The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

MERRY CHRISTMAS (AGAIN)

For those of you who are Orthodox followers of the Old Calendar (Julian), today is Christmas.  So MERRY CHRISTMAS.  Would that the spirit of Gregorian Christmas had been extended yet another thirteen days in Washington.  But then there’s hope and then there’s reality.  Politics, with the return of Obama from his Hawaiian vacation, have returned apace.

Today El Presidente gave an interesting speech kicking off what we have in store for 2014.  He began his crusade to eliminate “income inequality” and make us all happier and poorer.  First at the top of the list was the “Emergency” extension of unemployment benefits which have been in this “Emergency” status for five years now.  Incidentally, that is the exact period of time that we have been under the guidance of the Obama administration.  Coincidence?  I think not.

It is fairly difficult for all but the mentally dyslexic to understand much of anything that comes out of this administration.  On the one hand we hear how Obama has “reduced unemployment, cut the deficit in half and helped the housing market.”  So if all that is true, it is unclear why there is a need to extend unemployment benefits further.  Realistically, all those who are unemployed should be able to find positions in this brave new economy.

But logic and reason have never been long suits for the Obama administration which claims a wonderful victory that 2.1 Million have enrolled in Obamacare which is 50% less than they projected and omitted the fact that 5.6 Million Americans and their families had policies that were cancelled leaving fewer of us with health insurance than before the enrollment began on 10/01/13.

Returning to the issue of extending unemployment benefits further for those who have lost their jobs “through no fault of their own,” to quote the President – well if they lost their jobs through no fault of their own – whose fault is it that they are now unemployed?  Could we lay the blame at the feet of the President who spent the first two years of his time in office getting Obamacare passed instead of addressing the serious problems in the economy?  Surely his economic stimulus (spending billions of taxpayer dollars) should have done the trick.

But, as the President correctly pointed out in his speech, this is not merely a matter of statistics.  There are real people involved who have probably become dependent on this new entitlement program after so long out of work – despite their diligent efforts at finding gainful employment.  And as the administration has done nothing to get the economy going again – in fact, one could argue that all the new regulations and Obamacare itself have done just the opposite – we should have the compassion to extend these benefits for a short three additional months.

I accept the fact that most of those who are unemployed would much prefer working than sitting home waiting for the next check to arrive from the unemployment office – essentially being the recipients of public charity.  So what if we could merge both their desire to work and receive something in return for the tax dollars we are willing to use to help them out?  Well, we can – and my liberal friends with their environmental agenda will, I think, embrace my suggestion.

Given the Arctic freeze that is sweeping much of the nation I don’t want to throw any stones at Al Gore or his prediction that the polar ice caps were supposed to have melted by the end of last year.  But I will accept the idea that humans do have an impact on the planet, whether or not it results in the now favored phrase “climate change” rather than global warning.  But setting aside that conversation, there is no doubt that we people do have a negative impact on our environment and I know this because I have seen its manifestation countless times.  It’s something with which we are all familiar – litter.

Consider the fact that the government now has fifty years of the War on Poverty under its belt since LBJ first got that passed.  And then we had Lady Bird’s “Beautify America” program.  And don’t forget VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America).

So what if we asked those who are recipients of further emergency unemployment benefits to go forth and attack the litter which soils the sidewalks and the parks in our cities?  In that way they would have the pride of working until their better job comes along, the taxpayers would receive a return on the money that we are spending and we would beautify our country?  That’s a win/win/win solution to an unfortunate problem.

Heck, if we aren’t careful, we could turn America into a country that looked as spotless as Singapore.

 

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Comments on: "MERRY CHRISTMAS (AGAIN)" (7)

  1. And believe me Singapore is spotless, a tribute to Mr Lee who took over a shabby ex-colonial country and turned it into a powerhouse and an innovator’s dream. Too bad he’s old now as we could use him at the helm of our country and we would loan him to you afterward if you want. lol. Thank goodness you have a balanced opinion on climate change. All you hear these days is the shrill voices of scientists and fellow travellers who want the news media to notice them. Volcanos put more carbon into the atmosphere than what humans are capable of. And get this, animals get a black mark against them for farting into the atmosphere. I’m not kidding! Maybe someone should tax the volcanos, they’re somehow left out of the hysteria. Sure we as humans need to do better with our stewardship of the environment, and that is happening on many fronts, but please, less hysteria from scientists and media. Thank you for your balance on this.

    • Mr. Lee was indeed a genius. One of the things he had, other than a brilliant vision, was the understanding that people do not always do what is in their long term best interest. Hence he imposed what we would consider extraordinary penalties for those who chose to litter. And, more importantly, he enforced those rules. The result, as you said, is a spotless country.

      I grew up at a time when we had less need to be concerned about human impact on our environment. Milk came in bottles for which we paid a small deposit and we were careful to make sure that we returned them to get the return of our five cents. Then we developed plastics which is an environmentally unfriendly product and aluminium cans which use a tremendous amount of energy in their production. If we simply applied a deposit to all of these containers, our recycling rate would probably quadruple. And if we returned to reusable glass containers, we would eliminate a great deal of the pollution that we willingly accept in the name of convenience.

      Of course, if we all became vegetarians, we wouldn’t have to deal with those methane-producing cows and their dung piles. But I think that we would see a lot of lobbying against this by McDonald’s and the other fast food burger places.

  2. Regarding having recipients of taxpayer money do something productive to “earn” it — this suggestion has been bandied around for decades, and to no avail. I guess someone might get embarrassed by being seen picking up litter? Same concept as masking food stamps in stores so people can’t see who is using them? We certainly wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s self esteem.

    • My father who grew up poor and therefore necessarily pragmatic used to tell me, “There is no job too lowly for the person who needs to put food on the family table. But the person who has one of these jobs and doesn’t look for something better is an incurable idiot.”

      • Terrific way of putting it! I’ve thought that I probably would have starved to death before doing some of the things my grandfather and grandmother had to do during the Great Depression to eat and hang onto their house. But your father definitely had the right idea, and I’d like to think that I would respond similarly if I had to.

      • I have no doubt that both of us would make it, no matter how adverse the circumstances.

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