The Bane of All Mankind
The word indifference does not strike fear or cause panic in our modern society. However the act of being indifferent has caused the death and suffering of millions throughout human history.
The accepted definition of the word causes one no more concern than spilling salt at the dinner table. Webster’s Dictionary defines the word simply as “lack of difference or distinction between two or more things”
In the following pages I intend to demonstrate how being indifferent is at the root of many of the problems we face as a society.
Indifference and Politics
I have no doubt there are many who run for public with the best of intentions, for those that serve with honor and integrity I applaud you, however those individuals are in the smallest of majorities in my opinion.
The vast majority of politicians it seems are there only for themselves with little regard to the voting public that elected them to office in the first place.
Both the politicians and the public have seemingly forgotten who is in charge. The person elected to office is the employee to his or her constituency; why then do we not hold them accountable for the lies and failures they are responsible for? We as citizens get fired from a job we do not do well; why then do we re-elect those that perform poorly or disgrace us?
The typical citizen is not in my opinion well-educated on the issues of the day. I also believe that we tend to vote for politicians based on reasons of little consequence such as looks, personality or their persona.
We need to educate ourselves on the issues of the day as well as those running for office, just because someone posts something about a candidate on a webpage does not make it true or accurate.
Politicians are human beings and as such are subject to mistakes I accept that as a frailty of mankind, but to do nothing or what is most expedient because one desires to protect an image is outrageous, yet it happens every day as a matter of course and we the voting public seldom if ever do anything about it. We the voters have short memories and the typical politician counts on that flaw in order to stay in office.
In the end we the American public are responsible for the current economic climate, we voted for those that wrote and signed the legislation with little regard to the big picture of things, we as a nation seem to have the attitude that so long as I get something out of it, then he or she is doing a good job.
The Social Security System is bankrupt, those in Washington have been borrowing from the very pool of money you and I pay taxes into in order to pay for various projects as opposed to balancing the budget, and using our nation’s resources wisely, Washington politics as usual the expression goes. But we as a public did not remove the offenders from office or raise much if any opposition to the practice.
Do we as the public not care? Seems we only raise a voice of opposition when things are not going our way and you can be sure the typical politician is going to paint as pretty a picture as he or she can on any topic to keep us seeing the issues at hand with rose-colored glasses.
Why do we as the voting public allow for example the members of congress to set their own pay rates, pensions and health care privileges? Try the following the next time you see the owner of the company you work for, tell him and or her the compensation package you want and see how fast you find yourself in the unemployment line. Why then do we the voters allow such actions to happen, I believe we should be able to vote on their pay raises and compensation packages. If the voting public had the power to set wages and compensation packages for those in Washington, the level of competence would increase 100 fold over night. The politician you seldom see or hear from except when he or she needs your vote, said politician would be almost at our beck and call. Merit based pay it is an interesting concept is it not?
Every American citizen needs to send a clear and resounding message to all politicians everywhere, this message should be short and to the point, do what is right and just or we will remove you and hold you accountable. Speaking of accountability, the current method has the fox guarding the hen-house. I believe this is a prime reason we need to install stricter term limits and remove so many of the perks the typical politicians enjoy. Those individuals that represent the citizens of this great country should be held to the highest standards, if the individual is not up to the challenge then he or she should not run for office. Both politician and voter alike have become indifferent to what is honorable and just for our nation; we have just become plain lazy and let those we vote into office lead us by the nose where ever they choose to. The American public needs to be more accurately informed, the American public needs to research the issues at hand how else can the voter determine the best candidate.
I have been as guilty as anyone regarding my failure to research the candidates running for election as well as I should have or even at all in some cases. I have heard the following comment many times from my fellow country man, why should I vote nothing will ever change. If we continue to do things the same way should we expect different results?
We as a nation did not arrive at our current predicament overnight and it would be foolish to think we can extricate ourselves within the same time period. We have always been a nation of innovators and hard workers. The pride that our nation has experienced did not come freely or without sacrifice and hard work. It would a terrible shame to let the sacrifices and efforts of those before us to be in vain.
We as a nation need to make the difficult choices today so that we have a secure and prosperous future. We need to hire (elect) those individuals who have the courage to do what is best for all of us, not just those that will help them get re-elected. I truly believe stricter term limits will weed out those that desire a career in politics; we need men and women who seek to serve the public good. With stricter term limits, more accountability, we will weed out the vast majority of those individuals who seek public office who will not put the public first before themselves.
There will be many I am sure who ask themselves as they read this, why do I not run for public officeThe answer is simple, I do not have the skills to be a statesman; for example I am far to direct and have great difficulty tolerating idiots. Another shortcoming I have is I do not have the ability to tell someone to kiss my ass but yet they walk away thinking I am such a nice and polite person, that skill is for the politician, a skill I proudly claim not to have nor the desire to acquire.
I do not claim to have all of the answers; I do however know that so long as we the public allow substandard employees (politicians) to remain in office, our current political and economic situations are not going to improve.
I offer the following for your consideration; our current tax system is so complicated and confusing that even those at the IRS can’t answer the tax payer’s questions; loop holes to allow those with the means or knowledge to evade taxes; the current tax system is also imbalanced as to who pays the higher percentage of taxes.
I believe a new system should be employed, a system that is fair to all who live in this country.
The current federal income tax system only collects taxes from the employers as the employee gets paid. This system does not take into account those that use our tax payer based services such as roads and medical care; such as tourists, foreign nationals, illegal aliens to name a few.
If we change the tax system to a national sales tax, no one could evade taxes. Even if a person got paid under the table so to speak, whenever they purchased goods and services they would pay their fair share of taxes to support the infrastructure of this country.
Of course there would be exemptions to this system such as food, medicine, primary residence purchases. This system could be phased in; as the national sales tax comes into effect the federal income tax could be lowered at some point the federal income tax as we know it would go away.
If this method is instituted the federal government would be able to collect more income to pay for the needs of this country. Since everyone who makes a purchase pays the same amount the system is then fair by definition. It is important to note that those in the work force would have more take home pay because they would no longer pay federal income tax.
Most Americans are familiar with special purpose taxes, such as those voted for to pay for a school or other local project. These taxes are for a known length of time and for a known purpose. The public understands why the taxes are needed and for how long they will be paying them. There is no reason we cannot do the same thing with the national sales tax. We the people would then be in charge of how the Congress spends our money. Since the American public allowed the congress to borrow against and then bankrupt social security, (let’s not forget we voted the politicians into office and did not hold them accountable,) we the American public have to take charge. In order to save social security we could then implement a special purpose tax that would make social security solvent again for ever American citizen.
This temporary tax would go away after a given time; the money collected could only be used for the intended purpose. At no time could any of this money be diverted for other purposes. I know the congress is likely to be against such an idea as this takes power and control away from them but we the American public have no choice we have to take control of our country. Those that control the money control the country, currently we the people are not in charge of anything. If congress truly had the best interest of all American at the for front of their agendas, they would not have given themselves the perks they enjoy at the expense of us the tax payer, the typical congressperson has health care free of charge, they have their own bank (yeah our money again) they have an awesome retirement plan, just to name a few of the perks. Not once did they ask the American public to approve such expenditures. If you and I did such thing it would be called theft or embezzlement.
If we implemented such a tax system I believe there would be a positive cascading effect in this country.
We would have tighter control of our national spending; we could assign a given amount to reduce the national debt; having this information would allow us to become competitive in the global economy, we could lower if not eliminate the capital gains taxes that have driven businesses away from this great country.The stability this type of tax system offers would ease the fears of business and consumers alike.
This country is out of balance in terms of the type of economy we have, there was a time when The United States was the manufacturing capital of the world, but that is no longer the case, we are now more of a service based economy. This imbalance leaves us vulnerable to the fluctuations of the world economy, if we had a balanced economy between manufacturing, service, research and development for example, we would not be exposed nor be affected to failures in our global economy, in other words let us not put all of our eggs in one basket.
I must differ with the current thought process that you can spend your way out of debt, the economic problems we currently face are in large part due to over spending. We have spent more than we have in the bank, in other words the checks written by those we have hired to manage the nation’s resources have bounced.
If we implement a tax system based on consumption as opposed to production, our tax income will grow because the taxes are collected at the point of sale. Everyone in this country would pay his or her fair share. No one would be taxed on how much they make which would negate the negative impact the current income tax system places on the American worker. In fact this would encourage the American worker to make more money because at that point there would be no penalty for success.
This method would encourage prosperity, ingenuity and eliminate the current system of punishing business and the American worker for success.
Common sense tells us based on human tendencies if a worker makes more money said worker will spend more, even when their savings increase. Our current system is choking the American economy; we have seen this shown in the numerous recessions, economic downturns ECT. In the end it is the US as a whole that suffers from those negative economic changes.
Indifference and Priorities
We as a nation expect our schools to be the best in the world; we expect our emergency services to be there when we need them. I do not believe these are unreasonable expectations. The problem as I see it is simply that we have our priorities misplaced.
We as a society are perfectly willing to idolize the pro sports figure, the media star and to pay them exorbitant salaries. I have no problem with anyone making as much money as they can, but should we pay those who protect us with their very lives less; or those that teach our children, the most precious commodity we have if you will pardon the expression are our children. Why then do we pay our emergency services professionals, teachers, military personnel so poorly?
I do not understand how we can expect our teachers to teach our children properly when we do not allocate the proper funds for them to do so, why should a teacher have to pay for classroom supplies such as books, paper, writing utensils and the like? I also do not believe that parents should expect teachers to raise their children. We as parents have taken that responsibility from the moment of conception. There is no wonder there is a shortage of top quality teachers in this country. Why should anyone be expected to spend so much time and money to become a teacher when they can expect substandard pay, abysmal working conditions and parents who offer little to no home training.
The emergency services personnel such as police and fireman and even the military for that matter are paid extremely depressed wages, yet they defend us with their lives when called to do so, however we gladly pay the media darlings or sports stars multi millions of dollars to entertain us. I personally do not expect and untrained media darling or sports person to protect me from harm, save my sick child from death or defend this nation from attack regardless from where said attack is. I am in no way attacking those in the entertainment business. I just believe we as a society need to realize that the true heroes are those who heal the sick and dying, teach our children and protect us from harm and we should compensate them accordingly.
I truly believe we have our priorities mixed up. If we as a nation raised the compensation packages for teachers for example we could pick and choose from an enormous pool of well-trained and dedicated individuals. Those teaching our children would be the very best in their profession. We could remove those who did not meet our high standards of ability, commitment and dedication. There are many teachers of impeccable talent and dedication in our school systems today, there are just too few of them. The better we educate ourselves the lower the burden financially we place on our society as a whole. The crime level in poor areas of this country is much higher than the more affluent areas; this makes perfect sense to me. Education gives rise to hope and the ability to improve one’s current position
There would be significantly fewer homeless persons with a better educated society; a greater standard of living for all persons in this country; less unemployment; fewer unwed mothers; less drug use; I am convinced that much of what ails our society today is due to a substandard education system.
The next time our local sports team asks your municipality to assist in the building of a new sports arena with your hard-earned tax dollars I ask that you tell them they have their priorities wrong, or better yet have them donate a portion of all proceeds from the sale of tickets and merchandise to the state and local school system. For as long as the team is in your local city or state. Heck let’s go one step further, require that it be mandatory that they donate a portion of all proceeds to the state and local education system as part of your municipality allowing them to be in your fair city or community. I see no reason why there should not be a corporate willingness to improve the area in which they call their home. It makes perfect sense when you think about it, the better educated the public becomes the more money they make and the more disposable income they have, where do you think they may want to spend some of that extra income? Let’s play ball!
Indifference and the Knee Jerk Reaction
Oh my where to start on this one, the typical politician is just so much fodder for the fire on these issues. Take most any current event and there will be someone yelling the sky is falling, the terrible natural disaster in Japan of 2011 for example. I could not believe we had world leaders screaming for this investigation and that investigation, as opposed to pouring every available resource into helping the affected citizens of Japan. It does not take a genius to figure out that Mother Nature is something mankind cannot totally prepare for. I just have to ask the obvious question, who had the bright idea to build so many reactors in an area known for earthquakes and tsunamis, and then build them so close to the ocean and a fault line to boot. Well the real estate companies have one slogan in common, Location, Location, and Location. Perhaps this should also be extended to nuclear power generation facilities as well.
What we will hear and read as the nuclear issues unfold in Japan are how terrible and dangerous nuclear power can be; the byproducts and health concerns just to name a few. While this is in the news green energy will be focused upon, speeches will be made; and just as quickly when the limelight fades so with their resolve for green energy. Change is difficult for humans, more often than not we have to be forced.
I truly do not wish to pick on our president; I know he is doing the best job of organizing that he can right now, but how about showing some leadership. You had the perfect opportunity to show your country and the world your leadership skills, nope to busy telling a foreign power we want to be your best customer as opposed to creating jobs that free us from foreign oil dependence. And this mess in Libya who the heck is in charge of that? You say it isn’t us, Hell I agree with you. But if you do not know who is in charge then why have you put our brave men and women in harm’s way. We do not have to lead ever military campaign that we are involved in, but to submit our resources in some campaign with no consensus as to the outcome, total involvement, etc. Yes it is obvious you have never worn the uniform. Someone who had worn it would never have committed us so haphazardly and with so little organization. Mr. President you need to show us all something of substance and I mean soon, or you need to move on towards retirement. The country is just in to bad a shape right now to allow you much more OJT.
The state legislature of Wisconsin is high on my list as well. Their attitude of if we cannot have our way we will just take our ball and glove and go hide somewhere; as opposed to discussing the issues and accepting responsibility for the current situation at hand. I understand that agreements had been made to those workers and I believe an agreement should be honored, but from what I understand the system was flawed from the start. How can anyone expect the Governor of any state to allow the state to go bankrupt without making every effort possible to prevent it?
I want every worker to get what they earn; what is promised or owed; But not at the expense of us all. The system that was in place in Wisconsin was not viable and should not have been ratified in the first place in the current form. But the cowardly actions of those elected officials who ran away to neighboring states as opposed to trying to work out something to protect their constituents, have in my opinion committed treason. To run and hide; to shirk your duty; to accept pay for work not done is theft. But those really smart politicians forgot about something, they forgot that when you leave someone seemingly no choice, when you back them against a wall, necessity the mother of invention steps up. Since you would not work with the governor to help solve the issue and had chosen to run and make the issue even more unbearable, the logical thing to do was make your presence no longer needed
Hence they removed the spending portion of the plan and then were free to do whatever was needed without your missing behinds. Cowards and traitors the lot of you; who failed to honor your oaths in Wisconsin. How do you look those workers honestly in the face and tell them you ran and screamed the sky is falling when you were not there to represent them in the halls of your state house. Now instead of being able to tell your constituents you did the best you could for them, you get to tell them they need to pay your hotel bill that is in the neighboring state. I smell something in the state of Wisconsin come November and it sure as hell isn’t going to be cheese. All we heard in the news from those congressmen and women was how terrible it would be not to honor that agreement to those union workers, I say nay, what was and is worse is not telling those union workers the truth, which is that no matter how much we would love to honor that agreement, there just was no money to do so, I never hear even one of you ask those union workers if they could accept on a temporary basis some sort of compromise. NO you had to have it all or nothing and now that’s what you got NOTHING!!!!. Your constituents should run you out of congress on a rail! Traitorous Cowards one in all of you!
Indifference and Economic Slavery
For anyone who claims there is no slavery in the United States I have to resoundingly disagree! The US like the vast majority of nations on this earth are slaves to fossil fuels. We use far more than we can produce, as a result we are at their mercy. If we do not do something they desire us to do, they simply decide not to sell us any oil. How many of us remember the oil embargo of the middle 1970’s. That one simple lesson seems to have been forgotten by most if not all of us. There is an oil embargo, only now it is just more subtle; the oil-producing nations simply slow down production and increases their profits due to the law of supply and demand. There is also the issue of oil being traded on the open market each time there is even the slightest report of unrest or political instability of these nations, the price of a barrel of oil skyrockets.
The vast majority of us only see the end result at the pump in higher fuel prices. The problem goes much deeper and is much more detrimental to our freedom as a nation. So long as we allow any nation or body of any sort to have this much control over our economic freedom we are but slaves. As the price of oil increases, so does the cost of transporting anything that uses fuel to run an engine; the cost of food will increase because it now costs more to run the farm equipment; items that use petroleum in the composition will increase just to name a few. This in turn causes all consumers to have to pay more for everything. There is also the issue of how the increase in prices affects the profits of those that employ us, as those profits decrease their prices have to increase or they have to reduce spending. The typical company can’t just raise prices due to competition or risk pushing away their customers due to high prices; they have no choice but to reduce costs. The primary way to reduce costs in any company I to reduce payroll, in other words lay off workers or simply not replace those that retire for example.
This is a vicious cycle, the companies lay off workers, the workers have less money to spend so they purchase only what is needed. once this happens other issues begin to arise, then we have the reduced tax rolls for governments to use to pay for the school systems, emergency services, the stores have fewer customers so their sales are down, they then purchase fewer goods from their suppliers, which in turn means they no longer get the same price structure due to lower purchasing volume. Everything in our economy is connected in some way. We can no longer allow any single entity to have this kind of control over our nation.
I propose our nation should put forth the same effort to become energy independent that we did to win WWII or go to the moon. It will take a concerted and national effort to achieve this goal, but I am convinced we can accomplish this goal within a decade with the proper leadership