Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Can't Stop Thinking About All This


It seems like everyone in this country is waking up after a long, deep sleep. This political season, combined with the lovely recession and failing economy and rising gas prices and foreclosures run amok, has us all paying attention.

Everyone is concerned about this Wall Street bailout, it seems. Where is the money going? Who gets what? Why do corporate bigwigs get huge bonuses? How dare they drive nice cars and expect our tax dollars to bail them out? I am in the middle of the road here. On one hand, it is wrong to punish success. So some people get big bonus and special privileges derived form making lots of money — is that not [part of] the American Dream? Work hard, we say, and you can be what you want. A lot of pressure on a six-year-old’s tiny shoulders, but still. Don’t we teach our children in school that they can grow up and be anything they want? Or do we tell them that they can be whatever they want but if they earn to much money or get too successful then, well, we will hate you and resent you and throw stones at you?

But this whole accountability thing, where is the money going, why now? Why aren’t people asking that every year, round the 15th of April? Our tax dollars fund public schools, many of which are failing spectacularly so. Why aren’t we up in arms over that? I am not sure what the exact statistics are but I think less than half of students graduate in NYC. I, like everyone else, hand over a significant amount of money every year (well, now only via Nicole) so where is that going? Why is the school down the street from me failing? Why do I have to look into private school and consider paying a ridiculous tuition because Down The Road isn’t an option? But — and this might be controversial — if my two children are not taking up seats in the public school down the street, shouldn’t I get some sort of tax credit?

Economics are complex, so much so that I feel like I am watching an episode of Law & Order: The plaintiff presents and I believe then, and then the defendants present and I believe them. I can swing either way. In this country, the “ways” are republican and democrat. And I have to admit that this political season, I have been questioning many of the ideals that I hold. Some of the republican theories on economy make much more sense than the democrats. As much as I want to believe in social programs and social welfare and all that, it is clearly NOT working they way it should. I want everyone in this country to have health care, but I am afraid of what happens if the government runs that. Obama talks about raising taxes for corporations, but this, it seems, isn’t the answer. If we raise their taxes, they will just pass that on to We the Consumer. Tax Mobil more and they will make gas more expensive for us. Tax airlines and they will pass that onto us too.

But — and this is a big but — I am much more liberal than the republican party. I believe in gay marriage and would support a constitutional amendment saying that men and women can marry each other. What can I say: I have a vested interest. I believe in a woman’s right to chose and believe that making abortions illegal will not taper the number of abortions, but rather make them more unsafe. I believe that this whole right to own guns thing needs to reevaluated. Assault rifles, anyone? (And yes I realize if we made gun-owing illegal, then guns would fall into the hands of truly evil people who would use them to kill and thus create a scary underground ring.) I could go on. The thing is, though, I can’t wrap my mind around the social ideology of the republicans, the religious connections (somehow I end up as a sinner in almost every religion), and my second-class status.

The republican party, it seems, wouldn’t want me murking up their waters. But the democratic part is flawed too. So what is a girl to do?

Nicole has a Town Hall meeting tonight so I am on my own with the girls all day and night. I am hauling them out to Long Island and then back home for pizza. I have been overwhelmed lately with the concept of winter and being cooped up for a season, but that is another post for another day.

Anyone catch Five Under 5 last night? Way to represent, ladies!

Pictured above, Halloween last year and then this year. What a difference year can make! Understatement of the century…

6 comments:

K J and the kids said...

See as I understand it, the taxes line up more like when Clinton was in office. He had this country running like a well oiled machine.
I think it's the only way to bring us out of this financial HELL we've got ourselves in to.
Problem is greed all the way around.

Cute girls.

I caught the show. Wasn't it fantastic :) That Karen was a super star and had like 5 camera's on her. (you know, the camera adds 10 lbs)

rebecca said...

just had to respond to the "i'm a sinner in almost every religion" comment... ya know, we're ALL sinners in almost every religion. heterosexuals who have sex before marriage (which is, like, um, almost all of us) are "sinners" in almost every religion. just for some effed up reason, society has decided to judge your "sin" (and i put sin in quote marks for what i hope is an obvious reason!) as worse. i'm sorry you have to deal with that (and yes, i know that my saying that means effectively nothing, but please take the sentiment for what it is).

i hope that that paragraph made sense.

also, about the economic situation, my 2 cents: socialist principles got us into this economic mess and the powers that be have somehow forgotten this and have decided that an economically socialist strategy (the bailout) is going to get us out of it. craziness. it's like taking a medication that makes you sick and switching to a new and slightly different medication that makes you sick as well.

i have gotten to the point where i think that "left", "right", "conservative" and "liberal" have lost ALL meaning. (the republicans the last eight years have certainly not governed in a hands-off, small-government sort of way, that is for sure.)

EGGS IN THE APPLE said...

Hola. I believe in personal responsibility, AND firmly believe corporate america pretty much sucks. There is soooo much blame to go around. And it's the schmucks like me who see their 401k go down the drain. Greed. Good old fashion greed (on all sides- wall street, auto types, and people who thought they could borrow 600k for a house while making 30k). I see it all day long.

I will teach our kids to get a great education, then run like hell to Vermont and make beaded jewelry or cheese or something for a living.

Like the Valco, but LOVE the fact my lovely partner after a year finally decided on a stroller. Love to have a meet up- i think she posted somewhere on your blog that she will be a stay at home mom starting January and is afraid of winter months in our jail like apartment. She is just another victim of our economy.

EGGS IN THE APPLE said...

Hi- We used various jogger strollers this summer- depending on where we were. We never bought one. This thanksgiving moira's sister is bringing us one (don't know which type) from some closeout sale in Ohio. It's free...so will work.

I will say, the joggers we liked best were with the ones with a wheel that pivots. (---- not sure on spelling.

Getting out of the apartment, for me- is key. Jogger, non-jogger, I feel so much better going to central park, or on the river whenever possible. If I don't go out- we all go nuts.

Be happy to arrange a playdate for my partner AND children.

Jess said...

I couldn't have said it better myself!

Mikhela said...

We have universal health care in Australia, and I gotta say, the US health system looks pretty horrifying from the outside. I suppose we only get the sensational stories here, people turned away from emergency departments dying and teeth rotting out of their heads and so on. It does seem odd that the world's richest country can't afford something as basic as health.

Not implying it's perfect here. Log out of my own eye before mote in yours, and so forth.