
It’s not “socialism” if a government takes more money from the wealthy. I might just be the logical part of the “1%” here, but I think a society is judged on how they treat the people who need the most. I find it ironic how the people who hate this idea the most are generally the most evangelical, right-leaning morons on the planet. “I’m not gonna let the gummin’t take mah money! I earnt it!”
You know that “Jesus” character you all review as super important? Taking care of the sick and poor - that was HIS idea, not mine. Remember the thing about the camel going through the eye of a needle? Yeah, so uh, that…
President Eisenhower taxed the wealthy at 80%. The country didn’t fall apart. Kennedy taxed the wealthy at 55%. The wealthy now have two taxes: Income, and capital gains. Income is around 35%. Capital gains is around 18%. Basically, if you’re just rich as fuck, and you make most of your money from stocks, interest, etc - you pay proportionally fewer taxes than most people who work at Applebee’s. Ain’t that some sad shit?
How do we cut down on this $15 Trillion? Tax the fuck out of rich people. Cut defense. Pretty damn simple.
Here’s a chart to help you understand. 10% of Americans in the country hold 80% of the money. The bottom 80% controls 12% of the money. You’ve got a few REALLY rich people, and everyone else is broke. The worst part is, the people with the money spend money on politicians that keep them wealthy. Really - it’s that simple. They fund the campaigns, and elect the politicians willing to name judges to do their bidding.
That’s why rich people can give as much money to political campaigns as they want. The Supreme Court allowed Super-PAC’s to happen. You can now buy an election. That’s bullshit, by the way.
Step 5: Dear Occupy Wall Street. It didn’t work. Get the fuck out of your tent and start contributing to society again. We get it. Banks suck. They’re the reason the world sucks. Whatever. You’re not changing shit by hanging out in the park.
Step 6: Weed. Legalize it. Tax it.
Step 7: Prisons need to change. We lock up a lot of people in the United States, and that’s getting worse now that prisons are being privatized.
Private prisons are ridiculous, and they need to end immediately. Making it profitable to put people away for extended periods of time is absolutely ridiculous. The American government has created a financial incentive for private companies to take away the freedoms of Americans. That’s why we’re seeing long mandatory minimum sentences, and long sentences for non-violent crime. It has to end.
Step 8: No more death penalty. First of all, it’s barbaric. Second of all, we’ve put a few innocent people to death. They can’t come back from that. No matter how evil the people are, we can’t put them to death.
Are there terrible people out there? Yes. Do I wish some of them would die? Yes. Does that means we should put people to death? No. Because sometimes courts get it wrong, and it’s too late to say you’re sorry when you’ve given them a lethal injection. I don’t want to live in a country that puts innocent people to death.
Step 9: Old people. We have to take care of them. Do you plan on being old someday? In that case, think about how you’d want to be treated. All this talk about cutting benefits for senior citizens makes me sick. We’re talking about the lady in line at the grocery store who pisses you off because she wants to go through 50 coupons. Is she irritating and annoying? Hell yes. Does that mean you stop the programs that pay for her medication? Hell no. I refuse to live in a country that forces its elderly to choose between food and medication. That’s sick.
Step 10: Same goes for kids. When you hear about how many people receive government welfare benefits, what you often forget is a huge number of those “people” are children. So when politicians talk about cuts to welfare, what they’re basically saying is, “Fuck you, poor kids. You shouldn’t eat!”
Some kids only gets square meals when they’re in school. Their parents don’t have money to feed them, and abuse their EBT cards, selling them for cash. We can’t end free school lunch programs, or medical programs for children. Politicians who tout changes like that should be kicked in the balls. Kids don’t have a choice in the matter. They can’t vote, so fuck em, right? Come on.
In Closing: You control the government with your votes. Anything you want to change can be done with the system we have. Start naming candidates who share your views. One at a time, we can make slow changes together.