The Fiscal Cliff, governance and guns

Published 9:32 am Monday, January 28, 2013

Well, here we are; the epitome of political brinksmanship is now.

By the time you read this there may be some deals on the so-called “Fiscal Cliff,” but that doesn’t excuse the behavior of our leaders in government and business for getting us in this mess. The only people that really suffer in this situation are the “middle or working class” and the least impacted are the “wealthy.”

For the last 30 years we have been living within an economic system that has failed the middle class and failed miserably. We have seen a structural system that actually punishes the middle (working) class.  The numbers back it up when you look at who has gained and who has lost.

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If you think that a successful US economy is one that does not enhance the middle class then you support an economy that will collapse. For the wealthy, they can just move their money and their residence to the next “America,” but the middle class and working poor do not have this luxury. A US economy that doesn’t bolster and support the middle (working) class is a guarantee that Americans lose.

I hear and have heard the excuses for the last 40 years. The list includes:

• US workers are spoiled and lazy

• We’re becoming an entitlement society

• Unions are socialistic

• Wages and benefits are out of control

• Taxes are too high

• Government spending is the problem

• Government regulation is killing small business

On the other side I have heard excuses as well:

• The Rich get all the breaks and don’t pay their fair share

• Politicians only represent the few and our Democracy is now a Plutocracy.

• They are more concerned with tax breaks than investing in America.

• They are killing all efforts to responsibly deal with “manmade Global Warming”.

• They are only interested in punishing the middle class and send jobs overseas just to do so.

• Libertarians are like atheists, they only believe in the government when they need a bail out.

Unfortunately, we now have a nation of people who think that a little bit of truth in any of these excuses is a basis for an entire ideology regarding society and governance. There are right wing and left wing talking heads and lobbying groups that perpetuate the ideologies for their financial gain (or ego), not the good of the country (or the world). And “We the People” either sit idly by or perpetuate the nonsense by repeating it and/or adopting them as core values. To justify our ideological positions, we then “demonize” those that don’t think the same way as us as “socialists,” “plutocrats,” “un-American,” “fascists,” “stupid” or some other unsupported or unjustified derogatory term.