Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Please Do Not Bite That Apple

I keep hearing phrases like "our country is broken", "government intrusion on our lives", "we must take the country back", "this country is on the wrong path", and so on. I do not know about you, but these observations, or mindless bitching or whatever they are, fail to resonate with me. My life is certainly no worse than it was say, ten years ago, and in many ways, it is better. Americans as a whole are certainly in better shape than they were following the economic debacle of 2008. Employment has rebounded, gas prices are low, our military presence has wound down in far off war zones, inflation is nearly non-existent, good health care is at my disposal, no one has taken my gun, and I have not had to cough up anything to the federal government other than more taxes than I think are necessary. Consequently, I fail to appreciate the growing din of people sounding off about an out-of-control federal government.   

I am angry with the federal government, however, not for being overbearing on me or for spending my taxpayer money. I am angry with the federal government for continuing the charade that it must borrow and tax in order to have money. The federal government does not need or spend our tax dollars and it can never go broke thanks to the flexibility of its fiat monetary system. Welfare queens are not living off my income. The federal debt, the annual deficit, and warnings that we owe billions to China are about as true as the Uncle Remus Tales and as dangerous as dust-bunnies under the couch. Really, the federal government continues its "poor-mouth" charade as an excuse to avoid doing for the American people what the American people most need, providing the infrastructure basis for people to make decent livings and to avoid becoming helpless victims of the economy. In no way do I fear that the federal government is coming after me or that it wants to run my life.

Many folks in this country seem to have gotten meaner over the past few years. So many appear to have lost track of the fact that we live in a society rather than in a loose amalgamation of individuals. I often think this may be a subconscious response to our having a black president although, if presented with such an assertion, people would vehemently deny it. The rise of the Tea Party and what I call the "Minutemen for Christ" mentality, that is, evangelical, gun-totin', tough-talking, Bible thumping folks who disdain the public good in favor of what they consider to be individual rights, is far more troubling (and irritating) to me than notions of ours becoming a "socialist" or "communist" country. Neither of those adjectives is realistic. No, I am more afraid of the dark side - the side that disdains doing public good for fear of losing individual rights. The growing love affair with private anarchist, totalitarian, corporate, plutocratic leanings that see swelling all around me, especially here in the South but also overtly within the Republican Party and covertly within the Democratic Party looms far more dangerously in my thinking. From a couple of acerbic, loudmouth dinks in our own local county commission; to Nazi-looking federal legislators, some running for president and some not; to an irreverent, bombastic, charismatic like Donald Trump; our statesmen are becoming less like public servants and more like public serpents. 

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