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No easy answers

If you were lost on a desert island and turned on the TV for the first time you would think the entire nation had lost its mind and is in need of anger management therapy. The defining characteristic of the public seems to be free-floating rage.

The reason behind this rage is the economy. Our problems go back to the 1980s. We didn’t deal with them when they were manageable, but these problems didn’t go away; we only postponed the consequences. Much the same way a plumbing leak can be a minor expense if caught early, but an overwhelming cost if it’s ignored. It’s troubling to see so much rage, because it’s based on ignorance and an attempt to find easy answers where none exist.

I see this everyday on the show floor, well meaning but poorly informed people who are easily swayed by opportunists, spoon-feeding simplistic answers to gullible people. These are the people most likely to be manipulated into voting for policies which are contrary to their self interest.

History has shown that manipulators will seize a moment in time where they perceive anger and rage to have reached critical mass. They see a window of opportunity and act decisively before they lose this opportunity because they realize they may never get it again.

These opportunists are taking advantage of the rage of people who don’t feel they shouldn’t have to pay the costs of running the government, in other words, taxes. If their house starts on fire they expect someone to put it out, but conveniently ignore the fact that somebody has to be paid to do it.

They say cut government spending, but the two biggest line items in the federal budget are Social Security and Medicare, anybody running for re-election interested in cutting those two programs? I find it ironic when I see senior citizens at tea bagger rallies complaining about big government and too much spending. I wonder if they’d accept cuts in their sole source of income to reduce “wasteful” government spending?

In order to maintain a lifestyle we can’t afford, we’ve been borrowing from the Chinese, those dirty communists. Remember the communists? They’re same people we fought a cold war to “defeat.”

Pardon me if it doesn’t seem like much of a victory to me, while they didn’t defeat us on the battlefield, they simply bought us. Very clever of them, wasn’t it? What will happen when those dirty communists stop buying our debt? Nobody seems to have a contingency plan in place if that happens.

I wish I had the answers to these problems, but it’s going to take shared sacrifice and it won’t be fixed overnight. I take no joy in watching my fellow citizens suffer, even if it’s the result of their own denial of reality.

American’s are going to have to come to grips with the fact the affluence of post WWII America wasn’t the product of “American exceptional-ism,” but by being lucky that we were the only industrialized country on earth that wasn’t destroyed as a result of the war.

We were poised to take advantage of a lack of economic competition and this lulled us into a false sense of superiority, as well as a condescending attitude toward the rest of the world.

Now anger is rising up in people who’ve never experienced, or even accepted the possibility of a declining standard of living in the United States. This may not be easy to hear for those of us who were raised in a time when America was the dominant country on earth … but the truth never is.



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