Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Some Political Thoughts


The opinions and observations expressed in this blog are purely those of this blogger and are just that, opinions! I will try to abstain from "politics as usual" by trying to claim that my opinions are statements of fact. They are not - they are just my opinion. I will try not to pounce on a politician's vote on any particular bill without having read the entire bill so that I may understand why they voted for or against it. I will try to remember, and I will remind you, that if we all saw things the same way as either political party this country would no longer exist as a democracy at all. Additionally, I am still regularly reading the blogs of people who have very different opinions from mine and hope that you, if your opinion differs from mine, will offer me the same courtesy. After all, in two weeks anything we've said will no longer matter since our obligation as an American and our biblical mandate is to honor and respect whichever leaders have been chosen.

Palin finally figured out her favorite movie when she arrived here in Indiana last week - she said "it's Hoosiers". Seriously? Did anyone buy that?

Further, it's being said that she brings environmental issues to the ticket. Really? I have an interest in environmental issues and I don't recall even knowing her name until McCain selected her. That seems odd since she can see glaciers melting from her house.

Maverick anyone? Interesting that this term has been latched on to as a positive character trait. Where did the term come from and what does it mean? According to Wikipedia the word originated with Samuel Maverick "a Texas lawyer, politician, land baron and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Maverick was considered independent minded by his fellow ranchers because he refused to brand his cattle. In fact, Maverick's failure to brand his cattle had little to do with independent mindedness, but reflected his lack of interest in ranching." (kind of like a lack of interest in changing anything?) Wikipedia further explains that "the word maverick entered the English lexicon, meaning both an unbranded range animal as well as a slang term for someone who exhibits a streak of stubborn independence."

Trickle down economics is not working! It worked for Ronald Reagan (a president who I voted for and respected , by the way) because we really were a "kinder, gentler" America. It worked before Clinton signed NAFTA and before the "Greed is Good" generation got in positions of power. It doesn't work now. Now companies take their tax breaks and bailouts and invest them in bigger bonuses for themselves or exotic retreat meetings or back in their company by building a new plant and creating new jobs - in China or Mexico.

Joe the Plumber - I'm glad you have big dreams of big income when you become a plumber. I wish you luck! At my job I work with plumbers every day - lots of them. I don't know too many who have Joe's particular concern - and even less so with the downturn in the housing market and the economy in general. What does the "Average Joe" really make? Here is an excerpt from an article in The New Yorker:

Income inequality—the gap between the richest and the rest—increased dramatically during the Bush Administration. The main reason was that the rich became very, very rich, while middle- and working-class families saw their incomes stagnate or decline. Long before the Wall Street meltdown, rising gas prices and health-care bills pinched even those American households with incomes that rank squarely in the middle classes. That is where the great majority of actual plumbers live, of course; they don’t make a quarter of a million dollars a year. In 2007, their average annual income was forty-seven thousand dollars, and that figure was buoyed by the recent housing boom. The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes an income roll call of other occupations with which McCain, once a modestly paid military officer, has evidently lost touch: kindergarten teachers, $47,750; firefighters, $44,130; roofers, $36,340; dental assistants, $32,280; security guards, $24,480; home health aides, $20,850. At the very bottom of the income ladder, the inflation-adjusted minimum wage—despite two increases in the past two years—remains essentially the same as it was when George W. Bush took office. That wage amounts to less than fifteen thousand dollars a year, before taxes—and, yes, there are taxes to be paid even at that level. The number of Americans living in poverty has grown by more than five million since 2000. And there’s no way to say that ain’t so.

This is me - stepping off of my soapbox now. In two weeks I'll cast my very split ballot for the candidates (not party) of my choosing. No matter who you are supporting at the national or the local levels - please exercise your right to vote.

1 comment:

Crunchy Domestic Goddess said...

thanks for this post. i needed a good chuckle.