Understanding vs. Taking a Side.

Recently while having a conversation with someone I see at the office regularly a very strange conversation began. She said “How is it that our country has California on the one side and don’t say gay” on the other. “How can they be so intolerant and be in the same country?” she continued.

It’s all about headlines.

Don’t say gay is a fantastic headline for a bill in Florida that really didn’t do anything. Lawmakers pass bills all the time that literally do nothing. Others do exactly the opposite of what they are supposed to do. It’s all about the money behind the bill and the headlines. Minimum wage goes up, people are replaced by automation and wage compression happens. Only a select few actually gain from a higher minimum wage.

This morning an 11% tax was added to guns and ammo in California. I would venture a guess that 90% of the guns and ammo sold in California go to honest, hard working, law abiding citizens. The tax is supposed to go to some sort of fund that prevents gun violence. The reality is that it is another “feel good” tax grab by people who won’t bother to spend the time to understand.

You Can’t Have Respect Without Understanding.

When we don’t understand things, we tend to ignore them or look for an easy out. Don’t say gay is a great example. I have yet to talk to anyone who actually read the bill. More importantly none of them understood what it actually said. They got wrapped up in the cult of fear. People feared being singled out for opposing something that was so non-inclusive. They were so afraid of being called out, they just added the headline to their daily snippets and moved on.

Reading the bill you would have seen that it was a very small splinter group that was pushing the bill. A few of the names and organizations made zero sense but for whatever reason they backed the bill. Most parents didn’t and most teachers didn’t. Like all hate driven rhetoric, the bills backers used the psychology of marketing and fear so well that no one knows what it means.

Taxes don’t stop anything.

Taxing gun owners for the lawful use of guns is like taxing drivers because texting kills. Should we tax cell phones and claim we are going to tell teenagers not to text and drive? Oh wait we do that and the accidents are increasing, not decreasing. At the end of the day, all new taxes lead to a larger government that doesn’t do anything different. I personally don’t mind the new deal style jobs programs.

People need to work but our own selfishness is eliminating jobs. Instead of going to the store, we buy online. It usually costs less because there are less workers in the process. Walmart and the warehouse stores started with headlines about how many jobs they added to an area. They never look at the “Total Employed” people before they opened and two years afterwards.

The way forward is through respect. Not laws that don’t change anything with big money backers, or headlines of what we can and can’t say. Wait wasn’t freedom of speech part of our new deal when we decided to not be English? Respect comes from understanding, understanding takes time.

Maybe it is time to slow down and get an understanding of what is really happening in our world. Are you really happy staring at that little phone and reading 140 character headlines and being blasted with Tik-Tok, or would you be happier looking up and seeing the world? I am putting my phone down now, the sun is shining.

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