A need to come together for the people
The reasons why!
If I could make life better for our country and its people what would I do and how would I start on the path to accomplishing this noble cause? It seems throughout time there have been people who truly did make a difference in the lives of others and most of all by making tremendous sacrifices. When I think of the special people who devoted their lives to helping the needy the first person who comes to mind is Mother Teresa. She is an inspiration to all of us as she devoted her life to taking care of the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, India. She was so instrumental in bringing these people medical care, supplies of food and water and a warm place to sleep. She looked after the sick children and she created missions where the sisters continue in her honor to work with the needy to help them and provide them the much needed care they require and deserve. Her legacy is one of true dedication and compassion and her missionaries carry on in her vision of saving and restoring hope in the lives of those who need the help the most.
It seems that if we asked people to formulate a way to make positive change in this country we would get a lot of similar answers. I would say that if we took a poll of the areas in which we would like to see true positive change we would list the following which is in no specific order but is listed out in some form of numeric sequence to give a general view.
1) Restoring hope back to our people not by words but by action.
How do we do this? I believe the first thing we would need to do is to bring a focus back to what once made us powerful and that is a strong foundation in our manufacturing base. We need to rebuild our country up to what it used to be and we need to create new systems that work and are not corrupted. We need to bring enthusiasm back to our workforce and make a firm commitment to provide incentives to companies to hire and land contracts. We have seen too many industrial jobs get slashed and companies taking the position of cautiously watching their bottom lines and laying off workers rather than hiring workers. We are currently living in a very fragile economy that seems to be affected globally and we are unable to forge ahead for fear. It seems our economy is sputtering out of control and it is creating fear and panic across the globe where every day is very tense and uncertain. If you were to ask people what they believe is happening right now they would honestly say they are seeing a once proud nation starting to unravel right before their very eyes due to a failed leadership and a government that is politically divided. If congress can't get its act together what hope do we have as a country. Our beliefs and ideals in being a proud American are now being tested more than ever and we do not subscribe to this chaos that is now defining Washington. We see no positive signs in this down economy and we have our capitol on vacation during a time when they should be working overtime and joining forces together to work on fixing the problems that are causing such turmoil here and around the world. I am no expert on the economy or politics but I can tell you this. If I was called upon to restore order and find a way to bring the parties together I would not be planning vacation time. I would be planning all day and all night sessions bringing all our esteemed political leaders together to discuss the matters at hand and joining forces to address the concerns and work out plans to get the economy back on track and bring jobs back so that all who are displaced have a chance to get back to work.
Our country needs to maintain a balance with the world economies and set a tone that will elevate the other markets. When our economy and financial markets are down it sets off a chain reaction that continues the trend down. Our markets are now reacting in ways we just don't understand. We all do understand fear and that is exactly what is happening. It is so true what Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said. "We have nothing to fear but fear itself" How prophetic is this. It seems that we are all subscribing to this fear that is paralyzing each and everyone of us and it is contagious, so to speak. What do we need to do to stop the madness?
When I walk around the malls today I see store closings, I see, despite the sales events less and less people shopping. I see troubled faces. Is this the way our country is to be? I hope not! I wish to see hope and vibrant crowds again. I want to see stores opened for business with merchants smiling again and people comfortable with buying again. If our people don't shop what hope will we have for a bright economy. I don't want to hear our economy come to a screeching halt like it seems to be right now.
2) Feeling assured that we are certain to have reliable form of employment throughout our lifetime.
With the prospects of social security drying up at the time I thought I may have been able to retire I now worry that I still can be assured having secure employment. If social security is now raising the retirement age to 70 so they can avoid paying out monies to all who worked so hard to pay into the system then there must be hope for us to be able to work when we are 70 years old and hopefully be able to afford the medication we will need to enable us to do so. It seems I have lost hope for any type of retirement. I will probably have to work until I expire so I can pay off my mortgage finally. Hopefully the life insurance I am paying will pay out to my family when I do finally go. Social security better pay out to my family as well. That is an interesting question. If I have a son who is autistic and is now an adult and he needs assistance, will social security now pay him as he so deserves what I should have been paid all along for all my years of paying into the system? I am so frustrated with our government and its policy makers. They have no interest it seems in helping the class of people who really work hard and in the end seem to get nothing. If we can't be assured being paid by social security and we can't rely on our savings because it was wiped out by the market crash of 2011 then what hope do we have if we can't even have the opportunity to work? If life is to be like this as we age then I can understand why suicide is popular with the over 60 year old crowd. It is a very uncertain and scary place we are heading to if we don't take charge of our lives. It seems to me we all need to draw upon our own skills and create our own opportunities. If we are not sure what those opportunities may be then we have to be extremely opportunistic and not afraid to challenge ourselves. I only hope things will get better for our son. I hope he will have better days ahead but the way I see it that is very questionable.
3) Bringing medical care to all and having systems put in place to achieve this. Insurance companies, the medical community and business leaders have to step up in addressing these concerns.
If you asked people to discuss their major concern right now it would be the ability to afford medical care and not be left out in the cold. If we can't go to the doctor for fear we can't pay the bill what kind of message are we sending to our people? It is a real crisis and many families are unable to get the necessary medical care they need to get their children well again. It is heartbreaking to realize that children are dying needlessly because their parents are unable to get the necessary medical care for them that they need. I can't understand why we can't figure out a fair and equitable system that benefits all. It has to work on the basis of the medical community, the patients, employer businesses, insurance companies and a collaboration of all parties involved.
4) A belief that when we save for retirement we will have grown a reliable amount based on secure investing.
I can't tell you how sick I have become in the past two weeks watching our financial markets go completely haywire. In the span of two weeks 20-25% of my portfolio was washed away. What did I do as a result? I panicked and liquidated my investments absorbing the loss because I can not withstand more losses. If I were of sound mind I should have done this years ago when my funds went down. Sure they have rebounded but those rebounds have now been offset with the extreme volatility we are now seeing. Who knows how long this craziness is going to last? I don't know. I do know this though! I can't stand to see anymore red! I have had enough! I have started to panic just like the others. I can not be an ostrich anymore and bury my head in the sand. I've done that for too long and where has that gotten me? Nowhere! We have to find better ways to invest our hard earned monies and not be afraid like we are now. If we don't have confidence in our leadership, in our economy and in our financial markets then how can we continue to hold still on our investments? There is way too much uncertainty and most of us need to rely on our savings and right now it just does not seem to be prudent to be in the market when it is sliding downwards on a sharp and painful decline. I need to build wealth now, not erode it.
5) Providing for our families and instilling hope in our children
When we bring a child into the world we are responsible for raising them to adulthood, teaching them, providing them love, hope and inspiration. We are also responsible for helping them to obtain an education and helping them to get a start in life. We want them to feel confident in themselves and to find opportunities. If they are to endure what we are enduring now then we are in for a major crisis. Life is supposed to be a gift that we hold precious and we are supposed to feel that we all have opportunity. If college costs become so out of reach for the middle class then we will have to encourage alternatives for our children. The schools that are more affordable such as community colleges and state universities would clearly be the next best option. There are so many dynamics going on and if we have mortgages to pay it is difficult to obtain additional financing if you are already obligated to pay your mortgage off until you're 70. It just seems that the cost of living has become way too high and many people are being squeezed by the rises. It is hard enough providing a home and all the modern conveniences we were all led to believe we could. If we are on shaky ground then everything gets disrupted. No one wants to be thrust into the streets because they lose their job and can no longer provide for their family and pay their mortgage. We have to have a sense of some security. If we don't then life will be very hard and this is seemingly happening to good people who are hard working and have families. The people of our country are truly hurting and government seems to turn a blind eye. When are they going to wake up?
6) Taking the responsibility of making prudent decisions to save our environment, incur less debt, tax our people equitably and pay down deficit
We have heard it before and we will hear it again and our children will also have to hear it as well. We have to be clear in protecting our environment and being responsible for our actions. Our leaders can not be irresponsible with these important issues. Government has to protect our waters, assure that we will be able to rely on them to enact sound and prudent policies. We also have to feel confident that what we pay in taxes is being appropriated properly and responsibly. Why should we pay taxes into a failed system. If we are to pay taxes then our government better know where those monies are going and they better start paying attention to the growing deficit and start paying it down like we are all called upon to do with our own personal debts. We should not be punished for Washington's poor decisions. If we are going to have to pay more in taxes then there better be good reason for doing so. I am not expecting to pay more taxes so our leaders get paid bonuses. There are way too many people suffering and our leadership better start to realize this.
7) Is war always the answer?
Why is it that our country seems to have to fight the battles and wars of other distant countries. It is way too expensive not only in financial costs but also in human costs. We are losing way too many soldiers to depression and other ailments and the government is not helping them. They expect them to make all these tremendous sacrifices and in the end they treat them like second class citizens. We have also lost many soldiers in the course of battle and many families are suffering as a result. We have to plan to bring our soldiers home after devising strategies in preventing terrorist groups from taking over. I don't know how to prevent terrorism and to withdraw our troops at the same time but we can't expect to keep our soldiers fighting and in harms way forever. Sooner or later we are going to have to pull them out and then make plans for what happens next.
I just wish we had a government that represented its people fairly as the original drafters of the constitution once promised. It seems our two party system is failing miserably and we the people are the ones suffering because of it. We must stand up for ourselves and send a strong message to our leaders that we can not afford this anymore. We want positive change and we want it now!
Edward D. Iannielli III
Politics and downturn
US Economy lesson
Hard Realities facing US Economy
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