* we're in an economic crisis and a stimulus package isn't going to fix it. Stimulus packages are for the short term, and we have a long-term problem ahead of us because the cost of living and big business interests are dangerously outpacing earnings. (Not to mention big business practices---such as those evil Adjustable Rate Mortgages---which benefit business at the expense of the people, economy and country at large. Banks, mortgage lenders, speculators and so forth who perpetuate this shouldn't just be ashamed, they should be fined and jailed. And politicians who enabled and supported it---including our President---should be ousted from office, and face similar penalties. Yes, I have NO MERCY for people who cost their citizens their HOMES.)
* cutting social programs doesn't lead to more money in your pocket. In fact, it worsens the economy on multiple levels, not to mention robs from the future. This is also why stimulus packages only work short-term. If you're wealthy with plenty of money in reserve, you are the minority. So close your mouth and open your ears for a minute. We can send out tax rebates but without appropriate social programs, that money won't go back into the economy (aka Business). People will use it for health care, utilities, groceries, etc. Essentials. Stimulus packages count on nonessential spending.
* the above two things keep happening because of a large voting block: the conservative Baby Boomers. They aren't as cool or rebellious as they (and we) think. They also don't outnumber us as much as we think. So let's take back the vote, folks, and prepare for tomorrow, instead of focusing so selfishly on ourselves today.
At the end of the day, all of my major issues boil down to one thing: money, and the distribution thereof.
At the end of my day, I figure absolutely none of it will come to me.
And that royally chaps my hide.
But it doesn't chap my hide half as much as watching my children robbed of a high-quality comprehensive education, seeing too many citizens struggling for the basics in increasing numbers, and knowing people lack the basic human right of proper health care.
This is the result of a conservative trend in American politics that began in the 1990s, courtesy of our big generation, the Baby Boom:
[America became] a somber land obsessed with values, back-to-basics movements, ethical rectitude, political correctness, harsh punishments, and a yearning for the simple life.
With a huge fear---and media and politician inspired panic---about the burden the Baby Boomers will put on our social program infrastructure, people have begun voting even more conservatively to cut back even more of these programs, erroneously thinking we can't possibly support or afford them and rationalizing this action by falling back on the out-of-date "if you want it, you have to earn it yourself" philosophy of government.
Invariably this leads to voting patterns that are individually focused instead of culturally focused. We end up cutting essential, nation-building programs such as SCHIP.
Furthermore, it puts the focus on Baby Boomers and misses the subsequent generations and their needs. There was a Baby Boom. Hordes of people. They ruled the nation and consumed the majority of resources through sheer volume. However, that day has hit its end.
My generation isn't as small as you might think.
Depending upon who you listen to and whether you believe my generation begins in 1960 or 1965, we number somewhere between 50 and 80 million (equivalent to the Baby Boom).
The early-sixties birth cohorts are among the biggest in U.S. history -- and, at 80 million, this generation has numerically outgrown the Boom. By the late 1990s it will even outvote the Boom.
---Source: The Atlantic, "The New Generation Gap," by Neil Howe and William Strauss
I know: SURPRISE!
Consider these US Department of Health and Human Services projections that breakdown population by age groups. Imagine a person was born in 1970. Look at the disparity in 1998, and notice how the gap narrows in 2009:
Figure 4.1. U.S. Population by Age
Figure 4.2. Percent Change in U.S. Population by Age, 1998-2009
At some point we became a nation so obsessed with the here and now that we have forgotten the future. if a few people raise their hands and start asking about the future and down the road, they are smilingly assured by leaders that there is no future problem; they either allege the problem isn't real (global warming) or assert that short-term fixes are all that is needed (recession). This whitewash applies to almost every issue you can think of.
We need to consider that cutting education will long-term prevent our ability to adequately and competitively contribute to the global market. We need to consider that social programs enable better growth and development because the citizens are housed, fed, healthy and better able to contribute to the country. We need to consider that losing the last Boomer won't enable us to sigh in social relief; Generations X and Y are also large and have similar needs long-term, and have even less access to retirement programs and employment benefits because so much of business has moved away from benefits and long-term employment and has shifted to term, contract and freelance work to avoid paying out benefits or providing retirement programs.
It's not going away folks.
Don't let the conservative Boomers lead the way. Break free.
Vote for the future. This includes Green business and practices---including a more constructive and positive approach such as incentives rather than punitive fines for noncompliers (which clearly is a failure); sustainable development and investment (support for mom and pop business instead of such breaks for large chains); long-term economic planning; a focus on citizenry and their needs rather than big business and their wants; and a reprioritization of education and social welfare programs.
This is an extremely political issue, and it is why I have recently decided to back John Edwards. This was a hard come by decision; the other two Democrats offer much but also lack much.
However, more importantly, it is our issue, yours, mine and our children's. Let's vote in a way that creates a better country not just for us---here, now, today---but leaves behind us a place and time better than when we arrived.
Some interesting reading...
Daily Kos: Some Baby Boomers - The Worst Generation by davefromqueens
Attention Baby Boomers, Hollywood Execs and DC Insiders… by Future Majority Editors and Contributors
PBS: The Generation Gap (essays and polls of information)
CNNMoney.com: The generation gap at work---What's wrong with these kids today? Nothing. You have more in common with younger workers than you think. (I SERIOUSLY disagree that Gen X has not had to fight hard for work and has never known job scarcity. I don't know if the author was snoozing through the major recession of the early 90s but the economy and job market tanked then and my generation was hosed. The difference is we probably in general didn't have as many financial obligations, such as kids and mortgages, yet.)
Economics Journalist Robert Kuttner on the “Most Serious Financial Crisis Since the Great Depression”: “This is the Result of Rightwing Ideology and the Political Power of Wall Street”
Copyright 2007 Julie Pippert
Also blogging at:
Using My Words
Julie Pippert REVIEWS: Get a real opinion about BOOKS, MUSIC and MORE
Julie Pippert RECOMMENDS: A real opinion about HELPFUL and TIME-SAVING products
Moms Speak Up: Talking about the environment, dangerous imports, health care, food safety, media and marketing, education, politics and many other hot topics of concern.