It will be interesting to see if parents are willing to trust toymakers to have manufactured safe toys for the Christmas season. I admit that I am genuinely surprised at the things the American people will sit still for these days. The status of our food imports are a good example, and while I realize that neither the current administration nor the Congress pays any attention to the voters, it still is a government of the people. At any time they choose, the people can shut down the government.
Unfortunately, I think, the truth is that individuals know that things are so far out of control that they fear they can never be put back in shape. And, frankly, I’m not sure that isn’t true. Hardly a day passes anymore when I don’t find out some new information that has not been a part of the public knowledge. I’m not sure anymore that I want to know all the secret deals that have been made either between our country and some other country or between our government and corporate leaders. I don’t feel that it’s a good idea to trust anybody without verification that they are telling the truth.
As hard as the television news reporters try to interest the public in the presidential election that will take place next year, I don’t think anyone other than the politicians really believe that anything will change for the better, whoever is elected president. Both the media and the politicos have a vested interest in trying to keep the issue alive. That’s how they earn a living. Other people seem to believe that the system is permanently broken and it is only a matter of time before it crumbles.
Most people seem to accept the fact that once the generation of baby boomers are out of the work force everything will slide down hill. Just the mere act of trying to conduct everyday, ordinary business is almost impossible as there seems to be an incredible number of illiterate people working in business offices. And it would seem that few people in service jobs are able to count money. All one has to do is take a look around his or her own immediate environment to see how things have gotten worse in the last decade.
One almost never hears talk anymore about the plight of education. Fewer and fewer students seem to stick around for graduation, but very little is being said or done to address that issue. If anything, our national leaders seem to be more willing to bring in millions more uneducated than they are to try to raise the literacy level within the citizenry.
Sadly, that tells us where the country is going. All the jobs that require a good education are being moved overseas, while the jobs that require low-skilled workers are being left behind in the United States to be filled by uneducated immigrants who will work for low pay. The destruction of the middle class, who keep the country running, will mean that there will be only the very poor and the very rich as it is in other Third World countries. The havoc wreaked on the economy by the prime rate mortgage mess has forced many to change their way of life. This is probably just a glimpse of a gloomy future. Facing foreclosure has led many to understand that they cannot continue to live beyond their means and that may be a good thing. The middle class, especially, is not going to be able to enjoy the kind of lifestyles they have known in the past and so, the sooner they prepare for it, the better off they will be.
The working poor have always had to bear the brunt of hard times, so for them things will be pretty much the same. Health care will be the joker in the deck. The fact that health problems brought on by obesity are assuming epidemic proportions will undoubtedly weigh heavily on the system. And the fact that it is unlikely that we will ever have a health care plan only makes things worse.
The rich will, of course, get richer, greedier and abuse more power. And as long as they and their political henchmen have nuclear superiority, they will be able to keep the country’s enemies at bay. Their only difficulty will be to maintain a strong military, which at the rate they are wasting our treasure will probably require them to bring in immigrants to do that job as well.
The truly pitiful reality is to have to listen to our political leaders with the assistance of the electronic media, tell us about their legacies. But, of course, it would take an honest person to inform them, that we can all look around at the violent crime rate, our nation of illiterates, the homeless, the throwaway children and our broken institutions and the picture painted can more than adequately describe the substance of their legacies.
World history is full of examples of nations who have arrived at this point. Few regained their former glory. We have failed to benefit from the lessons they taught.
Now, we must learn the hard way.
You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or e-mailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.