Current Events

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Blame Obama

A while ago, my old carpool took one of our members to lunch to celebrate completion of his chemotherapy and radiation treatments -- completely successful.  Since then he has been deluging me with emails, mostly pictures of puppies and tame birds.  Apparently now he has his strength back and is reverting to the person he was after he retired from FAS, a Bush Whitehouse personnel officer.  He sent me  President Barack Obama's First Ad of 2012. You can Google the YouTube clip if you want to see a fine example of the kind of dreary political dross that big money can buy to smear a candidate.  At the last count I saw, it had had more than 1.5 million hits, while the real first ad was back around 700,000.
Here is what I said in my reply;
Dear Anon.,
I have a couple of questions for you:
1.  Have you found a Republican candidate for 2012 who can pass the laugh test?  Maybe Daniels or Huntsman?
 2.  If you are like me, you've never met a payroll and never created a private sector job.  Do you ever feel guilty about accepting your generous federal retirement?  Shouldn't our pensions be on the table, as the discussion continues on how to cut spending?  Although we didn't have collective bargaining, I don't see how we are any better that those greedy teachers, firemen and police officers who are bankrupting states and counties, except that we got paid more and frequently risked indigestion at all those diplomatic receptions and trade shows we had to attend. 
 3.  Do you wake up at night worrying about the way you interfered with free market forces by using government funds to promote export sales of US agricultural products?
 4.  Has it ever occurred to you that the world is more complex than it was in 1900?  For example from today's news, would you like to see the private sector take over the job of deciding which food colorings were safe for human consumption?  I'm sure store bought foods would be more colorful and better for the bottom lines of the makers. 
5.  Do you remember your first course in economics?  No doubt the instructor mentioned that even Milton Friedman could find a role for government in the construction and operation of lighthouses.  We have a lot more lighthouses now.
 Before you continue sending out anti-Obama messages, I think you should read a book called Nickel and Dimed.  Here's a link to the Wikipedia write up on it.   The write up is kind of flat, maybe even boring, but the book is not.  It's about life among the people who are invisible to us most of the time.  Yes, the author is a social democrat like me.  You can get the book at the public library on a Playaway (like an MP3 player) so you can read it by ear as you take a walk or mow the grass or milk the cows.  All you have to provide is an AAA battery and headphones.  It may help you understand just how elusive is the "American dream" and who it is who is going to be screwed by the proposed budget cuts.  I suppose I shouldn't remind you that the public library is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Montgomery County Government.

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