Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Wider Perspective

I have an acquaintance who often rails about Democrats and their evil schemes to "socialize" America. This fellow is retired and draws benefits from Medicare, Social Security, and a pension his union helped negotiate for him.

Hmm, remind me, which side of the political spectrum did the former two programs originate, and from which side of the political spectrum is the latter most supported by?

But, come the election this fall, he's voting McCain, baby!

When I ask him if he's OK with the mess the last 8 years of Republican rule has caused, he and his wife say, "What're you talking about? We're doing fine." Meaning him and his wife.

I think that response defines parochial. He is getting by, which means he sees no reason to "change teams" after all these years. To do so would, to his way of thinking, somehow invalidate himself.

The thing is, he's not doing fine. Most immediately noticeably: he can't go see his grandkids as often as he'd like because of high gas prices. He can't sell his house for the price he'd like because of the mortgage industry crash. And his savings are being drained by health issues, despite his Medicare, because of a lack of a comprehensive single-payer health care plan. But he's doing fine.

Ok, but what about those grandkids? The administration has only contributed to plummeting test scores with its moronic 'No Child' initiative, which forces educators to teach to tests as opposed to allowing educators even the potential to teach kids how to reason.

The administration's disastrous War Against Terror sent us into Iraq on a pack of lies, the repercussions of which we have been and will continue to deal with for a long time. Not least being how America's reputation has been punked. And don't get me started on the money we've thrown into this fiasco, billions of which have simply disappeared with no accounting. Billions of dollars of money sapped from our paycheks--gone!

And finally, my perpetual cause: the ecosystem that generates the air we breath and the food we eat. The Republican administration of the last 8 years has waged a war on the science that underlies strategies to save it. Why? So the administration's friends and supporters can make a buck, that's why.

Though my acquaintance may not live to reap the repercussions of our failure to get on board with saving the planet, his grandchildren certainly will.

From my point of view, he's not doing fine. From a wider perspective, it seems to me he might be in trouble.


Ken said...

I'm sorry, but you're wrong.

If I understand it correctly, the war in Iraq has not taken money out of our paychecks... because we're basically fighting it on the national credit card and running up our debt.

In fact, from what I've heard, Bush was brilliant in getting 10 year loans from China and such to help fund the war (guess they had a good interest rate on the 10 year loans at the First Bank of PleaseBuyOurCountry). Those should start coming due at the exact same time as some of Reagan's 30 year loans come due. You see, that's modern warfare - just put the invasion and occupation on your credit card (while passing massive tax cuts), and everyone is free and happy - you might even get a square in Baghdad or a sewage treatment plant in California named after you that way. :)

So in about 5 years, if China and much of Europe feels like bankrupting the US, they can just start calling in their debt and own us (or maybe that's pwn us). Either way, our paychecks are just fine now (*snicker*), but in the early 20-teens, THEN we get to either pay for the wars or try refinancing with the Chinese and Europe when two Republican Adminstration's debt starts coming due. Fun times that'll be.

I forget where I heard this (NPR, Daily Kos, one of you leftie RPG designer blogs), but I can probably dig it up. It took 8 years to screw this country up in every way possible, and it's probably going to take even longer to fix it all again.

Bruce said...

An interesting point Ken. Yes, there are other factors at play (like this one you bring to light) that make my acquaintance (and all of us) even less "fine" than I've outlined above. Crap.