Bob Franken

Change Before Depression

Here’s the new campaign slogan for both Presidential candidates: “Change? Maybe it’s too late.”

That’s what it should be if our politicians were being honest. Of course, they’re not. I say “of course” because we Americans have finally realized that we’ve been played like fools. The trust that’s needed to keep us together has been dissolved by the decades of toxic dishonesty. As a nation, as an economy, we are coming unglued.

When the Presidential-wannabees talk about change, their proposals fall so pathetically short of what we need to do as a country, one could argue it wouldn’t really matter if Sarah Palin took power. She may be vacant, but so what? She’s no emptier than the promises the others are making.

We need some blame-placing here, and some robust corrective action. Gosh darn it. I hate to say this,Sarah (May I call you Sarah?) ,but you have a point. If that point is that Joe Six Pack and the rest of us have allowed ourselves to be lulled into careless and misplaced trust in a system that became incomprehensible to all but those who exploited it. We have been suckered by the hustlers who tossed us a few crumbs as they stole the rest of the dinner. They don’t call them the Fat Cats for nothing.

What’s tragic is that once again we’ve discovered that slick doesn’t necessarily mean capable. Our economy is collapsing because it it’s foundation is a culture of incompetence

So sadly, that “Experience” so many tout is malevolent experience, used by those who have it to clumsily enrich themselves at everyone else’s expense.

That does NOT,mean,as you seem to argue, Sarah, that we should reject the concepts of intellect, and knowledge. Those are good things, properly utilized. We should not permit ourselves to be consumed by any Revolution of the Ignorant. We have seen too many historic calamaties, where careless leaders fanned the flames. top further their own ambitions they incited those who had been worn down into an emotional state where they were willing, even anxious to search for dangerous expedients or scapegoats. We don’tneed that again.

IF rescuing our society is still do-able, it will require more than the kind of small change our aspiring leaders are whispering about.

First of all, prosecutors and investigators must pursue all those shady operators who made their millions and sometimes billions, by operating and benefitting from a secretiver financial system that most closely resembled Enron. We also need to seek out and recruit the thousands of honorable practicioners who played by the rules and recruit them to refashion our financial infrastructure, while weeding out the others

From there we go to those loose “Change” promises. You want change? Then let’s talk about what the next President is going to have to accomplish to bring his country back to life.
He will need to create a progressive tax system that places a much more realistic burden on the wealthy. we need toactually close those grotestque lopholes, no matter howmuch the beneficiaries bribe our politicians under the guise of campaign contributions.

Speaking of that, he will need to actually do something about campaign financing. it”s mighty hard in a nation that codifies free expression, but the John McCain efforts simply nibbled around the edges. And he knew it.

Right now, government leaders who are beholdento those who pay for their
eir services (the contributors, not the taxpayers) are the biggest obstacles to any meaningful reform.

He must restore sweeping and effective regulation. Even though a federal bureaucracy is sluggish, and intrusive, that’s nowhere near as bad as when we allow the free marketeers to police themselves. Even the most gullible of us have been forced to learn that lesson.

The same approach must be applied to our health care. Again, there is no doubt a single payer system will put our medical needs in the hands of more bureaucrats. However, we already have a single payer system. The “single payer” is that collusive cabal of insurance companies. Or should I call them single NON payers, whose regard for their customer’s physical health is overidden by the concerns for their corporate health.

We could go on and on. The point is that unless our leaders are willing to restore the middle class and enforce codes of reasonable conduct then the only change we’ll have anymore is the sound of everyone saying “Buddy can you spare a dime”.

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