Thursday, October 06, 2011

Tone deafness has engulfed all of U.S. society

The concept of “Wall Street” is as symbolic as the term “THE government;” when you actually break it down, most people use government services in their daily lives … to their advantage. We also use the component of Wall Street daily.
The anger on all sides (tea party, protesters in many, many US cities) might be genuine, and needs to be vented toward useful solutions, based on the principle that ALL politics are local (hence, solutions are found on the local levels because actions closest to home affect the average family/person the most as opposed to Washington or even Austin for the most part).
BUT … when the major players in those headline institutions – Wall Street, Washington, corporate America – stand tone-deaf to what all parties are saying, you see the fractures happening within our society.
I respect people who work for a living, yes, including brokers (I just wish I understood the stock market because it totally baffles me that BAD news for a company causes its stock to rise and GOOD news causes it to fall). I respect people who have made it, becoming rich. I do NOT respect who step on other people to get to the top and then thumb their collective noses at the ones below them – as if they are less than worthy of anyone’s respect (yes Mr. Herman Cain, I’m talking about YOU!).
When you accept government bailout dollars, and turn around and pay your CEO (who helped screw up the system to start with and caused things like TARP to become necessary) millions more in dollars for “performance bonuses,” people get pissed off! You cannot stand around in faux shock when that anger gets expressed in public. You cannot be the CEO of Bank of America, with its ridiculous $5/month debit card fee (to use YOUR OWN DAMN  PRODUCT), and justify it by saying his bidness has a right to make a profit … when BofA is ALREADY reaping millions, bordering on billions, and wonder why people are outraged!!!!! Tone-deafness!
And then BofA turns around and donate hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars as a corporation, thanks to the likes of Supreme Court justices like Antonin Scalia (“Every banana republic has a Bill of Rights”), who have opened the system to naked prostitution and corruption of our representatives. The average family then gets tuned out by that pol in favor of the old Yiddish proverb, “Sniff where the money is.”
True revolution won’t happen in this nation…we won’t go back to the Depression days with soup lines and all that misery. But in our modern times, plenty of people, who used to be happy, are miserable, locked in the depths of personal abysses. Having worked somewhat with the homeless shelter in Collin County (the wealthiest county in Texas), many people who were donors are now clients.
However, we need to be sensible. Change starts at the base. I was told by plenty of tea party people that their singular focus was on D.C. and things like debt reduction (not possible in our lifetimes), reduction of the ENTIRE bureaucracy (not possible either because everyone on Social Security wants those damn checks and wants Medicaire to cover them at 65, and wants this, that and the other things … it’s just NOT for anyone else but them). When pushed about school or city issues, it was a “I couldn’t care less.” Too many of them want to cook the pie in the sky, or dictate its recipe.
And I am SOOOOOO sick of this being “for our grandchildren …” as justification to get rid of things personally distasteful or objectionable. If we were SO mindful of future generations, we’d take care of the debt/budget problems by paying for it TODAY!!!!! Oops, can’t touch MY money… yet who WILL??? Get real! People have become selfish these days and that can can be kicked down the toll road as if Toni Fritsch were doing the booting. Tone-deafness!
Our society, which was raised by people who survived the Depression and had FAR FAR FAR more respect for leaders and institutions (because they were there when people needed them and help lay the groundwork for unprecedented economic and social growth after WWII), has decided to be screamers instead of listeners; be voyeurs instead of readers; to be stupid instead of educated; and to be haters instead of tolerant.
Despite the pronouncements of some, this is NOT an example of American exceptionalism (which Spell Check doesn’t recognize as a word). Frankly, we are embarrassing ourselves and the rest of the world is not laughing; they shake their heads over what has come over us.
I join them in that reaction.

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