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Disgusted 2% = Economic Malaise

Disgust faceI’m amazed Fed Chairman Bernanke can’t understand why the economy doesn’t take off, with interest rates so low? Why the stimulus or quantitative easings didn’t prod things along? I can’t understand people being ecstatic we avoided the fiscal cliff, thinking that would improve things?

Three main drivers of budgetary success/failure are revenues, spending and level of economic activity. Revenues are topped out, in the absence of a surging economy. Spending is stubbornly fixed at a level far above revenues, creating deficits. The economy is stagnating at a lethargic 2% growth, needing to be 3% before getting a noticeable rise in revenue and jobs.

One business writer suggests a variety of ways to get things going, including increasing productivity at the small business level by developing internal efficiencies; encouraging foreign investment in infrastructure; reforming corporate tax rates/regulatory constraints to incentivize corporate America; implement a vigor- our industrial policy, the effort to stay ahead of demand curves of various industries/professions by optimizing America’s natural resources, skilled labor force and entrepreneurial class.

All this is fine, but avoids the fundamental truth behind the problem, which is the uneasiness the real movers and shakers feel about the policies/guidance coming out of Washington: the 2% who own the businesses, create the jobs and pay half of all the tax. Most weren’t born into their circumstance but worked for it and, contrary to this president’s assertion they didn’t do it alone,most times they did! They busted their behinds, worked more hours/day & exerted/demonstrated more creativity, initiative and talent than the 98%. Again, contrary his view, sometimes hard work isn’t enough. Further, many of us know there isn’t a lot of that going on amongst at least 1/3 of this group.

The 2% don’t track their hard work, toil & sacrifice. It’s not about that. Rather, it’s about dreams being realized, goals being met, and counting one’s blessings to be living in a country that offers such a golden opportunities for success.

Intangibles creating opportunity are things like living in a fair society, in a productive environment under a system of government that doesn’t over-regulate or over tax. One can obey the rules, pay their way, and build a business and personal wealth unencumbered by heavy-handed government. The 2% are proud of what they do, encouraging others to do the same. There’s proportion and balance to it all, everybody sharing the same values, and standards, aspiring to the same success.

Granted, equal opportunity does not result in equal outcome, but this is the essence of the human condition. Some work harder than others, are smarter, stronger, luckier, whatever, the point being America accommodates it all with the result we have more millionaires, more middle class, richer poor & the biggest, successful democracy not counting India on earth. GDP, standard of living, military power, helping in times of crisis, ongoing aid to foreign nations, we’ve been 1st in all these, leaving 2nd place far behind.

I believe it was due to a center-right orientation, basic family values, education, faith, national heritage, strong work ethic and a homogenous society sharing similar ideas. We even have big influxes of immigrants flooding our shores, seeking a better life. They come because we have the opportunities. We’re the best!

Looking around today, however, we see a different picture. A country moving hard left, bringing on higher taxes and demonizing success, striving to make it easier for the lower middle class to climb the ladder and share the wealth, but without the hard work and sacrifice!

Overloaded vehicleWe see a steady increase in the number of persons on welfare, unemployment, disability, workers comp, food stamps and dozens of government programs designed to subsidize the standard of living of roughly 60% of the population.

We also see a growing monolithic body politic pervading the whole of society: government, the poor, the newest immigrants, ethnic groups, elitist liberals/progressives monopolizing academia, media & Hollywood.

We see society changing in real time with more & more carried by less and less. Growing numbers get free rides with no accountability or personal responsibility.

Many in the 2% and many middle-classers are disgusted by this. It goes against our grain, values, sense of fair play, justice, basic Americanism and common decency. We feel we’ve become outsiders in our own house! Losing control of our lives and destiny impacts our enthusiasm and spirit. We’ve got palpable ennui, weakening our participation/cooperation as citizens in the new statism projected by government, the media and Hollywood.

We don’t accept this is a betterment. We believe it is harmful and deconstructive to the brilliant societal structure we once enjoyed. Trillions are on the sideline, waiting for economic turnaround, but cynicism constrains action. We don’t believe it will ever turn around, without a major change in Washington.

We won’t explore avenues of efficiency while we’re drowning in debt. Industrial policy sounds good in the macro, but again, mil- lions of small businesses/entrepreneurs won’t get behind it given the current governmental climate. We’re concerned about public sector intrusion into the private sector, unhappy with Obamacare and raising tax on  successful upper classers, but letting half our countrymen pay nothing; unhappy with the debt, the unwillingness to cut spending and the refusal to balance the budget.

Social security and Medicare must be repaired immediately, to restore confidence. The budget must be balanced, debt reduced. President Obama growls he will not negotiate on the debt ceiling, saying we created the debt, so now we can pay for it!

Excuse me? Mr.President, You and your congressional liberals wackos created this debt, with your unbridled utopian spending & wasteful, non-productive programs, bloating government; nationalizing healthcare; bailing out companies; reckless stimulus; subsidization of green enterprise failures, equity-sharing in private industries and on and on.

These are your programs, not our’s! When you face the camera and get in our face with your arrogant intractability on spending cuts & the debt ceiling, it makes many of us want to expectorate,  regurgitate, something! On this issue & many others, the record is clear: you’re an unmitigated hypocrite! A situational politician with no principles; only self aggrandizements.

How dare you display such effrontery! It’s as if you proclaim yourself bigger than government, its process, the constitution, congress, Supreme Court, even democracy itself!

Spending must be cut and will be cut, or the economy will languish. Debt will be halted and reversed or joblessness will remain above 8%, climbing back to 9-10%. The budget will be balanced or new investment won’t happen and middle classers will shrink. At some point, Mr. President, you will invite the disgust/enmity of a majority of the people with your socialistic insanities. When we awake to the menace you are we will, all due respect, remove you from office, yelling & kicking if needs be. You are an anomaly in our political landscape, an interloper with crazy ideas and unacceptable agenda!

Until then, a malaise and pall are upon our land. Great numbers feel disenfranchised, without representation & alone. They be- grudge every tax dollar they pay into your useless enterprise. America is not about utopia or entitlements; not about class envy/warfare; racist payback; multicultural equality that works to the detriment of society. We are not Europe or any damn part of the 3rd world, and have no wish being so. We are America. We had a good society: the best. We want it back!


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I’m Al Shane

Alvan I. Shane Author, The Day Liberty Wept 2270 N Euclid Ave Frequent Op-Ed Contributor Upland, Calif 91784 Political Donor to Cons Grps / Causes (909) 946-5104 Ex-Marine / California native Tax Accountant / Mar 43yrs / 1 son
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