Passed on State of the Union

By Cole

Nobody needs an hour to hear the state of the union. I can tell you in 2 words:

It stinks.

We fell asleep before President Obama finished glad-handing all his suck-ups and started flapping his teleprompted gums before Congress last night. Watching that bunch who dedicate their lives to sending this country down the crapper for their own enrichment, and applauding every 30 seconds about it, was more than we could stand.

Nor did we want to hear Obama’s latest bright idea for a new task force, fraud team, super-committee, or study group whose sole purpose will be to kick any actual solutions to our dire problems past that tricky fork in the road called “the election.”

If you’ve heard one State of the Union address, you’ve heard them all. No matter how bad things are, a president of either party will say, “We’re strong, we’re great, things are getting better.” Yada, yada, yada.

And millions of Americans are out of work, living in their cars, wondering where their next meal is coming from, or becoming deathly ill because they can’t afford to see a doctor.

Michelle Obama “wowed” everyone in a blue dress by the unpronounceable designer, Barbara Tfank, while she sat with Warren Buffett’s secretary, who was there to remind us she pays more taxes than her millionaire boss. I bet a Tfank is beyond her means.

And that’s because we have a system where, if you make so much money you can pile it up somewhere to passively accrue even MORE money, and you can live well on it doing absolutely NOTHING productive (Mitt Romney, I’m thinking of you), you get to pay a relative pittance in taxes.

But if you actually WORK and EARN A LIVING, the government can’t take a big enough chunk out of your hide. You’re lucky if they leave you with enough to buy a can of Alpo.

If the greedy, corrupt fat cats who occupy Washington had a problem with this situation, they’d change it. That’s why people elected them. But apparently they don’t. It’s more fun to stand around yammering and clapping and pretending for one night that they give a damn.

Thankfully, nobody says (yet) that we have to watch.

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7 Responses to Passed on State of the Union

  1. Britta says:

    Cole, you are spot on.

    I liked (loathed, really, the fantasy) that bringing back more manufacturing jobs was touted as a recovery plan. Last I checked in our area, a job on the “line” was paying 12 bucks an hour. Hardly enough to pay the bills. Yeah, a few industrial engineers, managers and IT folks might make some money but the line
    workers who are the bulk of the operations aren’t the heavy earners.

    To think that the now-flush corporate world is going to “insource” these jobs and dip into their profits to pay folks a living wage is a joke. There isn’t enough work in that sector to solve the big problems we have. Moreover, the days of union manufacturing jobs when lots of workers were paid lots of money to bring coolers full of beer to work for breaktime are decades past. Manufacturing is much more streamlined and mechanized and requires far less of a workforce.

    Oh yeah, and factory work isn’t for the faint of heart either. It takes a toll physically and emotionally. How many people when asked what they really want to do for a living will reply “I wanna be a factory worker.”

  2. catsworking says:

    Britta, I think the eternal bickering of Republicans trying to pick the worst of all evils to run against Obama is getting to me. The “political process” has become “political torture” for the rest of us. Both parties are the problem with their “team sport” mentality, and they both lie like the dickens to get what they want — cushy lifetime jobs with great pay and unbelievably good benefits — all at taypayer expense.

    To tell you how jaded I’ve become, when we were watching Gabby Giffords resign from Congress yesterday, with John Boehner blubbering like a baby and “not a dry eye in the house,” I knew what all those crocodile tears REALLY symbolized, and it had nothing to do with love for Giffords. It was: “Thank God that isn’t ME!”

    You are so right about manufacturing jobs NOT being the solution. As long as there are countries willing to work their people to death for a pittance and American companies can evade paying taxes there, U.S. manufacturing will never be a viable livelihood for most, and the politicians are playing us all for suckers if they think we believe their BS that it is.

    What’s happened here is that the good-paying jobs are overwhelmingly white-collar and require specialized (expensive) education. The jobs where people actually DO something besides sit at a desk (i.e., the jobs that actually keep this freaking country running) are considered “grunt work” and pay less than a living wage.

  3. Britta says:

    I remember one of the most depressing jobs I held (for a very short time) was as a recruiter for an automotive parts manufacturer. The production hours were long, the overtime mandated with little to no notice and yet folks were still expected to punch the clock on time and give up holidays, weekends, earned days off to make quotas and quality with a smile. I felt horrible some days because I was in administration and not subject to working shifts, holidays and weekends. How could the line workers expect that I could relate to them and what they were doing?

    Yet, it was expected to “sell” the dream. What dream? I saw folks walking into the factory to put their time in and watching for the time when they could punch out. There was no innovation, no enthusiasm, no one saying “I think I’ll stay a few more hours just because it feels so rewarding to be a number doing the same thing over and over again”

    You are so right about the good-paying jobs requiring specialized training/education. I didn’t touch on this in yesterday’s post but thought of our President coming to Florida recently to sing the virtues of tourism. Might work for Disney, et al, pockets, but it is on the backs of those who are cleaning hotel rooms and theme parks for minimum wage, waiting tables, dishing out $10 burgers and $5 sodas who bear the burden not to mention local governments picking up tourist trash left behind because for the most part, tourists in the theme park areas could care less about how they impact the community in which they recreate.

  4. catsworking says:

    Britta, I feel your pain. I graduated from college with a degree in human resource management, yet never worked in that field for exactly the reason you gave. At the time, I was a manager and felt like I had more clout to go to bat for my employees. If I worked in HR, I’d have been serving the whims of management. (The whole company ended up getting gobbled up by another one, BTW.)

    There’s nothing glorious about tourism. Nice vacations are made possible by “grunt” workers. Cruise ships are even worse. The waiters and cabin stewards are paid well BELOW minimum wage, relying on tips, and they often work 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 10 months at a stretch on a contract. But for the people who live in the most impoverished parts of the world, it’s actually a step UP because they don’t have to pay for room and board and can send money home to the family.

    Some debate going on right now about some of the crew on Costa Concordia who lost their savings (tip money) in the capsizing because they kept it in their cabin. Since they probably can’t prove how much they had, the cruise line is probably going to tell them “Tough luck.”

  5. Britta says:

    It’s all bad..why doesn’t anyone running for office get it. I feel that I have no vote, no confidence in any one candidate. In the past, I’ve foolishly gotten behind someone but this time around, I am hesitant to even cast a vote.

  6. catsworking says:

    Britta, these past eternal months of Republican mud-slinging AT EACH OTHER has worn us to a frazzle. By the time they ever pick their damn candidate and the actual election begins, it’s going to be a non-event.

    At this point, it doesn’t matter who the Repubs nominate. Two jackasses have risen like curdles in the spoiled milk, and by trying to one-up each other bringing out all the sordid details about how they both became members of the 1% in their own despicable ways, they’re destroying the other’s chances.

    Because the Repulicans could muster nothing beyond a slimeball executive, a slimeball politician, and a grab-bag of assorted loonies (I don’t count Ron Paul in that because he’s only Repub as a formality — he’s in a class by himself), Obama’s going to get a second term. It’s just a shame that millions of dollars will be squandered going through the motions.

  7. Britta says:

    Karen,

    I am trying to decipher whether I am more attuned to the importance of the office given the dire situation we find ourselves in as a country or if I am just dismayed with the choices on tap. Probably both and it is abysmal to consider our options in terms of bringing us all out of the depths of, well, economic hell.

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