Okay, here’s what I don’t get about politics today: I look at the leaders of this country, the people in charge, and I see movers and shakers, people of wealth who have obtained positions of power. People who make monumental decisions, who can affect the fates of millions, who get to call the shots and what is their biggest complaint? That they are being held back. We have industrialists, entrepreneurs and businessmen, all rich and influential, who can buy and sell you ten times over, and use your kids for change, and they’re always whining about the government being on their back, hurting their growth, and cramping their style. They carry on and on about how hard it is because they are being hindered by the government.
We live in the most amazing country on the planet. We are the most successful nation in the history of the world; a place that foreigners can’t wait to sneak into. This country saved the world. This country feeds the globe. We’ve put a man on the moon and a couple of go-carts on Mars. So what exactly is the hold up they speak of? Are they saying if they had their way, we would have had a Starbucks on Jupiter by now? I mean, seriously, look at the Forbes list of the wealthiest people. How many Frenchman are on it? Swiss? Thais? No, it’s USA all the way. How hindered are these people? What exactly is holding these folks back? What is so irksome to them? This concept that “government is bad” is totally negated by 200 years of history. Sure, it’s not perfect, but, hey, neither are my parents and legally I’m not allowed to get rid of them either. But as often as not, the government has played a mighty important and necessary role.
Yet the private sector demands less regulation. They say that the government rules and regulations are impeding their progress. Why, they ask, do we even have these regulations on the books? Well, I may answer, these laws didn’t appear magically out of whole cloth. There was a time when there were very few regulations on business. These days are generally referred to as the days of the robber barons, because the powers that be were both barons of industry and robbers. Back then there existed such things as child labor, sweat shops and excessive industrial accidents, with women locked onto work floors so when there was a fire, most couldn’t escape and perished in the flames. Stuff like that. So, basically, business had their chance and blew it, so the government was forced to step in. Now, does anyone seriously believe that business has learned its lesson? I mean, even with government regulations, car companies sold exploding hatchbacks, tire companies marketed defective tires and pharmaceuticals plied us with cures that killed.
Ever watch the news when they have the dramatic footage of skyscrapers burning and people trapped 50-60 stories up? Or how about those news stories about ferries capsizing, killing hundreds? Or overcrowded trains derailing and wiping out small villages? You ever notice that those stories aren’t from New York City or Chicago or Los Angeles? Nope, they’re happening in the South Pacific, or Asia or the subcontinent. Places that brag about how unfettered businesses are. How about that? But on they rant about deregulation. What would happen if we deregulate an industry? Anyone see Pan Am or TWA lately?
Government isn’t so bad. I like that I can jump in a car and drive to anyplace in the country on highways the government built. I like that my mail comes to my home. People come to my house and cart my garbage away, thanks to my local government. People who don’t like government and laws are generally people trying to pull something.
And taxes; so what if the rich pay more? They got more to protect. An invading army isn’t going after me and my 1998 minivan; they’re going after the factories and businesses owned by the rich. You think for all those years during the Cold War the communists were trying to grab my phonograph player or some steel mill? The businessmen have the fire departments, the police, the military, and the court system all protecting their sizeable stakes in this country, so, yeah, they should fork some over. I’m not in court that often. I rarely make use of the patent office, but I’m sure big companies do. Those paved roads all over the place? They allow a dependable work force to get to their jobs and make it possible to deliver product to the public, which keep those companies going. So shut up and pay already. I mean, you knew the risks of paying taxes when you decided to get rich and yet you went out and got rich anyway. So where’s the surprise?
Maybe the big shots should stop whining about being held accountable and about taxes and demanding all sorts of budget cuts. We have programs that are in place that have been working fine for decades. Programs that didn’t seem to bother Nixon or Reagan, yet suddenly, must be redirected or retired. Sure, if their Social Security checks stop coming, it really isn’t going to affect them much. But there are a lot of people who depend on those checks. It’s those checks that mean the difference between buying brand name cat food and the generic brand. Yet who gets the frame the debate, the people who need the cash or the ones that don’t?
Credit card companies claimed too many people are using bankruptcy court to avoid paying maxed-out credit cards, so they changed the bankruptcy laws. Well, if the credit card companies would stop mailing the cards out to every Tom, Dick and Harried Consumer, then maybe people who shouldn’t be using credit cards wouldn’t. Sure it’s okay for Donald Trump to put his casinos into bankruptcy and call it a smart business move. Or to let K-mart declare bankruptcy, blow off its creditors, and then somehow manage to scrape up enough dough to buy Sears. But don’t try this at home, people.
The pundits on FOX News talk about the degenerate Hollywood morals and lack of decency. Then the FOX network airs “Who Wants to Marry a Midget?” and “Adultery Island.” Which FOX do I believe? Doesn’t matter; both make a profit for the parent corporation. A news anchor broadcasts a story based on possibly forged documents. A president starts a war with phony evidence. Who loses his job? A reporter won’t reveal his source for an FBI sting video. A White House source outs a spy. Who’s in jail?
Why is it the people calling the shots are the ones complaining about being victims? You got the cash, you got the pull, chill out and be quiet about it. And don’t make me come back here, I don’t have the time to keep reminding you, ’cause I have two jobs to work at.