Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Things I can see.

Dear America,
I can see the ass-end of Brooklyn College from my bedroom window. It lies across the tracks nestled in a stripe of forest-growth that goes from here to there; who knows where? In preparation for return, I did my taxes a couple of nights ago and concluded that the IRS doesn't mind the bidding war going on between various tax preparation agencies, offering up greater and greater returns as if a standard should have never been set up. Everyone wishes to gain and avoid loss. Multiply that by millions and turn the cheek on the deficit. It's only natural.
Those of us surviving unemployed with heat, a roof, and running water are probably now (after the quakes in Haiti) sleeping a little better. It's not pretty, but Americans have an existence where they still get to THINK about where they wanna go. There are too many places in the world where you can't afford to ponder because circumstances push to hard.
Still, the inevitable reality is that at our pace, resources for daily living will raise in value. We'll buy less for more and share with those we love until days are added to stretch our endurance over sickness and starvation. The homeless know it but they aren't the ones with the chance to change it. Those that due will be surprised and by the time a plan swells there'll be no more money to make a change. How long is it before we lose the right to THINK about what's right to do NOW?
I'm contemplating . . . The American Dream is also called economic mobility. It means a bloodline can rise in status and become more affluent with each emerging generation. This assumes people can make more money than they need so that each generation to come after will have a launching pad to reach their own loftier goals.
Americans in general (not the wealthy who understand the worth of risk, or immigrants who get nice gift basket upon entry, or the homeless whom generally deteriorate if it isn't for some saving grace the current populace is loathed to spare) spend more than they earn. Our economy is evolving on the motion of money that doesn't exist; credit. The false wealth doesn't cut it.
Maybe some service provider or bank figured out one day that if people were earning more than they needed in one lifetime, they could afford to spread a little more out to the world. But now too few, at least from my standpoint, have anything to give anyone; especially their children. The new plague will just be refusal, and if the population is smart they'll withhold their right to reproduce until we get this under control. We can't afford it and it's our responsibility.
I like to imagine the world Ayn Rand built in Atlas Shrugged and wonder if anything like the industrial age will repeat itself. The information age has a lot of technology but too many are just building excess amounts of power without anyone really understanding how it makes us stronger. TB hard drives for what? iPad for what? There's no problem with excess capability if that eventually translates into utility. But when $500 impulse items are abundant, and people are losing their homes because our economy can't support them, then what happens to the pursuit of happiness? What happens to the dream that the lower and middle class have?
The simple solutions of self control and fiscal discipline aren't really educated in schools. Somewhere along the lines policy makers haven't recognized that the majority masses with less money are moving in cycles like cattle. If they have recognized it, they've found justifiable reasons to keep their eyes focused on what the people of power are capable of. These people are fighting for survival as much as everyone else. They do it like they're playing chess. We do it like we're playing monopoly in reverse.
From what Obama says, he believes the country can change itself. He offers his ideas and is fighting for the ideals that I agree America should adopt. He's getting fought on a number of issues because there are entire industries that thrive on impulse, false hope, and depravity. And they do it firstly, because the people that are responsible forgetting themselves caught up in the downward spiral weren't properly warned or educated.
Every man is an industry. Local community issues, good business practice, a little brainstorming on how to offer something of value to someone else at benefit to them and profit to yourself, home-cooking, and pencil/paper ledgers on the financials are the basics. Be conscious of where you are, be vigilant, start small. Get involved and make smart decisions, not fearful ones. Don't escape. DON'T. Every time an American looks away, is another lifetime in future generations a child will be faced with the prospect of starvation or murder or some rich-kid heir will hang himself out of depression and boredom (as if there were no purpose great enough for his opportunity at education and application). It's already happened in the ghettos and the suburbs. The decline of the dollar is mutating our disposition as Americans.
The Dream needs protecting, and through all my generalizations I realize that much. The headlines in the papers don't give much hope. It's all finger-pointing. The leaders won't do it. Law isn't a substitute for habit. It's time to look inward. Money doesn't make the world go round, the opportunity to make it does. If you can't find it, you've got to make it.

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