I know what it must feel like to be Paul Krugman. Okay, maybe I have had too much wine and I could not possibly imagine how someone that smart could feel being ignored on the economic stage when he is been right almost all of the time, watching us do exactly the wrong thing. But maybe I do. By the way it was very good wine and both my conservative and liberal friends know that I rarely err in that arena.
But like Paul, I know what is wrong with this country, I know what is wrong with Obama, and I know what is wrong with the Democrats and nobody cares or listens to me. There is nothing wrong with Republicans as long as you live in the alternate reality in which they reside. I watch as we do stupid things and then are surprised at the outcome and I wonder what they hell we were thinking.
Now you are thinking, “Yep, he has had too much wine.” and I counter with, “define too much wine and is that possible?” But I do see things clearly. Last week I had my come to Jesus moment with a close encounter with my ATV in the vineyard, except I don’t believe in Jesus, other than he probably was a total left wing looney (give your money to the poor) that the sand people embellished to the celeb he is today. So at any rate, I think it is time to say what I am thinking.
We see and hear what we want to see and hear, except I don’t. It is either a gift or a curse, but I see most things for what they are and I take nothing for granted. Most of the rest of us are clueless. Think about this: I can walk down a street meeting total strangers and depending on my body language, they perceive me in many different ways. Is that reality? Actors do it for a living and it is mostly fiction. Said another way, the power of wishful thinking and miss perception becomes self fulfilling prophecies even if it is built on bull shit (like religion).
Okay, what is it I think I know that is a true insight into our present condition and our way forward that the rest of you don’t get? Well lets start with the really profound: Dogs are better than cats. No, just kidding. I have probably lost all my female readers (1) who invested their whole lives in their cats and I am thinking, “Adopt woman.” Oh well. Seeing reality as it is has some pitfalls especially if you speak it out loud.
Well here it is: Both dogs and cats are morally superior to mankind. This one is patently obvious. They love us unconditionally and it is what we crave. There is no greater gift that anyone can give us and they (dogs and cats) do it every day with zest. We think we are the the masters of the universe yet I marvel at the wonder of their lives and the importance of even their short time on this earth. And we are really mucking up the environment for all animals which leads to some a surprising conclusions about the Supreme Being.
If we were put on this earth by the Supreme Being to be steward of it, we have done one shitty job and if there was a God, he/she would have fired us a long time ago. So that takes you to the obvious conclusion that there is no God, that we are on our own, and that brings me to the more mundane political stuff which needs some sorting out, since no supreme being is going to do it for us, and most of you are clueless. If you love your cat/dog, then all of this is self-evident and it proves there is no God and we need earthly guidance.
Now to really appreciate how really clueless we are, consider this: You are driving on the freeway and it occurs to you that the majority of the drivers around you are incompetent nuts trying to kill you, and you are surprised. They are talking on cellphones, driving erratically, hogging the warp speed lane and going at barely the speed limit, and they are oblivious to traffic situations up ahead or people trying to merge onto the freeway.
And let’s us not forget those who are more important than the rest of us, speeding, cutting in and out of lanes because their getting there is so much more important than our getting there. Then you think about how they vote and you realize you are simply driving in a microcosm of America. That ought to scare the shit out of you and encourage you to use your seat belt. They are trying to kill you. In other words, most of the world is clueless and with the establishment of civilization, the Darwin effect has been muted so that the clueless survive and reproduce.
So like Paul Krugman, I will try to share the solutions to our problems with you even though it will do no good. So here it is ladies and gentlemen, the unvarnished truth and I won’t try to justify it because, well, that is why I have been writing this blog for the last eight years and now have four readers. Besides, if I have learned one thing in my encounter with the human species, rational and critical thinking is lost on most of them. Most just react from the gut. When you just give them some simple truths, see how they muck it up (See Moses and John Smith):
- The Economy – We have to spend our way out of a spending problem. Counter intuitive and heresy if you are enslaved in a morality play (all Republicans), but that is the truth of it. Our problems are simply solved if we would just get on with it. See Paul and End This Depression Now. The fact that we keep ignoring this man testifies to our lunacy. Or ask your self this: When our debt to GDP ratio was much higher after WWII, how did we pay it off. Answer: We didn’t and the sky did not fall in. Our GDP grew and it became insignificant. Go figure
- Austerity – Basically the Republican economic plan with the rich opting out is stupid. It doesn’t work, makes things worse, but plays to our need to self flagellate. See Europe and our own failing economy for examples. Why can’t we just get on with helping states and rebuilding our aging infrastructure? Because we are wedded to a morality play. And it just makes things worse.
- Health Care – It is a basic right and we need to all pay for it. We need a single payer system like the rest of the world. Then we could actually do things to control costs and improve our living standards and outcomes, not to mention freeing most Americans to make smart job decisions. Instead we hang on to an employer based system which is the most costly system in the world whose outcomes are 37th, and fewer and fewer can afford it. Need I say more? Would it do any good?
- Education – Blame the teachers. It has worked out so well so far. You know for a country that prides itself in market place solutions, paying teachers dirt, not investing in schools, and then expecting sterling outcomes is rather comical. This one isn’t rocket science. Oh and maybe having local control of the curriculum so we can teach Intelligent Design was not such a good idea, and maybe we ought to have national standards devoid of religious tests and fund schools equally instead of letting the rich have all the good stuff. Oh, and did I forget, let teachers teach instead of test, and hold kid’s parents accountable?
- Infrastructure – Oh for God’s sake (No I haven’t found God, it is a figure of speech), even a moron knows we can’t let everything fall apart or we will have nothing on which to build a thriving economy upon. Putting off critical investments because “we can’t afford them” is the road to never being able to afford them.
- Entitlements – We can’t afford not to have them. So suck it up and pay for them. The real problem is rising healthcare costs and as Dean Baker has pointed out over and over again, if we paid what other countries do for better outcomes, there would be no problem. We don’t need a means test for social security benefits, we need a means test when we are paying for it (take the cap off off income taxed for SS). Duh.
- Obama – Sadly a failure in leadership. Too busy gaming the system to see what is the only path forward and standing for anything. Yo Wisconsin! See Obama standing shoulder to shoulder with you on the picket lines? Oh, sorry, that was just a campaign slogan before there might be a political cost. Americans crave confident leadership and Obama has shown us he has no clue where to draw the line. It is clear he does not really believe in anything from gross violations of our Constitution in murder from the air, to understanding the only path to saving our economy is government spending, and thinks the Republicans will soften in his next term. Leadership is picking the right path and then convincing the rest of us to follow. So far the focus groups have got that path wrong leaving poor Obama and his political team rudderless. See a problem here?
- Democrats – See Obama above. Making excuses for failure instead of deciding to stand firm on what they believe. Did you see where Harry, Milk Toast, Reid has now recognized that not getting rid of the filibuster when he had the chance was a mistake. A life spent looking in the rear view mirror is the definition of Democrat. Or his next best selling book about the Progressive cause in America: What I Shoulda Coulda Done When I Coulda Shoulda
- Republicans – Living in an alternate reality where fact and wished for outcomes become conflated in a lethal mix of ideology, religious belief, and racism, that even science or reality cannot penetrate. The very basis of everything they believe is being torn down by results of their policies being implemened in Europe and here and they cry for more because in their reality, it must be lazy public workers or union contracts that ruined the economy, not Wall Street and lax regulations. Rich Republicans I get. They can buy and insulate their delusional beliefs which pay them big dividends in the short term, but for the majority of Americans who vote Republican, when they get what they wished for, will blame the results on the ineffectual Democrats who could never implement anything. Funny how they decry the incompetence of Democrats and then hold them responsible for their own policies’ poor results.
- Oh and One More Thing – Higher pay, whether for public servants or the minimum wage, benefits all of us. As Paul says, my income is your spending and your spending is my income. Oh I know, true heresy.
So there you have it: Truth and the only way forward. Sadly I know this and I have to suffer fools who will never get it and will be just shocked, shocked, shocked when they don’t do these things and everything goes south. And I, like Paul Krugman, know the way forward, but nobody listens. Of course Paul has a little more credibility than I do, but that doesn’t make me any less right.
I have a choice. Either I can quit suffering fools, get in their face, and no longer be tolerant of ignorance or the failure to think critically (say goodbye to all my local friends). Or I can look on them with kindness and just get along because it is clear I am never going to change anything. Nope, I have seen my ATV coming to suck the life out of me. Our future is important whether I am here or not. I will not go meekly into the night. Wake up you ignorant miscreants, you are destroying life as we know it and you have it all wrong, from the environment to the economy.