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On a different topic, this correlation does show how educational scores directly correlate to poverty… The more luxurious one’s lifestyle is, the more one learns….
That is so common-sensical it is almost laughable that America pursued the corporate get-rich-quick No Child Left Behind Approach and wasted an entire generation of talent, instead of focusing on the obvious. (Notice I said.. almost laughable. None of the Millennials are laughing at it these days.)
But that is not what I want to talk about right now. I want to address the bigger picture… I want to address why the US can’t have nice things too?
I need you to do two things…
- Find the US on the chart above.(The chart enlarges if clicked)
- Ask and answer this question to yourself, “why?”
Mexico, Chile, and Turkey, are the only developed nations having a higher percentage of families below 50% of the global medium income than the US. Now look at some who are higher….
- Slovak Republic
Does anyone remember what these countries were like in the 40′s? Why is it that the United States despite all its opportunities is barely above the status of being a third world nation?
This was reinforced earlier this week by an article using the same title I chose above, which was based off a returning Americans vision of our nation after being in Europe for a while….
It stated something like: imagine what a First World traveler must think after emerging from JFK and riding the New York Subway into Manhattan…..
That was one of those pieces that stick; I’ve been thinking about it ever since…
Why do we as a democracy, totally and fully support those who are pushing us lower and lower down on the global economic scale? What is so great anymore, really, about being an American?
Oh, I wish I could fly to the Canaries for the weekend… But I can’t. I’m an American.
Oh I wish I could hop on the train and see you a couple of hours (200 miles away) but I can’t. I’m an American.
Oh, I wish I could have healthy food to eat, but I can’t. My store won’t sell it. I’m an American.
Oh, I wish i had enough left over to go to the movies this weekend, but I can’t. I’m an American.
Oh, I wish our schools would teach that to our children, but they can’t. We’re Americans.
Oh, I wish someone would fix that damn pothole. I keep asking. But they can’t. We’re in America.
Oh, I wish I had enough money to buy everyone in my family a Christmas present. I can’t. I’m American.
Oh, i wish they’d kept those woods as a park, instead of making more trashy apartments. But, we’re American.
Oh, I wish they’d make that refinery stop polluting. But they won’t. We’re American.
Oh, I wish we could buy food that wasn’t Gentically modified. But we can’t. We’re American.
Oh, i wish someone would try to save the Monarch Butterfly before it goes extinct. Nevermind, I live in America.
Just some random thoughts… proving that compared to other nations… as the chart well shows, we really do have it bad….
Now why is that so?
Why is the supposedly richest nation in the world, on it’s own accord forcing itself to live in austerity, when it has all the possibilities that have ever been open to the race of men?
Obviously other nations aren’t so picky. They are living much better! So why can’t we have nice things too?
Why can’t we pay ourselves enough to fly to the Canaries for a weekend?
Why can’t we invest more and build ourselves a train system equal to China’s and Europe’s
Why can’t we have healthy food to eat by having unhealthy food cost more to cover it’s future medical expense?
Why can’t we earn enough per week to have enough left over to spontaneously go to the movies this weekend?
Why can’t our teachers teach three foreign languages to all our children by age 8?
Why can’t they fix that damn pothole?
Why can’t I spend what I wish on everyone I love and still have enough to live on later?
Why can’t we keep those woods as a park? Why do we had to commercialize absolutely everything?
Why can’t we establish rules that stop pollution, or cause a non-compliant place to close shop?
Why do we have to have everything genetically modified, even if it kills us later?
Why did we do nothing and let the Monarch butterfly go extinct… when we could have easily saved it?
The easy answer is that we chose to go down that path… Putting blame on any and everything else is a cop-out. We collectively made choices and this is the choice we made….
The hard answer, the one we struggle with, is why did we make that choice?
Why did other nations not make the same choice as did we, and now have all these nice things, while we are entrapped by our poverty and have really very little to show for all our good productive work? How come they got stuff, and we didn’t?
Why does Israel, which lives with rockets falling on top of them daily, live better than do we?
Why does tiny Denmark have so many wealthy people?
Why is the quality of life in the United States more closely ranked with that of Turkey, Chile, and Mexico?
Why are all the nations called Socialist and Communist by the Tea Party and the Republican Party of the United States of America, all doing better than us, and nations where cut-throat self expression is honored, are nestled at the bottom against us?
Time for a new scatter chart…
Courtesy of New York Times. (Click image to read)
Riffing off a Beatles tune title, “Happiness Is A High Progressive Tax Rate.”
Those people above who are happy, who have all those nice things… aren’t Socialists. They just come from a highly progressively tax country. People with no taxes are horrifically bitter… don’t believe it; you should try living in Somalia. Of course, no taxes are great if you are wealthy… but as one takes away each tax, one reduces the number of wealthy one will eventually have left…
So when America decided to reward the rich, and let their wealth and abundance “trickle down” all over us, we chose to go down this path of austerity. Without first thinking clearly that no one gives up their money unless forced, we assumed the bounty would flow to all.
The wealthy kept the money, and it has grown immensely. For them.
So now, they can afford to pay us lower than our worth, because others will jump at the chance to take our spot.
So now, they can afford to buy those who pass laws. to make laws for them, at our expense. For what we think doesn’t matter; they can buy the election.
So now, since they can afford cabs, we don’t need trains.
So now, since they can afford private schools, public schools should be mined to earn them even more money.
So now, since they can eat healthy food, we can’t because the profit margins are higher when they serve us sawdust, instead of real protein products.
So now, with copyrights paying them across two lifetimes, they don’t need us to go to the movies as they in the past.
So now, that pothole which affects only 1000 cars a day, can wait for the intersection into their newly developed shopping center to be completed.
So now, just why should they pay workers a living wage. They’re starving. They’d work for free if we’d just let them.
So now, parks are a nuisance and an extra cost. Better to develop the land underneath and collect rent instead.
So, now because it costs money to stop pollution, we don’t. Cuts into profits too much.
So now, all food is genetically modified… Cheaper to produce and that makes it more profitable.
So now, who needs a dumb-assed Monarch butterfly? It creates no benefit, costs money to save, it should just die and decrease the surplus number of species this planet is gasping to carry…..
We made that choice. This is our legacy. The good news is that we make choices every day. This choice we once made defines us now, but does not have to define us forever…
I’ll now leave with words from Dicken’s, rather proper for this time of season….
“I see an empty place at this table. I see a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered by the future, the child will die.”
Well, I’ve said too much. I…You’re the People here. You do what you want with this thing. Just one more thing, though. This planet needs this measly one-horse institution to change its course, if only to have some place where people can come without crawling to the 1%.
Just think about it over these holidays… Why is it that the US can’t have nice things too?
It amazes me how quickly we forget. Our lives are so busy… Things blur by, pass in a moment to be replaced with a long line of new things to take their place… Did you know today was the 10th anniversary of Johnny’s passing?
I was curious an looked it up over the summer because my memory too had faded and I couldn’t remember which year it was. He passed September 12, 2003... The official cause was diabetes; however those who knew him, all knew he’d been in a hurry for some time to join June, who passed 4 months earlier….
As one watches the video, those of you old enough see an America we all knew as a child. Even if we weren’t country music fans at the time. That America is long gone, but one very similar has replaced it… full of economic hardships, angst, and self pursuit at the expense of inner peace. His music is more relevant today, perhaps than when we knew him.
I am surprised by the number of younger generation who live his songs, and know them, far better than those of the Beatles, Who, or Stones… His lyrics are simple, direct, and reach out to grasp that humanity that sometimes escapes us all.
it is ironical we were all talking about the VMA’s last week. For ten years ago, Johnny Cash was nominated and actually won, the VMA award for best cinematography for this video posted…
They called his name… And the winner is………………………………… Johnny Cash……….
All waited for his speech, but no one came up… Uncomfortable chatter as everyone looked around… After minutes someone came out from the back stage and said, Johnny is in hospital tonight and needs all of your prayers…. This award will be sent to him…..
Those prayers were answered just 15 days later…. He was in June’s arms before the night was over…..
All four postal unions sent a joint letter to Senate Majority Harry Reid on Aug. 5 expressing “utter dismay” at the introduction of S. 1486, the postal bill co-sponsored by Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), the chair and ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
The bill continues the disastrous policy of mandating massive pre-funding of retiree health benefits and provides for major downsizing measures to pay for it, the letter notes.
In case you haven’t followed, Congress requires the Post Office to make inordinately huge pension-plan payments, for reasons which nobody can really understand. In the final analysis, USPS pensions are a government obligation, and it doesn’t make a huge amount of difference whether they come out of a) a well-funded pension plan, b) a badly-funded pension plan, or c) just out of US government revenues.
A 2006 Congressional mandate requires the agency to “pre-pay” into a fund that covers health care costs for future retired employees. Under the mandate, the USPS is required to make an annual $5.5 billion payment each year for over ten years, through 2016. These “prepayments” are largely responsible for the USPS’s financial losses.
No other business prepays for all employee’s actual medical hospital bills 20 years from now when they retire… It’s crazy actually. Lets assume you will be in a nursing home at $120,000 a year and you will (let’s be nice), live 10 years… Therefore it will cost you $1.200,000. So, assuming you are currently 53, giving you 12 more years of work left, we would take $100,000 of your income every year for the next 12 years….
Think you’d go broke? Do you know any business that assesses themselves so harshly? Of course not. No one would assess themselves that harshly. But Congress did assess the postal service that harshly. Congress forced this huge payment, which takes money out of running the business to be sure, just like you losing $100,000 a year takes money out of you.
Obviously the unions are upset. For to be able to make the payments on these huge pre-payments, they are cutting people’s pensions and benefits to pay for it. Imagine working 40 years and retiring tomorrow with no pension, so those retiring in 20 years hence, will be fully funded? They ave a right to be mad.
Here is what Senator Tom Carper proposed.
- Destroy 80,000 full- and part-time jobs after a one-year delay, by eliminating Saturday mail delivery and give the Postmaster General authority to eliminate additional delivery days in the future;
- Slash tens of thousands of additional jobs after a two-year delay, by allowing USPS to reduce delivery standards and close hundreds of mail processing facilities and thousands of post offices;
- Mandate the elimination of door-to-door delivery, threatening at least 16,500 additional jobs, and
- Impose “cruel and discriminatory” changes to the Workers Compensation program that would leave injured federal workers vulnerable to impoverishment when they reach Social Security retirement age.
“This massive downsizing and the bill’s assault on postal employee benefits are not necessary,” the letter says. “They are being driven by the irrational retiree health financing policy that no other business or agency would adopt. The Postal Service has already pre-funded decades of retiree health premiums, more than any other enterprise in America. Indeed, USPS has already set aside an estimated $49 billion for such premiums, approximately 50 percent of total expected costs over the next 90+ years.”
Do you think they’re a little bit angry? Do you think they’re a little bit justified?
“The 30 members of the Senate who have co-sponsored S. 316, the Postal Service Protection Act of 2013, have taken the right approach. That bill (Bernie Sanders )would strengthen the Postal Service, promote innovation and, most importantly, resolve the retiree health and pension policies that have crippled the Postal Service in recent years,” it says.
Bernie Saunders bill is aimed at promoting the prosperity of the Post Office, as well as those who work for it. Tom Carper’s bill, which insists on imposing the $5.5 billion penalty, is aimed at promoting the prosperity of financiers and banks. After all, who do you think, gets commissions investing off that $5.5 billion?
Banks = Delaware = Carper
That is why a Senator from little ole Delaware is in the heart of kicking down the US Post Office. Makes more sense now, doesn’t it?
“Blah, blah, blah Obamacare”. say Republicans. I say “Get over it.” This day the House is going to vote on Michelle Bachman’s House Bill Number One, to completely abolish Obamacare…..
Of course it is ridiculous. And if the entire Republican contingent votes to undo it, the entire Republican contingent as I have said all along and most of America agrees, is ridiculous…. The best thing Republicans can do for their party is censure Michelle Bachman by having this bill go down to inglorious defeat…. Because this will bludgeon them in 2014.
My title said “Cherries”… So here is the cherry… an account from someone upon getting insurance for the first time… and reflecting upon how it feels…
“Financially, I’d be maybe $100 a month poorer [without coverage]. I would not be monitoring my blood sugar. I would not be paying as much attention to my cholesterol. I probably would have lost some weight but I don’t think I would have lost so much, and I don’t know if I would have been so good at keeping it off. I’d be much more anxious about what could go wrong. [...]
And there’s something about just feeling like you’re part of regular life. There’s a lot of emphasis on how everyone should be healthy and everyone should live longer, and you don’t want to be a burden on society. If you don’t have medical insurance, you’re kind of not part of that. It’s hard to explain, but there’s an element of participating in society that being able to go to the doctor gives you. Everybody always asks everyone how you’re doing, and to be able say “My doctor says I’m doing really well,” that’s nice, instead of being in a group of people and saying, “Well, I don’t really go to doctors.”
Obamacare is good. People want it. We need it badly. We have it. No one is going to take anything away from the American People that they want without losing the fight….
Partisan Politics Above The Nation’s Good... That banner hangs in the RNC’s Washington DC Lobby…. and is the first thing one sees upon stepping in….
Courtesy of Sprinkler Scape.
Republicans gorge themselves over having a second black couple to diss….
The Dow Jones fell 216 points or 1.6%.
Because of no new news on any movement by the Republicans in regards to the sequester.
With Sandy’s approach, words of warning went out to all campaigns.. Get your big signs down for the storm. Feel free to put them up after the storm blows by. Everyone got an email.
Democrats were in full force, and in New Castle County, not one Democratic sign was left standing… By noon all were stored for safe keeping…
There were no libertarian candidate’s signs. As dedicated citizens, the libertarian team scoured the county and by noon, their signs were all stored for save keeping.
The one Jill Stein sign I’d seen, was gone. Secured by the Green Party….
In fact the only signs up as darkness approached, were those of Alex Pires, which is understandable, it being a one man operation, and those of the Republican line up, which apparently has even fewer supporters.
It looks like Kansas, at intersections now, with only Republicans contesting a one man operation….
If the Green Party and Libertarian party can mobilize faster than the Republican, it is time to stop calling the Republican Party a “major” party.
Even the Wizard of Oz had more going for it than today’s Delaware Republicans, who with their daily bumbles are rapidly creating a new definition of the English word pathetic.
Always the same……. Deafening silence.
“…. If they’d get out of the way, if they’d get out of the way and let us pass the tax cut for the middle class, make it permanent, if they get out of the way and pass the — pass the jobs bill, if they get out of the way and let us allow 14 million people who are struggling to stay in their homes because their mortgages are upside down, but they never missed a mortgage payment, just get out of the way.
Stop talking about how you care about people! Show me something! Show me a policy! Show me a policy where you take responsibility!”
Get this. In 12 years since Clinton left office, Republicans cannot point to one single thing they did, that worked…..
Everything they tried, has failed….
Sure. Get Angry. Call me names…. But you won’t point out one thing that you proposed, you grew
Reading a recent critique of the debates, it focused on a fact. Millions of Americans are not enjoying the benefits of this economy. Romney had the lucky position to point out all that was wrong, without the responsibility of finding any solution to fix it.
His line, “bring down the rates, broaden the base.” simply has not worked. It didn’t work in Reagan’s time. It didn’t work for Bush HW. It didn’t work for Bush W. It is called: “trickle down”.
Clinton, who practiced kavipsian Economics, raised the rates, causing profits to revert back into the economy stimulating even more growth; that growth grew people’s incomes. That is the key. People will take lower wages if they know they will grow out of them. But ever since Republican Tax Rates went into effect, wage growth immediately stopped. 99% of Americans are earning exactly what they did in 2000. It’s been twelve years since wages for the 99%, increased. Higher taxes takes away all incentive for any employer to pay his people more.
Here is the funny part. To actually do something about the economy, President Obama has to eradicate the Republicans. Get rid of them. Make them a non player. Republicans and republicans alone, are the reason the economy is in such a slump.
Republicans fought the stimulus.
Republicans fought the car buying incentive.
Republicans fought infrastructure development.
Republicans fought giving Veterans jobs upon returning to USA after fighting for years.
Republicans fought lowering insurance rates.
Republicans fought lowering gas price legislation.
Republicans fought regulating big banks from literally stealing your money.
Republicans fought against balancing the budget.
Republicans fought against payroll increases for all Americans.
Republicans fought against lowering medical costs.
Republicans fought against a better economy.
Republicans fought against hiring more policemen.
Republicans fought against hiring more fireman.
Republicans fought against hiring more school teachers.
Republicans fought against building roads and bridges that were sorely needed.
Republicans fought against not defaulting on the US Dollar.
Republicans fought against strengthening America Abroad.
Republicans fought against stopping corporate corruption.
Republicans fought against fighting wealthy tax cheats.
Republicans fought against closing the loopholes Romney used to get rich.
Republicans fought against raising wages for all Americans.
Republicans fought against legislation that allowed workers to ask for more money without being fired.
yeah. There is a reason the economy is bad. It is called the Republican Party.
Having “No Republicans” equals massive investment back into our economy. The formula for a successful America is…..
NO REPUBLICANS EVER ELECTED AGAIN = MASSIVE AMERICA ECONOMIC GROWTH
So Obama, you are at fault according to Mitt Romney and the Conservative Cheer-leading squad… Because you didn’t get rid of Republicans… Shame on you!!!!
I guess it is up to us, to do so if we EVER want our economy back.
If not… I guess every vote for a Republican is a vote in support of Communist China…..
Somewhere in our recent past, I was arguing with Jason330 over the importance of whether or not Mitt Romney should turn in his missing tax forms. I realize the Libertarian portion of me was very strong that day, and there are areas of a private person running for public office, that have no need to be discussed.
I felt at that time we knew how Romney made his money and that to carry it any further was a dead horse. So what if he didn’t pay taxes, which was probably what he was hiding.
I have changed my mind. I changed because over time, that question of what is on those 10 years of tax returns, is entirely what will determine which way this nation goes if he is made president.
If there is nothing there, then yes I’ll be disappointed, but it will not be he equivalent of electing NERO as our chief executive.. But, …. and it is a big but….. if he moved his money offshore, if he paid no taxes at all, if he misrepresented something he has already said, then electing such a person into the chief office of the land, will have grave import upon our future…
It raises serious questions. How can you Mitt… if you put all your money off shore, be able with a straight face to encourage others to put their money into America? How, … if you paid no taxes at all for ten years, can you ask those making less than you, to pay more for their medical, to pay more for their energy, to pay more for their schooling, to pay more for their pensions, to pay more to their banks, to pay more for their food, to pay more for their mortgages, to pay more, yes, in taxes? When you used every trick in the book to minimize your sacrifice, and because of that, you must now ask every man, woman and child not to live the dream you had, in fact,… to give up on that dream entirely?
This is the equivalence of NERO running the nation. It wasn’t necessarily that he was incompetent, it was that he had no legitimacy to be running Rome, and therefore, went crazy in the process.
Therefore if Romney doesn’t release all his tax returns, he has no moral authority to become our chief executive. Secondly, if he does release them and they do show a callous regard for the paying of taxes, and the use of offshore havens to shield income from the United States of America, he can have no moral authority as commander in chief to ask us all….. to sacrifice a little more….
He has no credibility. . . in doing so.