LC’s Commentary

Listen To The Voice of Reason

Oh give me a home

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There is a disturbing difference between those who have so much and those who have little.  The difference rears its ugly head in this document.  The top photo shows one of President of the United States Donald Trump’s homes/businesses in Florida. The bottom photo show a young man living in a bus stop shelter in Stone Mountain Georgia. This man has been living in this bus stop shelter for several months. It pains me to drive by him and observe his predicament. I frequently stop by and chat with him, and offer encouragement. I also go to the store and get some of the simple things he needs just to survive.  He is very unhealthy and probably has not had a real bath in months.  In a world, especially in a nation with so much wealth, it is hard to fathom why someone is living in a bus stop shelter.  Some will likely blame his condition on him. However, listening to him, leads me to believe he is incapable of making decisions that will get him out of his current situation.  Some will look at this document and see Donald Trump as a shining example of success, and the other person as a failure- The kind of person Dr. Ben Carson described in a recent interview.  John D. Rockefeller, Jr. put it best. He said, I was born with it and there was nothing I could do about it. It was there, like air or food, or any other element. The only question is with wealth is what do you do with it.  Albert Einstein said the value of a man, should be seen in what he gives and not in what he receives. The huge gap between those at the top and those at the bottom (income inequality) continues to grow. Is there an end to this madness-probably not, as long as those in power deny that this it is in fact a problem. However, just because a significant number of Americans do not see it as a problem, does not negate the fact that it is indeed a problem. The struggle between the have and have not continues. There is little evidence that those who have most of the wealth of this nation will change their minds about sharing a little more of it. Those caught between the rich and poor, (the middle class) are squeezed and being slowly crushed between these two extremes. An African saying put it best. When elephants fight, the grass suffers.

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May 30, 2017 Posted by | Donald Trump, Failed economic poicy, Soup kitchens, Trickle up economics, Uncategorized, wealth redistribution | Leave a comment

Sharing Why not?

 

Given today’s unending and growing friction and animosity between races, nations and the haves and have not, what is a reasonable expectation of what is to come? Certainly in a Country whose economic system is based on capitalism, things will  get worse. The way that wealth is distributed assures this outcome. Hook and crook is not necessary.   It reminds me of a lion’s kill. The lion pride eats its share. When their appetite is satisfied and bellies are filled, they slowly saunter away; find a shady spot and rest for a very long time. Meanwhile, after the lions have taken all they want, other animals move in to spar and fight over what the lions did not eat. Buzzards, Jackals, Fox, hyenas etc. jockey and fight, trying to get a little piece of what is left. No different as far as humans are concerned. Those in the middle and at the bottom are constantly fighting over the scraps left by the rich. There are times when it takes the whole carcass to satisfy the hunger needs of a lions pack and nothing is left but bones. Animals who do not have the jaw power to make a meal of bones go hungry. Some animals never get a full meal. The same thing happens under capitalism. There are those who never get a decent share of the kill.

Notice. I never mentioned the word Fair. All I am saying is why is it necessary for some folk to have so much wealth, while others go hungry? Why are some folk so unwilling to share for the good of mankind? Why put a people in a position that they feel it necessary to get access to the wealth of this nation by illegal means? Until more people of means understand and accept the notion that there is nothing wrong with sharing wealth, the gap between haves and have not will continue to grow.

It is written that the knowledge of our nature, and the circumstances which govern the character and conduct of man, are to be acquired only by attending to the facts which exist around us, and to the past history of the human species. In other words, what has taken place in the past that helped create the situation in which we find ourselves?

 

This writer Owens makes the argument that this whole individual thing is what tears a people apart, and unless it is entirely abandoned, it will be useless to expect any substantial, permanent improvement in the condition of the human race, for this system ever has been, and must ever remain directly opposed to universal charity, benevolence, and kindness; and until the means were discovered, and can be brought into practice, by which universal charity, benevolence, and kindness, can be made to pervade the heart and mind of every human being, a state of society in which “peace on earth and good will to man” shall exist, must remain unknown and unenjoyed by mankind

Finally, Owens is saying, “Folks, we had better take care of what is ailing this country. If not, what you see today will continue to grow. I.e. Donald Trump. He and his followers may have the makings a Fourth Reich.

July 12, 2016 Posted by | Donald Trump, Economic Empowerment, Failed economic poicy, Greed, Soup kitchens, Trickle up economics, Uncategorized, wealth redistribution | Leave a comment

We know what is best for you

We know what is best or you

 

Those of the Conservative persuasion has long held the belief that getting rid of labor Unions was one of the best and quickest fixes for labor, management, and wage problems in America. Obviously they were being untruthful when they said employees would have better working conditions including better wages, health care and retirement packages if labor Unions were out of the picture. Fox News Network (FNN) and Conservative Talk Radio (CTR.) took up the fight and constantly advocated getting rid of Labor Unions.

Many who benefited from gains made by Labor Unions, were convinced by talking heads that unions were indeed bad for them, and things would be better without organized labor. Never in their wildest dream did most of them think the demise of Labor Unions would affect them directly. One would think that any right thinking person would look at the efforts required by Labor Unions to make gains for employees and see that without concentrated efforts, employees are at the mercy of employers.

Why is it so easy for FNN and CTR to convince their listeners that labor Unions are bad? Simple! The talking heads on these outlets have been priming their listeners to think a certain way for many years. Still others were convinced that it was unnecessary for them to think at all. All they had to do was listen to and embrace the Conservative points of view. Points of view constantly spouted all over the airwaves, 24 hours per day by FNN and CTR. Put another way, entirely too many of their listeners do not take the time to listen to and questioning what these folk were advocating. Their listeners have been convinced that these talking heads are intellectuals and wise and what they spout is always in the best interest of their audiences.

These same talking heads are now lamenting that the American Middle Class is being destroyed by the loss of well-paying jobs. They are right about this. However, many of the jobs lost were union jobs. Loss of these well-paying jobs were lost in the Rust Belt (Great lakes area.) Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania are some of the states that are suffering due to loss of well-paying jobs.

For a very long time, many who agreed with FNN and CTR and most Conservatives, felt the Middle Class (mostly white) was safe from the ravages of Union Busting. Those of the middle class thought; ”surely those we have elected and kept in office for many years would always have our best interest in mind when making labor decisions. “ Wrong! Now they see the real impact of a mostly non-union workforce. Entirely too many of them did not realize the very people they were trying to get out of unions were their neighbors, children, parents and friends and in may instances, they themselves.

Loss of jobs that make up the middle class has other negative ramifications. Neighborhoods are in decline, schools are closing and graduation rates are dismal. Children of the middleclass are heavily indebted due to student loans and many are now living with their parents and grandparents. Last but not least; many are suffering from the ravages of drugs of all sorts. Heroin use is of epidemic proportion.

This union busting thing has come full circle. Are workers better off? Are they better paid, with better benefits, including health care and retirements? Are their children and grandchildren better off? Are their neighborhoods better and safer? Is the quality of education better? What about the public infrastructure? Is it better maintained since the loss of union jobs?

I tuned in to the Bill Bennett radio talk show this morning. His guest was a well-known talking head, Fred Barnes.

Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard, which he cofounded in 1995. From 1985 to 1995, he was senior editor and White House correspondent for the New Republic. He covered the Supreme Court and the White House for the Washington Star before moving to the Baltimore Sun in 1979. He served as the national political correspondent for the Sun and wrote the “Presswatch” media column for the American Spectator.

Commentator Bennett asked Fred who and why were voters angry enough to vote for Trump. To my amazement, he said those most angered were the Blue Collar workers. Bennett pressed him on this assertion. Fred said that many Blue-collar workers felt that they were the forgotten class and needed someone in the President’s office that would have their best interest in mind, and Trump was saying exactly what they wanted to hear. They also feel he will deliver on his promises, no matter how far fetched, and unrealistic they appear.

Think for a minute; many of the Blue Collar workers were union members in the factories in the Midwest. Many workers, though non-union enjoyed benefits fought for and gained by organized labor. Many non-union employees sat back and made no effort to keep the Right-to-Work issue from gaining traction. As a matter of fact, many of them applauded the efforts of Scott Walker as he worked tireless to dismantle organized labor in Wisconsin.

So why are Blue Collar workers angry? To whom should their anger be directed? As expected, many try to shift the blame to the Democratic Party and President Obama. Some will make muted statements about the Republican Party. However, I have yet to hear Blue Collar (middle class) mostly white workers having a real conversation with their grand old party Representatives about the negative impact of union busting. They appear to be afraid to speak out about the impact on cities, jobs, families, wages, schools, tax base and the general welfare of workers and those whose very livelihood depend on well-paid workers. Is it misplaced loyalty? Is it blindly following and voting for a Political Party whose concern for their welfare is questionable?   It appears many of the Conservative persuasion merely vote for a Party rather than a principle. They even vote against a principle or position that is in their best interest, just to support the party platform. The same can be said about many in the Liberal Party

The demise of the middle class, including Blue Collar workers will continue as long as they continue to see President Regan policies as the best thing since Apple Pie. Wasn’t it President Regan that sold them on the idea of Trickle Down Economics? Here they are patiently waiting for their share of this nation’s wealth to trickle down. It never has and never will, as long as this thing called Capitalism remains in its current configuration. It will never trickle down as long as the rich can never be rich enough. It will never change until those with very little and those in the middle class band together as one to take on those who suck up most of the wealth of this nation. Most of the wealthy appear unwilling to share just a little larger piece of the pie.  Why, you ask is this the case? It is quite simple; Greed!

Workers, who agreed with talking heads about the problems caused by labor unions, got just what they deserved when they lost their jobs. Meanwhile none of those spewing daily diatribes advocating union busting lost their jobs. Somehow, some way, those responsible for convincing a large segment of society that organized labor was and continues to be bad for this nation’s workforce should be held accountable for the outcome of union demise. Responsibility lies squarely at the feet of Republican lawmakers, Fox News Network, Conservative Talk Radio and businesses fighting to get rid of unions.

 

 

March 18, 2016 Posted by | Failed economic poicy, Trickle up economics, wealth redistribution | Leave a comment

Enough already!

Enough already!

In his book titled The Age of Jackson, Arthur Schlesinger, JR. wrote about how American history has been marked by recurrent swings between conservatism and liberalism. Without a doubt, the period between the years 2000 and 2008 heavily favored those of the conservative persuasion. And, true to history, many social issues that needed to be addressed were ignored. Two long-lingering wars, a deep recession, high unemployment, uninsured Americans, a banking system in disarray, and a whole host of other issues that needed to be addressed were given little genuine attention

Although as history shows, the pendulum has always swung between conservatism and liberalism, the last swing to conservatism was something to behold.  The little people were all but forgotten-forgotten when it came to reaping some of the fruits of their labor. Conservative politicians and talking heads convinced many of their followers that this thing called trickle-down economics, fashioned and put into play by the Regan Administration was still applicable and adhering to this philosophy continued to be in their best interest. In its simplest definition, it says, let those at the top get most of the wealth of this nation and they will let it trickle down to the masses. Some are wondering when will the trickle-down phenomenon begin.

In 2008 Obama, a true liberal, was elected President of these United States. And, as has history clearly shows, he entered into office with the grim and unenviable task of solving the above mentioned problems as well as several new problems that surfaced on his watch. If history repeats itself, at some point, the public will feel the nation has swung too far to the left and once again, conservatism will again rule the day.

In their efforts to right the course of the ship, will the Obama Administration overcorrect and swing too far to the left?  Is America ready to be taken where the Obama Administration is trying to take it? Will his health plan crumble under its own weight? These and other lingering questions will be answered between 2013 and 2016.

The current budget impasse is a classic example of politicians letting things pile up. Some people think those in Washington charged with solving our budgetary problems are incapable of doing so. Others feel they may be capable, but are not willing to put aside their biases long enough to get anything done. Isn’t it amazing how easy it was for them to set aside their differences and put into place the mechanism to go to two wars, but will not use the same logic to craft a budget both sides can agree on?

Many of the issues the Obama Administration is dealing with have to do with the wealth of this nation. Although cloaked in something else, if one takes the time to remove the outer-garment, they will find the almighty dollar is driving the debate. A politician from Caroline had it right when he wrote the following way back in the 1800s. “Wealth, like suffrage, must be considerably distributed, to sustain a democratic republic; and hence, whatever draws a considerable proportion of either into a few hands, will destroy it. As power follows wealth, the majority must have wealth or lose power.”

Taylor saw two threats to the natural economic order. He states the following” there are two modes of invading private property; the first by which the poor plunder the rich….sudden and violent; the second, by which the rich plunder the poor, slow and legal.” He felt the poor could not become dangerous until the concentration of wealth greatly increased their number. The real peril he believed lay in the second mode; plunder from above; orderly and legalized. The secession of privileged orders through history-the priesthood, the nobility, now the banking system showed how every age has shown its own form of institutionalized robbery by a minority operating through the state.

Will the US Government ever be strong enough to wrest the power from those who have the real power in this nation. After-all, wealth equals power, and power equals control.  Have the majority  been conditioned to accept the fact that a few people with vast amounts of wealth control this nation and feel there is little that can be done to alter the situation? How does a Nation break up the mass concentration of wealth without wealth redistribution accusations obscuring and shrouding the issue?  How does one convince those controlling and owing most of the wealth of America that this situation could and probably will, eventually lead to the destruction of this thing called capitalism? This nation will eventually self-destruct if drastic action isn’t taken to insure more people share in its wealth. It is easy to see how the American way of life is being torn apart by companies and individuals seeking profit and wealth.  One of the simplest ways to get more wealth into the hands of the masses is to simply pay them a little more. After all, one can argue that without them, who would produce the wealth of this nation?

Something must change. There will be change. Will it be controlled change, or will it be forced uncontrolled change? Those elected to guide this nation must put aside their differences and make decisions based on the will of the people and/or for the good of America.

12/28/2012

December 29, 2012 Posted by | Economic Empowerment, Failed economic poicy, Greed, Soup kitchens, Trickle up economics, Uncategorized, wealth redistribution | Leave a comment

Getting rich no matter the consequences

I discovered an article by Keller dated January 5, 1916. In the article, she makes a case against America getting into World War I.  Helen Keller is well-known in most quarters for her accomplishments despite being blind. This article is a must read for all who are eager to send our young into harm’s way under false pretense.  Helen Keller realized the real reasons most nations go to war. Her analysis of who derives what from the act of war is particularly eye-opening.    Ms. Keller writes about the US excuse for sustaining a large standing army. Ms. Keller, in her writings suggests that the real motive for the US having a large army was to protect the capital of American speculators in foreign countries.

As in Ms. Keller’s lifetime, labor continues to be exploited and capital piled up.  Those who own all of this capital (wealth) are constantly looking for ways and places to invest and obtain even more wealth. Nations having resources (i.e. oil natural gas) and other minerals are prime targets for American speculators.  Let us not forget America’s love for cheap labor. Ms. Keller suggested that according to US capitalists thinking, a dollar not used to make a slave of some human being is not fulfilling its purpose in the capitalistic scheme.

Today, we have American interest all over the world. It is fondly referred to as the global economy. Fair Trade agreement is another phrase tossed around. Take a close look at the real impact of this so-called global economy. One can see who has gained and who has lost, since its implementation. China’s economy is robust and growing rapidly. Much of this growth can be directly linked to jobs once held by American workers being done by Chinese workers in China. Decent paying factory jobs, once the backbone of America’s labor force, is largely a thing of the past. Of course one industry that continues to strive in the US is the defense industry. Americans have been convinced that some nation, largely unnamed since the end of the cold war, is out to destroy this nation. Therefore a large and powerful military is necessary.  In the meantime, virtually the entire US defense apparatus (though not outwardly admitted) is to protect America’s business interest abroad.  One has to wonder how much it cost to build, supply and man the US armada of Aircraft Carriers, Submarines and other naval vessels that patrol the seaways and protect America’s shipping interest. One has to wonder how much it cost to keep US troops in South Korea.  After all, they have been there since the early fifties. What does it cost to keep troops in the Middle East?

Very little has changed in this thing called war. Motivations to go to war are the same as they have been for many centuries. The ability to make war is where the biggest difference lies America’s business interest abroad must be protected at all cost.  If anything, despite no obvious threat to the US, many people, especially those of the Conservative persuasion are easily convinced that an attack against this nation is just around the corner. Just think-today the US has these things called Drones. These aircrafts remotely control pilot-less aircraft, armed with missiles can strike targets with deadly accuracy virtually anywhere in the world.

As I researched this article, I came across an article published in the Columbus Sun on February 17, 1865.  The article titled “The Class that suffers” and reads as follows. Upon poor women and children, upon solders who are toiling and bleeding for liberty, upon salaried men who have not the time, or who desire to speculate, this whole weight of this fearful struggle falls.  Men of wealth, who are hoarding thousands, put up the piteous cry of exorbitant-rates-more bitterly than ever just after increasing the prices one thousand fold, while upon ragged blood-drenched soldiers, upon weary despairing, heart-sick women, and those whose only dependence is a pitiful yearly sum must be made to bitterly suffer…… What matters life or death, so avarice can be gratified? What is honor unattended by wealth? What is liberty unless money can be hoarded by millions? What, if the country be ruined, its women ravished, its homes desolated, its alters violated and freedom forever perished-what matters all so the almighty dollar may be massed in piles? What care men of the present day whether their county sinks so property maybe secured, and the price at which liberty can be bought rest as light as possible upon their patriotic shoulders….. That is right. Pile up wealth-no matter whether bread be drawn from the mouth of the soldier’s orphan or the one limbed hero who hungry walk your streets-take every dollar you can, pay out little as possible, deprive your noble warriors of every comfort and luxury, increase in every way the necessaries of life, make everybody but yourself and non-producers bear the taxes of the war; but be very careful to parade everything you give to the public-talk boldly on the street corners of your love for country, be a grand home general-and when the war is over point to your princely palace and its magnificent surroundings and exclaim with pompous swell “These are the results of my patriotism.”

Take note people, especially those of you who call Conservative Talk Radio and Fox News Network blowhards Great Americas. It is indeed painful to hear an accolade of the magnitude heaped on the likes of Hannity, Boortz and Limbaugh. The above paragraph describes them to a T.

When the subject of wealth distribution comes up, those of the conservative persuasion quickly interject the words-class warfare. They suggest that those wishing to get a larger share of American wealth are stricken with something called wealth envy. This daily tirade and propaganda serves to harden the hearts of those who have the majority of this nation’s wealth. Leo XIII Pope (1810-1903) suggests there is no natural divide between those who have and those who have not.  He penned the following:  a small number of the very rich have been able to lay upon the teeming masses a yoke a little better than that of slavery….The great mistake made in regard to the matter now under consideration, is the notion that class is naturally hostile to class, and the wealthy and the workmen are intended to live in mutual conflict. So irrational and so false is this view, that the direct contrary is the truth.

November 30, 2011 Posted by | Conservative Talk Radio, Economic Empowerment, Failed economic poicy, Glenn Beck, Greed, Hannity & Boortz, Limbaugh, Media, Politics, wealth redistribution | Leave a comment

Cheap labor no matter the cost

Americans are thoroughly frustrated and at times confused as they try to place the blame for the current economic quandary squarely where it belongs.  One thing is certain, it matters very little which party is in power when the glue which binds America’s capitalistic system fails.  What is the glue that holds it together? Someone compared our system to a three-legged stool-Capital, labor and consumer. If either fails or is shorten, the entire system suffers. According to current news outlets, there is plenty of capital available. However, job losses (those actually gainfully employed) shorten the labor leg. Shrinkage of those gainfully employed, with disposal income, shortens the consumer leg of the stool. When the consumer leg and labor legs fail, the capital leg is unable to support the stool and will collapse under its own weight.

Just listen as economists and politicians look for signs that the economy is rebounding. Two industries usually take center stage-construction and automotive.  When either product (new homes and new automobiles) sales are flat because of low demands, the US economy suffers. Why are the demands for these products so low? The answer is very simple.  Today, as in the Great Depression, entirely too many Americans have lost their purchasing power. This is one of the inherent dangers of allowing a few people to have most of this nation’s wealth.  Instead of buying power distributed among millions, it is in the hands of a few who have to reason to spend most of it.  It is a well-known fact that most middle and lower income Americans will spend if they have the money. Why do you think middle and low income Americans save very little of their earning? Simple-they love to spend money. When you take away this purchasing ability by putting the wealth of this nation in a few hands, you effectively kill the very thing that keeps the US economy energetic and growing. Pay people less and they will buy less. Create a tax system that spares the rich and disproportionally negatively impact the people whose income is modest at best, puts additional burden on those least able to pay.

US Job losses due to US companies moving operations overseas have had a devastating effect on the US economy. Jobs traditionally held by US workers (especially manufacturing) are now firmly in the hands of foreign nations.  China is a prime example.  Unemployment creates surplus workers. Surplus workers give employers incentives to lower wages and benefits.  Workers unemployed for long periods of time put undue stress on unemployment compensation programs. Social service programs designed to help the needy are hard-pressed to help all who desire or need help.  Much of this hardship is avoidable if US companies would keep manufacturing jobs in the US.  Loss of these jobs and related infrastructures also means the eventual loss of skills and a highly trained workforce vital to the needs of this nation. This nation was built on people making things. If US consumers purchase and use an item, why not make it in the US?

One sure way to stop the flow of manufacturing jobs 0verseas is to stop using US military might to protect shipments from overseas markets. It is ironic that our military men and women are protecting shipments of products from overseas markets.  These products are owned by the very companies that laid off their friends, relatives, closed plants and rebuilt them overseas. The same goes for the US taxpayers who foot the bill for our military. After all, they are the ones who pay for this military might.  Some call it, protecting US interest abroad. Stop pretending; just say “protecting US companies business interest abroad?”

November 30, 2011 Posted by | Conservative Talk Radio, Economic Empowerment, Failed economic poicy, Glenn Beck, Hannity & Boortz, Limbaugh, Soup kitchens, Taxpayer bailouts, Trickle up economics, wealth redistribution | Leave a comment

They forgot the defense budget

There were shouts of joy when the New Republicans were ushered into office in the 2010 elections. Those of the conservative persuasion felt their day had finally come and they were going to address the U.S. budget deficit problem. Sure enough, Republicans, marching to the beat of the Tea Party, came to the House with ax hand. They have been about the business with the skills of a surgeon, methodically carving up the Current year’s budget and next year’s budget as well. Of course, there are those cheering Republicans on and feel their efforts will fix what President Obama and his administration have torn up. They are very careful to make it an Obama problem-as if he has sole power over what gets in the budget.
I wonder why there is little conversation about carving up the defense budget. Why is almost every cost in the budget scrutinized, except the defense budget? What is so special, holy and untouchable about the defense budget? I guess it is because the Defense Department spends it money wisely, can account for how each dollar is spent and is not loaded down with special interest dollars-in other words, no pork at all.
People of all persuasions have questioned why the Defense Department gets a free pass during budget hearings. J. William Fulbright, Senator from Arkansas, President of the University of Arkansas, and Chairman of the powerful Senate foreign Relations Committee, and namesake of the Fulbright Educational Program made a speech titled the Myths of Foreign Policy. This speech is a must read for all who are genuinely concerned about why the US continue to pour so much money into the defense budget. Although Fulbright made the speech on April 5, 1964, his message is probably more applicable today.
J. William Fulbright hit the nail on the head when he made the following observation.
During the past 20 years, the emphasis of our public policy has been heavily weighted on the measures of common defense to the considerable neglect of the program to promote the liberty and welfare of our people. The reason for this is, of course, has been the exacting demands of two wars and an intractable cold war, which have wrought changes in the character of American life.
Of all the changes in American life brought by the cold war, the most important by far, in my opinion, has been the vast diversion of energy and resources from the creative pursuits of a civilized society to the conduct of a costly and intermediate struggle for world power.
Or to put it more precisely in our case, to negate the efforts to acquire world dominion. We have been compelled, or at least we have felt ourselves compelled, to reverse the traditional order of our national priority, relegating individual and community life to places on the scale below the expensive military and state activities that constitute our program on national security.
Senator Fulbright could very well be making the speech today. Very little has changed budget wise except the budget becomes larger almost every budget cycle. Think about the budget cuts proposed by Republicans. They are willing to sacrifice our schools, hospitals, homes, parks, and other public infrastructures vital to the happiness and welfare of US citizens, so the defense budget remains virtually unscathed.
Fulbright talked about the readiness of Americans to defer programs for their welfare and happiness in favor of costly military and extravagant space programs. He wondered what is it about the American physic that makes it so ready to sacrifice health programs, educational, programs and urban renewal programs all in the name of fully funding every need the defense department asks for.
President Eisenhower warned Americans about the dangers of the Military Industrial Complex. Fulbright had the same concerns when he made the following observation: To the extent that the American people and the Congress shrink from questioning the size and cost of our defense establishment, they are permitting military men, with their specialized viewpoint, to make political judgments of the greatest importance regarding the priorities of public policy and the allocation of public funds. The abnegation of responsibilities by the congress in this field is strikingly illustrated by debate or more actually by its non-debate on the defense budget.
In closing, Fulbright said” the first thing we must do towards raising the quality of American life is to turn some part of our thought and our creative energy away from the cold war which has engaged them for so long, back in on America itself. If we do this we may find that the most vital resources of our nation for its public happiness and security remains locked within our own frontiers, in our cities, in our countryside, in our work and in our leisure, in the hearts and minds of our people.“
What is happening today parallel what was happening when Fulbright made his speech. We are currently fighting two wars, and a cold war of a sorts-the war on terror. They are all costly endeavors and divert resources from this nation badly needed at home. It is time Americans stop letting Conservative Talk Radio, Fox News Network, slick politicians of all persuasions, defense contractors and warmongers to constantly prey on their fears. Any right-thinking people know in their hearts that there is absolutely no reason for the US to spend so much money on defense. Because of our actions toward some nations, they feel threatened; they build up their defense, which gives us excuses to spend more money for defensive purposes. It is a never-ending cycle.

March 2, 2011 Posted by | borrowing money, Economic Empowerment, Failed economic poicy, Results of war, Taxpayer bailouts, Uncategorized, World Affairs | | Leave a comment

Individualism

Let us start this article by defining individualism. In its simplest term, it means uniqueness, selfishness, eccentricity, egoism, independence or individuality. If you listen to Conservative Talk Radio (CTR) and Fox News Network (FNN), you often hear the word individualism tossed around like a hot potato. Talk hosts on these outlets will swear on a stack of Bibles that the United States of America were founded on pure and unadulterated individualism. Hubert Hoover, President of the United States often spoke of individuality, and his writings suggest he truly believed in this principle. However, he was careful not to take it to the extreme, often expressed by talking heads on CTR and FNN. Some would argue that it was unfettered individuality that brought this nation to its knees during the Great Depression. Listen as those who preach a pure individualism theory support their position on one simple fact; individuals are suppose to be self-supporting and anything that suggests people doing anything together for the good of all is tantamount to socialism/communism. There is one possible exception to their position on individualism. They see nothing wrong with our young men bonding together as military units, going off to foreign countries, and fighting senseless and useless wars. They see nothing wrong with these same units using their military might to impose the will of American businesses on foreign countries. Some how, some way the individualism philosophy gets lost when it comes to sacrificing our young people, supposedly for the good of this nation, when in actuality, only a few share in the fruits of our young soldiers’ labors. As this nation struggles to right its economic ship, there are those who are unwilling to accept any changes to the economic and political principles on which this nation is purportedly founded. This unwillingness is causing immeasurable and irreparable damage to several segments of American society. For decades, several economists, politicians, spiritual leaders and the like have repeatedly admonished those who lead this nation about the dangers of a few having so much and so many having so little. Those who subscribe to raw and unadulterated individualism see absolutely nothing wrong with the continued spiral of wealth to the top, with little left for those in the middle and practically nothing left for those on the bottom rung of American society. Despite criticism for the hardships brought on by the Great Depression, President Hubert Hoover had it right when he made the following profound observation relating to individualism:  “No doubt, individualism run riot, with no tempering principle, would provide a long category of inequalities, of tyrannies, dominations, and injustices. America, however, has tempered the whole conception of individualism by the injection of a definite principle, and from this principle, it follows that attempts at domination, whether in government or in the processes of industry and commerce, are under an insistent curb. If we would have the values of individualism, their stimulation to initiative, to the development of hand and intellect, to the high development of thought and spirituality, they must be tempered with that firm and fixed ideal American individualism-an equality of opportunity. If we would have these values, we must soften it hardness and stimulate progress through the sense of service that lies in our people.” President Hoover further stated the following: “While we build our society upon the attainment of the individual, we shall safeguard to every individual an opportunity to take that position in the community to which his intelligence, character, ability and ambition entitle him; that we keep the solution free from social strata of classes; that we shall stimulate effort of each individual to achievement; that through an enlarging sense of responsibility and understanding we shall assist him in his attainment; while he in turn must stand up to the emery wheel of competition.” Look around people, it is not difficult to see what President Hoover predicted would happen with unfettered individuality. Specifically, equality of opportunity in many areas ceases to exist.

February 22, 2011 Posted by | Conservative Talk Radio, Economic Empowerment, Failed economic poicy, Glenn Beck, Hannity & Boortz, Limbaugh, Politics, Trickle up economics, wealth redistribution | Leave a comment

Educating politicians

Now that polished highly partisan speeches have come to an end, and elections are finally over, it is time for the duly elected to put up or shut up. Several smooth talking politicians with their canned speeches, managed to convince voters that they have the answer to all of the problems facing this nation and the rest of the world. Since the United States, by some edict pronounced itself ruler and police of the world, (last standing superpower) US politicians must be prepared to deal with problems worldwide. To deal with problems affecting the entire world, one must be properly educated to see things, not with special interest in mind, but an interest that benefits all. It is difficult, if not impossible to take courses of action aligned with special interest and expect the world at large to be better served. Somewhere along the way, entirely too politicians developed a narrow vision of what is best for this nation and the world. Their thought process fueled by constant pressure from special interest groups and personal predisposition does not support openness to new ideas and solutions aimed at the masses.
The first two years of the Obama Administrations highlights what happens when groups of politicians forgo the needs of a nation and the world because of beliefs that their way is the only way. Many US politicians will sit on their butts and do absolutely nothing, and watch this nation continue in a downward economic spiral, rather than soften their position on almost any issue. The word compromise has been reduced to a dirty word. To many politicians, the word compromise has one single meaning-giving in to the other side of the aisle.
As we look at the battles being fought over the extension of the Bush tax cut, little has been made of what it cost to maintain two wars in distant lands. As this nation struggles to find ways to reduce its budget deficit, surely bringing home the troops will save a whole lot of money. Why do we continue to fight these wars in the first place? Surely, both are well beyond the spreading democracy initiative. Are there other motives for our continued stay in these countries? Americans, especially politicians must be properly educated to be able to separate fact from fiction. Little is said about what it cost to be world police and what it cost to maintain military bases all over the world. Why is this so? Simple. America is determined to support its capitalistic system by keeping avenues open to nations we depend on to buy our products, especially military products, and for nations, such as China to ship their cheap products to America.
How do we as taxpayers and voters get our politicians to redirect their actions away from partisan politics and toward actions that will make this nation and the world a better place for all to live? What will it take to convince them that hunger and poverty anywhere is a problem all over the world? How can we convince them that gunboat diplomacy is counter-productive and only serves a select group? They must come to Washington properly educated to problem solve on a worldwide basis encompassing very difficult problems and issues.
Is the new crop of politicians able to see through the maze of propaganda that shaped their agenda while campaigning and see what this nation and the world really need? Will they continue down the road trodden by their predecessors and make the same mistakes? It is said that one cannot do what one does not know how to do. Is Washington through its elected politicians attempting to do something that it Lack the knowledge and wisdom to do? If so, who teaches them what they do not know? Are they determined to learn by trial and error? Washington politics is probably the worst place in the world to attempt to get on-the job training.

December 2, 2010 Posted by | Failed economic poicy, Politics, Trickle up economics, Uncategorized, World Affairs | Leave a comment

Give us another chance

Republican lawmakers, through hook and crook, and with the able assistance of the Tea Party, Conservative Talk Radio (CTR) and Fox News Network (FNN), convinced voters to put Conservatives back in control of the House of Representative. Republicans also made significant gains in State and local elections. There were gains in State governorships. How quickly American voters forgot what happened when Republicans were recently in charge. Is it reasonable to expect the Republican Party to change? Expecting the Republican Party to change is akin to covering the stripes of a tiger and expecting major behavioral changes in the tiger. Nothing is farther from the truth. The same things that that drove the Republican Party the last time it controlled the House of Representative will continue to control it. Their messages may change, however, their actions will continue to be driven by a deep seated belief that they have all of the right answers and if given another chance, they will do the right things to solve the many problems facing this nation and the world. Although the Tea Party gets some credit for convincing swing voters to vote Republican, the almighty corporate dollar still made the difference. Though hardly mentioned, the tremendous amount of time devoted to convince voters to vote Republican on Conservative Talk Radio (CTR) and Fox News Network (FNN) was inexhaustible help to Republicans. The total amount of campaign time Republicans received on these outlets, free of charge, was tremendous. It is easy to envision a figure totaling into the hundreds of millions of dollars. One would be wrong to take for granted that Democratic politicians have access to the same amount of free campaign time on the airwaves. Anyone so inclined to assess the performance of the previous Republican control of the house, should read what A. J. Liebling of the New Yorker called the Liebling Law. The Liebling law suggests that if a man of adequately complex mind proceeds in a sufficiently perverse way, he can succeed in kicking himself in his own ass and out the door and into the street. No doubt, this is what happened when the Republicans were previously in power. Are they capable of repeating the same mistakes this time around? They certainly are. People continue to express hope in the Party of Lincoln and felt it deserved another chance to redeem itself. Will those who voted Republicans back in power be disappointed? Will promises made doing the campaigns be just that- empty promises? Is partisanship so entrenched in the house, that any hint of compromise is seen as deviation from party principles?
Under the threat of retaliation from the Tea Party, CTR and FNN, Republican lawmakers have an unenviable and almost insurmountable task. Any action taken will be extremely measured and calculated to help those who put them in power. In the meantime, Americans will continue to suffer due to the stalemate in the House of Representative. How many Give us Another Chance is a political party allowed?

December 1, 2010 Posted by | Conservative Talk Radio, Economic Empowerment, Failed economic poicy, Glenn Beck, Hannity & Boortz, Limbaugh, Media, Politics, Reconstruction, Uncategorized | 1 Comment