#137 Fixing the Future (2005)

All Rights Reserved © 2005 Thomas W. Day

My big bitch about modern politicians is with their total lack of vision and leadership abilities.  In the last forty years we've either had cowards and crooks like the Bush clan and Nixon, fools such as Reagan and Ford, the distracted and egocentric underachieving Johnson and Clinton, or Carter's well-intentioned, but incapable micro-management.  The country and the world need and deserve more. 
Take Bush's current fake emergency, Social Security.  An obvious way to fix the possible disaster that could land on our children's shoulders would be for the about-to-retire generation, the Baby Boomers, to . . . not retire.  We could ask, or force, our government to be responsible with the money we turn over to them and we could build an idyllic future for our children.  We could behave responsibly and make sacrifices so that our children could have a better, more secure future. 

"Sacrifice."  What a nasty word.  However, the only way this world is going to resemble the science fiction future we'd hoped for in the 1950's is if we rearrange the world's priorities; especially the United States' priorities.  We need to take charge of our government, make plans for the future, and build a world that resembles something we'd want to hand over to the next generation. 

In the 1960s, the ruling class created the Vietnam "crisis," the 20-year recession, and manhandled the working classes to create a "growth economy" that only provided economic benefits for the leisure class.  Because it looked like working class kids with good educations might be a lot harder to manipulate, they smashed our economy, disassembled the public education system, and promoted the fantasy that "growth is good and necessary" when all evidence points to the contrary.  Population boomed, middle and working class income shrank, working class quality of life shriveled to a miserable bare existence, and science and technology have barely provided a single useful cultural improvement in 40 years.

Yeah, computers are smaller and cheaper.  That hasn't proved to be a terrific social improvement for anyone but the richest and most educated in society.  Cars are practically the same boring, noisy, polluting, and consumptive vehicle they were 50 years ago.  Planes are barely faster, a little noisier, and barely more efficient than they were in the 1960s.  Trains and public transportation are virtually identical to their 1950s versions.  In the modern world self-proclaimed "leading economy," 2005 looks a hell of a lot like 1960. 

All of this happened, or didn't happen, because society and, especially, our government decided on quantity over quality.  It's time to try a different tact. 

Republican "leaders" are advocating opening the boarders for "skilled labor."  Bush claims that there are lots of "jobs that Americans won't do" out there and that we need to import millions of laborers from the third world to fill those positions.  Welders, roofers, computer programmers, and call center operators are among the "jobs that Americans won't do."  We won't do those jobs for minimum wage, especially a minimum wage that isn't even close to a living wage.  That isn't the same as not being willing to work.  Every necessary job in this country could be filled with a current resident if we made the sacrifice to rebuild education, limit immigration, and forced our ruling class to live by the same rules they apply to the majority. 

All things begin at the top.  Morality is a top-down leadership-drive cultural quality.  So is education, motivation, honor, justice, and every other trait that United States' citizens take pride in possessing.  It has been decades since the country has had moral leadership.  Maybe it's time to begin a new American Revolution and to take back the direction of the country before we hand off a worthless shell of a nation to our children.  We can begin that revolution by making sacrifices in our comfort for the good of our children and grandchildren. 

July 2005

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