Tuesday, August 18, 2009

We're all gonna die! But who will pay for it?

Hurricane Bill is spinning in the South Atlantic. The local news stations proclaim, "Will Hurricane Bill spoil our weekend? Find out at 11." If they really cared about us, they'd tell us now. My guess is no, it won't spoil the weekend. Don't stay up.
Congress and the president are fighting over health care reform which has no chance of either reforming or caring for our health, but that's just my cynical nature and 51 years of experience talking. Living in New Jersey has exposed me to property tax reform, auto insurance reform and something they call Pay to Play, whatever that is. None of it has done anything to enhance our way of life or make it easier to pay for our auto insurance or our property taxes. All one has to do is step outside and look around to see that we aren't any better off now than we were 20 years ago.
Make our beds and lie there, take your chance.
- "Waste Not, Want Not" Pretenders
I hearken back to my Halcyon days. 1975. I was working my first job, making $2.10 an hour. I had a car (insured) and I was working part-time with a band making maybe $10 a week running the sound board and loading equipment into a large van.
That 94 bucks seemed to go a lot further then than five times that much would now. Now, there are cell phones, Internet and cable TV to pay for. Then, we had none of that. Were our lives unfulfilled and empty? No. We called each other on the telephone and watched network television - for free. If we wanted to know something, we went to the library and looked it up. Another skill set for nothing.
We didn't need tax reform or health care reform because we didn't know what that meant. If I had come blasting in from some 21st Century time machine to warn people about the high cost of television, health care and something called The Internet, they would have locked me up as some kind of Heretic. A relic from a lost civilization.
But it was only 34 years ago. A grain of sand in the time hourglass. How quickly our lives have changed. I would have warned the 1975 commoners about something I called "Credit Card Debt" and they would have asked, "What is this credit card you speak of?" If I could have explained it before the local police came, maybe some of them could have been spared our fate.
But our fate is ours, and we have no one but ourselves to blame. We (most of us) lived through that late-70s era where life was comparatively simple, much as we thought life in the 1950s was before air conditioning and color TV.
We may be screwed, economically speaking, but our screwing is on us. We did it. We saw the Internet, the Cable and the mobile communication and thought we should bow to it, but little did we know that we would be sucking at its teat - economically speaking.
I only wish that someone from 2040 would come here in some time machine contraption and tell me what fools we are.
I'd listen.
Take, take, take, taking what you don't need.
You'll get, get, getting what you don't need.
Stand back, take a look and take heed.
All the children in god's kingdom bleed.
See the networks of concrete and steel.
They've no mystery but what they reveal.
Tells a story of a future that's void
of the beauty and the majesty that life on
Earth is meant to be.
"Waste Not, Want Not" Pretenders

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