Political warfare useless amid financial crisis, real-life problems

Monday, October 13, 2008 | 10:00 a.m. CDT

Now that the presidential campaign is going into its last phase and the rhetoric is becoming nastier, it is time for me to tune out. With the country in a financial crisis, I can't imagine why any of the political candidates would think anyone other than their party faithful would want to hear their ugly conversation. I don't believe any of them are so stupid that they don't understand the dangers involved in encouraging people to consider violence as a last resort in determining their presidential choice. After all, we have a history that should warn people to be careful of the words they use. But after all, freedom is everything, isn't it?

Under the circumstances, I really don't care to hear any more debates. According to the financial experts, no one knows how long this crisis will last, so there are no answers to the important questions being asked. So, we will all just have to tough it out as best we can. Most of these people seem to agree that job loss is the biggest problem. For years, I've been listening to some politicians who continue to claim that many jobs have been created as a result of some of these trade agreements. But when the unemployment figures are released, we learn that nearly 750,000 jobs have been lost so far this year. So, I guess it's time for someone to tell us where all these jobs can be found that some folks contend Americans won't do.

One thing I think we can count on is that the free-traders did not learn a single thing from this experience. I believe all they want is the taxpayers to bail them out so they can go out and do the same thing again. They think this time they will do it right. (Right.) My hope would be that instead of just trying to fix this mess, a task force of respected economists can take on the task of completely restructuring our economic system. I'm sure the free-market people think we don't need regulations, but since we have proven that as human beings we cannot be trusted to do the right thing, they'll just have to submit to being guided by rules.

We need another group to look into job creation. Most families cannot live on minimum wages. If we want the economy to operate smoothly, we have to have well-paying jobs so workers can afford to live decently. How many middle-class people living in the average neighborhood can realistically afford an $800,000 house? So why would anyone lend every Tom, Dick and Jane the money to build or buy one? Why would developers keep building these kinds of houses when they see the good jobs moving overseas? The cost of living is way out of proportion to the income of the majority of people. Individuals with economic savvy should be allowed to restructure the system so the working class can live reasonably.

Personally, I'll be glad to see the end of all this concentration on the wealthy and the way they live. As far as I'm concerned, they can move to another country, where people will dance at their feet. Let some other people pay for their tax breaks. For all those who seem married to the idea that everybody is interested in a redistribution of the wealth, you need to know that some of us just want you gone so that mush-minded politicians won't be tempted to provide you with favors at the expense of the middle and working classes. With the wealthy out of the way, maybe the rest of us will have a chance to live nicely within our means. In other words, we can stop taking care of them.

If anyone does, in fact, learn anything from this experience, I hope it will be all the parents who have taught their children that a free ride is always waiting for them. Maybe as times get harder, some of them will find themselves unable to shelter, feed and clothe their adult children and grandchildren. Whether they believe it or not, this will be a good thing. A generation composed of thousands of parasites constitutes a drain on the society's resources. We don't have enough juvenile detention centers and prisons to house them.

Another thing we need to be mindful of is the amount of waste we throw away. In a day's time, we probably dispose of enough food in garbage disposals and trash barrels to feed a Third World country. Yet, homeless men, women and children, many of them Veterans, walk our streets every day. Perhaps during these upcoming critical months, individuals, communities, towns and cities can take the opportunity to make badly needed improvements in our lifestyles.

Finally, on every news broadcast, we hear about the trillions of dollars in addition to the billions we are spending weekly in Iraq and Afghanistan. Are you as curious as I am about exactly where every dime is coming from? Can we just keep printing money forever without anything to back it up? How far can the dollar fall?

Folks, we have a lot of stuff on our plate, most of which we probably won't be able to eat. Personally, I don't have the time or energy to waste on political warfare. How about you?

You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or e-mailing her at

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