[mccookgazette.com] Fair ~ 43°F  
High: 47°F ~ Low: 21°F
Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

The Chicken Littles of the World

Posted Thursday, February 17, 2011, at 5:20 PM

To say that if we were in Congress things would be different, or if we were in Congress this is what we would do are all fun things to say to our friends. Would things be different if we were in control? Look at the states' houses of government where typically more people like you and I reside. Are things really all that different at the state level than at the federal level?

Here is a fun little fact, what we consider normal Americans have never held a seat in Congress. Not in over two hundred years. At the start of this country the only people that could even be elected to the House were white landowners. Right there a huge segment of the population was already cut out as women and men of minority skin color were not allowed to even run, much less get elected. It was not just simple landowners who could get elected though. Then, as today, it took money to get elected. Typically large landowners were elected to the House. Those landowners still living a mostly subsistence life could neither afford or have the time to serve in Congress. Forget about the Senate at this time as only state legislatures could elect Senators. Do you think there was a large clamoring to elect the common man? Not hardly. We have to remember that our country is not a true democratic nation and it was never set up to be so. Ours is a representative democracy. We send representatives to Washington to speak for us.

As time passed it became only slightly easier to get elected into Congress. When the 17th Amendment became law and gave people the right to vote for Senators it was believed, at the time, by those Progressives, that it would give the American people a stronger vote by putting members in the House and in the Senate.

The main point here is that as long as there has been a federal government there have been people claiming the United States was going to cease to exist because of the actions of Congress and/or the United States. People used to point to the Civil War and tell those that would listen that the war was a perfect example of how close the United States came to blinking out because of the federal government. They typically ignore a lot of facts in jumping to that conclusion, but that has always been the way.

Whether those in power are Republican or Democratic there have always been and always will be people that predict that the sky is falling.

The United States is in it's 223 consecutive year of existence. We can thank the Constitution for this and those that defend it (whether it be a strict interpretation or a broad one). It is the majority of the people that love this country that have helped it make it this long. Their voice has drowned out for 223 years those on the edges that try to shape the government in their image (whether it be a socialist country or a theocracy).

Those on the edges are the ones that shout the loudest about the sky is falling and that the United States is in dire trouble. We are not. We have weathered horrible situations in our past and because of that past we will continue to have the tools to weather future crises.

Am I saying that all criticisms of the federal government must end? Of course not. Criticism of our federal government is a linchpin of our democracy. Outside of voting it is the only other true way that our federal representatives are going to know if we are happy with what they are doing or upset with what they are doing. It is only when the fringes voices get so loud that for the time we forget that they are the fringe. We will weather this storm and the United States will go on.


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Holy crikey!

Very nice article Mike. I am impressed. I mean that for really reals.

-- Posted by Sir Didymus on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 5:22 PM

Thank you

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 5:27 PM

My highest complements go to you! In the last year, two of the books I've read were John Adams by David McCullough, and Henry Clay by David & Jeanne Heidler. They were both good reads. It is true that rich white landowners were the only ones that could be sent to the House, thank goodness we had some good ones.

With this said I'll leave you with this to ponder.

A certain pupil asked Confucius about government:

"What qualifies one to participate in government?"

Confucius said, "Honor five refinements, and get rid of four evils.

Then you can participate in government."

The pupil asked, "What are the five refinements?"

Confucius said, "Good people are generous without being wasteful;

they are hard-working without being resentful; they desire without being greedy;

they are at ease without being haughty; they are dignified without being fierce."

The pupil asked, "What are the four evils?"

Confucius replied, "To execute without having admonished; this is called cruelty.

To examine accomplishments without having instructed; this is called brutality.

To be lax in direction yet make deadlines; this is called viciousness.

To be stingy in giving what is due to others; this is called being bureaucratic

-- Posted by Keda46 on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 8:18 PM

Well captainobvious that sounds rather socialistic in nature. While I agree that the situation does seem dire it isn't any different than this nation has seen before. As a student of history everything you described should sound very familiar from the 1890s through the 1910s.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Feb 18, 2011, at 10:59 AM

The situation that seems the most dire to me is the Currency war or Competitive devaluation. With a few states that want there own currency, this has become a big concern to me. If we lose our dollar as the leader of the world currency is concerned, what happens then?

I know this happened in 1930. Maybe I'm the chicken little of the barnyard huh?

I would like your thoughts on this.

-- Posted by Keda46 on Fri, Feb 18, 2011, at 11:39 AM

I love the continuing myth that dependence on government is only a recent (since 1930) development, that it wasn't around before FDR.

It is the same captainobvious. Replace aliens with the Chinese, Japanese, and Irish and it is almost exactly the same. They were putting nearly the same laws on the books in that period concerning any type of immigration that we are now.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Feb 18, 2011, at 1:34 PM

In other words, the sky is falling, the sky is falling? You should have a little more hope and faith in your fellow Americans than the fear and loathing you are pushing.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Feb 18, 2011, at 4:01 PM

Here's the little problem with your example, obvious. You cite Wisconsin. Everyone is citing Wisconsin as a liberal problem. Another blogger has even written about it. The problem is that both of you and the talking heads are completely ignoring the facts. The shortfall that Wisconsin currently has is a direct effect of the current governor's tax cutting in his first days of office.

This whole attack on the union's in Wisconsin is completely unneeded. Wisconsin's own version of the budget office even says that the state can get back to a surplus without the cuts the governor is wanting to make.

In this case the problems Wisconsin is currently facing can be pointed directly at the governor.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sat, Feb 19, 2011, at 2:38 PM

A couple of years ago we heard about banks too big to fail and auto makers too big to fail. This is complete nonsense. They weren't too big to fail, they just had friends in government who would not allow them to fail.

Even nations are not too big to fail. They fail all the time. The military just took over Egypt and will install their man as dictator now. When things get tough in the US we could face something similar. I don't know what will come, for we are truly in uncharted waters.

The unions had nothing to do with it, eh, captain? LOL.

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Sun, Feb 20, 2011, at 9:54 PM

I seen this on another blog, thought I would share it. I'm not saying I agree with it, but it is funny!

California= Wisconsin/ Michigan on steroids with better weather.

-- Posted by Keda46 on Mon, Feb 21, 2011, at 1:19 AM

No, Boomer, we truly are not in uncharted waters. Protests are nothing new, the issues are nothing new. I know that you and captain are trying really hard at framing today's issues as something this country has never faced, the problem is, it is just not factually or historically true. We have, as a country, seen this before. If you want to choose to believe that this is the end of our country then you can go ahead and do that, however, I highly doubt there will be many that follow you down that rabbit hole.

This isn't the first time in our history that businesses have been bailed out by the federal government. You only have to look back to the 80s when Reagan was president when it happened.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Mon, Feb 21, 2011, at 6:15 AM

Mike, when was the last time in history that our biggest expense was entitlement programs? Remind me how we overcame that growing obstacle to financial soundness the last time.

Oh, wait a minute...this is the first time since the founding of our country that entitlement programs have accounted 1/2 the Federal spending. Oh, and this is also the first time since the founding of our country that budget projections for entitlement spending show a steady increase...forever.

But no, we're not in uncharted waters. Or whatever. We've just never before faced a huge cost that evidently can't be cut by any means. After all, better that the country fail than that 2 working parents should pay for their own childrens health care, right?

You never cease to make me so happy my kids don't attend McCook Public Schools, with the obvious lack of knowledge shown by "some" teachers.

http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=3521&ty...

-- Posted by MrsSmith on Mon, Feb 21, 2011, at 6:33 AM

"this is the first time since the founding of our country that entitlement programs have accounted 1/2 the Federal spending."

What amazes me MrsSmith, is that you continually gripe and moan about facts and then you offer your own with no proof what-so-ever. If you had bothered to read any of the link you provided (except for your mystical "entitlement spending show a steady increase...forever." statement which isn't even supported by your own link, you would have noticed that your Entitlement spending claim, no matter how you define it, doesn't even come close to your non-factual, non backed up 1/2 the federal spending claim.

captain, just because you choose to ignore history and make claims based on your own version of history does not mean that I have selective memory over history. You say that you are a student of history. Right now you are a failing student of history. History is about facts, all of them, not just simply selecting the facts that will help your claims and ignoring other facts which invalidate your claims. Then again you seem to have a rooting interest in this country failing (see I can frame your comments just as well as you can frame others) doesn't mean that past history isn't coming back again, no matter how hard you try to ignore it.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Mon, Feb 21, 2011, at 9:12 AM

Mike, Mike, Mike, sheesh. The link I posted even has pictures for you. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are now more than 1/2 the Federal budget, and projected to be nearly 3/4 by 2037.

You obviously didn't follow the link, or thought that a lie would go unanswered.

Not that any liberal would stick to facts in an argument, of course. Lies are so much more convenient.

-- Posted by MrsSmith on Mon, Feb 21, 2011, at 3:58 PM

Even the governor of Wisconsin has stated time and time again that what he is doing has nothing to do with the budget. That this all about getting rid of unions.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Feb 22, 2011, at 6:26 AM

"Anyone who sees this differently is NO student of history, should not be allowed to instruct students in history, and is an enemy of the United States as we know it. Period."

Aww obvious there you go again framing statements. Nothing but personal attacks and hatred. Naturally as a student of history you would know that in 1950 the debt held by the public was 120% of GDP, it's currently sitting at about 60%. That kind of falls well short of your never scenario. As a student of history you knew that, I'm sure. Of course MrsSmith is more than willing to follow you down that very large rabbit hole.

MrsSmith if you can somehow get that 15% out of 40% is more than half let alone 75% in projections then you must be using some new fangled math. What is interesting is that none of the spending between 2001 and now is listed. Of course it may be because the link that you posted is 8 and a half years. The projections are based off of non-existent spending. How about you find a more updated page and we can talk some more about the supposed spending.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Feb 22, 2011, at 6:44 AM

Considering there is a lie right off the bat in the conservative Republicans manifesto it's hard to take anything else he says or his fuzzy math serious. It is interesting that Hatch uses the CBO to justify himself. It was just a year ago he was saying the CBO was completely unreliable. Now all of a sudden it's his best friend.

That speech was little on fact and much more of attacking Obama and Democrats.

Got any real numbers instead of a partisan's number obvious?

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Feb 22, 2011, at 9:07 AM


Respond to this blog

Posting a comment requires free registration. If you already have an account, enter your username and password below. Otherwise, click here to register.

Username:

Password:  (Forgot your password?)

Your comments:
Please be respectful of others and try to stay on topic.


And Now for Something Completely Different
Michael Hendricks
Recent posts
Archives
Blog RSS feed [Feed icon]
Comments RSS feed [Feed icon]
Login
Hot topics
The More Things Change The More They Stay The Same
(6 ~ 8:37 PM, Sep 5)

Goodnight Sweet Prince
(3 ~ 11:45 AM, Aug 15)

Elections Matter
(14 ~ 2:15 AM, Aug 9)

Hodgepodgeiness
(262 ~ 6:55 AM, Jan 8)

It Begins ... Again
(24 ~ 11:41 PM, Oct 27)