Thursday, April 21, 2011

Deficit Reduction Panic Follows the Traditional Government Fear Protocol

Have you noticed that the politicians have a specific protocol for inducing worry about the country to the citizens? It is something like this:
Create or discover a potential problem for the country (new or ancient).

With the help of the media create the impression that if the problem is not solved immediately the US is doomed.

Then create the impression that you (and only you) have the solution to this extremely difficult problem.

Use the fear created to move the problem to the top of the nations’ worry list.

Take advantage of the power you gain to further your position, wealth, and control over the citizens
This protocol is one of the most powerful tools the elected government uses. It is used time and time again to start wars, destroy our economy, take actions that favor special interests, and divert attention from other problems. We seem to fall for it every time.

Pardon me, elected government, but you have fooled me too many times. This time I have a few questions about panic mode deficit reduction that I would like you to address before I panic

We are in a recession. Why does it have to be done in immediate panic mode where we wildly slash services without thought of the consequences for the citizens? How about a 20 year program of accelerated reduction in strong economies and less in downturns.

It appears that the deficit discussions have completely blanked out action on the economy and serious financial reform. Is panic mode deficit reduction really a diversion to take attention away from the terrible job the government is doing in these areas?

Many of the actions being taken under the deficit cloak are really special interests oriented. Examples are cutting corporate taxes, killing safety net actions, and favoring the wealthy. There seems to be no action in helping the middle class through the crisis or improving our planning for the future. Why is this?

I have heard many politicians assert that the US is “broke” financially. Considering our total resources and the position as #1 economy and military in the world this is of course ridiculous. Who is going to close down on a country with our military? But I do agree that we are “broke” ethically as long as the financial sector and special interests run the country.

The media has made a lot of noise about Standard & Poors saying they may downgrade our credit from AAA if we don’t take action on our deficit in two years. This is the same S&P that gave AAA ratings to thousands of subprime securities and played a major role in the financial meltdown. Why are they even in business, let alone making credit threats to the US?

There is a strong effort to create a fear that China will soon not grant us any credit. Therefore we won’t be able to buy anything from them. Excuse me, but China would not have a decent economy without selling to the US. But even if they would stop selling we could gladly manufacture more ourselves. Although Wal-Mart would need a new supplier this does not sound like something we couldn’t gladly handle.
We do need to get our debt under control but it shouldn’t be used as a reason to destroy the American Dream. If you fix the economy and use common sense rather than special interests as a guide in spending I have a strong feeling we will have it under control. Please shut down your fear machine.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Beware of Unbending Ideologues

Merriam- Webster has two definitions under Ideologue

An impractical idealist
An often blindly partisan advocate or adherent of a particular ideology
The dictionary has three definitions of ideology, The one most appropriate to us is:
The integrated assertions, theories and aims that constitute a sociopolitical program
For our purposes an ideologue is a citizen who has bought into a concept of how American society should work and is relentless in efforts to make the concept real. Our Constitution was formulated to encourage people of different opinions to work together. Unfortunately we are currently in the midst of a bitter no - compromise battle between right wing and left wing ideologues. Because of our two party system we are forced to pick only one package. There is no middle road offered. There is little compromise.

Ideologues are not friends of democracy. In the US, because of our Constitution, they are forced to compete in elections. They will use any deception that gains votes. Once elected, they try to enforce their ideology in the most extreme form upon the citizens.

History has shown that ideologues are not good leaders. We desperately need flexible leadership that uses every possible tool to help all citizens. Here are reasons why we should be very careful about giving ideologues power over us.

The dedication to their ideology causes them to only consider supporting information. They ignore essential contradictory facts. This leaves them vulnerable to believing half truths and lies. A trait often used by experts in manipulation to control them. This leads to delusional decision making and disastrous results. The invasion of Iraq is an example of such a decision.

Their problem solving ability is limited to solutions found within their ideology. This leads them to support programs of no logical or moral element in application. Cutting important services to the middle class while lowering taxes on the wealthy is an example. Another is the insistence that further gun control on lawful citizens will deter criminals.

They spend more time trying to gain power for their specific ideology than serving the United States. This been almost no recent congressional action toward improving the economy.

Many elements of their ideologies are speculative and untested, and risk causing great damage. Destroying unions as some advocate would leave the working person with no options for protection against large institutions. Major cuts in government spending in the midst of a recession are another example.

The appalling failure of our elected government to serve the citizens has created a situation where support for major changes is definitely needed. Ideologues with a sincere interest in the good of the country can make major contributions, but should not be given control. That is the responsibility of the citizens. Above all, we must retain our rights. We must make changes that address failures, not create new ones.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Are You As Discouraged As I Am?

Five months have passed since the election and I can’t think of a single job creation action by the elected government. I am discouraged by the complete inattention to the “promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessing of Liberty to ourselves” portion of the Constitution.

It is discouraging to find that the newly elected government is more ideologically bound and less analytical in thought than the previous one. It is now apparently under deep control of the bean counting ideologues. My experiences have firmly convinced me that rule by such people is not a path to success. They are uninspired leaders whose one trick pony of cuts regardless of the consequences leads downward into ruin. We need driven leadership that will use every tool that we have to bring our country back.

The 2011 budget negotiations which came within a hairs’ breadth of shutting down the federal government is a prime example of an ideologue engagement. Their scope of vision is so limited that they are willing to risk the recovery, cause financial problems for millions of citizens, damage the morale of 800,000 government workers, close all national parks and stop all other services and actions over comparatively small issues in a budget which only has a few months left to run.

Our two party system continues to pathetically underperform. Where is our comprehensive plan that the parties should have been developing. We desperately need some mutually agreed positive actions for action while negotiating the controversial ideology issues.

What is happening with creating jobs and fixing infrastructure? Budget arguments are stopping job creation actions In fact bean counter arguments are stopping almost everything.

Reform of the financial sector seems to be off the media radar. Speculation on critical commodities continues as usual, bringing us ridiculously high prices on oil and agriculture products. Any effort to help the citizens through their problems is followed by a media blitz blaming the citizens for thinking like “socialists”. The special interests of the financial sector certainly seem to be prevailing.

We continue to pay several billion dollars in subsidies to the oil industry while they lobby hard against any help for alternate forms of energy.

A skyrocketing income disparity combined with a policy of absolutely no sharing of new burdens by the upper bracket portends a tragic conclusion to the American Dream unless fixed.

I could go on and on. You know the litany of problems where we require real action.

We need bean counters to crunch the numbers for comparing alternatives but determining the nature of our country must be reserved for the citizens. We had better begin to exert that right immediately