1. You left one thing out. The country is no longer fiscally responsible. Without this you cant fix the other problems., you can disagree on a lot of stuff but we were at$9 trillion debt two Presidents ago.

  2. Well done, Sheila.

    As we realize more of the negative consequences of past policy decisions, having an active youth will be instrumental going forward. I would also add that today’s youth is far more engaged in global activism than previous groups.

    The internet has connected us globally and our old frustrated leaders in Washington need to let go of their power and wealth. They’ve caused enough damage. It’s time for them to let go.

    Biden’s speech to the nation was a global embarrassment. Luckily for us, Vladimir Putin doesn’t take Joe seriously. Either does Xi. I believe the term is Paper Tiger.

    We need to stop our imperialistic ways and focus on what we’ve neglected at home – mainly the people and our infrastructure. We need the capital that has been extracted to be reinvested in the USA commons.

    How many billionaires do we need?

  3. JohnS,
    I’d say you were correct about being fiscally irresponsible if you mean that our tax laws have been so “gerrymandered” to favor the rich and the corporations that we cannot finance our society’s needs. That dovetails nicely with the the subject of Sheila’s blog today.

    In the final analysis, if our voters remain somnolent, the whole thing will unravel completely in the next decade or sooner. Idiots with guns will wreak havoc we haven’t seen since the Civil War of centuries past.

  4. A song sung blue everybody knows one, me and you are subject to the blues now and then……

    This system is broken! It’s been broken since the beginning. Any attempt to level the playing field has been met with verial and fierce backlash. Does anybody honestly think that elections will change anything?

    Does anyone honestly think that suicide bombers or Mass murderers are impossible in this country? Well, obviously it’s not because we see mass murders every day. And, you can bet that there are plenty out there who would blow themselves up in a fit of brainwashed fanaticism.

    No! This is way deeper, much more complicated and nefarious than people give credit. There always has been plenty of evil in this country, and now we have the weak minded and manipulated moth to the flame yard barkers to back up that maleficent thought process.

    The young are not going to change a dog gone thing. Most are not going to be thinking about activism when they’re trying to survive! And, that was part of the plan all along.

    Why do you think there’s such a screed going on against a better minimum wage? Or, against the current rent fiasco in most cities. When you’re working two or three jobs, there’s not much time for anything else.

  5. John S. The country has had a national debt since the nation was founded. That is not the problem that the federal deficit causes. And that problem could be done away with if the politicians would read what Adam Smith wrote (in The Wealth of Nations) about what we call a progressive income tax, which he approved of (a real one, not one stuffed with loopholes), and about what we call a marginal tax for the upper income people, which he approved of. Politicians try to show that they know what is going on by referencing fiscal probity and Adam Smith, but the should try reading what he actually wrote.

  6. Just an fyi, the deficit actually went down after all that pandemic spending. Put money in the hands of those who need it and it goes right to work, helping the economy!

  7. When the spoiled schoolyard bully tRump infected the White House and this country five years ago I believe we were already headed down a slippery slope towards civil war. Our form of government has always allowed wealthy citizens to be in control and to ensure that regulations/laws are written to not only protect their financial interests, but to expand their wealth and power.

    We have been living in a new type of Robber Baron age that has rapidly become worse for the average citizen in the past fifteen years. The worst part is that the overwhelming majority of elected officials in congress and state legislatures quickly sell out to the highest bidder. They openly choose to enrich themselves by choosing party over country. Doing what is right for their country or their fellow citizens is not even an afterthought.

    Our Congress is full of thugs and gangsters that willingly carry out the criminal activities ordered by their wealthy donor mob bosses. Those mob bosses brilliantly purchased the majority of tv and paper sources of news so they could spread propaganda and hide their evil agenda. Creating multiple propaganda sources on the internet has been the icing on the cake for them. They have managed to infect the minds of too many people in this country. Controlling their minds with 24/7 propaganda to keep them so angry that they are incapable of listening to the truth. The members of Congress that agree to spread this propaganda on Fox, Newsmax, OANN, twitter and facebook are despicable!

  8. Peggy,

    The “economy” we help is just the .01% or oligarchy. The oligarchs sucked the stimulus money right out of the people’s hands so fast it wasn’t funny.

    We need to fix the economic system, so it doesn’t enrich the top of the hierarchy who owns everything. It’s insane to keep pumping money into countries or people when the system sucks it right back out.

  9. Sheila – a noble effort – B+. Two nips:

    1. ” Dancing with the Stars or the Kardashians” (I think) are mostly followed by people from 30-50. College students are doing??? Cocktail bars? Craft Beers? On-line gaming??

    2. You didn’t mention political corruption/government disfunction or media disinformation. If the next generations continue to ignore these…no war is needed.

  10. You know,

    I recall being asked by Township President Patricia Jones to run for office. She wanted me to take representative Eddie Washington’s seat in the state congress while he ran for the mayor of this city. I told Pat, thanks but no thanks, I can’t play those type of games.

    The examples of those trying to change government here, well, let’s just say they’re more horrific than inspiring. Senator link run out of the Senate here. Mostly because he fought with the Democratic hierarchy which thought he was too conservative. The Mayfield cousins, three of them, all got involved in government to try to change things. One ended up in prison the others basically just go through the motions because the shenanigans are genetically tied to politics no matter the party.

    Barack Obama? He definitely was an idealist. He was hired by Churches to help those laid off from the steel industry and other heavy industry employers. And he did a fantastic job. But he was not in politics very long. He ran for president as an idealist, and ran straight into the brick wall running at full speed.

    Now, Barack Obama was pretty much as liberal as you can get, but, there is no unity in politics. Much more could have gotten done if there was. But he could not do it by himself. And, he gets blamed for not doing it by himself. Because, that’s not the American way, lol!

    I’m just wondering though, what is the American way? Historically, the American way is not such a good way.

    You can’t change politics unless you cut out the rot, but, who’s going to cut out the rot? The sad thing is, anywhere in history no matter where you look, politics has always been filled with rot. Those that get involved to change it, end up in a bad way. Or they compromise their beliefs!

    Ormond said the other day, that you can’t be more human than we already are. Well, I beg to differ. Because, humanity is acting more like lowercase animals then an Apex Intellect. Animals don’t have a Conscience, animals don’t have Morals. Humans have Consciences that they go against all the time. Humans also have Morals, whether they be loaded with turpitude or not, is another story.

    Are mankind’s morals based on the thinking of wolves? Because, as Ormond states, our Morals are based on our animalistic side? Well, I don’t know about all of that, but do we go out and kill our fellow man to eat that person? Do we go after the children to eat them because they’re easier targets? There have been cases, but everyone is horrified when they read it or hear about it. Why is that? Conscience and Morals.

    When you poo poo your Conscience or your Moral understandings, you have lowered yourself to an animal without Conscience and without Morals. And, animals are either Predators or Prey.

  11. John Sorg, Don’t underestimate today’s young people. They are pissed about being the first generation that is going to be worse off than their parents. My generations (I was born in 1950) was pissed off about the values of the culture (money, money, money) and our parents and grandparents, and we changed things, not the way we wanted, the system pushed back, but things got better. The civil rights movement, the women’s movement all changed things for the better. We can be pessimists and set back and bitch, or we can work to stop this backslide, and maybe even make things better. I vote for the latter.

  12. Annie,

    With all due respect, are things really better? Not from where I sit. Drug use out of control, government impotent in trying to prevent doctor regulated addiction.

    In the ’60s, the government allowed Heroin into this country. The CIA was using the money to fund its covert activities. It continued on with the Iran Contra affair! The supply lines were well worn, no stopping it now. The drugs decimated minority communities. Something that’s not a big secret although it’s not talked about much. The flood of weapons coming into communities that are already decimated by drugs and poverty, there is not much of a push to stop it. So, you have Hispanics slaughtering Hispanics and black folks slaughtering black folks. Kind of like a white supremacist wet dream wouldn’t you say? What happens when people have no hope? What happens when government keeps saying to hang on, help is on the way, but never comes? If it hasn’t come yet, it’s never going to come.

    The promise of wealth dealing with illicit drugs and weaponry is a huge draw in a community or communities that are stripped of any other way of living. No factories, no supermarkets, no warehouses, just hair salons, liquor stores and a few gas stations. Oh, and let’s not forget McDonald’s. One step forward two steps back? I’d say more than two! I’d say way more than two steps backward.

    I do what I can do, so does my wife, so do our friends. Deliver food to those who need it, talk to those who have no one to talk to, cry with those who have to cry, sometimes sharing our home with strangers.

    If government had the answers, if it was activism that could make a difference, we wouldn’t be taking two or more steps backward, we’d be living in a panacea or a utopia!

    The mentally ill living on the street, no possibility of housing. In a supposedly liberal and fair society, we have hundreds of thousands of people living under bridges and viaducts or in doorways or breezeways or warm air vents! Yeah, we’ve come a long way!

    I refuse to keep smashing my head with a hammer expecting it not to hurt eventually. The only thing that’ll get you is dead. Of course we all die sometime don’t we? I just choose for it not to be self-inflicted or, have the government do it for me!

    This country spends trillions of dollars trying to figure out new ways to kill their way out of issues. Instead of listening we shoot. So, if government does it, why not the general population? It seems the only way we believe we can get out of a problem is to kill our way out. Works well doesn’t it?

    What’s better?????????

  13. “Speaking of repair–you all have a choice. You can tune in to Dancing with the Stars or the Kardashians while the planet warms, racism thrives, and American government is gridlocked and impotent. If enough of you do that, my advice would be not to reproduce, since the world your children will inhabit is likely to be a chaotic hellscape. Or you can get off the couch and engage—become an activist, and work to make things better for your children and my grandchildren.”
    Or watching the drippy, gooey, Hallmark channel, and its ilk, while the world burns around you, one of my pet peeves!
    If you can’t get off the couch, at least spend time writing letters, or signing letters and petitions.

  14. Mitch – WADR – tons of research that show letters and petitions are mostly ignored by pols as so many are not real individual efforts but orchestrated humming by partisan/ideological groups. Pols love it so they can use their time listening to lobbyists and donors.

    The real “action” is on the ground – supporting voting and supporting servant leader candidates with money and peer-to-peer communications.

  15. In this society, the only thing that counts is money – it’s that simple. It buys politicians, wins elections and dictates policy. And, unfortunately, it doesn’t look like changing anytime soon.

  16. John S:

    The U.S. government budget isn’t the same as the need to balance your family’s checkbook (the in apropos analogy always used by the so-called “deficit hawks:” “If ordinary people have to balance their checkbooks, the Federal government should have too as well.”).

    If you want to understand why the Federal deficit, as large as it, isn’t an existential threat to the solvency of the Federal government, you could look up and read some of Nobel prize winning Economist Paul Krugman’s discussion on that topic. In fact, as a percentage of the U.S. GPD, even the present deficit was still only about 12-13% of the GDP in 2021 — hardly an existential fiscal crisis. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/20/opinion/manchin-build-back-better.html [“federal interest payments as a percentage of G.D.P. are only half what they were under Ronald Reagan, and that if you adjust for inflation — as you should — they’re basically zero.”]

    I also agree with others that the size of the current Federal deficit is in a large part the direct result of the Republicans’ tax cuts for the rich (beginning in the Reagan years to implement Grover Norquist’s plan to destroy the Federal Government) such as the huge one Trump and McConnell provided for the wealthy in 2017.

    But more importantly, those very Republican tax cuts for the rich demonstrate the utter and total hypocrisy of the Republican “deficit hawks” (you can throw in Manchin as well), who only come out when the Democrats are in control of the Federal Government. The Republicans didn’t give a flying hoot about the huge increase in the size of the U.S. deficit that directly resulted from Trump’s tax cuts for the rich. But now when Biden and the Democrats want to spend a little tax money on much needed essential infrastructure and the needs of ordinary people, deficits once again supposedly matter, are a big deal, and are a huge existential threat to the Country.

    And BTW, Biden’s Build Back Better plan — as proposed, introduced, and passed by the House would have largely paid for itself, i.e., wouldn’t have increased the deficit all that much, because the BBB plan had funding built into it.

  17. Our today’s social and political and economic ills are nothing new but merely dressed in different garb. Thus some historians write that there were more Tory (English) sympathizers than revolutionary sympathizers in the colonies during our reolution. Many of our Founding Fathers were slaveholders, and Washington before fathering our country was chiefly known as the number one whisky maker in the colonies, whisky brewed by his slaves. Then there was (and still is as all gussied up) the Gilded Age. A Rockefeller and a Musk have similar if not exact characteristics, i.e., go for the gold – relentlessy – and with only pretended concern for the common good with staged acts of good will on occasion, and speaking of despair, imagine the despair of northern Americans only days after the devastating Civil War had concluded upon hearing Lincoln had been assassinated, refueling anger which carried over thereafter during Reconstruction days.

    Of course history is just that – history – but it can be useful in trying to make policies that work to the benefit of all (if we the people control the selection of the policymakers). Those chosen by the rich and corporate class via ownership/manipulation of the press and cries of socialism! to obtain the vote of the plebes typically throw a few bones to the masses to keep them out of the streets while retaining the body for their bottom lines.

    I like Nancy’s approach today. I usually look at issues through a socioeconomic lens and I think much of today’s drug and despair crowd might decide there is a tomorrow if they were economically self sufficient via not only an end to wage and wealth inequality but the adoption of single payer healthcare, free education at all levels, childcare and other such assistance all of which would dramatically reduce the drain on their increased wages and give them reason to rejoin society as the good citizens they can be.

    Financing? Enforce the progressive tax system we pretend to have but don’t what with the loophole bonanza for the rich and corporate class, adopt a wealth tax as notably championed by Piketty and Senator Warren et al. There are many sources of additional income for funding of such initiatives I have suggested above among other such initiatives I have left unnamed.

    How to make it happen? Elect policymakers (politicians) who campaign on making such policies law, and keep a short fuse on their success or failure if elected, firing them if they do not produce or sell out to the status quo, or for whatever excuse they may offer. Can’t be done? How do we know? We haven’t tried it – yet – and tell me how the present system is working for the common weal. . .

  18. Excellent Professor! Thanks for sharing.

    I truly believe in the youth of our country. They are the most educated of all generations so far and with Professors like this one, I have great hope for the country.

  19. Aging Girl – WADR – they are educated in how to pass standardized tests and in highly sanitized history. Zero education in writing, critical thinking, visual literacy, media literacy. They have developed expertise in video/web gaming and social media interaction. When they do vote, it is most often for 3rd parties or the extreme left. So how will this fix our country?

  20. Lester,

    Yup, Lol. My three kids for example, the oldest is as mad as a hatter, the other two are college graduates. One works for the government and the other works for a government contractor. As far as history goes? They really don’t have an interest. And, how are you going to change the course of future issues if you know nothing about how issues were handled in the past.

    Why do you think the young ones coming into business constantly reinvent the wheel? It eventually goes back to what it was in the beginning because they don’t research the past one iota!

    Critical thinking? LOL, yeah right! The Young folks today can’t even read a map! And don’t even ask about a compass.

    When I was a preteen, I had two telescopes and a microscope. A fairly powerful one that my mother had brought home from her job at V Mueller which was a manufacturer of those sorts of things. I was always curious, and seeing an entire world that was invisible to our naked eye fascinated me to no end. Bringing sketches to school science class of what I had seen under 1,000 times magnification? Sadly, the teachers were more interested in discussing paper airplanes! So there you have it. The best educated? By what standard!

  21. Wow, okay boomer! Talking to you Lester and Sorg. Sheesh guys, that’s the worst attitude toward our youth. You’re the adults. I consider anyone under 50 the youth of tomorrow. That’s some example you’re setting!

    We’re older. Our time is limited.

    Look around. Everyone is on their phones. Doing what? They’re Reading! They can read. Not like our generation and the one before. The evidence that they are smarter than us is all around, but you cannot see it.

    The future is so bright, I gotta wear shades!

  22. AG,

    They called television the idiot box! Now, everyone can carry an idiot box around in their pocket.

    Everybody is worried about artificial intelligence, but the newest generation relies on artificial intelligence to function. And, there’s the key phrase, Artificial Intelligence!

  23. Seems to me we (or some of us) have been here before.

    The Powell Memo did exactly what it intended. To put an end to the “socialism” kids were learning in “leftist college campuses” AND to have the business world take politics seriously by, first, engagement and second, control of government.

    As some have correctly deduced, they have successfully re-engineered the FDR governance and economy (1935-1975) into The Oligarchy as it stands for all the world to see today. As for education, government at state and federal levels barely invest in it. Privatization of education, like many other areas of our society, is their end game.

    Yes, the top 1% own more wealth than 92% of Americans. Let that sink in. While doing so, let this next fact sink in a bit: 2 American individuals, together, own more wealth than 42% of Americans. So, who, literally, owns our governments and their so-called “public servants” at every level? Who owns the airwaves? Who owns not only what we eat and watch but set the literal prices for those and any other “consumer items” you can think of???

    Lincoln, as many of you well know, gave this country a possible “re-birth” (knowing the first one was still-born) of governance of, for and by We The People in his incredible speech at Gettysburg while the stench of death and rotten bodies filled the air.

    I think Lincoln’s hope of this new possibility still hangs in the balance….but barely. Yes, as some of you have noted, there has been some improvements of governance (and who can be allowed to participate) since his speech in 1863.

    However, not even Lincoln, who surely feared the vision during those war years, did NOT see The Capitol building raped and pillaged as millions did on January 6, 2021. And….he did NOT see the supporters, aye designers, of January 6th go unpunished for their vile and obscene deeds. Yes, we are seeing the sorry round-up of the foot soldiers but, alas, they are merely the cannon fodder of the once-and-for-all take over of the current system some still call Democracy.

    We will witness more “Trump Loyalist” gain seats in our state and federal districts going forward. What we will NOT witness will be the likes of Hawley, McCarther, Johnson, Cruz, the Trump family, et al, see one day of justice behind bars. WILL. NOT. HAPPEN. (I hope I am wrong…but….)

    The days of seeing public servants resign (anyone remember Nixon?) or go to jail is a thing of the past. Way, WAY past! Two recent impeachments and laughable Senate “trials” prove it.

    I agree, only boots on the ground by people in solidarity for Lincoln’s vision will change anything. MILLION upon MILLIONS of boots. I have been pissed at the Millennial Generation ever since they went to sleep when King George wanted them to sign up and kill Arabs in 2001 and after. Where was the outrage? Where was their moral integrity?

    I’m still asking those questions….

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