Tuesday, October 4, 2011
What We Don’t See
As always, when I get up in the morning, I make myself a cup of coffee and then turn on the TV to see what the topics of the day will be and read my newspaper to see what happened yesterday. There's not a whole lot of difference because, when you're stuck on stagnant; people will talk about how we used to do things. This morning the roundtable on MSNBCs “Good Morning Joe” agreed that a Marshall Plan that was created shortly after World War II, wouldn't get past the laughing stage today. Can you imagine asking the American taxpayer for $12 billion to pay for reducing hunger, homelessness, unemployment, and political unrest of 270 million people of 16 nations of Western Europe? Yes, Europe is in a financial mess today, but look at the successful it's been since 1947.
Some are criticizing the young students protesting mainly in the New York financial districts but also in many other cities across the United States. One pundit said that they should take their march to Washington. Were they saying that we should leave the financial districts alone, and that they should be given a pass? The students have just graduated from college, but they cannot get a job to pay off their student loans and their future looks mighty dim. As a poster said the other day, when the Tea Party was protesting, they were touted as patriots, because they marched on Washington. The Tea Party started with small numbers, then the media, and corporate sponsors stepped in and made them a major force in today's politics.
The students and the unemployed middle class have now made the bogeyman list, because they dare say something about the corruption of the financial markets. Some people are making the unemployed, the culprit, as if there was a job on every street corner. I see the lines of the unemployed; they stretch for about three blocks or as far as the eye can see. Are there deadbeats that do not want to work? I'm sure they are, but are they, the norm or the exception. Do we accept what we see in our city as representative for the whole country?
I'm as guilty as anyone else for not allowing a discussion to flow on its merits rather than on a preconceived opinion. Take, for instance, the subject of teaching Spanish in school. I asked my daughter, who has been a teacher for about eight years, if there was a problem with students not knowing English. She tells me that there have been a couple of instances, but she learned that those students were in the process of learning English. When those students overcame their barrier, they were at the top of the class. We do have some hard line "English Only" people, but I've always told my children that the shortcut to success was being proficient in English. Having said that, I based my opinion what my daughter told me because I don't have any idea, there may be 20 students at VISD where English is the second language. I don't know why those students can't go to a class at Profit (is that still open?) to be taught by a bilingual teacher before placing those students in regular classes. Then again, one of the few things I have in common with President George W. Bush is when he said” as long as children are in the United States, we will make sure that they get an education because it will benefit them and our country.” Illiteracy and ignorance are the perfect formula for a life of failure, poverty and crime.
Newcowboyintown is a reasonable poster and a self-proclaimed conservative, but I'm yearning to find a proper way to ask him a question. He has given one example of a welfare recipient leaving the store and driving away in a luxury vehicle. Yesterday, he informed me of a lady buying a chicken and two loaves of bread, hoping that she wasn't beating the system because she was using a Lone Star card. I would like to ask him, what set off the red flag, was it the Lone Star card? What if a well dressed white lady happened to be in front of him, would he have had checked to see what she was paying with? I normally don't do any grocery shopping, but when I do, I never pay any attention to the person in front of me, and until the other day(, I went online to get an image of the Lone Star card) I didn't even know what that card looked like. I'm pretty sure Newcowboy, has been a hardworking individual, all his life, and it irks him when people cheat the system. I think that we all do. I used to cringe when I heard stories of people cheating on their taxes. Those same people would get angry, when they saw the working poor cashing those $5,000 EITC checks, just for having a couple kids and making $22,000. Every since the Great Depression people have taken out their frustration out on those who they perceived to be below them ,while allowing the wealthy to go unscathed, for the most part.
There is a concerted effort to make government the root of all evil, while letting Wall Street free of any blame. Alton Easton writes a blog reflecting that sentiment, but he does not tell you that Bank of America got $45 billion in TARP funds helped bail them out from the consequences of their own incompetence. It’s just an effort to recover the money they are losing by a required cut in transaction fees levied on merchants every time a debit card is used. But those $5 fees for debit card users are more onerous than the fees being cut. The other day he wrote a blog about Obama wanting to extend tax audits from the current three years to six years. He did not tell you that the congressional House Ways and Means (in Republican hands) is the place where tax legislation and regulations are passed. He went onto make it as an extra cost to taxpayers, as if we're going to hire more IRS agents. The Republican Party controls the House of Representatives which in turn control the purse strings. We want tax compliance, but it's an extra burden on the taxpayers pay for it? The financial sector caused the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression but any effort to rein them is an excuse to blame the government every time banks and financial institutions raise their fees.
I guess the lines are drawn in the sand; either you're with government or with Wall Street. Our newspaper asked Jennifer Janak, a stay-at-home mom, to write an article about her Occupy Victoria Facebook page. It was pretty interesting and inspiring because she was actually trying to do something about our dire situation. The usual suspects came calling it sad, socialist, anarchist and akin to the national movement which probably has ties to the radical left group Underground Weathermen. What was common to the random name calling? It was the omission of any facts to support their position.