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Sunday, January 29, 2012

America What is Wrong and How to Turn It Around.

       Watched the State of the Union speech and learned a couple things.  Some I already knew, but got a new perspective on them. The first thing I learned was how proud Americans are of those who serve our country, but found it is unanimous as both side rose to their feet.  Only a few things managed to get both sides to their feet and some real hand clapping.  Every one should get a fair shot and play by the same rules was pretty popular.  America  still believes we can succeed and all we need is a level playing field.  That is one thing I have personally always felt was true.  Most Americans support the idea of ending subsidies for the oil companies and spending the money to make America energy independent.  Fixing the tax code and passing the tax break for lower income Americans got a real good response also.  The one that really got a strong response was the comment for government to do only what the people can not do for themselves.  We can achieve anything if we work together as Americans was a double sided hand banging success. Our freedom endures because of those who defend it. Having spent thirteen years in the military and ten years overseas I really appreciated that one and it feels good to know America is totally behind the servicemen and women of America.  The final one I noted both sides rising on was the statement that We rise and fall as One.
     The basic thing one can take away from all those comments is that Americans are proud to be American's. I have always known that.  All you have to do is ask one and he will tell you in no uncertain terms that America is the greatest. The problem is there is a very fine line between proud and pride.  God hates prideful people. With all that positive attitude why can't America get things turned around then.  It is turning but very slowly.  We need some form of stimulus to get it moving faster.  There is nothing wrong with the work ethic in America.  American's still can and do work hard when given the opportunity.  The problem is the lack of opportunity.  It is not all foreign countries fault.  If you look at all the foreign car and manufacturing companies that have plants in America that becomes very clear.  One problem in America is we have invented ourselves out of our jobs.  This is something that happens on pretty regular cycles.  It some times takes a while to see it happen but looking at history will prove it.  The civil war stimulated industrial growth and it kept going so good that by 1873 America went into a major depression.   Then came the railroad expansion into the west and a series of economic turn downs running through 1897.  Then started the automotive and aviation expansions they carried us to the great depression with just a couple slowdowns along the way.  So the ups and downs are nothing more than normal cycles.  Eventually America adapts and moves forward.
     The problem this time comes in two areas.  First America is becoming a service economy.  Construction and factory jobs are being eliminated and may never come back because they are being eliminated altogether.  The question is how many service jobs can be created.  The second area is the collapsing infrastructure in America.  Infrastructure creates jobs that are temporary in nature, but the nature of repairing infrastructure is that it is ongoing.   It must continually be addressed.  Let me address them separately.
     The first deals with the so called Free Trade problem.  Which is another way of saying jobs being shipped overseas.  American industry has found they can get many things done cheaper overseas and make a bigger and better profit.  Does that make it right.  As an example I would like to use the Apple computer company.  Mainly because they have been in the news lately in two ways.  One is that their plant in China has been having a lot of employee suicides.  That is not Apples problem but China's for tolerating the exploitation of their citizens.  China has not set a high enough income standard to keep the employees happy.  The problem is they are more concerned about keeping the people busy than making profits.  At the same time Apple has become the richest company in the world.   How did they do that?  They did it buy exploiting conditions abroad that they could never use in America.  They could build the computers and phones in America, but it would cut into their profits.  The question is, is it right for the American government to turn a blind eye to actions by an American company abroad that they would not tolerate in America.  I argue they should place an import tax that would make them pay an equivalent price to what they would pay if they made them here.
     The argument is that they are not American workers.  Are foreign workers somehow subhuman when compared to American workers.  The argument that they do not need as much money to live in China is a flimsy justification.  Wal-Mart has many of its products made overseas for the same reason.  It increases their profit.  Is the bottom line all that matters to American business.  America claims to be a Christian nation but it is not practicing Christian concepts in business. Wealth gotten by vanity or being to proud will diminish a person, business or nation.  However that which is gotten by honest labor shall  So is the reason America is suffering because of the unscrupulous practices of her business class. That is in Proverbs 13:11 and proverbs 16:18 says it even better, "Pride goes before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."
I had to look haughty up but it sure fits the attitude of most American business companies. It means having or showing great pride in ones self and contempt for others.  That is the attitude of most wealthy Americans toward the poor.  The Constitution says it is the duty of the government to look out for the welfare of the nation.  If you read it closely enough you will find infrastructure comes under the title of welfare.  That is what was quoted when they built the Capitol and the White House.  They quickly rebuilt them when they were destroyed during the War of 1812 so upkeep evidently is a responsibility of the government.  So from my point of view the government is failing America because they have not created a means or way of taking care of America's infrastructure problems.  Some kind of program needs to be set up.  It would create jobs to take care of the problems.
       I can hear the screams now that we need to cut the deficits and reduce spending in America.  That is true, but if you do not stimulate the economy at the same time you will fail.  If the tax base is not there the system will not work.  Could infrastructure work be considered some kind of service work.  That is not the issue to me.  What is the issue is that the wealthy Americans need to reinvest their money in America.  If all they are going to do is sit on it and put it in off shore banks maybe their taxes need to be tripled if not more.  At one point taxes on the wealthy were almost 90%, maybe we need to return to that system and get the money flowing.
     The mega millions being spent on elections to buy favor with the government could create hundreds of thousands, if not millions of jobs.  The problem is not that there is not enough money in America.  Or that the money is not being spent.  It is how and on what it is being spent on that is the problem. There are many ways that American business could work to make America energy independent. One of my blogs has "Seven Radical Ideas" to get America back to work and energy independent.   America could be energy independent tomorrow if the right legislation is passed.  The technology already exists.  The problem and road block is government red tape and regulations that can be changed with the stroke of a pen.  However Congress needs to step up to the plate and accept and implement the changes to get it done.

1 comment:

  1. Ric,

    This is a very interesting post. I agree with a lot of what you say and appreciate every ounce of care you have into your thoughts. You mention being proud and the overall attitude of American citizens, and how it attributes to the direction of our country. This is very true. Energy has real power to it, and if there is more positive energy flowing throughout the country I think we can achieve a form of unified happiness. Progression in my opinion does not always mean larger and faster. Progression in my mind is digression in mentality. What I mean by that is simplifying things that have become so complicated in American society. This also ties into what you said about pride along with ego. Our entire being in America revolves around what appears good or appealing to other people. Self image if you will. If we remove ego from all of our lives, the things we do become naturally good for all of our lives. Its not just financially progressing, but things like our health, eating patterns, consumption of resources, and self sustainment all need to change not as a country, but as individuals. You know this by being a trucker that sustaining on the road and creating something (which was profit) is rewarding the same way growing your own food could be, or creating your own happiness. Don't get me wrong I am not disagreeing with the more political stuff you mention, I just like to emphasize on changing the human being first. I welcome a change such as a revolution. We do need a level playing field because what has been created doesn't work anymore, and has not for some time. We have no more voice, and no power as the people who make up this country,and the people who have taken that (political, and business) should be removed. I really like your thoughts on it all and enjoyed reading. Keep it up because awareness is key through facets of communication like this. Spread the word and stay positive.