Monday, February 23, 2009

Enough is enough...

I am running out of patience with the conservative mindset in this country. Last week in Barnes and Noble, a twenty-something hopeful stood among the regional books, less than a vague interest in books obviously. He was far more interested in getting the designer jeans off the blonde he was talking to than finding the most remote ghost towns in the Colorado high country. Their "conversation" had turned to politics-- not real debate or discussion but politics-lite, the non-committal don't want to sound too radical or thoughtful or offensive conversation that is common among the mating (or mating hopefuls). He hemmed and hawed about the new president and finally said, "I don't have any major problems with what Obama is doing but I don't want my taxes to get raised sky high. What is the point of working hard if it means that you're just going to have all your money taken by the government?"

And that is when I ran out patience. I nearly walked over to him and said, "What the hell makes you think you are EVER going to make enough money to pay that many taxes? Only one percent of Americans are making most of the money and they have tax accountants and lawyers and congressmen all making sure they are not going to pay more than they want to!" Well, fortunately I restrained myself. Doing this would have been bad form while I was working-- but it continues to baffle me that so many people are brainwashed into believing that the only thing that will keep them from making their millions is laziness and/or government interference.

Wake up people! I know you don't want to hear this. I know it runs counter to your massive American egos and sense of invincibility, but the cards as they are dealt right now are stacked against you. In fact, the odds of "making" your millions are probably about the same as winning the lottery.

You might make enough money at your chosen career path to get yourself a big overpriced house, two car payments and lots of credit card debt -especially if you are married to someone who also brings in a significant paycheck- but the odds of having any money leftover to invest and make your millions on a stock market that is as volatile as a supervolcano are next to nil... and almost as dangerous. And even finding careers that pay anything significant for your services are becoming more rare. Most frequently it is about who you know. And even worse-- you might find a job out of school and get the nice house, the car payments, etc. and find yourself out of one or both incomes because the mindset that allowed you to find your job- this love affair we have with youth- will mean that as you get older there is actually less security in your job. Then you might be lucky if you are left with any retirement-- let alone the millions you planned on in your twenties.

But what really infuriates me about this mindset is that it is based on pure selfishness. Taxes need to be raised on the wealthiest of Americans. They just need to be. Jobs need to be created for common people and there needs to be universal healthcare so that small businesses can pay their employees more and not have healthcare as an expenditure. (Healthcare for small businesses is a prohibitive cost which means they are often not able to provide it or they cannot hire as many employees.) Since we already wind up paying for the uninsured via our tax money it seems logical for the government to intervene and provide a healthcare that is based on a good workable model like Canada. There are many more changes that need to be made in the way our government operates (as has been discussed in other pasts on this blog) but there is no will to do it in Washington. They represent the wealthiest of Americans and the corporations-- they are not there with genuine intentions of changing the business as usual politics of D.C..

So it's up to us.

When FDR became president, a group of progressive activists asked him to push for some really big changes. His response? "I agree with you. I want to do it. Now make me do it."

Will we, as Americans, ever push for change that represents what is best for ALL or will we continue to hold back afraid of too much "socialism" and government "interference" with the wrongheaded notion that you won't benefit from the "free" market (HA! As if it were actually free)???

The alarm is sounding! It is time to wake up!!!

Jamie Lee Curtis and I seem to be on the same wave length-- check her article out on the Huff Post:


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