Wednesday, November 28, 2012

In America we are about to have our zen moment

Oh America, as we all head toward the fiscal cliff...the last week or so has left me with a lot to think about regarding the results of the election. Let's see, we have whiners who are signing online secession papers for their state, and the rhetoric from the right that is bent on saying democrats are creating an indebted nation for our young without so much as a nod to the fact that as George W. Bush (Republican President extraordinaire) left office in 2008 with an extraordinary legacy:
  1. A downward financial spiral backed by predatory lending, legally sanctioned greed and pyramid schemes, and an economic policy to comfort the 1%.
  2. An America that was losing 750,000 jobs a month.
  3. An America with a GDP shrinking at 9%.
  4. A stock market collapsing and with it the retirement prospects of millions of people.
  5. An America ripe with Foreclosures and evictions and with whole neighborhoods emptied.
  6. An America caught in a grinding and unnecessary war in Iraq, which killed a hundred thousand Iraquis and 4000 Americans and further plunged us into debt.
  7. An America with Osama Bin Laden still at large.
  8. An America where banks as large as Lehman Brothers flat out died.

Ah but let's just blame all that on Obama, right? Well with the election over and Romney the Plutocrat buried under a landslide of electoral votes that did not go his way, I guess it's time to look at where the money is going to come from to repair some of this damage. Don't mind the dude that got elected campaigning on the fact that he was indeed going to raise taxes on the 2%. It's not like your used to listening to anyone with a different opinion.

However, you should.

Because dear republican, us democrats will keep you grounded in reality. Let's take a look at some of the latest talking points that have occurred this month:

Conservative: Raising taxes on the job creators will destroy America and hurt the economy.

Liberal: This is just a scare tactic. America for 80 years before the Bush era tax cuts had much higher taxes on the rich (capital gains) and a social safety net for the middle class (you can look this up). The Bush era tax cuts treat CEO's like Warren Buffett as if they were an endangered species like the bald eagle. Truth: job creation is never going away. If you have an idea that will make you a million dollars, and you know it for a fact, you will do anything to make that idea a reality because greed is that much of a motivator. If you aren't doing this, you're stupid or you don't have an idea that would pass on Shark Tank. It's okay to not have ideas. Just don't use that as an excuse. Most of America is filled with empty heads when it comes to business anyway. Most of us live mediocre lives. If you are 50 and still dream of making your first million, statistics are against you. Most millionaires do so before the age of 30. Sorry, but that's just how it is. Math hurts sometimes.

Conservative: Papa Johns founder and CEO will lay off workers because Obama has been re-elected because The Affordable Care Act will cost him too much money. 

Liberal: Another scare tactic. The math on what it costs the founder of Papa Johns to cover his workers with health insurance amounts to a million more pizza sales or raising the price a small margin on the cost of the pizzas. And he's giving away 2 million free pizzas in a commercial advertisement with Peyton Manning, anyway. The truth of this "claim" is that if the "job creator" of Papa Johns could outsource ALL of the pizza jobs to China, he would have already done so, and it would be called "Papa Sans."

Conservative: Hostess was killed by the greedy unions who are now besieging Wal-Mart, the great institution of American capitalism. Unions have a clear socialist agenda.

Liberal: Socialist? No. Unions are comprised of people who are tired of living on food stamps and eating Top Ramen and being forced to work on Thanksgiving, which is a nationally recognized holiday. Also, let's not forget the recent factory fire in Bangledesh that killed 150 people making garments for Wal-Mart. Maybe they could have used a union, and children who are now orphaned would still have parents. And when we look at Hostess, let's examine what really happened. Hostess had eight CEO's in the past ten years (bad management perhaps?). Hostess faced a continuous and significant decline as moms (yes you women out there) made a healthy choice to stop stuffing Twinkies in your kids lunch box and to opt for food fare that didn't include ingredients used in rocket fuel (yes Twinkies have this in them). Additionally, the last CEO of Hostess took a 300% increase to his wage after getting the union to accept a wage cut, dropping most of their workers to only $35,000 a year (which in my opinion is unacceptable). And then they wanted to cut even more out of the equation. Really? I suppose if that had gone through and the company didn't tank, the CEO would have wanted another raise.

My point (yes I do have one): I hope that there will be improved discourse between conservatives and liberals during Obama's second term. And stop with the secessionist talks. You lost. I didn't speak secession when my candidate Al Gore got defeated by yours in 2000 (even with all the fishy poll results in Ohio). Nope, I said he's my president even if I didn't vote for him. And then sat back and watched him proceed to financially rape our country.

Both parties need each other, even though we may hate what the other person is saying. Through open communication across the aisle, we may even find the best course to direct our country. But none of that can happen if people continue to be angry and shut their ears to what the other person is saying. Republicans and democrats are yin and yang, forever circling each other, and I think that is how it is supposed to be. In America, we are about to have our zen moment.


  1. Hey, the Papa John's Pizza in Beijing is really good, better tasting than what I've had back in the States. Still don't like their owner though.

    The thing most people seem to be ignoring is that cutting spending now will only increase the national debt, since revenues will drop again as the recession kicks back in. What we need is to spend now to jumpstart the economy, at which point you scale back on spending while new revenues pour in. That's where the Clinton administration left us, and had Bush continued along that line we would be in fine shape.

    Obama needs to spend for the next year, and then once the economy is bullish, he needs to ramp things back down.

  2. THANK YOU for telling it like it is. I'm so over it too. Altho I don't share your religious views (or lack thereof), we are definitely on the same page when it comes to politics. ;)

  3. I thought the way a democracy worked was that once one side won, they get to do things their way until the next vote. The Republicans seem to be very bad losers. Not so much checks and balances as sulking and tantrums. I winder what it is about Obama that makes them so hostile. Hmm, what could it be....

    Moody Writing

  4. Hey Michael,

    Thanks for the post and while I don't agree with you - at all - President Obama is still my president, and we will see how things go over the next four years, with the obvious hope that the country will be in better shape than now, that's all.

    PS. I *do* appreciate your passion and God bless that Freedom of Speech thingy.

  5. I'll just second Mark. This is our country, and God Bless America, I want our president to be a success and pull us together.

  6. I don't understand why the Republicans can't work with the Democrats to figure out a solution.

  7. "And stop with the secessionist talks. You lost." <--- Love that.

    And I want to second what Tonja said. Can't we all just get along?

  8. Continuing with your comparison to yin yang, I think what Dems and Repubs have forgotten is you need a little bit of one within the other. To be perfectly balanced yin will always have some yang in it and vice versa.

  9. I'd love to believe in a zen moment but what's going to happen is a lot of posturing and bickering and then at the 11th hour the Democrats will blink first and give too much away, just like all those debt ceiling talks. Really it's funny the Democrats have the donkey symbol when it's Republicans who are stubborn jackasses.

  10. I hesitate to comment, but when it comes to business, I always ask whomever I'm talking with if they've ever owned a business. Many people think that a company or person opens a business to provide jobs. No! It's to make a profit (oh, don't roll your eyes. When you try and sell your's a profit you want. And who doesn't want the most for their used car?)
    By making a profit, businesses can afford to increase productivity therefore increasing jobs. Has anyone ever worked for a poor man?

  11. Yes and thank you! I normally won't even comment on a political post but really, can't we all try to work together? If the other guy had won, I wouldn't be slinging mud and looking to secede.

  12. Yeah, I'm not thinking there's going to be any learning to get along any time soon. It's that greed thing. The 1% feel threatened, right now, and, since they hold the power, they will keep fighting for their money without considering the cost.

  13. Love your possible scenario, but...Well maybe I need to go back and read the ending of the last book (the last book out that is).

    Are you saying that the next book - the second to last book - won't be out until 2015 OR are you saying that the last book is intended to be published in 2015. I wish I had waited to start the series, cause now I want to know!

    I'm still waiting for the second season on DVD - no TV down here for me.

  14. The Papa John's thing (and the other idiots who said they would lay off workers if Obama got elected like Dennys) really piss me off. Epitome of greed. They'd deny people full-time work and affordable healthcare while they go piss in their golden toilets. Grrrr.

  15. THIS.

    Also, did you change your blog background recently? Or have i just been blind?

  16. @Ted: You went to Beijing and ate Papa Johns O.o?

    @P.K.: Most people don't share my religious views. 80% of America is Christian I think.

    @Moody: Indeed...what could it be?

    @Mark: Hahaha. Some of us were never meant to see eye to eye. It doesn't mean we can't work together though. It just means we have "challenges."

    @Alex: Indeed!

    @Tonja: They will. It just is going to be like pulling teeth.

    @M.J.: Agreed.

    @Elise: That's a great point.

    @P.T.: LOL.

    @Em: I'm glad you commented. I'm fine with profits, Em. I like money just as much as the next guy. I'm playing the lottery! What I'm speaking of in this post is the same thing that Warren Buffett talks about. It's the fact that America has been prosperous in the past due to high taxes. The Bush-era tax cuts are flat out wrong and need to go. The list of Forbes billionaires has quintupled in basically a decade. Those people do not need to be coddled (and that comes from Warren Buffett who is on that list). I think if you believe otherwise, you are misguided and wrong. Hence, why you need us democrats to point it out to you. Discourse is good for the country.

    @Laura: Well said.

    @Andrew: The republican party is all about sustaining one's right to privilege. What I can't understand is why so many people who will never be in the 1% are so supportive of their lifestyle. Maybe they dream of getting there and want those things preserved for themselves. But statistically, this is a pipe dream and ain't gonna happen (especially if they're already 50 years old).

    @faraway: The next book in "A Song of Ice and Fire" will come out in 2015 is what I'm saying.

    @L.G.: "Laying off workers" is an excuse. They were gonna lay off those people anyway. As Em said in her comment above, it's all about profit and money. If they can make money laying off workers, you bet they are gonna do that. And yes, I think greed is out of control in this country. I'm going to go out on a limb and say something that hasn't been said by the "greedy." The reason they don't want everyone to have healthcare is because they secretly want "those people" to die off and stop bothering them. That's a nice thought isn't it?

    @Matthew: Oh I so want you to get started.

    @Sarah: I changed it to a green plant in some soil.

  17. People aren't going to stop buying Papa John's crappy pizzas because they cost fourteen cents more, to provide healthcare to the people producing these pizzas. I can't disagree with anything you say here. Nothing the Republicans predict ever comes true, and this is the downside of using scare tactics to manipulate voters. Republicans are not to be trusted. Why is McCain so angry at Ambassador Rice? He doesn't want Obama nominating her for Sec. of State because he wants Kerry to land that job so another senate seat will become vacant. This is how Scott Brown got Teddy Kennedy's seat and this is the Republican plan to get Kerry's seat.

  18. There is so much to say, but I don't have time at the moment to say it. Sigh.

  19. I strongly agree with almost everything you say, and I'm a registered Independent. The only exception would be the swipe at Warren Buffet, and that's because, in complete contrast to almost all his fellow billionaires, Buffet has publicly called for raising the taxes on rich people like him. He has said things like, "We mega-rich should not continue to get EXTRAORDINARY tax breaks while most Americans struggle to make ends meet." Then in an editorial in the New York Times just a couple days ago, he pointed out that he has never, ever had a client who refused to make a profitable investment because he/she might have to pay capital gains taxes on the profits.

    I really don't feel sorry for big companies that complain about Obamacare "forcing" them to give health care to their workers. If they don't like company-based health insurance, then they should have gotten together years ago and pressured our government to come up with a long-overdue single-payer national health care system.

  20. Yeah, I could be wrong, but I feel like Papa John's could cut Manning and use his endorsement money for workers. Just a thought. I love Manning. Just wanted to throw that out there.

  21. Good points!

    I'm one of those responsible for the Twinkies demise. I very seldom buy them. And nobody cared until suddenly the supply was cut off. Then we had panic buying.

    I'm avoiding Walmart. There's just too much I don't like about them.

    It would be nice to have health insurance that actually covers something.

  22. The other reason Hostess went out of business was because they were losing business and they were bought out by a Bain capital type company-- you know the ones? Vulture capitalists who buy a company with the promise they'll help fix the problem if they purchase them- then they saddle them (Hostess) with the debt, charge them for their supposed services, give the CEO and other officers bonuses to help grease the wheels and then bail, telling them they can't cut costs because of the bastard unions (which is what they will then feed the anti-union public). But hey, anything else would be socialism, right. This is America baby!!

  23. The other reason Hostess went out of business was because they were losing business and they were bought out by a Bain capital type company-- you know the ones? Vulture capitalists who buy a company with the promise they'll help fix the problem if they purchase them- then they saddle them (Hostess) with the debt, charge them for their supposed services, give the CEO and other officers bonuses to help grease the wheels and then bail, telling them they can't cut costs because of the bastard unions (which is what they will then feed the anti-union public). But hey, anything else would be socialism, right. This is America baby!!