Sunday, September 14, 2008

This Country

This country must be run for the benefit of someone else.
I stood there in my kitchen looking at the bottle of salad dressing I purchased from the "99 Cent Only Store". I had left it out overnight and now had to throw it away. I took a mental note to buy more as I reflected on the news that this chain of 99 cent stores was going to be changing their "pricing structure." The dollar stores are now going the way of the dime stores of yesteryear. Perhaps tomorrow's bargain shops will be titled as 5 Dollar Only stores!
It also occurred to me that the child my wife is now carrying will, when it grows up, value the dollar in much the same way we value quarters. He or she may think nothing of putting two or three dollars into the coke machine for a canned soft drink.
Our government uses our tax dollars to bail out corporations that weren't properly regulated to begin with, while the CEO rides off into the sunset with his fat severance package and all the wealth accumulated over the years he led that company down the path to ruin. When our government can't spend our money, it prints more of its own, again at taxpayer cost in terms of inflation, and floods the economy with it in an attempt to correct for the consequences of these fat-cats' mismanagement.
On the other hand, I, the average Joe, am consistently viewed as an expensive burden to corporations I work for, a favorite target of cost-cutting in terms of reduced hours, outright termination, outsourcing, in sourcing, and off shoring. And once I reach the point of needing a bail-out, I have to file bankruptcy, give up my assets and live with the stigma for 7 years. This country is not run for the benefit of the average citizen.
There was a saying in the 1930s, that if capitalism is left to itself it will cut its own throat. Here today in our country and world we are witnessing this. The government is paid off by corporate lobbyists to go light on the regulation but heavy on the rescue. Enough is enough!

Our presidential race pretends to offer hope. On the one hand we have Obama, who picks a VP candidate that compliments him. On the other hand, we have McCain, who picks a VP candidate that does nothing to compliment him but is merely a vote-getter, someone to shore up support from the abortion-obsessed evangelical right and tease over disgruntled Hillary supporters. We have McCain, who since the Republican convention has unleashed a stream of bold-faced smears and lies against Obama. And yet, this man is ahead in the polls? Oh I forgot, the only thing that matters is that whoever you vote for is against abortion. Wake up America!

The unbridled reign of corporations. The simple-minded, red-state, obstinate, decisiveness-over-thoughtfulness, resentful, grudge-holding, single-issue tendency of our much of America. These are the things that keep me up at night and tempt me to despair.

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