A man Mitt Romney should meet

Mitt Romney said, “I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there.

Romney should meet a man I saw a few days ago in February, in Michigan. As I exited a grocery store, I noticed an apparently homeless man sitting on the cold concrete with his back to the store's front wall. He was muttering to himself as he scratched off a lottery ticket. He stopped talking a moment before his head slumped, then began bobbing up and down.

I looked at my psychologist girlfriend and whispered, “He's crying,” not because there was a need to interpret his behavior, but because I was so struck by it. As an ER doctor, I've seen people cry in emergency departments, and my girlfriend has undoubtedly seen people cry in her office. However, neither of us had previously seen a man cry in such a public place, but his dejection is a sign of the times.

Romney claims that he will fix holes in the safety net protecting poor people, but I am skeptical. Politicians have made similar promises since I was a child in the 1960s and fell through several holes in that net when my family was forced onto welfare after my Dad abandoned us and my Mom lost her job when her attorney boss was shotgunned to death by his mentally ill son.

Considering how lottery participants receive much less than they pay, lotteries are just a tax on the mathematically challenged who don't realize that for every dollar paid out, more than one dollar is paid to get it. State governments siphon off the difference to fund various worthy things such as schools, but if general tax and fee revenues are not sufficient, taxes and fees should be raised to equitably distribute the burden, or governments should implement my plan for giving more help to those who need it while creating less burden on taxpayers who give it. In my blog, I presented other ideas to help people survive the economic crisis and help government deliver essential services at less cost. American ingenuity created America's prosperity, and our ingenuity can help restore our prosperity, too.

The views expressed on this page may or may not reflect my current opinions, nor do they necessarily represent my past ones. After reading a slice of what I wrote in my various websites and books, you may conclude that I am a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican. Wrong; there is a better alternative. Just as the primary benefit from debate classes results when students present and defend opinions contrary to their own, I use a similar strategy as a creative writing tool to expand my brainpower—and yours. Mystified? Stay tuned for an explanation. PS: The wheels in your head are already turning a bit faster, aren't they?

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reference: Imagining dialogue can boost critical thinking: Excerpt: “Examining an issue as a debate or dialogue between two sides helps people apply deeper, more sophisticated reasoning …”

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