Comments on Charlottesville

While I found Trump’s Hitler-like method of gaining political support extremely ugly, I believe in our American democracy. I am on the left, and have been all of my life. Many times in my life, I have been disappointed and discouraged by our elections and the politicians elected. But every voice in our country deserves to be heard. And Trump was elected because he gave enough people a voice. He was elected by the people fair and square.

Why would there be as large a group of Americans as there are who are disaffected enough to support Trump? Well, incomes for middle and working class men are about where they were in 1968, when adjusted for inflation. Women’s incomes have improved, but many poorer families have had to have two breadwinners just to survive. I think this is cause enough. I think Trump supporters tend to be working and middle class people who (many) served in the military, raised families, believe in a god, played by the rules, and who have been left behind. Many cannot afford to retire.

Pay is a bit of a problem. Men have tended to make more than women. Why? I think that many men feel the money is because their work is worth more. But, to me, that extra money has been to provide for the bringing up of children – and to support a wife to do the work. I believe what has traditionally been an average woman’s work, the bringing up if children and maintaining of a home, is of equal value to the average men’s work. It’s just that the pay has gone to men (at great cost to women in many cases.)

Well, we have to bring up our children and maintain our homes. Women and men have been figuring out new ways to do the task over my lifetime, but in this transitional time, in the process we are often seeing a lot of pain.

Our seven day week is based on the five planets known to antiquity, plus the Lights – the Sun and the Moon. In astrology, each sign of the zodiac is ruled by a planet or Light. We are learning more about objects in our solar system all the time. As more planets have been discovered, some of the signs originally ruled by the traditional planets have been assigned new rulers. Personally, I work with composite points as well as planets. I think that soon we will have twelve verified rulers for the twelve signs. So, maybe we can transition to a twelve day week – four on, two off, four on, two off – where ‘on’ is a work day and ‘off’ is a weekend day. With two parents, the work could be split so that they work during different time periods, with each doing child care on one ‘on’ day. When the children are grown, both parents can work. Or both parents can work and pay for child care. Or one person could work while the other takes care of the home and children. For single parents, I suppose they would have to depend on child care. As a feminist, I know the current cost to women of unpaid child care. The cost can be addressed politically.

The ugliness in Charlottesville was scary, and tragic in that people were hurt and a life was lost. But- I hate to say this – the reaction of the left is full of hate toward the right. Time will pass and things will change. I cannot condone the tearing down of monuments for ideological reasons. There are of course the examples of the destruction of a huge Buddha by the Taliban and the destruction of Diego Rivera’s mural in New York by anti-communist forces. I am sure there are many other examples.

As far as I can tell, white people in the South think of themselves as the South – totally ignoring the African American part of the population. The soldiers of the Confederacy died fighting for what they believed in, their descendants would want their memories commemorated, with reason. But the memories of the African American need to be commemorated to. Rather than tearing down statues, let the South – African and European – come together to build monuments to the African American struggle.

People have a right to be racist or anti-Semitic or homophobic or sexist. We have freedom of belief in this country. However, whatever our beliefs, we are expected to obey the law, and the law says we cannot discriminate with regard to things like employment and business services to the public, on the basis of race, religion, disability, gender – I am not sure what else applies to the whole country.

If you look at the increase in household income over the last fifty years (adjusted for inflation), the 90th percentile has an obscene amount of growth compared with the 10th percentile. At the 10th percentile, I would think you would find a lot of (mainly) single parents. I think that, at the 90th percentile of household income, you often have two breadwinners working at the professional level. The large income that had been meant to maintain a family is now going to two, rather than one, person.

I think those in the upper middle class – many of whom are professionals – are being paid too much. Perhaps (I have not looked into this) the excessive pay has been part of the excessive, growing cost of medicine and higher education.

The press has pointed out just how extreme income growth has been for the top 1%. I do not have any more to comment on that or the pay of business executives, other than to tax them to high heaven. However, I think the Congress and the President and Vice-President are really underpaid, given their responsibilities.

It will take awhile for our changing way of bringing up children to work itself out through our economy. In the meantime, we have a very disaffected class of people who see types of people they had always thought of as miscreants being given rights. People who are not reaping the rewards of ‘free enterprise’. People not able to retire.

 

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21st century science

At the end of the 19th century, physicists thought they had reached the final frontier of their science. They felt everything was explained, with just a few loose ends to tie up. This was not true. By 1920, the fields of quantum mechanics and relativity were wide open.

Are we in a similar place here in the 21st century? I suspect knowledge of consciousness is the new frontier.

Two Aphorisms

Karma – not that you will be punished for what you do wrong and rewarded for what you do right over lifetimes – is that you only know what you know – and in life you expand knowledge.

Prejudice – thinking you know something about someone because you know something about someone.