Only Planet

One Child, One Year, One Planet. A family of three traveling around the world...

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Economics Gone Wild, or Why Sarah Palin Depresses Me.

I know that ostensibly this is a travel blog, but sometimes you don’t have to travel at all to be taken for a ride. I’ve been on a bit of an emotional ride for some time now, but it’s gotten a lot bumpier lately, maybe it has for you as well. Here’s what’s eatin’ me.

A long time ago, in a distant past (say the 1970’s) us kids were told that if we ate our vegetables, didn’t torture animals, went to school and worked hard, we could have all the goodies that mommy and daddy had. A home, a car, some money for that once-in-a lifetime trip to Disneyland and maybe some day retirement—just like that old multi-millionaire tending his tomatoes in The Godfather. Oh yeah, there was also that one nation stuff—we weren’t divided into rural and urban, red and blue, democrat and republican so much as we were summed up by the TV shows we watched. There were those who watched M*A*S*H and those who watched Hee Haw and yes the twain did meet.

But in the past thirty years the goodies got more numerous, and things that were once luxuries (microwave ovens, a second car, cell phones, internet access) became needs. House prices wildly outpaced inflation (in fact, inflation is tied to the price of rentals and not home mortgages) and maybe the American public got into a financial bind a little over their head. In the meantime other things were going on, like funky deregulation (which near as I can tell, began with Reagan telling the air traffic controllers “strike and you die”—or something like that) some totally boring legislation got passed (NAFTA, Glass-Stegall) and to make a very long story short, we ended up at last Friday.

Yup, a huge can of whup-ass is getting served on our financial system and the best solution out there is a $700 BILLION bail out for the likes of Morgan Stanley and AIG? (Does this remind you of another quickie bill that managed to get put together in days?) Oops, I think AIG got its own little package. Add this to the 152 billion dollar stimulus package that was supposed to massage us into spending more this summer and the “off the books” war in Iraq and I’m getting a little pissed. It’s not like I see ALL of our money disappearing because of this, but the repercussions for every one of us is staggering. Look, if banks are tightening up and credit is scarce and businesses aren’t growing/hiring, and people aren’t working (what is a job-less recovery anyway) and thus aren’t spending, at some point the game stops.

Hey, I would be thrilled to have a few million tossed my way, but we don’t need a bail out—at least not yet. What we do need are friends and family members with universal health care. Really, these home appendectomies are taking a toll on our kitchen table. And how about spending some money on our schools and bridges? Need we wait for the Sellwood Bridge to collapse before paying attention? (to be fair, it’s on a “to-do” list). The list can go on and on with what I can envision a much better use of $700 BILLION dollars, but what the frack!

So, why does Sarah Palin depress me? She might be nice enough person, or not. She might be able to squeeze out five kids while running a town/state and have enough time to think of ways to put American women on par with our lucky sisters in Afghanistan, that’s her shtick, I get it. I’m from the Wild West, where we say live and let live, but dammit, know what you’re doing. What is depressing me, is that there are soooo many people in our country who actually want to see her run them and the rest of us, an idea that simply sends me into wonkish shock.

Come on folks, executive experience matters, but it’s the type of executive experience. Being female matters only if you have done the same work expected from a man and you have earned a spot at the highest table in the country. Is our country so tricked out, flashing boobies and sucking down beer bongs that just being a hottie is a requirement for the White House?

If that’s the case I want Christian Bale to be my candidate*, at least he could re-enact some of his best scenes from American Psycho and we could laugh about the excesses of Wall Street, which would make it a "Bale out" I could live with.

*Thanks to the Constitution, neither I nor Christian Bale can be president, we were both born overseas.


Blogger Kami said...

That was fabulous. I was laughing out loud. Which made me lift my head out of my hands for a few minutes, so thanks!

September 23, 2008 4:40 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

The problem is, you believe in Live and Let Live and Sarah Palin believes in Live As I Live.

September 23, 2008 4:41 PM  

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