Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Nickel and diming the social engineering revolution

Imagine a world in which every time you get wasted you will be helping a poor mentally ill person. If you can't imagine that, it's probably easier to at least imagine subsidizing some bureaucrats and encouraging government-dependence for mental health workers. From CanWest News Services:

The federal government should raise taxes on alcoholic beverages by a "nickel a drink" to finance a 10-year, $500-million national campaign to provide affordable housing, and other services to people suffering from mental illness, a Senate committee recommends in a scathing report entitled Out of the Shadows at Last.

[…] The proposal to finance the $500-million transition fund by raising the federal excise tax on alcoholic drinks by five cents translates into five cents on a bottle of beer, or $1.20 on a case of 24 bottles, 25 cents on a bottle of wine, and about 85 cents on a bottle of spirits.
What does alcohol have to do with mental health, you ask? Don't ask… it's got nothing to do with mental health of course. The government could as easily assign itself half a billion dollars out of general tax revenues if it should desire, with barely a whimper. Selective taxation of particular activities in this country is nothing more than a punitive form of social engineering, and any kibble for a pet bureaucratic scheme is just an added bonus.
The committee recommends lowering the tax by five cents a bottle on beer with a low alcohol content, a move, it says, has curbed instances of impaired driving and alcohol-related family violence in Australia.
See how easy it is?

14 comments:

Honey Pot said...

I think that is wonderful! What a good idea.

Pietr said...

Speaking as London's virtual mentally ill resident, I think it's a terrible idea; I'd much rather recieve a free beer-pass that I could take into any participating pub.

Honey Pot said...

What do you object to Sore? That mentally ill people will be taken care of, no longer treated as lepers in society, or the nickel you will have to pay everytime you lift a cuppa to your lips?

What would be your solution to the real cost of allowing people to be subjugated to the disdain of society?

Pietr said...

Easy.
Don't set them apart in the first place.

Honey Pot said...

...but they are not contributing Sore. They can't hold a job, no one will rent to them. Their erratic behaviour scares the bejesus out of people. Do you feel it is best to let them walk the streets as the living dead? Do you really believe if they are ignored, left to starve even, that they will somehow acquire the fortitude to overcome their mental illness?

Pietr said...

They can't get a job because somebody says they are mad or because they really are mad?

We can't force people to give them work;but we can certainly help charities to help them.
My apartment was essentially fitted out by a charity (badly) back in 1993.
Since then I have replaced everything, but the gesture was appreciated.

Thing is, when I was mad, I knew exactly who I was, what I wished to do and what it needed.
I just couldn't do it, and I came up against prejudice and fear.

Since I have tackled the ignorance, I have sublimated the madness into new social skills, but I am less comfortable.

The fact is, people are declared mad and actually do go mad because they are outcasts
and not vice versa.

Honey Pot said...

Charity isn't working Sore. Take a look out there and see. They aren't even allowed to beg and grovel on the streets. They have laws against that. Where are they going to go with the furniture the charities provide? There is only so much you can fit in an oversized fridge box.

The majority of people suffering from mental illness don't know who they are, or who you are either. They have a distorted perception of reality. There are many outcasts in society, not all of them mentally ill, although you immediately become one as soon as it is found out you suffer from one.

People will not willingly contribute to help people who are less fortunate. They would prefer if they just fell off the face of the earth. It has to be mandated by a governing body that you help. It is in your best interest to help. Nothing quite as ugly and depressing as a major break down in society. Just take a look at places like India and Brazil. Do you really want that?

Pietr said...

You can't fight ignorance with laws.
You can only fight it by example.
You have to provide an alternative to alienation, not force loonies on other people (and each other).
Property law is the root; if you allow people to apply their judgement to propertty, the situation may arise whereby everybody excludes us loonies from occupying a home; then if enough people care about it, they can band together and do soething about it, not politically, but economically.
Charity is a huge 'business' here in the UK; a great deal of new-build in urban areas is charitable, at least it is ethically charitable.
My Uncle died recently;in the old days he wsa confined(due to brain damage)to an asylum, where the rule was that even his family wasn't allowed to visit.
Then the Conservatives brought in 'Care in the Community', once a favourite bete-noir of the Left, now strangely ignored.
The last ten years of his life wsa spent in a communal house in the comunity, and he really enjoyed it, although he was left more or less to live.(As well as he could poor chap).
Thing is, the isolating asylums were shut down.
And many cases were discovered where 'caring' families had put people away for 50 years or more to stop a pathetic scandal or similar.

My point is, you should not build walls around the mentally ill. They should be treated as people.They are more vulnerable, not a threat.
The fact is, it isn't my responsibility or yours to care.
It is, however, a choice.

The only case to be made for intervention is in the case of non-functional mentally ill.

But it should be appreciated that mental illness which is not caused organically, is also a result of choice.
Are you suggesting we impose our choices arbitrarily over theirs? And does that adit that reality is the arbiter?

Honey Pot said...

"You have to provide an alternative to alienation, not force loonies on other people (and each other)."- Sore

Sore, this statment doesn't make a lick of sense to me. Perhaps you could elaborate on what in fuck you are trying to say.

"if enough people care about it, they can band together and do soething about it, not politically, but economically"-Sore

...the problem is that enough people don't care about it, so we know nothing is going to be done about it, unless it is done politically. Shoven' it right down people's throats, and putting it in their faces usually works. The majority of people don't give a fuck about anything except themselves. Sometimes they need to be forced to care.

"The fact is, it isn't my responsibility or yours to care.
It is, however, a choice."-Sore

I see it different. I see it is mine and your responsibility to care. Far as I am concerned you don't have a choice. If you don't care, feel free to exit the planet. We all got to share the planet, and if you had any brains you would realize to evolve as humans, we have to support each other. We have to stop treating the planet as if it were a huge garbage can.

Pietr said...

'Evolve as humans'?
Some of us have, some of us haven't, old dear.
Still. I guess you know what's best.
For everybody.

Honey Pot said...

I suppose you believe that humans have evolved into some form of higher beings, that they can't progress any farther. Let's hope that is not true, because we are a sorry fucking lot.

I do know enough that by oppression, exclusion and not giving a fuck, that you stunt intelligent civilization. You make it this creepy, crawly, non-caring thing, where only material objects matter.

I don't want that. Do you?

Pietr said...

You say it happens.
I have never seen it, not even in history.
Creepy crawly things don't stand up openly and proclaim rights, but the enemies of rights frequently are creepy-crawly, as their methods show.

No, I don't want to care 'only' about property,but respect for other people's property is a good first step to caring about them.

Honey Pot said...

What if they have no property, no job, no place to live, nothing to eat. Is your idea of respecting them, hoping they will die so you don't have to be concerned with it Sore?

Don't give me the bullshit about your property rights. You have plenty of them. It is when your property rights infringe on the well being of others, then fuck you, and the bananna boat you came in on. I am gonig to work at taking you down. Don't be so goddam cheap and inhumane. What in hell is wrong with you?

Share it fairly but don't take a slice of my pie said...

My definition of a socialist... Somebody who has great ideas for other peoples money.