Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hey, what's the problem?

I've been over @ Z's blog . (She always has something going on over there.) Lately, the discussion was about outsourcing: actions which forced (or didn't force) American businesses offshore. Democrat/Republican policies? Unions? Corporate Greed? A commenter friend over there insisted that our troubles are rooted in the nasty, horrible monster of Corporate greed & the equally demonic Bush Trade policies. So I asked myself, and then him, what's the real problem in our country?

I'm no philosopher, but I did comment & offer what I believe part of the answer is, as to what's the "problem" in our country.

For better or worse, I feel like sharing today, so here goes:

This is a complex issue [why America is in the shape she's in].

I submit that, in part, the issue is one of expectations. The government REGULATES companies, to force them to 'clean up after themselves;' Unions get in lock-step - driving up wages (b/c 'Fred' can't be expected to actually WORK for such a small pittance). And then they EXPECT the Company NOT to respond by providing fewer jobs for people who EXPECT more $$$...

But now the 'worker' is entitled, see? (Because the Gov't/Unions/lawyers said so - "nyah, nyah" - AND b/c their kids HAVE to have the 3rd Generation ITouch, X-box 360, etc., etc.) After all, they're American kids & they're entitled, even if their parents can't afford it; and never mind if I can't afford my kids -- "I'll have another one if I want, b/c the Gov't will take care of me" (true quote in my office years ago), b/c I'M ENTITLED...

Right?

NO! It's insanity, this pervasive ENTITLEMEMT attitude - on EVERY level of our society! If corporations are guilty of greed, then they're NO MORE GUILTY than American GOVERNMENT, no more guilty than UNIONS, no more GUILTY than American Media, lawyers, no more GUILTY than families, than the INDIVIDUAL who brings home the millions, OR the INDIVIDUAL who covets the millions of the latter.

See, when you reduce it all down, friend...when you siphon off all the surface arguments, the irrelevant (but arguably important) issues...what you distill it down to the very heart of the matter, what we have is a SPIRITUAL PROBLEM.

We are a nation so far afield of our moral & spiritual center (aka GOD) that we don't even recognize that the LACK of God in our discussions is an issue, never mind the open HOSTILITY toward anything sacred. And the simple fact is, ultimately there's only one remedy...

I know, friend...your response is gonna be some schtick about 'separation of church & state.' Go ahead...you'll just prove my point further...


And now, we have a President of our nation-far-afield who drops 'under God' from the Pledge, and repeatedly eliminates 'endowed by our Creator' when quoting our Founding Documents...and yet, and still, almost half of our country asks, "Hey, what's the problem?"

That's (also) the problem.

~~~

25 comments:

Always On Watch said...

For various reasons, I haven't been keeping up with every thread at Z's blog.

Anyway, here's my take....Capitalism in the past has been so successful because of the moral backbone of individual entrepreneurs, most of whom believed that (1) they answered to a higher authority and/or (2) they believed that they should support charities and other philanthropic endeavors.

I do agree with you that we have a very serious spiritual problem worldwide. "Looking out for number one" has taken over the thinking of way too many people! The Me Generation has arrived and in spades!

Crucis said...

For the last 17 years before I retired, I built call centers for a large telco. I was part of the team that decided when a new call center was needed and also was part of the team that determined who would own/staff the call center and where it would be located.

At the end of it all, whether we outsourced (and we did have a large number of company owned/staffed call center) the determining factor was---COST. Business can not operate at a loss and stay in business. True, every company has "expense" centers but there must also, as Rush says, "profit" centers. The revenue brought in by those profit centers must exceed the cost of those expense centers.

Anyone who thinks outsourcing is driven by "corporate greed" is incredibly naive. Corporate greed = making a profit and staying in business. That, as a by-product also means jobs.

In that last few years, the costs of overseas operations---those outsourced locales has risen. Now, guess what? Those sites are being closed and the business done there if coming back to the US. Why? Cost. Business will go wherever the cost is least and profit margins can be maintained.

It's a simple fact and I'm amazed how little it is understood---or ignored if you're a dem or lib.

Raise the cost of doing business and outsourcing, perhaps this time of complete companies, will start building again.

Dan said...

b/c 'Fred' can't be expected to actually WORK for such a small pittance

Don't pay me what I'm worth, I don't work that cheap!

Anyway, on outsourcing, here's a thought. Why is it good to in source-- that is, rather than having people work cheap in other countries, just have them come here and work cheap--but bad to out source? The result is the same, the only difference is that out-sourced workers can't make demands on participating in our elections. And that is a moutain of a difference.

Leticia said...

It is a spiritual problem. This nation has turned its back on God, wants to alienate our only ally in the Middle-east. And then there is greed. Everyone wants a piece of the pie but don't want to work for it.

This nation has become spoiled, undisciplined and has completely lost its focus on what's important. It's the "all about me" syndrome.

And we have only ourselves to blame because we are the ones that have allowed progressives to dictate our moral values.

Jim said...

"And now, we have a President of our nation-far-afield who drops 'under God' from the Pledge..."

Source?

"and repeatedly eliminates 'endowed by our Creator' when quoting our Founding Documents"

Source? I know he once paraphrased the Declaration of Independence and didn't include the exact text. But "repeatedly"?

What's your source for that?

Joe said...

Jim: Four times he quoted the Declaration exactly...except for the 'by our Creator' part! September 15, 2010. September 18, 2010. September 19, 2010. October 18, 2010.

That's not an accident. That's an on purpose.

Bury your head if you wish, but it was no accident.

He either does not know the Declaration of Independence (unthinkable for a Harvard Law School graduate and the smartest man ever to occupy the White House), or he did it deliberately. There is no other possibility...especially if you throw in the body language.

Google "Obama omits creator"

Jim said...

Thanks for the tip Joe. By Googling as you suggested I found another example that you missed:

"He made it possible for our nation to move closer to the ideals set forth in our Declaration of Independence: that all people are created equal and are endowed with inalienable rights that government has the duty to respect and protect."

Oh yeah, but that was that Godless President Ronald Reagan in 1986.

And another Godless president:

"Two hundred years, lacking sixteen, have passed since our forefathers proclaimed to the world the truths they held self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that governments are instituted among men to secure those rights, deriving their just powers only from the consent of the governed." Dang. that Godless Dwight Eisenhower.

Kind of shoots this thread to hell, doesn't it?

WomanHonorThyself said...

great comments...and great insights...we must vote out the Communist/Marxist terrorist enablers..simple as that!

Susannah said...

Hello friends! I've been out of town, & I come back to a well established discussion. Yippee!

AOW~ The Me Generation has arrived and in spades!
Yeah, my Mom says the 'druggie hippies' of the 60's & early 70's are now in charge; & look what we've got.

Crucis~ "Anyone who thinks outsourcing is driven by 'corporate greed' is incredibly naive. Corporate greed = making a profit and staying in business."
Yes. And what the readers here missed was that I based my comments on a hard/cold fact from my brother in the Furniture ind. His dilemma was that their furniture business could ship materials & people overseas AND pay freight expenses to have it shipped back for CHEAPER than they could build it right in NC. Now that's ridiculous!

Dan~ "out-sourced workers can't make demands on participating in our elections."
Ouch. Point very well taken.

Leticia~ Very well stated. Money for nothing...and forget about the One from Whom all blessings flow...

OK. Going for a walk w/ my sweetheart. Will be back to address further comments later. Thanks all.

Craig said...

This is a complex issue [why America is in the shape she's in].

Hi Susannah,

Yeah, it's complex. Can I start a discussion here by asking you and your readers a question? It's kinda long.

Is it greedy, or too high of an expectation, for someone to;

Graduate high school, take 2 years vocational school and expect to find a job that pays a livable wage. Livable meaning, getting married, couple kids, mortgage on a small house, provide 3 squares a day, 2 weeks vacation (1 week camping with the family, 1 week to clean out the garage). Maybe the wife works 15-20 hrs. a week to afford some amenities like an iPod or wii. They have a safe pension and can put some money away for the kids college. They want them to have it a little better than they've had it.

Is that greedy?

That's what used to be the American dream. It's becoming less and less available and it started long before Obama.

(b/c 'Fred' can't be expected to actually WORK for such a small pittance)

This caricature is really insulting. Productivity has continued to rise while wages have fallen behind inflation and workers have had to compete with people in the 3rd world, willing to work for $1 a day.

I'm in a hurry so I hope this makes sense.

Susannah said...

...in which she picks up where she left off:

Jim~ Ah...OK, so I exaggerate to make a point - even if BHO doesn't actually verbalize his disdain for omitting God from the Pledge, his mosaic of behavior indicates his support for those who do. And I believe Joe provides ample "source" for the point about BHO's quoting the Founding docs.

Joe~ GREAT! thanks, man!

Jim~ OK, so you tediously (there's that word again...) scrounged the internet to find one whit's example of others who may have not quoted exactly from the Declaration. Fine. Nicely done.

I submit that you're missing the point. The character, behavior & timbre of the Eisenhower or Reagan presidency was that of affinity for things sacred/Godly. Their respect for Christian values was so evident that people didn't think twice about your examples, b/c their position was understood , & people trusted them. The same cannot be said for BHO, relative to his affinity for things sacred, his respect for Christian America or the People's level of trust in his positions. Context is everything, Jim.

(p.s. Besides, quotations in rapid succession: September 15, 2010. September 18, 2010. September 19, 2010. October 18, 2010 speak for themselves.

WHT~ "we must vote out the Communist/Marxist terrorist enablers..simple as that!"
Bingo!

Susannah said...

Hi Craig~ Yes you're making sense, but missing the point. @ Z's blog we discussed the political angle of this problem. Per her request, we avoided the spiritual part. Your comment angles back to the political problem/remedy. We won't go there again, & I won't entertain attempts to take it there. (Redundancy is boring.)

Now, the scope of your question to 'my readers' addresses the American dream - which is a sociological concept. (Still missing the point.) The point is about expectations -- that have gone so awry as to have bred a rancid cancer of entitlement mentality, pervasive to every level of our society.

Our collective philosophical approach to life has thus become one of deservedness rather than gratitude. We have systematically shut out the Giver, and yet expect - nay, feel entitled to - the Gifts: "certain inalienable rights, endowed to us by our CREATOR..." ...ringing a bell for ANYONE??

Oh, & the 'caricature' which you find offensive: in this context, I used it loosely -- dramatic license -- to make a point. But, where there's smoke, you know what they say...

Brooke said...

To have the President turning away from God so blatantly is very dangerous, IMO, and it is symptomatic of the loss of morality in the nation, particularly among leftists.

Susannah said...

Brooke~ Absolutely! A leader is supposed to appeal to the 'better instincts' of those s/he leads, and the People will follow. When a leader does NOT (Jim, for immediate 'evidence' I point to BHO's "back of the bus" comment, "punish our enemies" verbage -- & that's only in the last 96 hours!)...when a leader does NOT -- the People are in BIG trouble.

...in which we find ourselves...

Mustang said...

When asked why he decided to leave the Democratic Party, Zell Miller replied, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party; it left me.” God hasn’t turned His back on America, folks. We are turning our backs on God. And honestly, the left would like nothing better. By “the left,” I must include those religious people fooled into thinking that social justice is a religious tenet. It is not. Self-reliance is the message in the Bible. There is no such thing as collective salvation; we get to heaven by making personal choices.

Now as this is a complex topic, I will attempt to simply it. When government takes over the role of charity (income redistribution), it takes away my opportunity to achieve salvation. Let’s face it; we give to charity from disposable income. High taxes reduce disposable income, and our ability to give to charities. What right does the government have to impose itself between my Lord and me? I am very capable of “redistributing” my income to others without government taking over that roll.

Government has done all that it can do to destroy entrepreneurial spirit in this country. It has done all it can to drive jobs away from America, and for the life of me, I don’t understand why. Unions have driven up the prices of goods and services, and of wages, and of benefits—aided and abetted by government. Think about it when union workers demand (make a list of demands) that will increase costs to their employer. Traditionally, the employer passes those costs along to the consumer. Now you know why a brand new automobile worth $5,000 costs four times that. However, industries realize that they can only pass so many of these costs along to consumers and remain competitive in a global market. Consider Wal-Mart. What does this company sell retail made in America? Nothing —and the reason is that off shore goods provide higher profit margins.

Again, this is the goal of the leftist government because such conditions allow them to step in and to impose their will. It isn't about making society a softer place; it is about power. Now listen friends, the purpose of the US Constitution was to LIMIT government. When government has limitations, people have greater freedom. Which do you prefer?

Pelosi and those other rabid communists didn’t get to Congress by accident. Americans voted for them. THAT is the real problem with our country. We have far too many people educated in public schools by LEFTISTS who readily buy into the social justice claptrap and vote for leftists. It is a grand conspiracy that is working. Until our citizens realize they are looking at a communist in progressive clothing, we will continue down this godless path to self-destruction.

Joe said...

Jim: Certainly illustrates that you don't know the difference between writing or saying something ABOUT something and actually quoting something.

Too bad.

You can still go back to school and get your GED.

Craig said...

Our collective philosophical approach to life has thus become one of deservedness rather than gratitude.

Susannah,

Since many here have pointed to Obama's paraphrasing the Declaration as evidence of "systematically shut[ting] out the Giver", let's look at the Declaration.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

First of all, don't you think it's important to take into account, Jefferson's understanding of 'Creator'? He also writes about 'Nature's Law' and 'God of Nature'. While he never rejected a God, his "theology" was more in line with Spinoza's God, than with the Abrahamic God.

Jefferson did not believe in a supernatural, personal Deity that guided events. He and many of the Founders, were products of the Enlightenment. Men of science and reason. They believed in an agent of Creation and that agent could be discovered in human thought.

So, when Jefferson used the words, 'self-evident' and 'unalienable', he was saying that that is the natural state of being. Our Rights are inherent, not deserved or undeserved. The idea that we
owe 'gratitude' to a supernatural being for our inherent rights would not have even occurred to him. We are entitled. The same is true for Franklin, Madison, Paine, Mason and others.

This isn't conjecture or revisionist history. Read Madison's notes on the Const. Convention or Jefferson and Madison's letters.

Christians have tried to co-opt Jefferson's 'Creator' to make some point about America not being sufficiently devout. So consequently, anything bad can be attributed to our incurring the wrath of God. It's a an argument that, at it's core, is coercive, antithetical to our American values.

Craig said...

You, or any Christian, has a right to bring your Christian values to the public sphere, but policy is what matters. You must justify those policies on merit and it's constitutionality. Using just the Bible as a rationale for forming public policy is in direct violation of the Establishment Clause.

So, I get what your saying, our sense of entitlement is what's hurting us. It's true, there are people who game the system. Most people who are on some sort of assistance are there out of necessity, and would rather not be. My beef is with those who have used their vast wealth to rig the system. There is no equivalence in the 'greed' of someone trying to make a decent living and those who only care about maximizing profit. . I'm all for creating wealth but that's not what's happening. Wealth is being accumulated in fewer hands and that is an unsustainable model. History proves that.

Just so I'm clear, I'm not advocating taking from the haves and giving it to the have-nots. I'm advocating paying hard working Americans a wage they can live on. It's what happened after the Great Depression and the country prospered. That changed in 1980 and it's conservative policy that has lead to fewer and fewer prospering. That's lead to more people needing assistance. The best welfare program is a good job. If the base line wage is set in China or Banglidesh, we're screwed.

I'll stop now.

Thoughts? Comments?

Z said...

Hey , AOW, I hope it isn't personal :-)

Susannah, I agree with you so much; as godless souls have so much earthly power these days, we see the faith that built America so beautifully denigrated and we so sadly see the fruits of that denigration..........
have kids improved since we started making faith look stupid?
I could say more but I don't want to get into it...i'm pooped and worried and TRULY disheartened.

Sadly, I don't see our productivity has risen as some here do...and we all need to know what happened to why fathers' salaries alone couldn't support the whole family after so many years of that working well. OUr children have suffered so badly because of that.

Always On Watch said...

Mustang said:

Let’s face it; we give to charity from disposable income. High taxes reduce disposable income, and our ability to give to charities. What right does the government have to impose itself between my Lord and me?

A lot of truth there.

Many Americans can no longer afford to give to charities because of the taxes the government -- local, state, and federal -- picks from our pockets.

Jim said...

"Many Americans can no longer afford to give to charities because of the taxes the government -- local, state, and federal -- picks from our pockets."

So I take it you must not be among the 95% of Americans who's taxes went down in the past 18 months.

Mustang said...

//So I take it you must not be among the 95% of Americans who's taxes went down in the past 18 months.//

No, I'm not. In fact, my taxes went up, which severely impacts my spending behavior because I am on a fixed income. So Jim ... you may wish to ask around before you begin spewing leftist talking points. You know, to maintain credibility.

Jim said...

"In fact, my taxes went up, which severely impacts my spending behavior because I am on a fixed income."

Which taxes went up? If you are making less than $250,000 your Federal income taxes went down. If not, I'm sorry you can't comfortably live on what you've been living on for the past 8 years or so.

Susannah said...

Mustang~ "There is no such thing as collective salvation; we get to heaven by making personal choices."
Indeed not. For anyone who doesn't get the reference here, "Liberation Theology" - which is BHO's theology - ascribes to the notion of 'collective salvation,' which is a decidedly UN-Christian concept.

"When government takes over the role of charity (income redistribution), it takes away my opportunity to achieve salvation."
The thing I would say here is that we can never 'achieve' salvation. It is a free gift from God, through Grace at the Cross. However, your point is well-taken - when the Gov't takes over the role of an individual's philanthropic decision-making, it removes one's opportunity to GIVE IN GRATEFUL RESPONSE TO GOD's GIFTS TO US (i.e., 'returning thanks'). And you're ABSOLUTELY right! Govt's intrusion into charitable giving DECREASES charitable giving...Thanks for such a thoughtful comment, Mstg.

Joe~ I was thinking exactly the same thing. There's a difference betwn. speaking about something & quoting from it...thanks!

Craig~ You're taking this post into the realm of dissecting the Founding Fathers' faith intentions. I will not engage. For as many quotes as you can produce that identify the FF's as "deists," I can find at least as many (or more) that reveal their deep & personal faith in Jesus Christ. We'll just go in circles, & I'll get dizzy; then cranky.

Craig~ "I'm all for creating wealth but that's not what's happening."
Actually, I don't think you are. How are those who 'have not' supposed to create wealth, if they 'have not' a JOB? or companies to invest their $$ in? You may wish to rethink your claim here.
"Wealth is being accumulated in fewer hands..."
I beg to differ w/ this 'talking point.' John Edwards tried it when he & Kerry lost to Bush, w/ his "two Americas" slogan. There are NOT "two Americas" in that sense. We DO have poverty, etc., but NOT in the sense that other places in the world do: thus we arrive @ my premise of expectations again. (Ex.: Kids on medicaid getting braces vs. "poor" kids in other parts of the world literally dying of thirst --- um, you don't die of crooked teeth.)

"Just so I'm clear, I'm not advocating taking from the haves and giving it to the have-nots."
Yes you are - if you support the Dem agenda, you are.

"I'm advocating paying hard working Americans a wage they can live on."
Paid by whom? (private businesses who pay on merit? or paid by Govt mandate?) Entitled why? (b/c they used their God-given talents to the best of their abilities & EARNED it, or simply b/c they drag themselves to work everyday for the coffee?)

"happened after the Great Depression and the country prospered."
Perhaps a WORLD WAR had something to do with this...just a thought...

"in 1980 and it's conservative policy that has lead to fewer and fewer prospering."
I beg to differ. Those following years were the most prosperous in our nation's history.

Susannah said...

Z~ "I could say more but I don't want to get into it...i'm pooped and worried and TRULY disheartened."
I know you are, dear one. Hang in there. You're in my prayers!

AOW~ Exactly! You & Mustang are on the same wavelength!

Jim~ Talking Points, again??

Mustang~ "my taxes went up, which severely impacts my spending behavior because I am on a fixed income."
Right, and some of us have ever-expanding needs as our families grow & their needs change. We have to manage a 'fixed income,' & do the best we can. We don't have a population to tax when we want to CHANGE things.

Jim~ "I'm sorry you can't comfortably live on what you've been living on for the past 8 years or so."
What an arrogant thing to say to say. You feel entitled to judge for Mustang how he should manage his own finances?? Who are you to say how much he can/can't live on? Who are YOU to determine how much he should/shouldn't bring in/spend in a year? That attitude PERFECTLY illustrates the other side of the entitlement coin... People demand their entitlements, the GOVT demands the right to distribute/oversee said entitlements.

Just makes my skin crawl...