Obama not guilty of extravagence and the state of change

10 Nov

A few days ago, I was up in arms over the ridiculous amount of money being spent by the US gov’t for Obama’s trip to India.  Reported to be costing the American taxpayer $200 MILLION per day, I was horrified.  Seriously horrified.

For our president to be spending money that extravagantly on a single trip overseas indicated we had a really serious problem in the White House, one that either didn’t care or wasn’t aware that we were in the midst of what is being called the “Great Recession.”  It was raising a number of red flags, even worse than a presidential candidate who sat in church for years and was unaware of the racist rhetoric coming from the pulpit.

I’m actually relieved to see the White House officially debunking the cost, and stating that it is in line with previous administration’s spending for an overseas trip.  Maybe I don’t think the trip is necessary, but hey, I’m pretty conservative and see nothing wrong with tele-commuting and video conferencing.

Okay, so maybe I do look a bit askance at Obama.  He should be in good company then, as I’ve looked askance at every single president since Nixon.  It’s part of my philosophy about presidents in general, which is reflected in my voting history.  I have never voted for a presidential candidate I believed in.  I have only voted against the worst of them.  I also never forget that the popular vote is irrelevant in regards to the president.  Our forefathers had little faith in the wisdom of the popular vote, and the president is elected by the electoral college…who does NOT have to shadow the popular vote.  All that hoopla on tv…is just hoopla.

What really disgusts me is the American apathy about the state of affairs within this country.  It’s obvious.  We can’t continue the way we were going, and Obama got elected on the “change” platform.  What has really changed so far?  Do you hear anything about change in YOUR neighborhood?  The only changes I’ve seen happening is school cutbacks, police force cutbacks, art museums closing, etc.  I see the signs alongside the highway about stimulus money being used for the project…and no one is working on the project and no one has worked for weeks or longer on it.

I know unemployed people who are willing and capable of working, who would make good employees, who have experience and educations, and yet…they can’t find a job.  I know “under-employed” people who have taken a job that they are massively overqualified for just so that they HAD some kind of a job.   I don’t know anyone who took advantage of the “cash for clunkers” program but I know an awful lot of people who actually drive REAL clunkers that should be replaced…but they can’t afford to, and could  never have afforded the “cash for clunkers” program anyhow.  The “clunkers” being crushed would have actually been an improvement over the vehicle they were and are still driving…held together with duct tape, baling wire, zip ties, JB weld, and a prayer.

The work ethic is strong still, I don’t know anyone who says they want to grow up and live on welfare and food stamps.  The reality is, a lot of the kids who are entering the work force or entered it in the last 5 years, are apt to be on/off/on/off recipients of social welfare programs of various kinds, no matter how hard they work.  If you can’t afford college or lack the aptitude to acquire further education, the realistic view is that you probably won’t find a job that is going to be steady employment with benefits such as health/dental/vision insurance, sick time, vacation time, and pay raises.  You will be doomed to a lifetime of at-poverty-level struggles.

There aren’t any jobs for the uneducated worker anymore.  Customer service jobs often inquire about your college education, and yet pay little above minimum wage.  A college degree is worth about the same as a high school diploma was 40 years ago.  Yet if you enter the work force saddled with a student loan, how are you going to survive with that almost-minimum-wage job for several years and pay on that student loan for 4 years of education?  Are parents going to have to go into debt to prevent a lifetime of poverty for their offspring?  Are poor parents going to doom their offspring to a lifetime of impoverished struggles?

America used to be the land of opportunity.  It was the one country that no matter what your initial circumstances were…you could rise above them with hard work.  It was only in the “old countries” that people were doomed to the same social standing as their parents were born into.  Now, we are seeing history repeat itself, this time on our own shores.  We are creating a peasant class of poverty stricken workers, born into the class, and incapable of rising from that quagmire.  What is the next step? Mandatory sterilization of all persons who remain below a certain dollar amount for wages for a year?  Licenses permitting reproduction?  Maybe just re-legalization of child labor to deal with the thousands of poor children roaming the streets with single parents who are struggling to make ends meet while working for pennies 20 hours per day.  Just there are no industry jobs that can use small and agile workers left in the USA anymore.

Heck, maybe we can start exporting children to China in exchange for cheap goods with toxic ingredients that cause sterilization, miscarriages, and infant mortality and kill two birds with one stone.

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