if you don’t get feminist news like me, you may not know that a debate has been raging about the opening of a new Planned Parenthood in none other than my home state of Illinois in the town where Wayne and Garth lived. the city blocked the opening saying that planned parenthood did not obtain permits legally and anti-abortion groups rallied.
but so did pro-choicers … and now the clinic, which i believe is the largest in the state, is open. hooray.
read the planned parenthood myspace blog here.
in other lame, anti-feminist moves, verizon decided to block NARAL’s short code which allowed users to voluntarily sign up for news via text from NARAL. eventually, after thousands of customers wrote the ceo of verizon, he relented.
read some blogs about it on Huffington Post or where ever else you want.
which brings me to ….
drum roll please ….
capitalism and the importance of the following:
1. government regulation in capitalism. once upon a time, telephone companies (and gas and electric and other types of industries where a service was deemed essential and a monopoly deemed a necessary evil) were heavily regulated. the government told them that they couldn’t take advantage of their decidedly un-capitalistic position of controlling our communications, heat, electricity, water, etc. They had to provide services to people. Good service. Unbigoted service. remember that time? me neither but it should be returned to none the less.
we assume that our sources of news are accurate and that we are being given information. news flash. we’re not. no, we can’t all spend all our time gaining all the itsy bit of info on everything that happens in this country. that’s why we have journalists. journalists, who until recently, took seriously their ethical responsibility to be as fair as possible in their reporting, to protect whistle blowers, and to not bow to the powers that be. it’s hard for reports to do this when their pay check comes from … the powers that be.
plus my electric bill is outrageous.
2. consolidation of big business is anti-capitalistic. in fact, having only a handful of corporations operating in a single industry (or related industries) comes pretty damn close to monopoly. and monopoly is essentially the same as communism. that’s right, communism. both involve one large, omnipotent entity controlling the production, pricing, and consumption of a product.
i don’t how many people remember (or ever learned?) basic economics but adam smith, the “founder” of capitalism had this little theory of an “invisible hand.” the idea being that all these small businesses compete in a market for customers and an invisible hand determines the price based on supply and demand. the key part here is small businesses. it’s much like democracy. individuals make small decisions that collectively decided the direction of our government (baring violations of the bill of rights etc … again importance of the role of government …). nothing pisses me off more than small business owners who are fiscally conservative, which in today’s political sphere is essentially pro-big business. which in turn, is anti-small business. perhaps you didn’t notice but bush has consistently cut (and proposed further cuts) of the small business administration budget. not to mention he tax “cuts” which only benefit the rich and wealthy.
i saw the premiere of “An Unreasonable Man”, the documentary about Ralph Nader. afterwards there was a Q & A with the film makers and someone asked a question about Ralph’s support of capitalism. this girl was shocked to hear the Ralph was pro-capitalism and pro-small business (which in my head should … and do go hand in hand).
when adam and i were first dating we would play a game where we’d ask each other random questions. once he or i asked what we most disagreed with about popular liberal politics. both our answer was that we felt that socialism was not the answer. i feel that this is another thing that the exceptional right wing pr machine has twisted: that all liberals are commies; that being anti-big business is equivalent to being anti-capitalism. i believe in entrepreneurship and supporting small businesses in america. i believe in capitalism. but i also believe in learning from history. a history that smacked us across our heads and told us that the government was an essential part of the economy and must regulate capitalism, i.e. the great depression.
so what can you do to support small business? i don’t have all the answers but here are a few ideas:
buy handmade at etsy.com
buy things at locally owned stores
join a csa
choose to use a small business for things like: web sites/hosting/design/development, financial planning, real estate, insurance …
yes, it might be a bit more work and a bit more expensive but think of it as moving towards a culture where walmart gets taxed more than you. which is really money in your pocket.
AND then there might be a real Wayne’s World … you know, locally produced media. it’d be awesome!