Saturday, December 10, 2011

A bandage on a massive wound

The election of 2010 will go down in history as one of the most important elections in the history of this country.  Voter turnout was down and the theme of the election cycle was jobs, and balancing the budgets of the federal and various state governments.  It's been almost four months since the majority party has been in office and it didn't take long for the realintentions of the newly elected politicians to come to the surface.

It's apparent that the real agenda had absolutely nothing to do with jobs, or balancing the budget. The real goal was all about power and doing everything possible to ensure President Obama doesn't get re-elected in 2012.All of the talk about too much government, taking the country back and fiscal responsibility ironically didn't begin until after the election of 2008.  I don't remember hearing any of this talk during the previous years of government expansion and out of control spending.

Yes, the national debt is out of control and measures need to be put in place to cut spending;however, that debt didn't pile up in two years and it will take some time before it’sunder control.Taking away collective bargaining rights, privatizing public sector jobs,or closing schools won’t solve the debt problem.  Politicians don’t really expect us to believe that public sector jobs helped create budget deficits, or that selling public sector jobs to private companies is going to solve budget problems do they?  Anybody with common sense can see the massive amount of hypocrisy in that argument. That’s like putting a bandage on a gigantic gunshot wound. 

Massive layoffs might save states a few dollars in the short term, but the number of unemployed people in the state will increase, and the debt will still be out of control.  After all, people thought they were voting for candidates that were going to create jobs and grow the economy.The newly elected officials were supposed to go to the state capitals and Washington D.C. toget America back on track by putting people back to work. Instead of jobs being created, jobs were the first things on the chopping block.  I can’t believe voters actually bought off on this stuff. 

The people in the mid-west didn’t think their newly elected officials would immediately introduce legislation that would threaten their job.  In hindsight, voters voted against their own best interest for the sake of change, but it's not the change they thought they were going to get.If the elected officials determined to get rid of collective bargaining abided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was adopted by the United Nations in 1948, Americans wouldn’t have to protest for the same rights guaranteed to them by this document.  That idea might be too far fetched because we have a tendency in this country to pick and chose parts of documents like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to justify an absurd amount of injustices inflicted on our own citizens.

CEO’s are getting multi million dollar bonuses after running companies into the ground and white-collar criminals are robbing taxpayer’s blind, but go unpunished while hard working Americans are left carrying the weight of their bad business decisions.  Since when did public sector employees become the enemy?   The people who work to provide services to others in the community aren’t looking for handouts, nor are they freeloaders.  I call them friends of mine and consider them to be great Americans.  Teachers are already underpaid for the amount of work they do, and with the closing of schools and cutting of school budgets, they are now going to be expected to do more work for the same measly salary.

If schools are closed the size of classrooms will increase, and the quality of education will decrease.  Teachers will get burnt out and students without a quality education will likely end up in prison, a place where budgets seem to be untouchable.  In the grand scheme of things it seems as though a system is being put in place for people to have fewer options. Limited options will lead to an increase in crimes, which will lead to time in the prison, which will lead to voting rights being taken away.  Call me skeptical, but that’s the way I see things shaping up. 

The nightmare that is the privatization of the prison industry is exactly how the rest of society will function if collective bargaining rights are taken away and public sector jobs are privatized.  The quality of service will go down the drain because the only thing private companies care about is making as much money as they can while paying their employees as little as possiblewith minimal benefits.  Private companies should make a profit, but not at the expense of shabby service and not paying their employees a fair wage.

What doesn’t make sense to meis how a company that’s in the moneymaking business going to helpfixbudget deficiencies.  Companies have mastered the art of tax exemptions so they certainly won't pay their fair share of taxes because of all the loopholes in the tax system.   Go ahead and get ready to start seeing company logos on the side of school buses and public buildings because that's exactly what's going to happen if we privatize everything.  I can see it now, "The Charlton County Courthouse Presented by Said Named Bank."

African-Americans in particular have seen first hand what can happen when private companies and the super rich are allowed to dictate politics.  All we need to do is take a look at the nadirof American race relations between the late 19th and mid-20th century. Emancipation Betrayed by Paul Ortiz providesexamples of the political tactics usedin post-slavery Florida in the late 1890’s that are very similar to the tactics being used in the mid-west today.  History has a funny way of repeating itself, but you have to read and look beyond the surface to uncover the hidden truth behind some political decisions.

These are the types of things that can happen when people don't vote, or vote for a candidate without knowing their corporate connections.  The policies being put in place are skewed by whoever contributes large amounts of money to campaign funds and the politicians that have their own business interests in mind.Politicians like thiswill allow the rich to keep getting richer, while working-class Americans struggle to put food on the table to feed their families. 


  1. I have to disagree with a couple of points you make here Steve. Are teachers underpaid? Yes, they are grossly underpaid. But most of the teachers I know or have come in contact with did not become a teacher for the love of teaching, they knew it was a guaranteed job. If a person performs poorly at his/her job, they face the risk of being fired. Not teachers, their unions have made it easier to drink the Atlantic than to fire a teacher for being a poor teacher. The same thing about the majority of public sector jobs. Once people get hired, rarely do they quit because they know that they have the protection of the uniom. Look at what unions did to the auto industru, the collective bargaining agreements sucked so much moneu from the big three that the government, and by government I mean the taxpayers, had to bail them out. Unions churn my stomach in more ways than one.

    As far as the elections of 2010, those politicians ran on the same platform that President Obama did, change and jobs. Republicans suck, eatablished fact. But for the first two years of President Obama's presidency, the Democrats held both houses of Congress and the White House and things did not get better. True, our problems will take more than two years to fix, but they did not put forth anything that would even point us in the right direction for fixing our prpblems. Taxation and spending have been proven time and time again NOT to be the solution to a down economy. My current tax corporate tax rate of 35% to 40% is killing me, any higher and I'll have to shut down. Taxong business is not going to create jobs, it is going to send those jobs to Bangladesh.

    We African-Americans, though I see myself as just American, give the President a pass because he is 'one of us' but growing up in Indonesia and Hawaii did not expose him to the same struggles we experienced growing up in the States. I personally believe we should hold him more accountable than we would a white president. And frankly, he has not tied the line.

  2. AWillAndAWay, I appreciate your comments and glad we can disagree in a civil manner.

    My opinion/thoughts about teachers and unions: I will always be an advocate for paying and treating teachers better than the system currently does. I won't use the few examples of bad teachers or unions to demonize the good one's. Don't forget, had it not been for unions, African Americans would have had even more problems finding employment during the 40's, 50's and 60's. Also, remember that when Dr. King was killed in Memphis, he was there because the garbage collectors (public sector employees) were being treated worse than animals.

    I'm glad we both feel the same way about Republicans, but Democrats are just as bad, which is why I won't associate myself with a political party. Being non-party affiliated is the best option for me. The 35%-40% corporate tax rate you are paying now is bad, but it was as high as 52% in the 50's & 60's, and the high 48% in the 70's & 80's.

    I don't agree with everything the President does or give him a pass when because of the color of his skin. He's fighting against people who are doing everything they can to destroy him personally and professionally, which makes my stomach churn (borrowing your words!) I have embraced my African heritage because so much history of the people that came before us has been dumbed down, negatively spent, or overlooked. The real history of African people I've learned about wasn't taught in traditional history text books. I know understand why it is so important to hold on to my ties with Africa. Try to remember what slaves endured before say that you are just an American, and not African American because like me, I'm sure that somewhere in your family's lineage, you'll find a connection with either American or African born slaves.