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Flawed system leaves good days behind

Monday, October 15, 2007 | 10:00 a.m. CDT; updated 7:47 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Rose M. Nolen

On a perfect day, I could stand up and applaud people who decorate the front of their houses, the porch and the lawn for Halloween. Unfortunately, such days are rare. As it is, I can appreciate the fact that some perform this task to try to provide their children with happy memories of childhood and that is a worthwhile undertaking. There are many occasions in the life of adults when childhood memories are all an individual has to fall back on.

A neighbor insists that people who throw themselves into such activities do so because they are in denial. Personally, I’m not sure that’s true. I know a lot of people who realize the country is on a downhill slide and seriously wish they could do something to help turn it around. The reality is though that they can’t see any way they can make a difference.

Frankly, I can’t blame people for trying to make the best of a bad situation. When you hear news flashes concerning celebrities, it would appear that individuals, who one would assume have everything they need to make themselves happy, are drowning from drug and alcohol abuse, trying to make it from one day to the next. So, it is understandable that the majority of the population, struggling to make ends meet, are having a hard time finding anything to shout about on a daily basis. Sometimes, the only thing that gets them through the next 24 hours is a fast fix like a fancy meal, a trip to the mall or a decorating party. In times of stress, little things can mean a heck of a lot.

Some of my wiser friends are using this difficult time to better prepare for the future. It’s a good time to take an extra job and invest the money earned. Or to go back to school and take classes for a career change. (So far, I’m happy to report that none of my friends have chosen to get a degree in creating video games so we are able to still converse). The point is, this country is falling apart in so many places, we don’t really know how this economic situation is going to play out, so it makes sense to try to secure one’s position as well as one can.

One thing seems pretty clear. There is no overwhelming surge in job creation. Most manufacturing jobs have disappeared overseas as have many jobs in the field of technology. The politicians seem hellbent on allowing illegal immigrants to fill the jobs in the service sector, so that their wealthy friends can get their work done cheaply. How Americans will be able to afford to support the economy without decent paying jobs, is a question no one seems to be willing to answer. Jobs, undoubtedly will continue to flourish in the health care fields, except how many people will be able to afford health care?

In any case, these are not the kind of problems, the man or woman in the street is going to be able to solve. So, it doesn’t really matter whether we play dominoes or build snowmen. And many folks agree with me that going to the polls isn’t going to change anything either, until the system is changed. That means more political parties and a cap on campaign spending. We could also use an agreement between these parties not to start the political campaigns earlier than three months ahead of the election.

And sometimes I think political pundits and certain electronic media personalities think that this American dilemma is some kind of game we’re all playing. I don’t think they take the plight of the country seriously. With the national debt at an all-time high, how much longer will the United States be able to afford these wars? Osama bin Laden wins his war when this country is broke. How much at the mercy of China do our politicians want to be? Do the people who report the news ever think about what they are saying?

It has gotten to the point where it is no longer safe to eat a hamburger, play with a toy or brush your teeth in this country.

Now, I realize that these things are not nearly as important to some people as getting rid of Roe v. Wade or dictating other people’s sexual preferences or pumping up the global economy. However, I think a good number of us are concerned about having our food and consumer goods tested for safety and labeled, so that we know from which country these products originated.

After our immediate needs are taken care of, there is a laundry list of other important issues that need attention. A health care plan, an energy policy, border control and a review of our trade policies, to begin with.

In the meantime, our system is broken and it needs fixing. Obviously, we cannot depend on the people who did the damage to clean up the mess. They are still trying to figure out how we found out it was broken, since they didn’t think we were that smart.

Keeping our leaders honest would be a full-time job. Any volunteers?


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