if you are searching
for a specific post
You Cannot Get There From Here
by Alex Hutchins
America’s problem is one of AFFLUENT APATHIC GREED which none of these again “so called” experts have addressed but is so prevalent that it is literally destroying not just the fabric of our economy but the fabric of our republic and her Bill of Rights freedoms. So, let me, this non-expert, explain. Our free market enterprise, economic system while not perfect is and must be based, in part, upon greed; otherwise, it will simply cease to function from the standpoint of economic growth which is its underlying but unspoken principle. Therefore, it is this greed that pushes it forward or people’s innate desire to always want more or to always want what they do not have. Our marketing and advertising industry has worked that angle to perfection over the years as they have drawn upon Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs by answering a basic question: What do I want? Coke is it, was only one of those responses.
American families were mobile and began moving away from family and friends and church and as more females entered the workplace, divorce statistics started to rise to the 50% point where they are today (the date of this posting). Northerners or workers in metropolitan areas, on average, received higher wages than their Southern or rural counterparts which not only caused changes in the marketplace due to relocation (northerners to the south) but caused financial discrepancies to exist between city and county school districts, with county schools receiving less money for education. Focus shifted from education to the trades, such as: electrician, carpenter, construction, plumber, etc. Soon, these trades’ people, especially in the South, were generating more annual income than college graduates.
As demand for goods increased, America responded by increasing prices before increasing the supply as greed distorted their entrepreneurial mindset of reasonable prices with a reasonable profit. Our predilection for greed grew unchecked as “pure” economic theories no longer worked to regulate our growing economy. America’s greed was also manifested in the fact that we began to import more than we exported and still do to this day creating an extremely wealthy class outside of America. Additionally, America’s thirst for gasoline was also creating a wealthy class among middle eastern countries as well. America was beginning to lose her wealth and no one of the “so called” experts did anything or said anything to rein her in. Status quo life in America caused her to shift into apathy, an affluent apathy as we simply expected it to be this way for the rest of our lives.
Americans and to some degree America’s mainstream media is focusing on the 1% that controls a majority of the wealth in this country, and I understand their frustrations because I too was unemployed (during a ten year period more than employed) and can appreciate the fact that the little people, us, are the ones who are directly responsible for their being in the 1%. Sadly, our focus is not on the 29% just below them because we made them wealthy as well. So, if we, as middle class Americans (whose ranks are most definitely shrinking) are after the wealthy, let’s go after those who annually earn (without deductions) in excess of $500,000 each year? I suggest this because it would be much easier and more within our grasp to target their wealth than the 1% who are protected by everything for which this country stands.
Let’s look at the rest of the world which grew economically because Americans bought their products, just as Americans helped push other Americans into the 1%. Most of our products, believe it or not, are made in China or some other country because of cheap labor which helps Americans keep their cost of living down. As mentioned earlier, America’s love affair with gasoline has resulted in many Arabs becoming billionaires and our consumption does not seem to be letting up. I again wonder where our “so called” experts were to warn us that this would happen as they pushed this country towards alternatives.
Justice for All
by Alex Hutchins
“…one nation under God…” was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954 when legislation was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Eisenhower, the General of WWII fame. After WWII, every viable economy in the world had been destroyed except for the economy of America who now had the responsibility to “grow” the rest of the world, and it did so for the next 30 years with remarkable success; in fact, the success was so great that other countries of the world began to serious compete with America and some were actually building products better than America.
Our political was managed by 2 parties, the Democrats and the Republicans that basically wanted America’s success to continue but had 2 different approaches as to how that success should happen. However, somewhere in flight, the eagle lost its way and while America’s economic success continued its rise, all the interaction of forces that precipitated that rise began to intermingle and become self-distorting. The white-headed eagle had been caught and tethered, gradually becoming less and less responsible to those who at one time had made her great with their blood, sweat, and tears.
Today, our simple and sweet Pledge of Allegiance, falls short of expectations because, in my opinion, our Justice for all phrase simply does not work anymore. We have protestors in the streets and parks of most of our major cities. We have our court system convicting the innocent while letting the guilty go free. We have racism as a hidden agenda on the minds of many white Americans as poverty touches more and more blacks and Hispanics. We have athletic coaches molesting our youth while other coaches have no tolerance for listening to the feedback of their players. A CBS news correspondent interviews successful people as to how to make the country better but ignores the cries from those who are already unemployed while at the same time airing a segment on 60 Minutes as to how Congress is and has been bought-off.
Businessmen and women will tell you that the climate is uncertain both in the short term and in the long term which prevents them from hiring people and investing in expansion; yet, foreign businessmen and women are doing exactly that in America. So, what seems to be the difference?
What has caused America and Americans, both wealthy and poor, to have become the nation it now is where “…justice for all” is no longer something for which we strive?
• Is it the lack of taking responsibility?
• Is it the lack of accountability?
My first thought was no if the team was right or not but why do we, as a nation and individually, think that a person of position or power or wealth or education are the ones to which we must turn to for all our answers?
My all time favorite housewife expression is: do unto others as you would have them do unto you, which I believe is called The Golden Rule. And, the soccer mom housewife to which my comments refer, is my Mother who is still alive at 91. These are the values she taught me in the 1950’s when America and her eagle were flying high in the sky over both the USA and the rest of the world. It was a time when America listened to her people not just those who had power, wealth, position, or education. It is time for Americans to take back their country and not wait for the 1st or 2nd string quarterbacks to get hurt, or wait for Congress to quit playing politics, or for the wealthy and top educated talking heads to diplomatically tell us what we need to do.
Unemployment has been at 9% for about 2 years and businessmen continue to say that they are waiting for the proper climate to exist in this country and around the world before they will start hiring and expanding; while at the same time they sit atop record profits paying their shareholders high yielding dividends. Are you guys and gals for real? Do you actually expect Americans to believe that horse crap?
With the lowest approval rating in the history of America, Congressmen and women and Senators continue to exploit the voter’s lack of unity and power by doing nothing to solve the 2 year old unemployment problem because it could jeopardize their next election. Are you guys and gals for real? Do you actually expect Americans to believe than horse crap?
It would appear, at least to me that our most wealthy, our politicians, our people of power, and our most educated, either do not understand or do not want to understand that:
- Americans are doing what their leaders taught them to do
- America’s high school education system is no longer the greatest
- Almost 20% of Americans are unemployed or underemployed or have quit looking
- OPEC oil continues to take massive amounts of money out of this country
- America is losing the war on drugs and our children’s drug habits are increasing
- Racism is still very much prevalent in America
- China’s economy is growing faster than the economy of America
- Americans have lost faith and trust in their leaders
- Our nation under God has a 50% divorce rate
Justice for all is a joke
Wealth in America
So, why do we live in a country with family and friends where greed is our mantra?
- feeling of expressing awe, admiration, amazement, or surprise.
- a desire or be curious about to know something.
- used to express a polite question or request.
1. Why has America's education system deteriorated?
6. Why are some churches hiding behind a tax-exempt status?
Deep into that darkness peering,
Another Bucket Story
When I was about 19 years old, I remember driving over to see my best friend Vic one Saturday morning and when I arrived at his house, I saw he and his father out in the front yard planting a tree. I got out of the car and the three of us began to talk. In the course of that conversation, I mentioned that I was going to create a situation with my employers that they would not ever want to terminate me...
Many Americans are like this bear just barely keeping their heads above water.
The future (our leaders promised us and who we trusted) for which we prepared is no longer there. Yes, most of us did prepare by investing in accounts that we perceived would be there for us in the future and with good stewardship would have been there for us, but are not. Bill Gates and Sam Walton lost billions because of what a handful of these misfits did to Americans, but those not so lucky to be at the financial level of those 2, not only lost thousands but lost their future, just like the bear.
However, one might argue that I was in fact prepared for this due to my experience of 18 years in upper management and 18 years of experience in middle management. This is more of a consequence than it is “chance favoring the prepared.”
Currently, the United States and the rest of the world is experiencing a financial meltdown brought about by chance favoring our prepared greed, disrespect of ourselves and of America. Those of us who were fortunate enough to be born as “baby boomers” into the middle class lived “high on the hog” for many years, living the American Dream, earning 6 figure incomes and spending our monies as some economists would refer to as “conspicuous consumption.” My mother’s favorite poet, Edna St. Vincent Milay, said it best:
It may not last the night
How brightly our candles have burned for the last 40 years (1960-2000) give or take a few years. How brightly have the candles of our politicians burned.
For 40 years, America has illuminated the rest of the world with her light; a light that had the rest of the world in awe but a light that also created an “envious anger,” and animosity. And, as our Diplomatic Pouches bring hope and salvation to many parts of the world, other parts of the world desperately want what we have and are willing to pay a high price to get there.
Meanwhile, we protest (as is our right and well within our rights) the ills of the country; ills that
While we have to rethink, refocus, and do without, chance does favors the wealthy who were prepared for this financial crisis with the millions that they were allowed to save in “off shore” un-taxed bank accounts, typically in the Grand Caymans and Switzerland.
Pissed off Americans are angry at our leaders and for good reason. Being “pissed off” some might say is better than being “pissed on,” but our leaders have done that to us as well. Some of us, have:
• Lost our savings
But, what can we do?
• Our Politicians lie…
• Our Businesses lie…
• Our Church leaders lie…
• Our Sports Heroes lie…
My suggestion is over-simplified but we must see our current situation as, “It is what it is.” Life has never been fair and it never was intended to be fair. Chance favors the wealthy and the powerful. Every once in a while, someone moves from the bottom, through the middle, and reaches the top, but those situations are rare. We, as Americans, must learn to do the opposite of what our Leaders suggest that we do. For example,
• When advertisements promote smoking or alcohol, you should resist.
• When advertisements say you should invest, you should not.
• When advertisements say you should get this credit card, you should not.
• When advertisements say buy this new car, you should not.
If “chance does favor the prepared,” then look at our current economic situation.
• People cannot afford buying new homes, so perhaps refurbishing what they already have will be the new trend. If so, then this would favor: carpenters, plumbers, electricians, carpet layers, etc.
• People cannot afford to buy new cars, so keeping current cars longer will be the new trend. If so, then this favors auto mechanics.
• Birth rates among some minorities is on the rise, so if this trend continues then this favors children’s toys, clothes, and daycare facilities.
• With all the computers, cell phones, and hand held devices in the economy, repairing those devices rather than buying new may be in a further option.
• With the cost of automobiles and repairs, perhaps a bicycle shop will attract interest.
• Maybe an entrepreneurial business exists in the areas of: Solar Panels, Bamboo Furniture, Animal Hotels when owners are on vacation.
Life, unfortunately or fortunately, is what it is and we, as Americans, should understand that fact and learn to take care of ourselves and our families. Life goes on around us as if our economy has no concerns or apprehensions at all. Politicians who want to be President are spending millions of dollars into the economy. The World Series in baseball is taking place and generating millions of dollars in sales tax revenues. Restaurant parking lots are full. Movie theaters are full. Foreign countries are opening up new stores in the US. Americans are putting gasoline into their cars and NASCAR race tracts are full of fans.
Whether America has a small Federal Government or a large Federal Government is not the issue anymore because both Democrats and Republicans are millionaires and are not really in sync with middle class or poor Americans. The bigger questions are:
• Should business and commerce be tightly regulated
• Should small business (100 employees or less) be protected
• Should jobs stay in US at same or lower wages
• Should healthcare be provided to all Americans
• Should we send military troops into foreign countries
It is what it is, describes my personal feelings about what I see in this country. The general public will always be controlled by an elite few. That is just the way it is and will always be. Businesses will always be more concerned with profits than with people and as a stockholder you place yourself in a better position to understand that. Retirement programs (EVERYWHERE) invest in companies that are making a profit. So, while some people are hurt by the bottom line, other people benefit by such practices and that has always been, the way it is.
Americans by nature (and on average) are:
|Drainage ditch from which Kaddafi was removed|