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Back in my day… February 19, 2011

Posted by mareserinitatis in societal commentary, Uncategorized.
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Somehow, when I was a kid, I don’t remember so much talk about how making money was the ultimate goal of every American.

When I was a kid, I remember people actually having dreams, like colonizing space.  People also had other goals whether it was to have a career they liked or simply to get out of whatever small town they’d grown up in.  No one was really out to get rich, they just wanted to be comfortable and have some financial stability and security.

With the gap in income between middle and lower class, I feel like people are ever more eager to get to the other side of the fence.  I know a lot of people now who are trying to get rich quick and many more who’ve given up on the idea of ever not having to work two jobs.  I’m seeing more and more college educated people under- and unemployed.

I’ve never thought highly of politicians, but I’m sick of what has increasingly become a bitter doctrinal war that insists that “the other side” has nothing of value to add.  There is no discussion anymore about the fact that cutting government spending is anything more than reducing the deficit.  There is no acknowledgement that cutting government spending will result in huge and serious job losses and destroy a significant amount of the infrastructure that has contributed to things like healthcare.  I read that the republicans want to cut things like heating subsidies in their spending reduction.  Heating subsidies.  Do you know who gets those?  Poor people and old people who don’t have enough to pay their heating bills.  Without these, they can freeze to death (and yes, it has happened).  And it’s not hard to believe this can be an issue with the price of crude increasing.

And once upon a time, corporations and businesses were more focused on providing stable jobs to people and providing a quality product.  Now it seems like they’re more concerned about providing the big bucks to their stockholders.

I can’t tell if this is as a result of me being older and more aware or if there is an actual shift in beliefs and infrastructure.  Some days, it makes me really want to tune out so that I can let that feeling go that people are getting stupider and more selfish.

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Comments»

1. Massimo - February 19, 2011

People also had other goals whether it was to have a career they liked or simply to get out of whatever small town they’d grown up in. No one was really out to get rich, they just wanted to be comfortable and have some financial stability and security.

Sure. Absolutely. And adults in those days said the very same thing about our generation. “My generation had different values…. you all can only think of things to buy… we grew up poor, there was a war going on around us, but we had dreams…”. And then, the sentence was “You better get yourself a degree and start making money as soon as possible”.

The more things change…

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mareserinitatis - February 19, 2011

Maybe I just grew up very sheltered, but while my parents wanted me to go to school, it was primarily so that I could support myself and not go through the crap they’d gone through.

I know…the whole thing made me think of the whole “kids these days”, but I actually am finding the adults to be far more disconcerting than the kids. I think of the kids as more of a byproduct of what’s going on around them, whereas I can’t explain the adults. Most of them are my generation or older and should know better.

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mareserinitatis - February 19, 2011

I just realized where the confusion is: I’m not railing against people not having dreams. I think kids do. What I’m railing against is the fact that adults don’t care and are pulling rugs out from under kids’ feet…making sure that individually and as a nation, we won’t ever get anywhere with those dreams.

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2. Fluxor - February 19, 2011

When you were a kid, your nation was also less in debt, did not have to compete with rising giants like China and India, and didn’t nearly financially implode due to the ‘dream’ of owning a house they cannot afford by millions of Americans.

As for heating subsidies, let’s give credit where credit is due. While Republicans may have called for cuts to the program, Obama actually put it in his draft budget.

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mareserinitatis - February 20, 2011

Obama has a decent budget. I just hope it gets through. The republicans have already decimated most of our budget at work, and we’re scrambling for funds to pick things up once our current projects end. It sucks, but I’m not worried about it too badly. I am most certainly worried about my grandmother being able to pay her heating bills in the winter, though. :-/

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Fluxor - February 20, 2011

Hmm…perhpas I worded it awkwardly. I meant to write that Obama’s draft budget includes cuts to the heating subsidy program. This means if the budget goes through untouched, you should be worried for your grandma.

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mareserinitatis - February 20, 2011

Oh crap. *facepalm* I guess I didn’t check that. There are a lot of other good things in his budget…but that really sucks.

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3. Ron Amundson - February 20, 2011

Reducing the top marginal rate from 70% to under half that hasn’t worked out too well at all and its indebted us to everyone.

Perhaps the worst part is not so much monetary policy, but we’ve sold off, given away, or laid fallow much of our core competence… that will likely bite much more so than the worst possible fiscal issues. On the other hand, perhaps the world overall can learn a lesson on what not to do.

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mareserinitatis - February 20, 2011

That’s what really scares me. We have no more physical/manufacturing capabilities, and I really think there’s a huge interplay between making things physically and coming up with new ideas. Once you stop making things, you’ll not long after end up losing your ability to create new ideas…or at least being able to do anything about the ideas you do have.

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4. FrauTech - February 22, 2011

Meh, I’d like to see it all come crashing down just so people are aware of it. Problem is, ordinary voters don’t know what government programs are. They don’t realize things like medicare, social security, disability, etc are all government programs. (I’m not kidding). So I’m ready to let it all come crashing down. Fortunately for me, I won’t be one of the starving and freezing poor. But you can bet they’ll be there. It’ll be Great Depression all over again and maybe it’ll wake people up. If it doesn’t then fine, it’s the government they deserve.

I hope for your grandmother’s sake the rest of your family can pitch in and help. That’s been one goal of mine is not only to become independent and self-supporting but to have the ability to help my family if needed. Not that I could pay for a car or education for anybody, but it’s nice to know I have rooms I could put them up in or help them with bills if something happened.

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