QUOTE (Alston @ Aug 4 2009, 01:42 PM)
Somebody start a vote on this =P Falaris, DM or me for president -- who'd win? heh.
DM - is this you?!
Falaris- awww no faith? My business partner's already on his way to Canada (leave it to a Mexican to see what voting Obama into office would mean for immigrants =P)
It isn't Obama, I have no faith in this country as a whole is the issue, which includes the majority of citizens. I don't think Americans are smart/informed/care enough about politics. Right now is such a critical time, and while Americans might be upset, they don't actually take the time to go out and learn about what the real problem is so that they can put forward suggestions on how to fix it to the lawmakers. Even assuming American Idol and everything amazingly takes second stage to things that really affect our lives (like budgeting being able to afford the cable to watch the show in the first place around stuff like taxes), our government officials are in so many peoples' pockets that it doesn't matter. Remember Obama talking about how he isn't going to "play ball" in Washington when he gets there and that everything is going to change
WHERE DID THAT GO?
Don't get me wrong, I knew it wouldn't change. The problem is that Americans are not upset about this, and they should be. Everything is the same, Obama is no different. The majority of Americans are kept down with marketing, prescription drugs, and sensationalist journalism. I went to lunch with coworkers today and the news was on, they spent at least 5 minutes talking about Michael Jackson. It has been weeks since his death, this country has so many goddamn problems, and we STILL are going on about this guy? Why? Because Americans care more about the custody of Michael Jackson's children and how his estate is going to be split rather than the wars, the economy, or social reform on marijuana and gay rights.
The other day I heard a great point when talking to my father-in-law. He was talking about Centerpoint having to give credit (NOT money, just credit towards your next bill) from money they got by the government to cover the increase in charges after Hurricane Ike. They were going to keep this money until the government found out about it and told them they had to give it back to their customers who they charged for the increase.
So, Centerpoint charged us more money for the months during Hurricane Ike (the worst time to charge people, by the way, would be just after a natural disaster hit, but what do they care?), then asked the government for money to cover those same costs, and was going to keep it rather than give it back to the citizens who had to pay that spike.
What happened when the government found out that they were keeping millions
? They told them to give it back to their customers. After effectively stealing my money, all they had to do was "give it back." Then, they didn't even really give it back, they just kept it until they expected more money out of you and told you to pay them less next time around.
So if I walk in a bank and demand the teller give me all the money she has behind the counter, walk out, and then when the cops arrest me just offer to give it back and forget the whole thing, that should fly right? Oh that's right, even when I give it back I still would get thrown in jail because I was breaking the law. This just goes to show the separation between corporations and regular people. Corporations can get away with murder (sometimes literally), regular people get screwed.
Back on point, I knew Obama was not going to change the world overnight, or much at all, for that matter, but I at least expected something important to be mostly figured out by now, whether that was health care or something else. A stimulus package that throws money at failing companies so that they survive just a little bit longer or keep maintaining poor business practices is ridiculous. Many of these companies should have been left to fail. Short term, it would have been bad for those who lose their jobs (and it is easy for me to say this having a job, I understand, but I went for a few months without a job and got by doing website contract work before I got my current contractor job), but long term the market could have righted itself without our intervening. A stimulus package was probably necessary, but it should have been used in a different manner.
I try not to be a conspiracy theorist on stuff like the moon landing being faked and 9/11 being a secret government plan to start wars for Halliburton to profit (though, let's be honest, Cheney and Halliburton certainly did profit), but between mega-corporations paying off government officials, religious zealots holding back progress because God said so, and conservatives who have been brainwashed to believe any government-run anything is bad besides the government parts that conservatives run (military! and this is no slight on the military by any means, I admire what our soldiers do, just stating that this is seemingly all that conservatives want the government to be involved in), we have no hope of moving forward until SOME sector helps out. The sector that really needs to help out is the media, but they won't do it because anything that could hurt their ratings because a viewer might get upset and complain. Here is an excellent example
I'm not naive enough to believe this isn't happening in other countries, but at least in many other countries people are still living within their means or they pay attention to what is going on enough to get by as a decent member of their society. They understand the responsibility that comes along with voting and being a member of a country, and that responsibility is there because not taking an active role means you don't get any say when a new law gets passed and it comes back to haunt you.
I think the killing blow was Obama wanting to give away stimulus money to so many failing companies and the idiocy exercised by Americans regarding it all. AIG getting a bailout was and is ludicrous, we have wasted tens of billions of dollars on a company that will never pay it back and will fold eventually anyway. Then we can talk about the car companies, they go to Washington asking for a bailout, which I didn't mind if the government would have actually insisted they change real policies that are driving their respective companies into the ground rather than just telling Rick Wagoner to get out of town. The problem I have with that is how it was handled by the citizens of this country. Did anyone care to look at numbers and find out WHY these companies are doing so poorly before we throw billions at them to continue to do poorly (and ultimately fail as GM and Chrysler did anyway. Oh look, billions down the toilet, teehee!)? Did anyone care to think about the damage unions do to our auto industry, and American industry as a whole? No, what Americans debated on was whether or not these companies deserved money after their CEOs flew into Washington in private jets. THAT is what mattered to Americans.
I don't give a damn if the jets ran on Soylent Green and they circled the globe twice before landing in Washington. Was it tacky to fly in and ask for billions on a private jet? Yeah, probably. Does it matter? Hell no.
I'm so disappointed by this country, and it has been a large internal struggle for me to come to accept that. The reason I was into politics and such was because I believed in what I am talking about: having a duty to be a responsible citizen, being patriotic, appreciating the opportunities given to you here that are not available in other countries. Yet, so many take it for granted that it overrules those of us who give a damn. If majority rules and we all want to be stupid, then I'm out.