Friday, May 20, 2011

Brace Yourselves Folks

Because I'm gonna get political.

I read an article today that ticked me the heck off. And I've just got it running through my head and I can't sleep so you guys get to hear about it.

Did you know that the US government received a letter from the people who regulate such things (I don't look up, I just remember content) threatening to slash our credit rating if we don't get the deficit under control?

Did you know that to try to balance the budget they're talking about slashing student loans?

Did you also know that we give away billions (possibly trillions but that would require me to look it up and I'm lazy) in foreign aid?

One of the very first things I learned in my water safety class at the Red Cross when I was a Girl Scout is that if you're trying to save a drowning man do not jump in the water with him. If you do, he will pull you under trying to save himself and you will both drown. You have to be on solid ground and reach out to lift them up.

We as a country are drowning. We have children starving in our own streets. If our credit rating is slashed the effects will be devastating both nationally and internationally.

If we as a country do not get ourselves on solid ground then we are all going to drown.

I am not saying we shouldn't send help and aid to countries who have suffered a major disaster or to assist in establishing democracy and protect human rights through out the world. But we cannot and should not do it to the extent that we jeopardize ourselves.

Additionally we need to carefully evaluate how we help other countries. A dole does nothing good long term. Its the whole "give a man a fish" vs "teach a man to fish" thing. The money should not be permanent. The aid should be given when needed, for a specific cause that will aid in future self sufficiency, with transparency and accountability and a schedule in place from the start as to how and when the aid will end.

And it royally ticks me off that slashing student loans even got on the table. As far as I'm concerned our children are our national security. Education is an investment, not an expense. If we fail to provide for the future of our country the effects will be devastating.

I know that the American public is currently up in the air about the true value of a college degree, particularly in this economy. But if you look at the employment stats the value becomes truly obvious. Those who only have a high school education are significantly (I *think* the article said 4 times) more likely to be out of work than those with a degree. And a middle class life style is becoming almost impossible to obtain with out some level of upper level education.

I know the collapse of manufacturing jobs in the US has been devastating for many people. I know there are many who long for the return of manufacturing jobs to the US. However, the reality is that I do not see that happening. Our economy is based on capitalism. If you can get the job done cheaper over seas, then thats what companies (who are in business to make money) are going to do.

Yes it sucks, but its reality. In order for us to compete on a global scale we have to be willing to grow, change and adapt. In another article I saw recently, one of the countries in Europe (I *think* it was Holland) is having the same problem. All of their manufacturing jobs went over seas and they had tons of people out of work. Instead of giving them unemployment benefits forever, they accepted that the jobs ain't coming back and instead instituted a program to reeducate the workers in another field with a benefit program that will help support them through their reeducation and then taper off to encourage them to get new jobs and support themselves.

Wow! What a great idea. Its empowering. Its supporting people through a rough patch, which I think we as fellow human beings should do, but it gives them the tools they need to be self sufficient long term. It shows confidence and the expectation that they can and will do better and we will not enable their wallowing in self pity.

I have never had a desire to go into politics. But I'm starting to get angry. I'm talking march in the streets angry. I know the system is huge and complex and bigger than I can comprehend and I'm running off of information I can glean from the media. I know there isn't an easy fix. But I'm starting to think I need to get involved.

My biggest problem is: I don't know who to get involved WITH. I do NOT like either party at the moment. Both parties are so incredibly polarized I can't say I agree by a long shot with either platform. There are things I like about both, and things that make me wanna smack them both.

I think we need a new party. I have no idea what to call it. Maybe the "Common Sense" party. Or the "Rational and Empirical Thinkers Party". Maybe just "The Moderate Party".

I'll have to think for a bit on what all I'd want on the platform. I know we need to reform the education system. Big time. I know we need to massively reform the tax structure. We need to get the debt under control. I think the Constitution is an inspired guide to the spirit of how we should run our country, but I also believe that our forefathers allowed amendments to the Constitution for a reason. They recognized that as the country grew and changed that we would need for Constitution to grow and change with it. But I also think with modern technology there may need to carefully evaluate balance of power and responsibilities between the fed and the states. I'm all for the use of technology to enable transparency and accountability.

And thats all I've got for now. But I think I may be on to something here. Anybody else feel a grass roots movement coming on?

1 comment:

  1. A couple of them are the TEA Party and the 9/12 Project, since you asked.