Beware of Politicians Bearing Gifts

Ezra Pound, an eccentric poet, once challenged poet Lascelles Abercrombie to a duel as he wrote that Pound should abandon barren realism and study Wordsworth. When a friend told mild mannered Abercrombie that Pound was an expert fencer he was terrified, but realizing the challenged party had the privilege of choosing the weapons, he accepted and proposed they bombard each other with unsold copies of their own books.

I bring this up as watching congress for many years leads me to agree with Will Rogers’s quote that people are taking their comedians seriously and politicians as a joke. Our dueling political parties would accomplish more if they just threw their bills down a staircase and picked up pages on every other step for a final bill. The final bill will be full of loop holes for the powerful interests and ear marks by those congress members worrying about the deficit.

We have had a Legislature for the past 10 to 20 years, dominated by a dangerous combination of ideologues and lobbyists. The lobbyists purchase the pro-wealth agenda while the ideologues keep us focused on gay marriage, loopy faith based ideas, concealed weapons and vouchers to solve the crisis of inner-city schools. They are working nights fiddling over should make sacrifices, the wealthy or the oppressed and holding up important issues over a debatable moral issue while the country burns.

It is not just your imagination playing tricks on you. This Legislature is the worst in modern times. No big ideas, no leadership, no plans for solving our economic problems. The Supreme Court’s decision to recognize corporations as persons will now worsen any hope for the commoners. It is frightening when the Supreme Court makes political decisions on a partisan basis.

They are now suffering the consequences of wasteful spending on unnecessary projects and wars with no money to fund them. Both parties are in a tizzy trying to rectify their errors and looking at each other in search of someone to blame. We have a new crew of ideologues with their solutions to the economic mess created, without infringing on the wallets of their wealthy sponsors

Congressman Paul Ryan, the new financial guru who voted for the tax cut for the wealthy, foreign wars, defunct drug plan, No Child Left Behind, 2003 Medicare expansion, Tarp, spending billions of dollars for two separate manufacturing systems in two separate companies to make two versions of an engine, with identical performance, for the same airplane. Where was he while he and his colleagues who created the deficit and national debt?  Ryan and supporters would make Robin Hood turn over in his grave with their plan to reduce spending.

I see little hope for any change in our political process until the oppressed reach a point of no hope. We had soup lines and tent cities during the depression, but we have food banks and homeless today on the rise. Change is brought about from the bottom up and like those with drug and alcohol addictions the country must again reach rock bottom before the voices of the oppressed become loud enough to be heard. This occurred after the depression; the voices of workers were heard and the middle class was born.

Those living through the depression recognize the similarities between now and then and are concerned about another depression. A recession or depression may be good for the country, although it will be a hard on people who have never experienced doing without. It’s amazing what people can do to survive. We may begin to spend more time with our family and enjoy the simple things in life. There’s a way in history and a way in nature of always bringing people back down to earth and we are ready for it. Our obsession with material things purchased on credit with high interest rates must be changed as this is the root problem in society.

This may sound depressing and I may be an alarmist, but usually have had the foresight to see through the smoke filled rhetoric of politicians and political junkies. I hope I’m not over reacting, but must look at possible consequences of those in power. The media feeds on conflict, not only wars, but political conflict, so beware of their power to form public opinion.

The average person will discover in time that life can be just as fulfilling without the unfulfilling material things they devote their life to in pursuit of happiness.

A word of wisdom from Marianne Williamson: “Meaning doesn’t lie in things. Meaning lies in us. When we attach value to things that aren’t love—the money, the car, the house, the prestige—we are loving things that can’t love us back. We are searching for meaning in the meaningless. Money of itself means nothing. Material things, of themselves, mean nothing. It’s not that they are bad. It’s that they’re nothing.”

BREAKING NEWS !!!!! My post “About Me” now has pictures of myself !


5 responses to “Economics

  1. Vicki Sue McKinnis

    I spend alot of time doing research on the state of our country, and specifically our economy. That said, I am amazed at how well you summarized the “State of the Union” so precisely. You said in one article, what I’ve read in hundreds of pages and a myriad of youtube clips. Yesterday, after reading a most discouraging report on our economic outlook, I felt an unexpected wave of a “sense of well being.” I realized that a deep economic depression may be the best thing to reset the values of the American people. I’m amazed that you hit upon that as well. Thank you so much for that excellent article.

  2. Vicki Sue McKinnis

    We must also remember that part of what is sinking our economy are the protections given Wall Street and the actions of The Federal Reserve Bank. “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.” Thomas Jefferson

  3. I guess we all better get use to the idea of going without the material things we are use to. It is the already poor that may even have the advantage because they aren’t slipping in their standard of living.
    It is just difficult to have so much money in the hands of the few.

  4. (rubbing my eyes) I thought it was my imagination again:) Thank you for the last paragraph as it grounded the whole article and gave it a way to make sense of the sometimes senseless world. I wonder often how things can get so mixed up in this world. I wonder what the elections will do to the whole cycle. I wonder if a new president —no matter who it is—can have much of an effect on the dier state of the economy and turbulent climate of the rest of the world with the wars, conflicts, natural disasters etc…

  5. Dennis Ledesma

    Great words, Don, but since your commentary is objective it will not convince the partisan Republican nor the partisan Democrat of the truths presented. Nor will it convince us citizens, many of whom are lock-step followers of our political party leaders.

    Our species is too set in our ways, stubborn and deaf to all opinions that fall outside our existing political ideas.

    The goal of our legislators should be to do things for the good of the country. Sadly, this lofty goal has been replaced with “for the good of the party.” : (

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