Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why I'm a pinko commie leftist

Social security is a feminist issue.
Social security is a race issue.
Social security is a class issue.

Because, as brownfemipower puts it: "It’s amazing how much freedom to resist that you have when you don’t have to worry about feeding your kids or losing your house or otherwise becoming destitute."

Thanks to our unions and our dole and our entire support system for those (temporarily or permanently) in need, I could quit a job where the boss was constantly hitting on me.

Thanks to those, I could quit a job in which I was expected to lie to customers.

Thanks to those, I could try becoming an entrepreneur without fear of not having food on the table.

Thanks to those and to our student loans, I could study enough to get the kind of job I really wanted.

Thanks to those and to our childcare system, single parents are able to work at all.

Thanks to those and to our socialised single-payer health care system, I have never had to choose between my (very expensive) endometriosis medication and food on the table, even when I've been between jobs.

Thanks to those and to our socialised single-payer health care system, I get the medications and the pain killers I need to be able to work full-time and to go horse riding and basically do anything other than lie on the sofa with a heating pad.

Thanks to those, my friend who's in so much pain that she can't work more than 50 % of full time still has enough money to live on.

I keep hearing our right-wing (for Sweden, that is - for the US they're pretty far on the left) politicians wanting to reduce benefits so that "it should pay better to work". Yeah, you should get better wages for working than the benefits you get when not working. But no one person in a civilized country should ever need to fear not having enough money for food and rent. No one person should need to stay in a job where they're abused. No one person should need to go without medication and health care.

No one.



Jim said...

Hope you feel better soon... I'm not a Pinko by any means, but I understand where you're coming from on a few of these things.

Jenny said...

Well, I'm not really a communist either. I was paraphrasing the kind of comments I get from the more right-wing US people.

I broke my leg some weeks ago. So far, it's taken three operations, three weeks in hospital and one in a rehab home, several X-rays and other procedures. I'm unable to work as I can't sit up for more than half an hour without a lot of pain.

All this will cost me about 1 USD per day in hospital, and a total of 125 USD for all exams, X-ray, operations, ambulance ride. Also there's the max amount of about 225 USD per year for medications, but I'd already reached that limit.

That is _all_ I pay. I don't lose my job for being away for months. While I'm unable to work, I get about 75 % of my regular pay, but from a state agency rather than my employer. This means that I get food and my employer can use my wages hire a consultant to help out while I'm away.

Again, I feel very lucky to be born in a country where the tax rates are high enough to pay for this stuff.

Unknown said...

I live in the US and got into a really bad car wreck a couple years ago. Fortunately, my insurance covered most of the bills and my employer had disability insurance for me, so I think I made 80% of what I did before. I think it's all about choices really. Yeah, I want that kind of insurance, but I should be able to choose whether or not I have it.

On the other hand, the economy is pretty crappy now and it seems stimulus hasn't really had that great of an impact. Left or right, it seems that all politicians want to expand the government more and more.