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Political and Social Issues: If It's Broken Then Fix It
Turn The Page
TURNING A NEW PAGE
I haven’t had a good rant in a long time. I think now is as good a time as any to take a look at the state of our nation. I wrote this awhile back but haven’t gotten around to publishing it until now.
After some thought I have decided that this will be my last rant. From now on I’m going to concentrate on the solution rather than the problem. Thanks for reading my last rant.
As of the writing of this article, the Congressional blowhards are crossing the last t’s and dotting the last i’s on the legislation that will prevent us all from tumbling over the fiscal cliff.
Their next order of business should probably be to tighten security so that the 300 million citizens who want to kick their butts can’t get to them.
Seriously, folks, the inmates are running the asylum. Is it my imagination or have things gotten worse since the Presidential election? I didn’t think that was possible but I swear to the Almighty it is true. In the last few weeks we have seen our elected officials sniping and bickering like a bunch of pensioners after a few beers down at Tiny’s Tavern. The rhetoric has been flying faster than poop from a goose, and their productivity pretty much smells like that same poop.
Is there anyone living in this country who honestly believes that our system isn’t broken?
No, I’m not talking about the U.S. Constitution. I am a huge believer in that living document and I don’t want to see it touched at all. I am, however, talking about a system whereby politicians are bought and paid for by special interest groups. Make no mistake about it….that is why we came close to plunging off of that fiscal cliff, and that is why we will continue to see these same deadlocks for the next four, eight, twelve, or sixteen years.
This country is in serious trouble and our future rests in the hands of a bunch of fat cats who could care less about the problems of the average citizen.
I’m a big believer in the old axiom that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, so I’d like to propose a few suggestions on how we can fix some of our problems. Mind you, these will never fly with the powers in Washington D.C., mainly because they make sense.
I toss these out in no particular order; these are just random solutions that came to me while I was buttering my toast this morning. I didn’t need a committee, and I didn’t need a poll. I’m just a working stiff who has a little common sense.
Are you ready?
SOFT MONEY JUST GOT HARD TO COME BY
Ban campaign contributions, most notably the infamous soft money. Elections are being bought and paid for, and it’s not by you and I. Use your imagination and you should be able to figure out who is gaining from this system of campaigning.
I have this vision of old-school campaigning. Candidates do whistle stops across the country on trains, and they are limited to the number of stops they can make. No more flying to ten cities in one day; no more 250 television ads in one week. Hell, put the candidates on horseback and make them travel from stop to stop on Old Nellie!
BYE BYE EXXON
I want to see a fence built around Washington D.C., and set up a series of Checkpoint Charlies. No special interest lobbyist will be allowed through the checkpoint.
Of course, this means that Congressmen will have to eat at McDonald’s like the rest of us, but oh well, those are the breaks!
I love watchdog groups like this one
More political watchdog activity
SPEAKING OF CONGRESSMEN
I say it’s about time we cut back on the salaries of Congressmen and Senators. I think they should earn minimum wage with incentives. Their wage will rise incrementally when the standard of living rises in this country. Call it a performance-based system.
Conversely, their salaries will decrease if they keep screwing the rest of us. I’m willing to bet we would see some serious work done very quickly, and a whole lot of agreement in the Halls of Congress.
Just recently President Obama agreed to take a 4% pay cut from his $400,000 salary. What does that come out to, $16,000? So he is willing to live on only $384,000 this next year, right? I hope he’s able to make ends meet. Oh don’t get me wrong, I was impressed by the gesture but still….$384,000? If I’m not mistaken, Josh Hamilton of the Angels makes that much in about ten games, which brings me to my next point…..
PAY WHAT THE JOB IS WORTH
When grocery clerks make more money than teachers then I have a problem. When the CEO of Monsanto makes more money than a country doctor then I have a problem. When a lobbyist for an oil consortium makes more money than a social worker then I have a problem.
Let’s start paying people what they are worth. Wouldn’t that be hilarious? Again, pay based on performance based on the common good; now there is a platform I could sign on for immediately. I have no problem with a sales associate at WalMart making minimum wage. They are usually rude, barely trained and don’t appear to want to help me at all, so they should be paid for their performance. Conversely, if my son’s teacher is at least partially responsible for preparing him properly for his future, then she is worth her weight in gold.
The original and still the best
BYE BYE MISS AMERICAN PIE
Welcome to the year 2013 and the Global Economy. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, or in our case, what is good for China is good for America, and if a textile worker farts in Taiwan then the price of Levi’s rises in Detroit.
I’m all for helping out the rest of the world, but when is enough enough? When a mother of four has to work three jobs to feed her kids in Baton Rouge, and when veterans are homeless on the streets, I rapidly lose interest in the needs of those in Siberia. And if my government cannot see the wisdom in that last statement then maybe my government isn’t governing.
We are told that the old manufacturing jobs are going to disappear because the market dictates that they do. We are told that we need to re-train American workers in new jobs that will be in demand in the years to come. The old ways are gone and it’s a new day, baby, a new day where established principles that once worked are now outdated.
We are being sold a bill of goods that is ludicrous and insulting. The old principles are not outdated. They have been pushed aside because they did not accumulate wealth for the upper 1% fast enough.
I just read the other day that millionaires in America received $30 billion in assistance from the U.S. government last year. From unemployment benefits to subsidies to tax breaks, the richest of the rich received financial assistance in an amount that was larger than the entire NASA budget.
Changes are needed
- Compliance Assistance - Wages and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) - Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
US Department of Labor: The Wage and Hour mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the Nation's workforce.
FAIR IS FAIR, RIGHT?
Well no, fair is not fair in the United States. Listen, I am the first to admit that Social Services in the United States is a broken system. We have people daily who scam the government and receive Food Stamps and Unemployment Benefits all the while they are working. We all know someone who is doing that and it is not right…..but…..when Ted Turner gets a tax break for his farm, and when Bon Jovi gets a tax break because he raised bees, then my b.s. antennae shoot straight up.
I want a bipartisan committee to sit down and straighten out the tax codes once and for all. As long as it is bipartisan and as long as it is comprised of some regular people and not just CEO’s making two million in bonuses, then I will be satisfied with their work results.
I Cry Real Tears by Yours Truly
START CARING ABOUT OUR CITIZENS
The War on Drugs is a joke. End it! Take all of that money and put people back to work. Allow them to build a little self-respect. Give them a reason to hope for the future. Stop jailing people on pot busts, and quit spending billions trying to eliminate the coke supply in Colombia. People will always be able to find drugs if they want them. The secret to ending this madness is to give people a reason not to want drugs. In other words, take away the demand and the supply will disappear.
The problems faced in the United States are enormous, and it is time that we take constructive approaches to solving those problems.
And it all begins with us.
Quit sitting on the sidelines complaining about the problems and get your butts out there and change things. Run for local political office and change the system from the inside. Start up a political action group and be a thorn in the side of the political process.
Demand that your police force actually prevent crimes before they happen by being proactive rather than reactive. Demand that your child’s teacher actually care enough to properly teach your child AND THEN pay that teacher what they are worth. Revamp the social services so that those who truly need help can get help.
Stop buying foreign products and supporting foreign nations. Buy American and put Americans to work in the process. Stop buying from corporations that obviously do not have your best interests at heart and start buying local.
It all begins with us, and don’t you for a second ever underestimate the power of a small group of determined people. This nation was founded by one such group.
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)