Hope Floats ….. But In January

The last month of the Presidential campaign I gained five pounds.  My rear end never moved from my computer terminal.  Now I have taken off three pounds so I feel justified in sitting down again and writing a little something.

There was a letter written to The Washington Post yesterday that you should read:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/21/AR2008112103199.html?sub=AR

It sums up my personal feelings from my house to yours, from my town to yours and from my country to yours.  I am still waking up every day, breathing easier and deeper, since Obama was elected.

However, I also am experiencing greater anger at the Bush Administration and all that has transpired these last eight years.  Should we bail out the big three auto companies?  NO!  They have been on notice for 40 years that their industry needed to come up with fuel efficient, alternative energy vehicles.  Remember the gasoline shortage around 1970?  Then high gas prices diminished, and so did any plans of ever changing the face of the industry.  Yes, if these car companies went belly-up, many people would be unemployed.  But we will see no change in these companies with the same management, same union demands and same technology.  Plus, without a massive change in this industry, no one will be buying their cars so they will wind up going under anyway.  So let these companies fail —– please!.  No sooner than you can say “Jack Rabbit”, Hyundai, Honda and Toyota will buy up those factories, retool and even rehire a good amount of those unemployed workers.  The nerve of those three CEO’s each flying to Washington, D.C. on separate private jets.  They still do not get it.  These outdated dinosaurs need to fail.  We need new companies with new ideas, a new framework based on a new philosophy and, above all, new management to manufacture a greener, more efficient product.  Can you believe that Ford and GM are STILL advertising on television come-ons for huge Lincolns and Cadillacs?  Gee whiz, wasn’t Hummer a great, modern idea?

Furthermore, I firmly believe that private companies should no longer be responsible for providing health coverage for their employees.  Medical coverage must be the responsibility of the government.  The system we have now is a bastardization of health care mainly put in place because our country did not want the financial responsibility of providing its citizens what every other industrial nation in the world offers their citizens:  health care coverage.  It is time to end this patchwork quilt of exorbitant and supposed coverage by private insurance companies who reap a 30% profit and thereby add to the phenomenal cost of insurance and stingy benefits.  Enough is enough.  We need a universal program to cover everyone.  This right can not and should not be attached to employment or pre-existing conditions.  The government has used private industry too long to cover what they, the government, should have been covering all along.

Another factoid has incensed me for years.  When companies offer their employees a pension plan, that plan should be sacred, i.e. totally off limits to the company borrowing against those earmarked funds.  How many airline employees have wound up with absolutely no pension because their company went bust?  Too damn many.  No retirement fund, personal or corporate, should be available for borrowing.  Period.  Corporate and personal financial responsibility is the order of the day.  Simple, strict rules lead to simple, strict lives.

I have no idea how to stop this financial mess in which we find ourselves.  I think Obama’s plan to create jobs by instituting a public works program is viable.  God knows our infrastructure has been in dire straits for years and this plan would have a two-fold benefit of remedying the terrible condition of our infrastructure and putting unemployed people back to work.  However, I am also seeing many white collar, highly educated people being laid off.  So I also understand the need to prop up the various financial institutions.  But how many should we bail out?  Which ones should we let die?  How do we control this process without going bankrupt as a nation?

Today, President-Elect Obama announced his economic team.  The markets seemed to welcome his picks.  Some experts say this team is made up of our best and brightest.  I sure hope they can translate brains into solutions.  If ever their was a time that we need expert help, this is it.

I wish Bush and Cheney would resign right now.  Of course, that is not the way our country is run.  Gail Collins of The New York Times wrote a column about that possibility:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/22/opinion/22collins.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=op-ed%20gail%20collins&st=cse

While I think Collins’ idea would be beneficial, I realistically know it will never happen.  There is an order to changes in administrations.  After all, we do have a Constitution to adhere to (even though Bush and Cheney have violated it numerous times over the last eight years).  Why didn’t we really listen to Dennis Kucinich and his fight to impeach Bush/Cheney?  He was not far of the mark at all.  Anyway, short of Bush and Cheney resigning, I would like to see, at the bare minimum,  Bush replace Paulson with Obama’s Treasury chief choice, Timothy Geithner, NOW.  This would informally get Obama’s foot in the door as well as provide a mental lift for the markets and the country.  It would seal the deal that change is coming.  Help is on the way.   Don’t get your hopes up though.  Even if Bush were to capitulate on this, Cheney would never allow it to happen.  Cheney IS the boss when all is said and done.

Over the next few days Obama will announce his national security and policy choices.  The highest profile in this mix is Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State.  I have no doubt that she is well qualified to fulfill that job.  And even though I trust Obama to have control, I still worry about Hillary’s inability to be subordinate to one in higher office.  And yet, that isn’t even my biggest worry.  My great fear is, of course, the narcissistic, impulsive Bill Clinton.  So hold on to your hats; it is going to be, if nothing else, not boring.

If a genie showed up at my doorstep today and gave me but one wish, I would wish that Inauguration Day was November 25, 2008.  We need hope and change immediately to take effect and put us back on a solvent and just path.  I hope we can all hold out until January 20, 2009.

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One Response to “Hope Floats ….. But In January”

  1. MiddleChild Says:

    Apparently hope bloats!

Comments are closed.


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