Solving the US (and thus the worlds) economic woes
There is a ridiculous public discussion going on about this politically driven concept called the fiscal cliff. And I’m calling bullshit on everyone on this one.
The concept is that if the different arms of the US federal government cannot negotiate a compromise then a huge amount of bad things will automatically happen. These things include the removal of some previously negotiated tax discounts along with a wide range of arbitrary budget reductions.
The idea was to put a chunk of things on the table, that the negotiating groups all found unpalatable, in the hopes that they would then work together to avoid these things happening.
Of course the underlying issues of incredibly favorable contracts between government and a plethora of huge companies, that have driven social, legal, fiscal and security policies over decades are not even being discussed.
Here’s the thing, government seems to have become bought. The issue is that every new regulation that has been introduced over the lifetime of nearly everyone on earth today came with strings attached. These strings continually move money into large businesses at the expense of delivering the services that are needed. Some would call this the inefficiency of government; I on the other hand call it utter Bullshit!
There are many legitimate things that government needs to manage. These are the things that create a safe and viable society. Things like transportation infrastructure, education systems, security and a legal framework. But it seems that in every single area these processes of government are clearly contaminated by undue influence.
Yes, Medicare and Medicaid are too expensive, but everyone agrees that the ideas are sound, we need to take care of people. So where is the honest discussion about reducing the cost of delivering the services while actually making them better. It seems that hospitals don’t wont to be paid less for the things that they do (quelle surpise!), and would prefer to see people actually pay more for health and not less. The medical industry pays a lot of money to lobbyists to ensure that healthcare stays expensive. And this money is spent by these lobbyists to influence politicians.
Education is no longer about preparing children for the real world, by giving them grounding in the skills needed to learn new things and interact in society. Instead education is now about passing a test. And to make sure that every child can pass the same tests, huge amount of services have been centralized to re-train teachers to get children to pass tests. These services are run by networks of bureaucrats who report every possible metric to each other at immense cost. This cost is covered by delivering less teachers, less schools and less overall frontline services to children.
And what is the response when we see children leaving school without the ability to live in the real world, lets do more of the same, more rules , more tests, and actually lets move even more of the money into the hands of for-profit systems. Because clearly people motivated to be rich will be able to teach better than those motivated to teach.
When bridges collapse from disrepair, lets outsource roadbuilding to a private company who can charge $20 to drive on their new road. When the US rail system becomes the laughing stock of the world, lets just increase the prices and give the additonal money to private companies.
Wars are the best way ever discovered to move money from tax payers via the government to large companies. It’s very simple, wars need weapons, armor, transport, communications – tents, tanks, trucks and guns. It’s all-good for business. And if your friends are running the government then it’s easy to get a no-bid contract to deliver products at maximum profit. They will even ensure that taxes don’t go up so the average voter doesn’t know how much it all costs until it’s spent.
This might sound like some kind of lefty rant, but it is not. I am not blaming either of the two incumbent political parties here. This is a game played equally by both parties. The spin that each party puts on the game is just their way of winning a bigger slice of the pie for themselves and their friends.
There is so much money in politics today; it makes me sick to my stomach.
The average worker, be that a unionized worker, a sweatshop worker, a burger flipper, a business executive, a bank manager,a CEO, a teacher, fireman, policeman, soldier, a carpenter, plumber or anyone else, works damn hard everyday and is careful to live within their means. We – the working people are innovative, ethical and all have desires we strive to fulfill.
We all need government as a safety net and as a provider of key elements of the infrastructure. But it is wrong for the government to live by different rules. Politicians that make a living by taking money in exchange for influence are unethical and their behavior should be illegal (as it has been in the past and still is in other countries).
It’s easy for politicians to pander to the prejudices of the proletariat. Some people (many) hate paying taxes; others hate people of other religions, skin colors or sexual preferences. Others hate to see people with more than themselves. It’s easy to point at any group unlike you and see them as the problem, and it’s very easy to create passion against any other group.
Great leaders throughout history have been able to bridge these gaps and move forward. While despots have used these differences to create their own personal powerbase.
For a while it sounded like the tea party movement and the 99% movement both were making the same point, but quickly they both seemed to get overrun by extremists.
There are some great politicians out there that have the skills to get above the bullshit and actually solve the big issues. They are quite likely distributed amongst both of the political parties in play today, and even outside of them. I want and need to hear them calling out the bull-shit’ers and taking a stand.