the original kStyle blog.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Wednesday Writing Assignment

Angry at the jerky driver behind you? Frustrated that same-sex couples can't marry? Sick of work meetings during your lunch hour? Saddened by your fellow citizens living in poverty?

You get to enact one law and repeal one law, but you must argue your case before the Senate of Float. Be whimsical or serious, petty or humanitarian, or anywhere in-between. Go.


Blogger Eric said...

To be enacted:

The law already, and rightly, protects individuals from being fired from their jobs on the basis of race, religion, creed, and all the other things we learned about in social studies. (In those states where sexual orientation too is protected, bravo to that.)

To that list I would like to add this one: an individual should not lose his or her job for putting in only the required amount of time at the office. In corporate offices and elsewhere, it seems increasingly the case that the standard hours aren't good enough, that employees who want to "get ahead" need to come in earlier and stay later.

Well, in my experience happier workers are those with lives outside the workplace. Eight hours is plenty for one day, and the idea that more work equals better (or, frankly, that more time at work equals more work in the first place) is a falsehood. I arrive in my office every morning at eight and I leave at four-thirty on the dot unless there's some kind of urgent matter. I'm in no danger of being fired over this and no one here has a problem with it (it's a pretty laid-back office, not like my last, where I got looks), but I'd like to see some legal protection for those who for whatever reason don't want to slavisly devote twelve hours a day to The Man.

The idea that working "only" eight hours a day implies somehow a lesser commitment to one's work is a corporate myth, one that, I fear, can only be dispensed with legislatively.

* * *

To be repealed:

Though the Bush Administration and its accompanying Congresses have given all reasonable people plenty of laws to want to repeal, the one that's stuck with me as particularly odious is the recent bankruptcy bill. Though supported in no small measure by cowardly Democrats, the bill is a craven and morally repugnant gift-basket for enormously huge and profitable corporations, and it is founded on a lie.

The lie, of course, is that people who declare bankruptcy are deadbeats and layabouts, shiftless scam artists looking to pass responsibility for their irresponsibility on to Joe and Jane Decent Consumer. Doubtless this is true--sometimes and perhaps often. But what is also true, empirically so, is that fully half of all bankruptcies are due in large part to medical costs, an unshocking fact in a country that offers no guaranteed health care.

Senate, I maintain that to punish the poor unduly, first by offering no health insurance system upon which they can depend, and then by preventing their declaring bankruptcy even in cases in which that is the only viable option, is in keeping with no "spirit of the Founders" that I can think of, and is so nakedly a sop to corporate contributors that it is a national embarrassment and a disgrace.

That, further, many people displaced by Hurricane Katrina will be the first to suffer when this law becomes effective next month, is punishing and hypocritical in a nation that claims to pride itself on helping those least fortunate. (Such claims all too often resulting in exactly nothing, but that is a larger matter for another time.)

The law should be repealed immediately--or, if not, then let its advocates come and admit what they know to be true, namely that they sought its passage so that their own pockets, and those of their well-dressed patrons, might be ignominiously lined.

11:27 AM  
Blogger kStyle said...

Ack, I'm too fatigued to properly complete my own assignment. I'll do some lame-ass bullet point:

* universal health care
* legalize prostitution so it can be regulated

Or, maybe I'll just give myself to right to ram into any car with an errant driver. No one else can. Just me.

6:38 PM  
Anonymous ben said...

This is seriously tempting to find the most worthy laws to enact or repeal, but I'll take the easy way out...

New law to make some patriotic symbolism changes:

Section 1 - The Symbol of the United States shall be the Wild Turkey has suggested by Benjamin Franklin.

Section 2 - Carrot Cake shall replace Apple Pie as the great symbol of the American Kitchen except for the last 7 days of October and the first 7 days of November when it shall be Pumkin Pie. Further, cheesecake shall be an acceptable substitute any day except Presidents Day and Patriot Day.

Section 3 - No President's image can be used on any denomination of money other than those that have been issued prior to today. New coinage shall use the likenesses of public education teachers, and new paper bills shall use the likenesses of plants and animals indigenous to the territory of the United States.

First amendment rights shall be revoked for anyone with an IQ above 75% of the general population or net worth above 80% of the general population.

9:38 PM  
Blogger kStyle said...

Ben: tell us more about this IQ stipulation.

I herewith peopose to ammend your Bill as follows: I hereby propose that the chocolate chip cookie, invented in the great patriotic Commonwealth of Massachusetts, be named the Great Symbol of the American Kitchen.

Eric: Aye. and, Aye.

10:51 AM  

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