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We're an Angry Country and Getting Angrier
Understanding the National Debt
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Adult and Teen Anger Management
It appears there are a lot of people mad about their situation today. The world in which we live is creating more uncontrollable anger than any other time in recent history. The American people are angry with our government and most specifically the economy and upheaval throughout the globe.
With a nation that struggles to fulfill and sustain its infrastructure, energy and job demands, it is becoming ever more difficult to maintain a standard of living we are accustomed to as our national wealth has dissipated. Our national resources and interests are spread throughout a global economy which has contributed greatly to our national debt strain. Our debt ceiling is now crumbling and American’s are paying the price of our politicians miss management of our tax dollars. The great American dream is now harder than ever to achieve and everyone is feeling the financial pinch. This is causing a lot of stress, anxiety and making people angrier.
America is a spoiled country and is not use to being directed by government policy that upsets our lifestyles; costs us more of are hard earned dollars and where good paying jobs have dwindled significantly. To help clean up our fiscal house it is now necessary for our financial institutions to place tighter control on government, developers and consumer borrowing and spending. Why? Our nation is ~17 trillion dollars in debt. And since the ability to borrow money has been greatly diminished through tighter fiscal policies, this is much akin to taking the baby’s pacifier out of the mouth. And this makes us angry.
Although we are still the greatest nation on earth, most Americans are not use to, or willing to share their freedoms and wealth with national interests, and policies that don’t benefit them personally. And since most American’s don’t understand how we got to a place where our entitlement programs are now dwindling, they are livid with anger.
It doesn’t help with public perception that our government doesn’t appear to know how to fix our debt crisis and create jobs to sustain our living standards. And until our fiscal house is in order adults will continue to get angrier and more of our teens will get angry as well because they’re in the same boat. And some teens will even perpetrate their anger on others by joining gangs for lack of education and work opportunities. This dynamic makes for angrier and more dangerous communities.
Now let’s look at how current statistical surveys show the connection to our Nations anger behaviors that appears mostly to do with our government politics.
1. 78% of Americans are not happy with our political system. And only 26% of the American population believes government can fix our economic problems. [Washington Post Poll].
2. President Obama’s job ratings are at an all time low of 39% [Gallup]. While congress has a disapproval rating of 82% [CBS News NY Times].
3. 85% of American’s believe Congress is more interested in their own career advancement and 46% of those from the same survey believe that most of congress is corrupt [Rasmussen].
4. Only 17% of those governed believe our government is acting with their consent on major policy issues [Rasmussen].
5. 73% of those surveyed believe our nation is on the wrong track [Reuters/Ipsos poll].
6. 36% of American’s lack confidence in our financial institutions, “an all time high” [Gallup]. And in another poll taken by Rasmussen, 68% of Americans still believe we’re still in a recession. 80% of Americans believe it is difficult to find a job [Washington Post-ABC News poll]. And yet another poll reveals 39% of Americans believe the economy is on a permanent decline. And this reasoning further derives 48% believe it is likely another great depression will start within the next 12 months [poll source unknown.
7. It is thought by 48% of Americans that reductions in government spending will result in civil unrest within this country.
While many may not realize exactly how to become independent and live without some form of government assistance, far too many do get the connection that the government provides a lot of entitlement programs they need to live on. And these entitlement programs must now be cut to reduce the debt ceiling. If this does not happen, our ability to make good on our national debt is at risk. And if our debt is not brought to order, we risk further degradation of government services that will continue to impact our living standards and behavior that could likely cause anger to display itself through more aggressive civil unrest.
And if you want to really know how much government debt is out there, here’s a realistic way to look at it. We only see a portion of the National debt. In other words our government publicized debt is at ~17 Trillion dollars. But that’s only part of our Nation’s debt and this portion is mostly owed to other countries.
As of 30 September, 2010, data shows it would take $61.6 Trillion dollars to take care of all our countries domestic & foreign debt obligations. Our national debt “mostly” does not include domestic public debt such as pensions, penal system, family social services, social security supplementation, disability, Medicare, Medicaid, public retiree health care and pension benefits, etc. And that list goes on. So when you think of a national debt, it’s not just what we borrow from other countries, debt is hidden within many government entitlement financial ledgers throughout the country. This is why we see local government programs reduced and this doesn’t reduce our foreign debt. Haven’t you ever wondered why the Federal deficit continues to grow while domestic services are on the decline? If our total debt climbs too high, America could become much akin to the financial ruin and anarchy Greece is now experiencing. These signs of national financial ruin have now begun its course here at home as now seen in cities throughout California now filing bankruptcy.
If our nation’s people realized these total debt facts, they’d be even angrier because much anger has been built around a greatly publicized ~17 Trillion dollar National debt ceiling most of us are familiar with.
It also appears there is a connection between the political environment on adults and anger acted out by teens.
For example, when looking at teen anger statistics in America, the most obvious of data shows us that gangs are displaying more anger through gang activities. In 2002 NGTS (National Gang Trends Survey) showed that more than 772, 500 members of 24,500 street gangs made up of teens and young adults are 60 times more likely to be killed than a non-gang member. Whether your child is a gang member or not, anger presents itself in many different behavioral patterns that you should be aware [Behavioral Patterns to watch for are listed at end of article] and intervene to help when necessary.
And as the economy continues to stall the stress and anger will continue to have an impact on our youth, elderly and poorer populations. It will take a lot of communication from our local governmental representatives and within our family’s communities as to why our entitlement programs must be reduced if we as a nation are to survive with our freedoms and liberties intact. And in doing so, provide help for the poorest of families and elderly population to reduce the pain as much as possible while communities simultaneously find other ways to become more independent of government subsidies. But realize, as our government transitions towards debt reduction and regardless of party affiliation, people will get angrier because people in general don’t like change that has a direct impact on their living standards. We’re not use to doing without!
So it is time to be honest and learn to communicate well within families and communities to work together and become part of the solution in reducing what’s causing us to get angry. But it will take a great deal of work to propose, plan and implement solutions that will pull an indebted society and nation out of a hole that was created by too much credit access and waste of our national resources. And to do this will be much like pulling teeth and cause more people to become angry in the process. However, to wait any longer to solve our debt crisis will surely cause more pain and anger.
I like you understand our lives are now very stressful for fear we have no control over our job situation, retirement, health or subsidy-benefit services or programs. And this is making many of us angry and causing more stress and anxiety. We get angrier because we feel our government representatives are not listening to us and not acting fast enough to resolve our problems. But keep in mind, it took our nation years to cause this debt problem through excessive spending, and I fear it will take some time to resolve it.
It also takes great effort for us as parents to contain our anger and not act out in front of our children in a way that is detrimental to their behaviors and activities. By becoming a part of the solution we must somehow teach our children to become more independent. And less dependent on spending time on things we have no or little control over. In learning to take more control of our lives, our nation’s people also become less angry and more prideful through individual accomplishments and successes that can sustain each one of our unique lifestyles.
If you are concerned about your child’s behavior, there are some tall tale signs you will want to pay attention to. And if you can recognize out of the ordinary behaviors that are not typical then you can help, or get them the help they need before the anger escalates.
The National Youth Violence Prevention Center has compiled a list of behaviors that you can watch for to determine if anger is on the rise within your family: For example, be aware of whether your child is a perpetrator, or victim of school bullying. Does your child treat home pets cruel, or do they have an interest in weapons or carry them. Do they write, or draw in a way that would depict violence? Do you note an increase in fighting with family members and friends, note property damage, easy loss of temper over insignificant things, gang participation, cares not for the feelings of others?
If you or your teen needs help with stress, anxiety or anger issues seek help through professional resources within the medical community; e.g., conflict resolution, family counseling, or 1:1 sessions with a psychologist, etc.
Believe me the government is not going to help us with our stress, anxiety and anger issues. This will be up to each and every one of us to take responsibility for our behaviors as our politicians will now spend years to pull our nation out of debt. And during this time all of us will have to learn to become less angry and how to become more independent of government while we reduce our national debt. Otherwise how will our political, social and economic freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution remain whole for generations to come?