Follow by Email

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A View from the Lower Rungs

I don’t usually subscribe to conspiracy theories but, I’m inclined to believe in collusion between those with differing opinions but converging goals. Please understand, while I have a college degree, I do not have the benefit of an Ivy League education, nor have I ever been a “mover and a shaker”. In fact, I have spent the majority of my life in the lower economic strata of this country. I’ve tried to follow the formula to get ahead but success has thus far eluded me.

No complaint, just fact.

Along the way, I have developed some opinions about life and politics in America based on my almost five decades of observing society and having to live with the consequences of the actions of those in power. My opinions can be, and have been, changed over the years as I gained new information and insights but, when I determine that something is right, I tend to be intractable. Moreover, if someone attempts to force their opinion on me in an effort to change my mind about something I know is right, I can become surly and unpleasant. In fact, the more strident the offered opinion, the more I dig in my heels against their efforts at convincing me.

I tend to dismiss most conspiracy theories because those that put them forth insist that everything known about a particular situation is wrong and that the theorists have the monopoly on truth. They disregard any data, study, or proof that they are wrong and set forth the notion that we are all a bunch of ignoramuses being duped by the power elite. Most conspiracy theorists present their case as if a bunch of elitists/terrorists/power brokers/robber barons are skulking around in darkness, meeting in out of the way places, plotting and scheming on how to accomplish their diabolical schemes. From Pearl Harbor to 9/11, conspiracy theories abound on how and why these events came to be, and the desired result is usually claimed to be an increase in power and influence for a select few.

In my opinion, the biggest problem with all of these theories is that they give way too much credence to the competence of those in government. According to (insert conspiracy theory here)“they”, meaning those in government, business, military, or religious leadership, are ascribed with supernatural powers of manipulation and prediction as if “they” could know all of the consequences for setting things into motion. That the government that has been infiltrated by so many foreign spies, and has had so much classified information leaked on to the internet that it’s barely even news anymore, is somehow able to keep conspiracies of the magnitude of assassinating JFK, or of Bush being complicit in 9/11, completely concealed from the public eye is ludicrous.

However, that does not mean that there is no foul play taking place.

It is human nature for people of common goals to gather together and work in concert to attain those goals. Whether it is sports teams or Congress, gathering allies in order to gain advantage over their opponents is their stock in trade and they will go to extremes to see their plans through to fruition. The trouble starts when the opposing sides turn their attention upon an unsuspecting third party that both sides have decided to “help” in order to gain their support.

Enter, our government. For years now, in fact, for my entire life, government has been in the business of helping people. LBJ created the welfare state with his Great Society. He paved the way for single mothers to get government benefits in order to raise a family. His “help” was probably the single largest contributor to the dissolution of the nuclear family in history. By opening the doors for Big Government to replace fathers, he insured that there would be a permanent underclass that was perpetually seeking more and better handouts from the taxpayer.

Then, Nixon gave us the Environmental Protection Agency, a bureaucracy that has gone from forcing factories to stop spilling industrial waste into our rivers and lakes to an iron-fisted regulatory agency that has made it impossible for American manufacturers to comply with their complicated and contradictory regulations to the point that it is too expensive to even attempt to comply, resulting in them leaving the USA and moving operations to more business-friendly countries.

Tricky Dick also gave us the Drug Enforcement Agency; an agency that has managed to grow and flourish even though their rate of success is dismal. They interdict less than 1% of all of the drugs that flow into the United States every year, yet their efforts are applauded and their budget is expanded. It strikes me odd that a 1% success rate is cause for reward. If airline pilots exhibited this level of competence, there would be howls of protest from Los Angeles to New York, but somehow the DEA is given a pass.

And while I’m willing to concede that all of these plans were the result of a sincere desire to help, once it looked like they were positively going to become reality, the opportunists showed up. The opportunists saw these new bureaucracies, not as methods of helping America become a better place, but as an avenue to increase their control over the average citizen and thus increase their power and influence over our nation. Opportunists have no loyalty to party or people, they affiliate themselves with whomever will give them the greatest advantage. And they have taken over both parties. Democrats and Republicans state that they have different platforms, but their actions and results speak for themselves. No matter who is in office, we the people end up with more government, more taxes, more regulation, and less liberty, less disposable income, and less security in our futures.

Don’t believe me? Ask yourself this: How is it that those that proclaim to the body public that they are working for us always manage to create that which eventually becomes our adversary? Why would the successors of the progenitors of those bureaucracies use the exact same formula time and again to create new departments, new enforcement arms, and new regulatory agencies to add to the long list of those that have developed into adversaries bent on total control and domination of our money, property, and lives? Are politicians just inherently incompetent?

I don’t think so.

What has happened in the last one hundred years is that there has arisen a political class in this country. That political class has morphed into a select group of people that consider themselves smarter, more savvy, and more deserving of power and influence than those of us among the masses. It has become so pervasive that we now have political dynasties growing within the ranks of our government. The Kennedys, Rockefellers, Bushes, Dodds, and Gores have established themselves as the political elite. They are the American royalty. Four hundred years ago, they not only would have recognized the Divine Right of Kings, they obviously would have wholeheartedly supported it because they support it now.

Think about it; the examples I listed do not necessarily like each other. In fact, it has been noted in various publications that the Kennedys and the Rockefellers were political rivals. Yet, how often do any of these people ever suffer the consequences of their actions? The same goes for their cronies in Congress and The Senate. Scandals abound; from adultery and tax evasion to statutory rape and negligent homicide, the collective record of our government reads like a rogue’s gallery, yet very few of them ever seem to face the same punishment that Joe Sixpack would for the same crimes. Even when they are found guilty and convicted, they still manage to get back into the game.

Politicians have become a law unto themselves. Party affiliation means little as they all look to achieve the same goal; acquisition of money and power. That is what I meant by collusion and convergence. No, there is no Big Conspiracy to enslave the American people, but there are entirely too many people in government that care for nothing but their own gratification, and are willing to satisfy that desire at the expense of our security, our wealth, and our very lives if they see fit. And they will do these things secure in the knowledge that, should they be caught breaking the law, their colleagues will make the appropriate noises about morality and responsibility, and then see to it that they end up in some lucrative position with a lobbying firm or as a Party Official. Because, just like the NFL, as long as you play the game the way you’re supposed to, you continue to get paid.

I was brought up in a single-parent home during the sixties and seventies, when there was still a stigma attached to being the child of a divorcee. To my mother’s great credit, she rejected the notion that she needed the government to give her a handout. Despite having the burden of raising two children on her own, she held a good-paying job, managed to buy a house and, every couple of years, a decent used car.

Nowadays, children are left to fend for themselves because both parents are working to make ends meet. The only way they can afford a car is to go neck-deep in debt to buy one, same for a house. Taxes eat up the majority of our paychecks, and the cost of living eats the rest. Debt is a way of life even though it robs us of life. Middle America is disappearing under the crushing weight of just trying to survive.

Many are not surviving. We’re losing what little we were able to accumulate because jobs are disappearing, disposable income is decreasing, taxes are increasing, the cost of living is spiraling ever upwards, and despite our best efforts we are failing.

The obvious solution is to clear the way for small businesses to grow so that they can hire more people, lower payroll taxes to lighten the burden on the working people, to cut spending so as to free our great-grandchildren from the huge burden thrust upon them by nine decades of deficit spending, to eliminate obstacles to growing wealth like the Death Tax, and to staff our government with people that place America’s interests above those of other nations. These solutions are obvious to any casual observer of our current plight. It’s also known to those in government. They know the best path to bring about recovery; they just don’t want to do it because that would diminish the power and influence that those in government wield in our lives.

Our government has become one of the opportunists, by the scoundrels and for the sociopaths.

No comments:

Post a Comment