Good news, recession is over; bet you couldn’t tell

Were you aware that the recession is over?

I know it is, because the president said so in a town hall meeting last week.

In fact, according to his economic advisers, the recession officially ended in June of 2009. I didn’t think the government had even admitted that we were in an actual recession by June of 2009, and now it is over.

Can you tell?

I can’t. Gas is still high. Groceries are outrageous. The freeze on raises is still in effect. And millions of people are still out of work.

“The advisers” say that it will take “time” for the effects of the recession to dissipate (there it is again, I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that they’ve been denying that we were in a recession).

As I watched former supporters of Barack Obama chastise the president for being out of touch with his constituents, I couldn’t help but feel that this announcement was just another ploy to boost his approval rating prior to the November elections.

As of Sept. 23, The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll shows that 28 percent of the nation’s voters strongly approve of the way that Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-three percent strongly disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of minus 15.

I had this same feeling when the president announced that the war in Iraq was over and that “he” was bringing all of the troops home – political ploy.

But I’m not surprised. Whether democrat or republican, they all use whatever means they can to better their appearance and make them the right man or woman for the job.

Politicians are supposed to be the voice of the people. That idea disappeared a long time ago, now they are the voice of whatever lobbyist contributes the most to their cause.

They listen to the jingle in their pockets instead of the hunger pains in the stomachs of their people.

Do I sound jaded?

Perhaps I am. The system is broke. It has been broken for a long time, and no, before you ask, I don’t have a clue how to fix it.

I just know it needs fixing, and fast.

I have noticed a growing trend of unrest in my little part of our country. People are growing tired of the government taxing them to death, and then in return giving those hard-earned tax dollars away to every company or country who has a need.

Case in point: AIG. While people were losing their jobs, homes and families, AIG was getting a bailout from the government in an effort to stimulate the economy.

According the business section of the NY Times, AIG received more than $170 billion in taxpayer bailout money from the Treasury and Federal Reserve. Immediately after receiving the bailout, this same company made plans to pay about $165 million in bonuses to executives in the same business unit that brought the company to the brink of collapse last year.

It appears to me, that the only thing that got stimulated was AIGs execs. And the “loan” to this company was just a fraction of the $750 billion dollars that was spread throughout multiple failing companies.

If the government had given a portion of that money to every man, woman and child in the USA, each would have received roughly $2,500 (based on the current census). That effort would have caused some serious stimulation.

In 2009, 1.5 million families filed bankruptcy – wasn’t the recession supposed to be over by then? I know it takes time to heal, but our Government For the People, By the People is not doing the job that they were hired to do.

Remember that when you listen to the thousand of campaign commercials, debates, town hall meetings and speeches that will bombard the airwaves in next few months.

And try to keep a stiff upper lip, because after all, the recession is over.

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Why Are We So Entitled?

What makes us feel that we are so entitled?

Americans, I mean.

I’ve heard so many people talk, read so many circulated e-mails, listened to so many broadcasts about how illegal immigrants are taking over our country. And for the most part, I both completely understand and perhaps agree with these attitudes.

But today, my perspective was altered somewhat.

As I watched a group of non-English speaking laborers working in the blistering heat to finish a patch of concrete, it occurred to me that the average American would think that this work was beneath them. We are too educated, too soft, too spoiled to do that type of backbreaking labor.

But the world must go on. The cement must be finished, the crops picked, the dirt cleaned. In the absence of an American born workforce, how would the actual “work” in our country be completed?

I am no different. I have spent too many hours logged in behind a computer in an air-conditioned office to be able to do that kind of work. In a word, I’ve grown lazy – incapable of doing “the work.”

This country was built on the backs of immigrants. First a group of idealist, who felt the need to flee their home country in England in search of religious freedom were followed by masses of misanthrope undesirables from Australia’s penal colonies, were deposited on this soil we call America. And the immigrants didn’t stop with English speaking countries. Irish, Italians, Germans, Russians, Asians – they all came here for the same reason, for the freedom to work and to make an honest living.

Is it so different today?

The illegal immigration issue is a monumental problem costing taxpayers everyday to house, feed, clothe and provide healthcare for those who do not in turn pay any taxes. But again, who would do the work – the labor? A young Brandon or Ashley who have spent their lives earning an incredible education immersed in advanced technology and modern breakthroughs wouldn’t begin to consider a career choice of brawn over brain. What kid who has grown up with over-the-top gaming, graphics and social networking would ever choose to be a laborer? Especially when they mastered the Internet game at age nine?

I can’t blame them, as a parent, I wanted the very best for my children. My husband was part of a dying breed of craftsmen, who did earn a living with his hands. My children watched their father work long, very hard hours for modest pay, no insurance and no retirement. So naturally, I, and those of my generation want our children to have more – but at what price.

I’ve noticed a trend in some of today’s young people that borders on the line of little or no actual “work ethic.” They all want to make a million dollars, but not many are truly willing to work for it. Try finding a kid to mow your lawn or do any other menial labor intensive task – they will turn you down. They too have grown soft.

It is this reason that our country has allowed and perhaps even encouraged the immigrant worker – to have someone who can do the actual work that must go on for the rest of us to live as we are “accustomed.”

Don’t get me wrong; I fully believe that a person who comes to this country to benefit from all of her amenities should go through the process to become a citizen. To not just work here and then send that income to another country, but to pay taxes like the rest of America.

Although, I fear that, as in our past history, they too would become one of the entitled Americans and would feel that manual labor was beneath them.

Entitlement – it is a powerful force.

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