9.7.06

Public Goods


Hi folks! What a day I had! Today Daddy took me to the Park (Piedmont Park, that is) for the first time in months. I am a Piedmont Porker! Snort snort! In economics, parks are usually known as "public goods." That means that everyone can and should enjoy them, and that one pig enjoying them doesn't seriously negatively impact another pig's (or dog's or cow's or whatever's) enjoyment of them. It also means that having them available for everyone is in the best interests of everyone. The best and most common example is the air we breathe; another example is diversity, including diverse companion animals like me! OINK!
Some rich wolves think public goods are a waste of government money, and that crapitalism allows them the leverage to buy what they want (such as lots of land) and enjoy it selfishly. I bet some of them would even like to buy the air! (In a way, they have already; by polluting the air closest to the ground with their cars, critters that are close to the ground, like me, suffer consequences in the air we breathe. So we are subsidizing the convenience of their cars with our lungs! That makes me chargin' mad.) Other people recognize the value of public goods to society; in northern Europe, for example, happiness surveys consistently come back as the highest in the world, and the details suggest that this is in large part due to the excellent public goods networks available there. If I weren't so afraid of water, I'd be on a ship today. (My little piggy noggin can't take the cabin pressure of an airplane; plus, planes are rotten for the environment anyway. So, all aboard! Snort snort!)
Anyway, the reason I haven't been going to the park recently is because I have developed a bone disorder in my leg and it is hard for me to walk to the Park. The doctors aren't sure what is wrong yet, but I have been taking my medicine and I am feeling better every day. Today I felt good enough to make it to the Park. I had fun, but when I tried to run and get my piggy exercise, my hurt leg had a hard time and I fell down. Daddy looked sad, but I was ok. I stood right back up and started eating the grass in the Park. Daddy tells me I'm in trouble when I eat the grass, but hey, I AM a pig! (By the way, the grass in the Park is delicious!)
I mention this because most Socialists believe that the world would be better if we treated health care like a public good. The healthier my piggy leg is, the more volunteer work I can do, and the more I can help little kids at the library (hi, Ms. Marks! Oink!) learn about piggies and about respecting and loving things that are different from them. In America, health care has been crapitalized, and the results are, well, crappy. For a developed country, I sure do see a lot of sick and hungry people everywhere. My Daddy says that when he lived in Germany, seeing this was very rare. In Germany, the government tries to treat health care like a public good. In America, there are so many people that can't achieve to their potential because little effort is made to guarantee their health to them; it is expected that they will figure it out on their own. Kids WON'T figure it out on their own, and many here pay the price of this system. It is all so upsetting that just thinking about it makes me sleepy. I will spend my little piggy life working on fixing this, but first I need to get back some of that energy I lost playing in the Park. PIGGY NAPTIME!!!!


-Beef E Wiener
"Daddy says I twitch in my sleep"

3.7.06

The Welfare State

Recently, my Dad told me a story about a guy that he works with. The guy constantly makes comments about people on welfare and how they are robbing him of his hard-earned money. The guy puts pizzas in a car and drives them to people for a living. My Dad said he was doing this same job when I was born and that it is one of the easiest jobs that could ever be.


Anyways, a couple of days ago this guy was complaining about how he lost his precious money to taxes that took care of deadbeats. Then he went and drank beer with one of the managers for an hour while they were both still on the clock. Let me remind you that 90% of this guy's job is to DRIVE A CAR.
Another point my Dad made is that pizza delivery drivers only pay taxes (including Social Security and Medicare taxes, which are both "Social Insurance" programs aimed at the elderly, disabled, or widowed--- people I imagine this guy would refer to as "freeloaders") on their hourly pay or, at worst, on their hourly pay and credit card tips. This amount is unlikely to be more than half of their earnings.
The Welfare State, indeed.

30.6.06

Socialism Is NOT Communism


So this is my first post in what could be called "Piggy Politics." As the title states, I want to get one important point out of the way first and foremost: SOCIALISM IS NOT COMMUNISM.
Many people here in the U.S. hear the term "Socialism" and instantly react negatively, thanks to McCarthyism and the Red Scares. It doesn't help that Communists often used the words almost interchangeably, nor does it help that the U.S. tacitly (well, explicitly, but with a slight-of-hoof effect that distracts the people) endorses the one-party-masquerading-as-two-parties-which-still-isn't-enough-parties system, which makes any other ideology appear marginal. I like parties, especially if they are for me and involve vegetable plates, but I don't like when some parties are excluded by a ruling class. Just because I have dewclaws doesn't mean I am not worth as much as someone who has thumbs. I say, "The more parties, the better." La laa la!
But, seriously, these kneejerk responses make my tail curl, and, the worst part about them is that they are not accurate. The perceived issues with the "evil" empire and the Cold War would be issues that Socialists would be concerned with as well: Socialists are not in favour of rounding up different-looking or different- thinking individuals and sending them to gulags, or giving them fake trials, or sending them to the slaughterhouse. And Socialists don't want arms races to happen, either. The reasons that one would be a Socialist include striving for harmony and coexistence; both crapitalism and communism fail to identify this as a primary goal; they are both concerned, either directly or indirectly, with factionalism and self-preservation. Crapitalism endorses the self-interest explicitly, to the detriment of everyone else on the farm; and most nominally communist governments are actually just state forms of crapitalism (my daddy will talk about this later).
Well, I hope this clears some things up; I can snort more about this later if anyone wants me to.

Sincerely,

Beef E Wiener

"The E stands for savings"

25.6.06

My Name Is... Beef E Wiener!


Hi! My name is Beef, and I am little pink-and-black potbellied pig. Some of my favourite hobbies are rooting, sleeping, and eating. For the record, I do NOT like mud; to be honest, I am afraid of water! But don't tell any bears or wolves, 'cuz then they'll chase me to a river and trap me and hurt me.
My Dad is setting this blog up for me so that I can talk to everyone about Socialism. Socialism is a system of beliefs that says it's important for everyone at the farm, and even beyond the farm, to be taken care of. In case you are wondering, yes, I am distantly related to Snowball from the Animal Farm; he was one of my great great great great uncles. Ethnically, my background is mostly from northern Vietnam and southeastern China in Asia, which seems strange to me since it is so hot there, and piggies can't sweat! Well, we can sweat, but only in the very tips of our snouts.
In this blog, hopefully you will learn a lot more about me and my Dad, piggies in general, and, of course, Socialism. I am, after all, the Socialist Swine! That makes me snort, because you usually hear people say "capitalist swine." I agree with the sentiment, but I usually think of capitalists as wolves.
Since I don't want my first post to be too heavy (sometimes Dad says I am getting too heavy; I snort "Go to Hell" to him and tell him that he isn't exactly George Clooney's pig Max, either), I am going to wrap it up here. Besides, it's time for a nap. I sleep a lot, usually more than half of each day. I like to dream about equality, and also about big salads, with my name written all over them. Daddy tells me I twitch a lot in my sleep.
Anyways, good night and I will snort at you soon!
-Beef E Wiener
"Give me some Chex cereal, please"