Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Kick the Can; Kick the Middle Class

Kick the can was a simple game played by children who generally had nothing else with which to play.  It didn't cost anything and unless you fell and skinned your knee or accidentally lifted the can through a window, was harmless.  (Personal experience on that one, sadly.)
Other children's games were equally harmless and just as inexpensive but all had one thing in common, fair play and fun with friends.
But unfortunately as with just about everything else these days the phrase 'kick the can' has been usurped and altered by our bizarre and dysfunctional political world.
Kicking the can down the road is no longer enjoyable, in fact it's downright ominous.
It sets our sights on some day in the future and causes constant tension until that deadline is dealt with.
It also hints at continued can kicking since agreements are so hard to come by that no one can be sure they will happen even then!
So how did we get to this point?
Well for one thing it has not happened overnight.  We have been heading toward a 'me first' mentality for decades.
And just like the virtual fiscal cliff that has flooded the news media for months there is a tipping point from beyond which it is hard to return.
The ever widening gap between the so called 'haves' and 'have nots' does not help as it provides frustration among the working class.
An honest days pay for an honest days work is merely a phrase without meaning today.  Too many companies see their workers as inventory to be dealt with by accountants.
If your business is doing well it is because the boss implemented a good plan but if it's suffering then the inventory must be cut and that includes the work force.
The false sense that only wealthy people create jobs has been propagated for too long and it is simply not true!  Of course many of them do hire workers but they do so out of necessity, not the goodness of their hearts.
What creates jobs is the demand for what businesses produce and a strong enough economy that allows people the wherewithal to pay for those products.
If no one is buying then no one will produce.
If no one will produce then no workers are needed.
If no workers are needed then no workers will be hired and current ones may be let go.
The fuel needed to drive an economic car is cash in the hands of those who spend and in America that is the middle class.
A strong middle class equals a strong economy.
The middle class is the REAL 'too big to fail' entity!
And until Congress and all our elected officials understand that we will continue to wander aimlessly through the desert of a fruitless economy.
I do not propose to hurt the wealthiest among us nor do I wish them to fail.  I only want Congress to understand that they are not the only ones living in this country and they are not the only ones who close the proverbial curtain before pulling that lever every November.  In fact they are the minority!
If Congress, and in particular the Republicans these days continue to insist on kicking the can down the road while so many of us are suffering then we must remember to kick their can the heck out of office as soon as possible.  And they must be made to understand that we can!
The world has enough misery in it.  Let's not take away every last bit of fun.  Let's return games such as the 'tug of war' and 'kick the can' back to the playground where they belong!

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