Sunday, July 2, 2017

A Government by the People

A government run by the people actually means it is run by the people who vote, the wealthy (who control the media and sway public opinions), and large corporations.

Non-voters do not count for very much.

People receiving help from the government in the form of social programs (including Social Security) and those receiving other government cash, such as farmers being paid not to plant crops and farmers with government contracts to provide foreign aid are part of the largest block of voters.  Every person receiving government assistance with housing, food, clothing, and education are part of this group. The list of members seems endless. This group will control our nation.

Perhaps the fastest growing group of voters is the elderly. For over a decade we have been warned that retirees will outnumber workers and that it takes a minimum of four workers contributing to Social Security to cover each person currently receiving a Social Security check. We are now at a zero birth rate, meaning that the same number of new births is equal to the same number of deaths. (One study concluded that we actually have a negative birth rate). Medical science is constantly increasing our life span and constantly finding new ways to avoid giving birth. While an increased lifespan is welcome a decrease in new life is sad.

If most of this is news to you, turn off the TV and stop using social media. It is time to act like a grown-up.

Cutting government services may be what is needed to keep the government from crumbling, but voters will not tolerate needed cuts. The only other choices are steep increases in taxes or severe cuts to the military budget. I am betting we will see tax cuts.

There will be some feeble attempts to keep local entities from going bankrupt, but ultimately increased taxes will be their solution.

At the local and state level, the government will plead poverty to break contracts with retired employees, but that will only help their budgets for a short term. (It will happen because local mayors only care about the immediate short term and it is this very attitude (stick the next administration with the bills) that caused unfunded and underfunded pensions in the first place.

Whenever a new ‘benefit’ is given to the people, regardless of intent or worthiness, it is seldom funded. Also, the new benefits are never stopped; they often increase.

The government will try targetted tax cuts, such as taxing only increasing the taxes on the wealthy. However, even if we tax the super-rich at 90%, there would not be enough money to keep us afloat. How do I know? I remember, and history is the best predictor of the future and any new revenue will be quickly spent/ Also, I can add and subtract. It will not be enough money.

Most states sold us on the idea of state lotteries by explaining that the profits would be used to fund education. Have the pleas for more education funding decreased since we voted in favor of lotteries? Has anyone even bothered to explain where the added tax revenue from those huge lottery winnings was spent?
Are you aware that so much money initially was given to schools that at least one school district paid for individual taxis to transport children to and from schools? Do you know the amount spend on school swimming pools and the amount spent on school sports? Strangely, these investments did nothing to raise test scores. How odd?

What can the average person do? If you are one of the of 231,556,622 eligible voters that did not vote in the 2016 election it is time to change that behavior. It is also time to stay informed and examine views that are the exact opposite of yours.Stop allowing the media to control your thoughts and form your opinions.

Start writing Congress and the president in clear, professional words that express what changes you want in our government.

Go to school board meetings. The education of our citizenry is more than just the concern of parents. We all pay for our educational system and should all have a voice. Before opening your mouth, learn what is happening and what could be made better.

Who has the time? Turn off social media and avoid the time wasted on gossip. Limit your tube time. 

Somebody told me that I am dreaming if I think people today will do anything about this crisis. A friend said, "It is a damn good thing that most of the people living today were not here during either of our world wars. They are incapable of even turning off the TV, let alone making real sacrifices".

Dead Babies do not Matter - Cell Phones Matter

In Utah, a two-year-old died in a hot car at a family reunition. The father discovered the dead baby after several adults returned from a religious meeting.

Many people say that this was sad, but the father simply did not notice that the child was missing.

Yet, I believe that they would have quickly noticed if a cell phone was left in the van. They would have raced back to the van to get that phone! After all, a cell phone can be ruined if left in a hot van.

The same level of alertness and concern for a 2-year old? Not so much. Where in the hell are our priorities!

I know you are, but what am I? . . . heard at a preschool

Any leader of a Democratic Republic enters office with large numbers of detractors. Despite lofty statements by those not elected, about ‘all Americans will now come together’ people do not suddenly lose their passion for their beliefs and instantly love the elected president and his beliefs. This much is obvious. Elected officials must expect a vast number of people to be critical and nasty. He should be expected to be burned in effigy. He must expect his words to be taken out of context, twisted and laughed at because that has always been the case going all the way back to George Washington.

Decisions made by the elected leader will never please everyone. Some decisions will even anger his or her supporters. The best a leader can do is to sincerely explain his or her reasoning and try to win over people to his or her views.

Humans want to immediately respond to nasty remarks, especially those that are completely unjustified. Maybe it is part of our nature. Even 3-year olds lash out. Of course, responsible parents correct that behavior.

A leader must put aside those human desires to strike out. A leader must control emotions and respond in a dignified and measured manner that raises the office above our most base desires. Even the smallest of nations are noticed when a leader is petty and behaves poorly. Those nations lose respect.

It has been said that a capitalist democracy is bound to become gridlocked where laws cannot be enacted, where enacted laws are ignored, and where loyalty to a political party will replace loyalty to the Republic. Are we moving towards that prediction? If so, does that not require a firm leader who garners the support and respect of our people and all nations?

In my opinion, both major political parties chose petty, self-absorbed candidates that believe that they are above the law and cannot be held to the same standards as mere mortals.
Although both candidates had and continue to have rabid supporters, to millions of people, our presidential election became a matter of voting against someone and not voting for someone.

It would be Pollyannaish to expect millions of people to learn to respect opposing views and to rise above nasty and petty remarks. But is it too much to expect the elected leader to rise above nasty and petty remarks? 

When the President of the United States sneezes in public, the world takes notice and speculates about his or her health. Imagine the speculation when the president responds to the nastiest of critics with his own nasty and vile remarks. Wit and dismissal of the most outlandish remarks seem presidential. Nasty and vile responses seem like a childish temper-tantrum.

Imagine if a President made adult, presidential statements to the world through Twitter. Imagine if he told the world that 7-powerful entities control 90% of the U.S. media and he wants to be certain that everyone hears exactly what he says.  Imagine if he said that he uses direct social media because he respects the intelligence of the American people to form their own opinions without media influence.

We might still disagree with many of his opinions about taxes, jobs, health-care and world affairs, but at least we could respect the dignity of his office. Instead, we have nasty and unseemly remarks that demean the office that he holds.