Letter to the Editor

It's bent but it ain't broke

Friday, February 26, 2010

Dear Editor,

We have seen the dark side of capitalism in living color on TV for almost a year now.

We have observed business executives receiving huge bonuses that they squander on themselves. We have seen banks make loans realizing full well that the recipients may have difficulty repaying them.

And those nice people with money at the credit card companies laugh every day on their way to the bank after they have sucked people's financial futures dry.

The baby boomers believed that the gravy train would never end so we tried to buy ourselves rich. Our mantra was "Charge it!"

We felt that we deserved to have everything we saw because we were bom in the land of perpetual prosperity. We thought our nation learned from the Great Depression and that this would never happen, but it did. We surmised that the free market system would always lead to a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, so we spent it just as fast as we could make it. We were certain the Great American Dream would never end, but it did. It happened because collectively we really messed up by assuming more debt than we could manage.

So we are angrily railing at the system that stole the future from our grandchildren as if we had nothing to do with it. Who was it that recited the mantra of "buy now and pay later" as we gathered status symbols to ourselves? Who was it that signed the document agreeing to pay through the nose for a house comparable to The Joneses' home so we could belong to a higher socioeconomic class?

We did it to ourselves. Generation X is rocking and reeling and they don't know which end is up. They are angry. Can we blame them? Not really. When we forget the lessons of history we are doomed to repeat them.

If you're really lucky like me, your parents didn't spend all their money on themselves so you and your children and grandchildren will have food to eat, clothes to wear and a roof over their heads. We owe our freedom as well as most of the material things we enjoy to the sacrifices and foresight of the Grand Generation.

Find one and thank him or her. The younger generations don't know the meaning of sacrifice and foresight but we may have to learn. At the present time, most Americans are engaged in finger-pointing and we are looking for people and entities to blame for this colossal blunder. The electorate is incensed and a lynching is in the offing.

The number one suspect for this crime is capitalism. We are certain the evils of capitalism have led us down the garden path.

We feel like Rebecca from Sunnybrook Farm. Just because we have poor memories and ignored red flags we feel we are justified in screaming "Rape!"

We did this to ourselves! Now we are ready to scrap the system because it is inherently evil and irretrievably broken.

It ain't broken -- it's just bent out of shape. Many of us were taken in by those promising hope and change. One of the changes may be that your utility bill will go up by nearly 50 percent if Cap-and-Trade is passed. Another may be that you will be charged a fine of $25,000 if you don't buy into the insurance provided by the federal government if the current healthcare bill is passed. The hope is that you may win the lottery.

Liberal intellectuals are advocating redistribution of the wealth. Socialism, or redistribution of the wealth, sounds appealing because all those nasty rich people will be paying our bills and finally some modicum of fairness will be inherent in modern society here in the USA.

So far the taxes on corporate America have not been able to afford us all the things we need and most of the things we want. The management and the stockholders are getting rich while the average person does all the work or so we think. We've stumbled onto the brilliant conclusion that making money is a sin and that it should not go unpunished.

The $64,000 question is where do jobs come from? Who signs your paycheck? Think about that for a long time. When you figure it out, quit blaming businessmen and corporate America for the sins of greedy people who worship success and money.

There have always been people like that and there always will be. It may be a good idea to put a cap on bonuses for exceptional business leaders but you need to understand that is one thing that drives the free market system. It would be an excellent idea to get down on your knees and pray that the free market system survives.

If it doesn't, life won't be much fun for any of us for a long, long time. When was the last time a poor person offered you a job? If you're financially able, go downtown and patronize the businesses of McCook to save your neighbor's job and prevent main street from disappearing.

Everyone in America who has a considerable amount of wealth should feel a responsibility to stimulate the economy. Refusal to do so is short- sighted and is a form of greed.

We should be grateful to the men and women who took the bull by the horns and were brave enough to believe in the Great American Dream. They made this nation the greatest nation in the history of mankind.

It seems to me that those who are not doing much are always the first ones to criticize the mistakes of the those who are putting greater effort into life.

So let's all join a union of some kind to keep the evil capitalists from hoarding all the money and spending it all on themselves. Let's demand equality and profitability for all so we can all get a piece of the pie and all live in deluxe apartments in the sky. Then we won't need low income housing -- right?

Let's tax the corporations and all moneyed individuals to the maximum degree to recapture some of their ill-gotten gains. Let's demand that the rich people pay an exorbitant amount of tax so the government will be able to provide adequate health care for everyone and a luxurious retirement lifestyle for all.

Let's campaign for one-and-one-half hour lunch breaks, free child care, six weeks vacation, 60 days sick leave (in case we get HIN1 more than once), shorter hours, faster computers and a prime rib in every pot. Then we'll all be on easy street and life will be fair at last.

Let the business owners figure out how to pay the taxes, equitable wages for all, the building rent, the utilities, sick pay, vacation pay and ensure that everyone will be able to buy Nikes for their offspring. At the same time let's expect them to give back to the community, avoid damaging the environment, and support the illegal immigrants.

Let's all renew our zeal to save the population of bora-bora bears from extinction by finding the only plant they will eat that grows deep in middle of some jungle and airlift it in by Lear jet every other day to ensure freshness.

And it's only fair that if we do that for one endangered species we should do it for all endangered species. I'm personally considering donating my whole inheritance to help the bora-bora bears live a happy and fulfilled life instead of giving to silly charities like the Red Cross and the Salvation Army who are trying to feed homeless humans.

But on the other hand if we do multiply the numbers of endangered species all God's creatures will stand an equal chance of survival in the nuclear winter that may happen when those angry people in the Iran get the bomb. And that reminds me that we should be minding our own business and trying to become kinder and gentler people.

I like to gamble as long as I don't lose more than $3. I'm just giddy with excitement that we are playing Russian Roulette with our national security by going soft on terror. Perhaps Las Vegas could recapture some business by taking bets on which American city will be the first to be blown" off the map.

That was really a dumb idea of George's to try to create new democracies. George Bush must be the stupidest man that ever lived. Maybe Barack Obama could teach him how to talk and enlighten him, I've heard very recently that liberals are patting themselves on the back for victory in Iraq. I thought they were against the war in Iraq. My mistake.

Let's have all corporations, all businesses that may make a profit by some miracle of God, and moneyed people everywhere pay enough taxes for continuing space exploration, finding alternate sources of energy (by yesterday), paying the salaries of all the efficient government worker's whose number is increasing exponentially every day, providing free education from pre-school through doctorate programs, funding research to save us from disease, and cleaning up after climate change, (notation to Al Gore-see the book of Revelation.)

Let's expect that they pay for cleaning the air, building good roads, providing rapid transit, and buying designer jeans and Starbucks coffee for everyone.

This is the vision of a new America -- ever changing and evolving towards Utopia where their will be no sickness, no poverty, and no tough luck. Then life events will finally be fair for everyone. There will be equal pay for unequal work and we will all be alike and we will all live happily ever after.

Right? Wrong! When the sinister and evil capitalists are forced to declare bankruptcy or decide to apply at McDonald's to reduce their stress level they'll find themselves in a very long unemployment line. There will be no jobs available at all unless our wonderful, financially solvent, and money savvy government can wish some into existence.

If we continue on this crash course with calamity our nation will be unrecognizable. We will all be broke. Their will be poverty for all and opportunity for no one. And there won't be anything we can do about it. Socialism is just a hop, skip and a jump from a place where everyone is called a Comrade. Liberals have shot our nation in the foot. Let's not let them drive a stake through the heart of corporate America and allow them to reduce us into just another citizenry of the world.

Now if you'll excuse me I feel an overwhelming urge to find a flag and recite the Pledge Of Allegiance and hear myself say the words "One nation under God" An I'd like to ask all you other knuckle-dragging Neanderthals to chime in.

A Parting Shot -- Perhaps the business executives at Viagra should not have wasted the money that was necessary to print new warning labels on their product that targets liberal intellectuals.

First of all, liberal intellectuals would never admit they are dysfunctional and that they need help. Secondly they don't pay attention to the warnings of businessmen because they know more and better.

The warning reads: "In case of an erection lasting longer than 48 hours don't try to hug every tree in the forest on the same day." But, on the other hand, that might keep them busy while some of the rest of us try to salvage what's left of America.

Janine Hall,


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  • Nice rant, but it doesn't seem to be much more than some lightweight rehash of the age old standard conservative exercise which is to find a superior moral justification for selfishness and greed.They go out of their way to condemn "socialism"; which is winger G.O.P.-speak for any attempt to help the less fortunate.

    So once again, if you're poor or you're sick or you don't have health insurance, remember this: these people think your problems are funny.And the greater problems of the environment fall into this category as well as if we all, including them, don't all live on this one planet which is the only one we've got.

    I'd assert that if we've got to "salvage" this country it's to salvage it from those, businessmen and the like, who know the price of everything and the value of nothing unless it can be commodified and bought and sold.

    -- Posted by davis_x_machina on Fri, Feb 26, 2010, at 12:33 PM
  • I tried to read this editorial post, but unfortunately, I lost track of what you were trying to say. As I take it, the primary source of frustration is the bank executives compensation pay. I am quite frankly very ticked off too.

    But, do you want to see some real and fast results? Take away their huge safety net the feds have given them. You will see more efficient use or their resource than ever before. Sure you may not be able to buy that $300.000 house on a $30,000 income, and that $300,000 house may not actually be worth that anymore. Executive pay may actually be based on performance, not as a recruiting tool.

    -- Posted by Hugh Jassle on Fri, Feb 26, 2010, at 1:53 PM
  • *

    A very pertinent and timely article about the challenges we are now facing with the socialist movement that has people addicted to the proposition that they deserve what anyone else has. Class envy has been exploited to the point that many folks feel the working and wealthy are undeserving and that they need to share the fruits of their toil with the less fortunate. Less fortunate is code lingo for some that are lazy or choose to spend their money on frivolous things.

    For the intellectually challenged that are having a hard time understanding the original opinion article, maybe the following will make it easier to understand.

    Suppose that everyday 10 men go to PJ's for lunch. The bill for all ten comes to $100. If it were paid the way we pay our taxes, the first four men would pay nothing; the fifth would pay $1; the sixth would pay $3; the seventh $7; the eighth $12; the ninth $18. The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59. The 10 men ate lunch in the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement until the owner threw them a curve.

    "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20." Now lunch for the 10 would costs only $80. The first four are unaffected. They still eat for free. Can you figure out how to divvy up the $20 savings between the remaining six so that everyone gets his fair share?

    The men realize that $20 divided by 6 is $3.33, but if they subtract that from everybody's share, then the fifth and the sixth man would end up being paid to eat their meal. The restaurant owner suggested that it would be only fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount that each paid and he started to work out the amounts each should pay.

    And so the fifth man paid nothing, the sixth pitched in $2, the seventh paid $5, the eighth paid $9, the ninth paid $12, leaving the tenth man with a bill of $52 instead of $59. Outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

    "I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man pointing to the tenth, "and he got $7!"

    "Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got seven times more than me!"

    "That's true," shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $7 back when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks."

    "Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor."

    The nine men surrounded the tenth man and beat him up. The next day he didn't show up for lunch, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important: They were $52 short!

    And that, boys and girls and college instructors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up at the table anymore. There are lots of good restaurants in Switzerland and the Caribbean.

    -- Posted by ksfarmer on Fri, Feb 26, 2010, at 9:25 PM
  • "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries."

    Winston Churchill

    "Contrary to the vulgar belief that men are motivated primarily by materialistic considerations, we now see the capitalist system being discredited and destroyed all over the world, even though this system has given men the greatest material comforts"

    Ayn Rand

    "History suggests that capitalism is a necessary condition for political freedom"

    Milton Friedman

    "Capitalism and communism stand at opposite poles. Their essential difference is this: The communist, seeing the rich man and his fine home, says: 'No man should have so much.' The capitalist, seeing the same thing, says: 'All men should have so much.'"

    In what other country can a person emigrate from a foreign country work hard and become a millionaire?

    -- Posted by Chaco1 on Sat, Feb 27, 2010, at 9:13 PM
  • Excelent quotes....Food for thought for a hungry mind!!!!

    Thankyou Chaco1



    -- Posted by kaygee on Sun, Feb 28, 2010, at 5:23 PM
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