I Want My Country Back, But From Who?
Since the unraveling of the U.S. economy you hear many people shouting from the rooftops “I want my country back”. At the gist of this statement is a need to capture the greatness of a previous moment in U.S. history that was for the betterment of the individual. As many would say, “the good ole days”. For many, the current economic and political environment has created a lot of uncertainty in their lives. However, I have a couple issues with this statement. First off, who are the individuals who want to go back in time? Second, how far back would they like to go? Third, who do they feel took the country from them? Fourth, where do they live? Five, what is their current economic level? Six, what was their current economic level at the time they would like to go back to? If you posed this question to a million people you would probably get a million types of answers.
A lot of people in this U.S. have had their heads in the sand for a while (On certain things I can include myself in this category). To be honest, I have been part of the problem in one way or another, so these criticisms are not only leveled at others, but also myself. We have now become so delusional and desperate for an economic antidote that recent polls show that 36% of Americans wish for the economic policies of Ronald Reagan. I would like to know who these people are, but that’s quite a considerable number knowing the “Gipper’s” economic policies were pretty disastrous. Although many have debunked the merits of the “Reagan Revolution”, many romantic nostalgists just won’t let go. That’s not to say there weren’t people who benefited from the policies of Reagan, but collectively his policies were a disaster. Just ask former budget Director David Stockman on how ‘wonderful” the economic Reagan era was.
The disruptive social and economic “bullet” was fired decades ago. Let’s paint a picture. Just imagine millions, maybe even billions of people lined up after one another. An individual fires a bullet (economic instability and social disruption) from a gun. When you get hit with that bullet it’s economic anarchy for you. In that same line, many folks were, lets say number 10267 to get fired upon. Some were even in the hundredth and millionth or billionth. If you were towards the back of the line it wasn’t your problem because 33, 672, 45976, 273192, 834165, 5938200242 are getting socially and economically “murked” way before you. Many even thought, “oh it will never get to me” or even “Maybe the bullet will lose its momentum and velocity” before it gets to me. Or maybe in denial about the destruction of the bullet, “Maybe the bullet won’t hurt when it gets to me”. Maybe they felt it was someone else’s problem.
Now that the bullet is racing forward and it’s, as O.C. said, “Times Up“, people are clamoring around for answers as to what happened. Of course it would be “nice” to go back in time when the bullet wasn’t so close to home. The net of economic disruption had already been cast. Now that person is in the net with everyone else.
I am here today because my son Daniel would want me to be here today. If my son Daniel was not one of the victims, he would be here with me today. Something is wrong in this country when a child can grab a gun, grab a gun so easily, and shoot a bullet into the middle of a child’s face, as my son experienced. Something is wrong. But the time has come to come to understand that a Tech-9 semi-automatic -bullet weapon like that, that killed my son, is not used to kill deer. It has no useful purpose. It is time to address this problem.
It’s sad to see any father lose their son to such horrific violence, but at the time, we had already reached the tipping point where guns were in the hands of our youth. The carnage has now reached “everyones” doorstep, but many doorsteps have already been visited by gun violence. The anarchy is now more widespread. Now that we have shared economic grief, we are harking back to the “good ole days”. Keep in mind that there were many before you that have been living with these wounds, but your wounds are now fresh.
I remember a discussion I had with a close family member in the mid 90s and we were talking about the gang violence that had been prevalent in a neighborhood right next to ours. The town was Roosevelt, Long Island in New York. At the time the Bloods and Crips had made significant inroads into the neighborhood. We lived in Uniondale, about a stones throw away. The conversation went something like this:
Me: Wow, we really need to do something about this gang violence. A lot people getting killed in Roosevelt
Family Member: Well that’s Roosevelt, you know how THEY are
Me: Hmmm…well what happens when the gangs come to Uniondale?
Family Member: No, that won’t happen. This is Uniondale, gangs don’t come to Uniondale
Me: I don’t think so. If we don’t take care of the surrounding communities around us, we are definitely going to have gangs here
Family Member: [blank stare]
As expected, the Bloods and the Crips made their way into Uniondale and although the degree of our gang problem was lesser than Roosevelt, we still had people getting shot over gang violence and whatnot. In short, when the economic plane goes down it won’t matter that you paid $5000 dollars for your first-class ticket. Irrespective of your seating arrangement, we are all going down. It’s just a matter of who hits the ground first.
You might also like this:
- Poor Man’s (or Woman’s) Guide to Understanding Economics Let me be frank, understanding economics (at least U.B.E.P Understanding...
- Your Congress Sold You Out In September 2009 I wrote a post about learning the...
- If We Only Had a Jobs Fairy Now that the 2010 midterm elections are over, all you...
- Occupy Apathy At the root of every social movement is the will...
- An American Dream Deferred This post was inspired by Langton Hughes’s A Dream Deferred....