Thursday, January 03, 2013

As Friends See It

I sent a link to my post yesterday, Putting the Fiscal Cliff Tax Hike In Perspective, to a few good friends.  A couple of them responded with their own thoughts and I think they are worth sharing.  Good reading.  Good writing.  Good thinking.  Good Friends.  If you have thoughts of your own that you would like to share please do in the comments.  Thanks,  E.

From Bob:  

I don't think you are wrong. Surprise,surprise. I just think that this train has been headed our way since the 2nd term of Bill Clinton. The dot com boom conspicuous consumption. We had a chance for introspection after 9/11, I think. Obviously that terrorist act is beyond anything we could have imagined in our worst nightmares (now here is the but.) What was the lesson learned? If we don't go out and consume more than we could possibly need,the terrorists win. If we question the civil liberties and privacy we had taken from us by Homeland Security,the terrorists win. We can finance two wars and afford a giant tax cut at the same time. We are never asked to sacrifice one damn thing. It is all smoke and mirrors--the differences between Obama and McCain or Romney are minuscule  They have already been vetted by the military industrial machine and passed the test. There won't be real change,ever. There is to much to lose on both sides of the aisle.  They all drink from the same trough. But,here's the thing-I don't thinks it really matters. What really affects me is when the vacant lot down the street from me is sold and 300 condos go in. We have never really been talked to as adults. Every parent knows what it is like to say"No." I haven't heard any one on either side ask for one bit of sacrifice. I don't believe that all rich people are greedy any more than I believe the poorer among us have our hands out all the time. At the end of the day all you have is the love of your family, friends and what ever god you believe in. That is what matters. Politics is politics,who cares?  If it costs me a couple of thousand dollars a year more in taxes,so be it. It pains me to see it pissed away but it also pains me to see people line up for the newest gizmo from Apple that is almost the same as the one you lined up for six months ago. When 9/11 happened I was working in LA. I could not wait to get home that night to hold my wife,tell my kids how much I really,truly loved them no matter what. Those feelings rise up  in me every time an Aurora or a Newtown happens. Maybe I am getting soft headed as I get older but I really appreciate how lucky I have been to be able to be with the same woman for 30 years now. To raise our kids and now enjoy our grandson together. Sometimes my heart feels so full it might burst. That is what matters. If the shit really hits the fan we will get through it,as long as we have the the love of our family and friends... And an I phone 10 or 12 or whatever it is. Don't let the bastards get you down,old friend,go in and give your beautiful wife a hug.

From Troy:
Happy New Year!  I think intelligent, reasonable and middle of the road folk are going to learn a very rude lesson over the next few years.  Of course, it has been building for a very long time.  These
folk have been hypnotized by the gridlock and over complexity of the federal government and have bought into the lie perpetuated by media (of all types and on both sides of the aisle) that anyone engaged and active in politics is necessarily a zealot.  They are good people who are busy trying to do the right things in their life, how can anyone justify the amount of time and effort to participate in the political arena?  After all, even if you try, no one can possible understand a tax code that is something more than 71,000 pages long.

Do you think that we arrived here by accident?  It is self serving for the politician to be disguised by a system no one can possibly understand.  They can operate with impunity because they cannot be held accountable because no one, not even themselves, can understand how their actions effect a hopelessly complicated and entangled web of law, code and regulations.

The media has driven everyone into a desensitized and distracted state.  Therefore only a crisis can garner any attention.  Once we have a crisis, it doesn't matter what is done, just do something!
So what happens?  The reasonable hard working good folk stayed home during the last election.  They were busy taking care of their lives. What could they do to change the crazy system any way?  That just
leaves us with two groups running the electorate show, professional politicians (our new Aristocracy - look at the dynastic families we have built - Kennedy, Jackson, Bush) and those who get something directly from the system.  These folks don't understand the system any more than our reasonable hard working folk, but their is one big difference. The hardworking folk don't understand it and get nothing from it, those receiving government welfare don't understand it, but get their livelihood from it.
Plus it feels good to stick it to someone who has more than you.  Not understanding the the uber wealthy, whom they are most jealous of, wont blink an eye at having to pay what amounts to a couple of round trips on their G5.  So who takes the hit?  They welfare recipient doesn't earn a paycheck, so no tax hit there.  The wealthy, well they will still be wealthy.  The reasonable, hard working middle class, well we all get to see our paychecks go down.  Never mind inflation is driving up the cost of everything and most haven't had a raise in many years.
Romney won the independent vote by a wide margin that would have spelled victory in any past election.  This was undone by the larger than ever turnout of the welfare voter and the lower than usual
turnout by the middle class working voter.

My only hope is that it isn't too late and that the tide hasn't irrevocably shifted.  Can the working folk of the country rise up and speak loudly enough to demand an end to the governance of the mysterious OZ behind a curtain of complexity and crisis?  Or have we all been driven into a permanent state of feeling powerless?  That would be perfect for the government and media.  You cant help yourself, but that's ok.  We will tell you what to think and take care of you.  Just leave it all to us.
Scary thought for most of us and a great deal for others.  The ones who think its a great deal may or may not out number us, but they definitely out numbered us when it came time to vote.
Oh, and lookie hear.  Another crisis has been made to order and is scheduled to be upon us in a couple of short months.  What to do, what to do?  I don't know, just do something!!

From Roger: 

Here goes.  Blowing off steam should just be your first reaction.  Our so-called leaders are not leading at all.  Everyone knows the problem, but they are making decisions based on reasons other than doing what's best for the country.  Anytime an elected leader, Congressman, Board of Director, etc., takes this path, the wrong decision is made and the organization suffers.   John Kennedy had it right, "Ask not what the country can do for you, but what you can do for the country."  Our leaders, like too many of our citizens, are more worried about themselves, than the country.  I too, like you, will give up something to restore the credibility the USA once had, and begin fixing it for our future generations.   

It's a basic economic principle that if you spend more than you have, something not good is going to happen.   It's already started and going to get worse.  If we raise our debt ceiling in the next couple of months, you can start kissing something else of yours goodbye.  Your American Dream will no longer be the Cream .  There are currently a number of plans in place to take earned income from us.  Only a small number know of these plans and seem to care.  It is a very small percentage of our citizenship, which brings up a whole new issue; educating our young citizens on what's happening and going to happen to them and then convincing they should care.  This will be tough, if not impossible.  I generally compare this situation to the plight of an alcoholic.  Only the alcoholic can turn his situation around and that is typically when he hits rock bottom.  For our citizens, the equivalent might be a pay freeze, furlough, lay-off, increased cost of goods, homes foreclosed, unable to find a job, unable to pay off student loans, and so on.  It's kind of funny, but everyone one of these "rock-bottom" reactions is tied to personal wealth.  More importantly, what happens when your health is impacted.  All of these examples create stress, which will have detrimental impact on the individual, family and friends.  I think this is the effect we should fear and the  economics is just the cause.  

This country is going to hit "Rock Bottom" and it might be the only way to turn things around.  

Thanks for the opportunity to Steam Off, 

 If you have thoughts of your own that you would like to share please do in the comments.  Thanks,  E. 

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