Saturday, April 7, 2012

An intellectual "Easy Button"

As I've said before, here in America, we're addicted to easy. Easy money, easy ideas, and simple solutions to complex problems. On the left, we've come to believe that all we have to do is write enough blogs, create enough petitions and Facebook pages, then the problem will go away. On the right, we believe that you can deny it, pray it away, or if that fails, just shoot it.

On Fox News right now, you have people blaming Obama for the cost of gasoline, even though they didn't give him credit when it was almost a 1/3 of the current price during the height of the recession. They know better, but they're counting on the ignorance of the common American when it comes to supply and demand in regards global economics, coupled with a fear of anyone or anything that could possibly be cast as "un-American".

Watch the hype surrounding the Keystone Pipeline. People are being told that this will allow our gas prices to go down, if we would just let it be laid out, all the way to the Texas coast. If we're going to be using all that oil (which we just so happen to be getting from Canada already), why does it need to go to a port in Texas? Answer is, instead of selling to some refinery in the Midwest, now Canada can sell it to the highest bidder on the world market, who can then come pick it up and ship it to China, India or Japan. This would actually cause prices to go up even more but no, let's just blame the black guy for all of our problems, that's easier.

I'm sure you've seen those cliche Facebook and other social media posts asking people "remember when a loaf of bread was a quarter, gas was 50 cents...?" you know, I'm sure you've seen it. These are people who want to pretend that nothing in America has changed since the 1960's and if we just prayed more, shot more people, pumped more oil and put a white Republican in the White House, things would suddenly revert back to a time they've idealized as somehow perfect. Maybe then, their father would get back the factory job he lost 25 years ago when it was shipped overseas, their kids would stop listening to hip-hop music and pull up their pants.

Maybe if we just cut all corporate tax rates to 0%, removed all regulations and paid to move their facilities back here, we would all have jobs again. Never mind that we would have to turn our country into a 3rd world shithole, and put our kids and grandparents to work for a dollar an hour to make that happen.

Over the last few decades, we've watched income disparity explode. The majority of the "middle class" is just a missed paycheck or two away from bankruptcy and those of us who took out student loans so we could get jobs to make money for other people are now over 1 trillion in debt with those loans. We believe that if we just privatize the schools and let a for-profit entity handle our kid's educational needs that suddenly that will fix everything that is wrong instead of spending time with our children and making sure that they make the most of their years in the public school system. Our problems aren't because of teachers, our problems are from parents more interested in making money to buy the newest cars and clothing rather than focusing on their kids.

On the left, people blame corporate greed and outsourcing as the source of our problems. The fact is our laziness, our greed and our constant desire for cheaper goods and services are what got us here. Pointing fingers and just blaming the usual suspects isn't going to fix the problem. Time for us to stop the jingoistic bumper sticker ideas, start taking responsibility, and doing things ourselves.


  1. The walmart mentality .... anything to get it a nickel cheaper!

  2. Tell me close is the nearest grocery store to you..there are two..32 minutes away and 45 minutes away and they're both Wal Marts..there's no where in this 848 person town in the middle of Wisconsin farming country to get groceries or food year round..they're the third largest provider of jobs that WILL provide healthcare to non full time they work with you regarding hours. Wal Mart may be a monopoly..but, like it or not until people stop Wal Mart bashing and come up with a decent's like big oil..hollering don't fix the real issue.

    1. So, Jason. Until WM moved in there were NO grocery stores within a reasonable driving distance?