Here is a reality check; the Debt Clock. Too bad it is not an iPod app or a desktop item: http://www.usdebtclock.org/index.html. WHERE IS THIS MONEY COMING FROM? More importantly, where is it going? These are the real issues. This is why State Governments need to cut spending.
How are the roads where you live? Are the potholes being repaired? If you live where there is snow and ice, the answer is most assuredly NO. Do you receive food stamps? Social help? Retired? Self-Employed? Sure, National Health-Care is a great thing. When comparing to nations that have it, please take a look at their trade-deficit. Near-Zero, or positive. Look at Germany, Canada, or many of the other countries used as examples. The money comes from producing SOMETHING. The nations that do not are going bankrupt.
It is absolutely simple. Produce or Perish. (http://mises.org/) Read it, and learn something, PLEASE!!!.
I drive a 1967 Triumph Bonneville. When I came to Germany, it was all I had. I have had it since 1985. This motorcycle was produced at the end of the ‘boom’ in England. Built with machines, that were in a factory that either had survived the war, or was built during or shortly afterwards the war. However, it was produced by Tradesmen/women, who learned a trade, and were proud of the work they did. Of course they were in a Union. ( No more ‘Shop-class’ in the USA; who / how is anyone learning a trade then???)
Before I get too far into the ‘Union’ thing, I need to back up a bit. After the war, England had MANDATORY EXPORTS. There was RATIONING at home. That means crappy gas, no luxury items for the normal folk (the Union Workers as well). WHY? Because the country knew, that without exporting something of VALUE, there was no way to pay off the debt from the WAR:
OK, back to the unions. Sure, there was a great abuse of the worker that needed a solution. Triangle Shirt Waist Factory, the bloody conflicts with the workers of Ford, abuses in the meat-packing industry (Read ‘the Jungle’ by Upton Sinclair) etc. However, what began as protection ended up as a pestilence. One of the reasons that GM is bankrupt is because of ‘collective-bargaining’. Do a Google on it. It allows the workers to hold the employer hostage until the demands are met. In this day and age, we are not talking about losing hands without compensation, or deadly working conditions. It is about money, and maintaining the Status Quo.
Unfortunately, refer to Paragraph 2; there is no money for ‘Status Quo.’ Why? The reasons cannot be fully explained here. To put the blame on ‘too many people’ or ‘poor management’ is too easy, and leads to unworkable solutions. It has taken over a generation to get to this point, and thanks to technology, it will take many generations to work out of. (Computers have enabled the calculation of derivatives, future worth, and investment value in order to create ‘wealth out of the air to an extent that was limited before when bookkeeping was done on paper ledgers).
So, instead of making protests that entitlements are being threatened, or that the State needs to balance its’ budget, the question needs to be raised as to ‘Why’…Ok Rhetorical Question… However, in a country that rates programs like ‘K-Street’ ( about lobbyists that are gutting the governmental process) are ‘great entertainment.’ It can be no wonder that things are in such a mess.
The issues and solutions are complicated. America likes to think that it is as ‘wholesome as Apple Pie.’ However, most of the apples are imported.
People and the economy are being poisoned by CORN. From Beef to Soda-pop. All subsidised by the government. Thank you Lobbyists, Monsanto, and your local Congressman.
No one seems to take responsibility. Democracy is a daily activity. WRITE TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVES! A weekend protest is great, but where is the persistent effort? Emails mean crap. Paper and envelopes COUNT: It is a war of statistics. It takes effort to write a letter and put it in the post. 10,000 emails count as much as ONE LETTER. (Google it!).
In Germany, there was so much hope in Obama. I told the people who asked me, he is only one man against over 450 who are already sold. (The Congress and the Senate). Must I also say that he spent more to get elected than any President in History? What did his Inaugural Ball cost? If he really wanted to send a message to America, he would have had a Firehouse Pot-Luck. What happened the ‘19% re-investment’ in infrastructure? When we travelled across the US, all we saw were the signs, but no one working…
Maybe in the future we can also have hope…but first we must ignore the passions fired by the media, look at the facts, and take action. I am willing to hear the problems, but I want to hear solutions as well dammit.