Big Choices for Our Nation, and Our World

In today’s political environment, the battle lines are clearly drawn.

The Republicans say big government means loss of freedom. Overly socialistic programs are expensive and take away private enterprise’s ability to react to changes in the economy. Unfortunately, “big business” and “even-handed” rarely go together. Stockholders rarely encourage their CEOs to give money to the poor. Since the Reagan-era Trickle-Down theory was put into practice, the gap between the rich and poor has consistently broadened.

On the other hand, the Democrats want a larger government role in providing for those people left behind by the inevitable shifts in our massive economy. While the goal is laudable, the idea that only “big businesses”, and the “rich” will help finance these social programs is short sighted. In my experience, the definition of “big business”, or “rich” slide down the income scale as social services programs require more money. And they always need more money.

Where will it come from? We’re already seriously in debt. By some estimates, our public debt isn’t the $12.7 trillion number being bandied about, but upwards of $67 trillion. Congress has consistently plundered Social Security and Medicare reserves to make their yearly budgets look less out of balance. Though both republicans and democrats share blame for this enormous debt, it is presently growing by over two-trillion dollars per year. Worse yet, an ever-increasing amount of our debt is owned by foreign powers, the largest of which are China and Japan. Heaven forbid, if our government defaults! We could be scrambling to learn Chinese!

In watching the struggle for balance between free enterprise and social responsibility, I have to wonder if someone outside our society isn’t manipulating the situation to keep us off balance. Could this be some test to see if we are ready to belong to a larger community? In the Star Trek series, the critical achievement qualifying a people for “first contact” was faster-than-light travel. Maybe a more realistic milestone should be showing we can get along as a society. Of course, the United States is a mere 300 million out of a world society of 6 billion. If we can’t get along as a nation, what chance is there for world peace?

It looks like we have a long way to go.

Clifford M. Scovell
Prison Earth – Not Guilty as Charged
http://www.prison-earth.com

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