Sunday, November 30, 2008

Common Sense

A temporary staffer at Wal-Mart was trmpled to death on Black Friday when the doors opened and shoppers surged forward to get bargains. Even other staffers, the police and EMTs were shoved around. All to save a few dollars. I can understand wanting to save money but come on people, was it worth a person's life?

Man has not evolved so far above animals afterall. The only true difference is that man supposedly has common sense which offsets or curbs our baser instincts. Common Sense, that most precious of senses. While life can exist without it, living is much more rewarding with it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Beginning of the end?

Mitt Romney, in an article in today's WS journal, indicates that the Big 3 should fail. Why, you ask? Because then they will be forced to come to grips with their own short-sightedness. Then they would be forced to admit that they made mistakes and that their collective pasts have caught up with them. Give up their corporate jets, eliminate the golden parachutes, cut the salaries of their entire management staff and renegotiate their union contracts.

On paper it looks good and in theory it should work. But will they do it? Someone has to make the hard choices. Unions improved the working conditions for everyone who has ever held a job; union member or not. However, we are now at a point in time where we have to decide between 30 people making $21.00 an hour plus benefits and maybe 100 people making $12.00 an hour plus benefits. We also need to look at retirees whose income and benefits are guaranteed regardless of the economy.

My benefits are not guaranteed after I retire. At this point I am not even sure I can retire and there are million of others who have to make choices between food, medicine and utilities even with Social Security and Medicare Part D.

I have exaggerated to make a point. The Big 3 with the Government's help has been allowed to become dinosaurs. They can no longer sustain themselves in the manner to which they have become accustomed. Government kept pushing back the deadlines for fuel efficiency and foreign auto makers stepped in and filled the void. At first the cars were not very attractive or comfortable. However that has changed.

In order to survive, the Big 3 must change and make the tough decisions. They must also do it without taxpayer money bailing them out. Taxpayers are not an endless source of funds for every corrupt, greed monger. Auto-makers and businesses in America cannot continue 'business as usual'. This is a new world we live in. There are nations providing services and goods that at one time, only the US could provide. Our place in the world is changing. We can chose to embrace it as we have done in the past and become stronger. Or we can bury our heads in the sands of the past and pretent we are still the greatest nation on the earth. Resting on the laurels of the past is one way to be run over by the future.

Americans have never run away from a challenge. We are or were noted for being ingenious and going where no one had come before. Status quo was not good enough, we had to prove that we could do it better. That the nation born of castouts, ruffians and ne'er do wells was every bit as good as the aristocats in Europe.

We, the descendants of those original colonists, have become complacent with our lot in life. We are no longer the dreamers, inventors of the past.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Naughty or Nice

You can tell the holidays are here, more and more of corporate America is drafting their Christmas lists for the taxpayers. First, the $700 billion supposedly to purchase toxic assets from banks in need. Next, AIG is given $85 million to prevent failure. Now add the auto industry is crying for assistance not because of their own stupidity but because of the economy.

Gee, maybe I should have used that logic when I couldn't pay my bills. Hey, it's not my fault, it's the economy. So, Uncle Sam do you think you could bail me out too? I mean, even if no one else is going to be hurt if I fail, there is a possibility that someone might and we can't have that happen.

Since I pay taxes and it is taxpayer money that being used, can deduct my pro-rata share of this expense on my income taxes for 2008? I mean that has got to fall under charitable contributions, right!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Not Again

Well more of the taxpayers money is being handed out like we are an endless supply. As more people are losing their jobs and those of us with jobs are wondering for how long, it is released that the Federal Reserve authorized $2 Billion in additional bailout funds to banks. Who received these funds and why, you ask. Only the people who authorized the additional funds and they aren't talking for fear of the stigma that could be attached to those banks and the possibility of depositor runs. What collateral was offered? Here again, no public disclosure.

Also more money is going to AIG and once again the auto industry will be bailed out because of their short-sightedness and slowness to adapt to the real world.

Companies and our government, both national and local must come back to reality. If fewer people are working and those who are working are barely getting the ends close let alone meeting, where is this money coming from.

Politicians say we must bail these companies out to preserve jobs. Where were these people when jobs started flying to Mexico, India, China and other places. The companies who outsourced these jobs are still in business but their employees don't pay taxes to the USA and we have created millionaires in other countries at the expense of Americans.

A new day has dawned, but for many it is too late.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Real Work is Just Beginning

The election is over and all of the sound bites and rhetoric done. Whether your candidate won or lost, now is the time for all Americans to roll up our sleeves, dig in our heels and make the dream come true. Personally I feel like I have stumbling around in a dark, scary place and suddenly the sun peaked through and showed me a new way.

But we must exercise Common Sense. The Nation didn't fall into this mess in one day so it cannot be cleaned up in one day or even the first one hundred days. Our new president and us have a tremendous task ahead of us. Only by all Americans, Democrat & Republican, black, white, hispanic, all of us working together can we restore our great Nation to the role outlined by our founding fathers.

A new day has come, a new path chosen, let us all walk it together.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

We Hold These Truths

Have you read the Constitution, Declaration of Independence or Bill of Rights lately? No, high school or college doesn't count unless that is where you are now. I have spent some time recently reviewing these most sacred of documents because during the last few years there has been talk that they were no longer relevant. That the tenets outlined in the 18th century no longer were applicable in the 21st. Well other than the sentence structure and spelling I found the basic concepts and ideas to be just as pertinent today as they were then.

These declarations were so far reaching and showed concern not only for the citizens living at the time but for future generations. These sacred documents are the very foundation of our great nation. Our founding fathers wanted this to be a nation governed not by tyrants or religious zealots but by laws. Laws applied equally to all citizens not to some but to all.

Over the years we have strayed from these tenets and tried to follow a different path. But there have always been leaders who came forward and brought us back to right.

Over the years we have forgotten that we are a melting pot of beliefs, both religious and cultural. The one thing that binds us together is our belief in this nation and the laws on which she is founded. If we forget that basic premise then the brave men and women who have fought and died in combat over the years have died in vain and we dishonor their memories.