Thursday, May 04, 2006

Two views of America in 2006

Two views of America in 2006

Depending on whether you are a “half full” or “half empty” kind of person when it comes to current view of our country, here is the run down as I see it.

Economy –
It is running on all cylinders, unemployment is low, corp. earnings is high, stock market near 6 years high, inflation is in check, home ownership all time high, construction booming all around, foreign trade is up and GDP is at a healthy pace…

Wages are stagnant, saving rate low, more jobs are outsourced overseas, record trade deficit, record national debt, fraud common on wall street, CEO compensation through the roof, unions are toothless and minimum wage have not increased in 6 years, inflation on the rise, millions of illegal workers are living in the shadows, more people are in debt and not saving enough for their retirement…

Iraq War / war on terror –
We have liberated 25 Million Iraqis from a brutal dictator. They have experienced democracy first hand and have had free elections and have created a government. The Iraqi army and police are being trained to take over and they are dealing with an insurgency. Al Qaeda is on the run and we are defeating them slowly but surely.

We went to war in Iraq under false pretenses. The country is on the brink of civil war. US soldiers are dying for no good reason. We are making enemies worldwide. We are one attack away from another 9/11 or worse. The UN is doing what it can to bring peace and we are mucking it up. Bin Laden is still on the loose and releasing tapes and calling for our destruction. We are less safe than before 9/11.

Energy Crisis –
We are having a temporary logistic problem and therefore causing local supply shortages which lead to increase prices at the pump. We are still paying much less for gas compared to the Europeans. The global economy and China and India are what’s driving the extra consumption of fuel which is a good sign for the global economy. The high prices are just a normal supply/demand issue and not a sign of inflation.

The large oil companies are working in conjunction with the Administration to gouge the American consumer. They are destroying our environment and causing global warming. We are in an unjust war in Iraq because of our desire for cheap oil. We are driving our SUV’s back to the stone age.

Homeland Security / Illegal Immigration/FEMA –
We are making progress in securing our homeland. We learned some deficiencies in the after math of Katrina and we are making adjustments. However, the lesson should be that we can not rely completely on government for keeping us safe. We need to be proactive in trying to protect our family and our homeland.

Our borders are not secure. Illegal immigration is rampant. FEMA is broken and un-fixable. The government is totally ineffective in protecting the most vulnerable. It is wasting our tax dollars and we are less safe today than pre-9/11.

Cultural War –
We are winning and the best example is the latest 2 appointments to the Supreme Court by President Bush. Faith is on the rise in America and we are a compassionate and tolerating people. People are not afraid to say “Merry Christmas” and challenge the ACLU on a host of issues relating to religious symbols in the public square.

There is no war on Christmas. It is only in the imagination of the far right. We are in danger of losing abortion rights. Roe v. Wade is near to be overturned. We are losing our privacy and the protection of the Bill of Rights. We are being spied upon without a court order. People are being thrown into jail with due process as in Guantanamo Bay. The Christian right have taken over our government and pushing to ban gay marriage.

The truth lies somewhere in between. The question is - Which view do you want to take and which view do you want to cheer for?



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