Braveheart's Initial Commentary
[Braveheart's real name and the names of his wife and the person to whom the commentary was addressed have been removed/modified to preserve their anonymity.]
INDEX AND COVERPAGE
To: Lisa H.
Re: A thesis paper “strategic audit of the BCFC of Sandpoint
Introduction ………………………………........................................................Pg. 1
Global Conditions ………………………………...............................................Pg.1
Monetary Policy Actions ………………………………...........................Pg. 2
Retirement & Savings……………………………….................................Pg. 3
U.S. Farming Subsidies ……………………………….............................Pg. 4
U.S. Energy supply Conditions………………………………...................Pg. 5
U.S. Corporate Conditions………………………………..........................Pg. 6
U.S. Family Conditions………………………………...............................Pg. 8
U.S. Education Conditions………………………………..........................Pg. 8
U.S Labor Conditions……………………………….................................Pg. 10
U.S. Political Conditions - Liberal & Conservative……............................Pg. 10
Ideological differences - Liberal & Conservative…………………………Pg. 13
U.S. Future Expectations………………………………............................Pg. 15
Living Poor - Tragedy or lifestyle?……………………………..................Pg. 15
Conclusion: Historic life cycle of Democratic/citizen govt. Nations. ……Pg. 16
Introduction. This paper seeks to provide a larger view/setting of the “perfect storm” conditions that have led to the great disparity between rich and poor in America. The historical experience & observation of living in the U.S. (65 yrs.) & Bonner County for over 55 years has given insights that are not available from the gathering of external information alone. This paper is being written because of Ms. H.’s “acute interest” in this subject and her choice of using this subject for her Master’s thesis. It is hoped that looking at this subject from a viewpoint of experience and observable results will “facilitate” her “personal enhanced breath of knowledge in this complex arena”.
I and my wife have lived as both poor (under $7K/yr) and risen to middle class.
The following listing of U.S. & global “conditions” (& government actions) have combined to create the “perfect storm” of financial “perverse gap between rich & poor” we find ourselves in today. These “perfect storm” financial conditions have increased the numbers of poor and hurt them disproportionately.
Global conditions generally are extensions/results of U.S. conditions. It has been said that “when the U.S. economy gets a cold the rest of the world gets pneumonia”.
The current hand wringing of the U.S.D.A. and the G8 over high global food prices is just the latest evidence of the ignorance of cause & effect of government actions & inactions. Both the G8 and the U.S. Congress (House & Senate) have taken actions of subsidy (price supports), tax incentives/penalties and law enactment/enforcement to elevate the importance of energy production over food production.
For example the U.S. Congress has enacted a law requiring all gasoline contain 10% ethanol by a certain date. Sandpoint service stations have already posted signs that say “this gasoline contains up to 10% ethanol”. Check this the next time you fill up.
There is a basic rule that applies. If the Govt. wants more of something they support the price (keep it up) reduce the tax $ and/or enact requirement laws. If they want less of something they drop the price supports (which lets the commodity price fall to actual value), increase taxes and enact/remove laws governing the product.
The U.S. Govt. in its infinite “wisdom” decided it could lower fuel prices, improve air quality and increase farm income, all at the same time . So the Govt. has subsidized food crops to be used for ethanol fuel through tax incentives & legislation.
The more food crops that are used for energy production the less food there will be.
The less food there is, the higher price the remaining food will cost. Not Rocket science.
The agriculture family farmer that is subsidized by tax and price incentives (& requirement laws) to grow certain crops will sell his crops to the highest bidder (and best tax situation) in his attempt to remain self sufficient (financially free = not poor).
Monetary Policy: U.S. monetary policy also has adversely affected the price of goods and services. For example, one of the worst monetary actions in the history of the United States was the removal of gold and silver from backing our monetary system in 1972 or 73.
Once true value was removed from our currency, the relationship between wages and prices (purchasing power) was lost.
Our currency (money) became paper markers supported only by “confidence”. We accepted worthless pieces of paper for our wages and exchanged them for our debts. This separation of value from money reduced everyone’s confidence in the U.S dollar and it began to lose its value in relation to gold/silver. Over time gold costs moved from $39.00/oz. to $700.00/oz.. Gold use did not drive up its value but devaluation of the U.S. dollar drove up gold costs in U.S. dollars. We call it inflation.
Government action of devaluation caused runaway increases in prices of goods & services but not wages. This is the single most damaging act against the poor in the history of the United States. Poor folks purchasing power (wages) increased much slower than costs of goods & services.
For a “purchasing power” example, in 1964 I worked an entry level sawmill job of stacking lumber for $ 2.50/hr. at the Pack River Lumber Co., in Colburn. I could take that 2.50 to any bank and trade it for 2 silver dollars and 1 silver half dollar, (2.5 ounces of silver). If I were to have the same purchasing power (of 1964) today, I would take those 2.5 ounces of silver and trade them in at current market value of $ 14.00/oz. 2.5 X $14.00/oz. = $35.00 I would have to be paid $35.00/hr. today to equal the purchasing power of 1964. Someone will say, I am not taking into account the fluctuating upward value of silver. Well, I am also not taking into account any pay raises during that same 44 year period. Surely there would have been periodic pay raises. What is the current wage level of an entry mill job today? About $10.00/hr. Thus we have an increase in wages of about 4 times or 400%. ($2.50 X 4 = $10.00)
Now let’s consider the other half of purchasing power by comparing costs of the basics of food, shelter, and transportation. The price of the top of the line 1964 automobile (GM, Ford, Chrysler) cost about $3000.00, today it costs at least 10 times as much. A new Volkswagen cost about $1600.00 and currently at least 10 times as much. Gasoline in 1968 fluctuated from about 29 cents/gal. to 39 cents/gal. These are actual examples that demonstrate a 10 times or 1000% price increase.
We, (my wife & I) purchased the house at 321 S. Boyer (it’s still there) in 1967 for some $9000.00 The current cost is about $100,000. or more. Several years ago we saw it listed in the real estate market for $120,000. In 1970 we purchased 10 acres of highway frontage outside of Kootenai for $1000. Per acre. Housing & highway frontage (close in) costs at least 10 times as much today. Again a 10 times (1000%) price increase. Did the real estate increase in value or did paper money decrease in value? We call it inflation.
Food costs have also dramatically increased. In 1960’s Coffee cost 10 cents at the restaurant and was included with any meal. Early in our marriage we used to set aside $5.00 which would buy top of the line dinners for two at Connie’s Café or the Pastime Café. We bought hamburger in 3 lb. tubs for 99 cents and milk was about 59 cents a gal. Today 3 lb. bags of hamburger cost $9.99 (Yokes 7/23 to 7-29-08) you know what milk costs and restaurant dinners are easily 10 times the cost.
In 1967, having a child (without complications) cost about $300.00 for the doctor and hospital and today it is easily 10 times that amount.
It should not be too hard to see that while wages went up about 4 times (400%), the cost of needed goods & services went up 10 times (1000%).
It is this continuing & ever increasing disparity of the relationship between wages and costs that neither political party is talking or doing anything about. The poor are increasing in both numbers and needs as their wages cover less & less of their critical needs of food, shelter, transportation & retirement.
RETIREMENT & SAVINGS:
The devaluation of the American currency (money) had great detrimental effects on the savings of those who were trying to provide for their own retirement. For example let us consider the saving of $1000.00 from 1973 to 2008 (25 yrs). $1000.00 paper money normally would double every decade. From 1973 to 1983, $1000. Would be $2000. From 1983 to 1993 would be $4000. >From 1993 to 2003 would be $8000.00. From 2003 to 2008 interest rates on savings has been very low, not exceeding 5%. $8000 @ 5% for 5 years would be as follows. 2004 - $8000. X 5%= $400.- Total $8400. 2005 - $8400. X 5%=$420. Total $8820. 2006 - $8820. X 5%= $441 - Total $9261. 2007 - $9261. X
5%=$463.05 - Total $9724.05 2008 - $9724.05 X 5%=$486.20 - 25 yr. Total $10,252.25
Had that paper money been used to buy silver (early 1973) while it was 1 oz. silver = $ 1 dollar. We would have 1000 silver dollars. Let us say we took the silver and buried it in our lawn or put it in a bank deposit box for those same 25 years. No interest, no investing no anything, just the value of silver. As confidence in paper money declined (inflation) the value of our silver, as related to paper would increase. Our 1000 silver dollars would be 1000 oz. of silver. After 25 years we would have (at today’s silver price of $14.00/oz.) $14000. Dollars. Government actions in removing value from our money stole $3747.75 from our savings. This $3747.75 loss is for each $1000 saved.
The comparison in gold is worse. $ 1000 dollars would have bought 25.6 oz. of gold @ the 1972 price of $39.00/oz Today gold costs (in relation to paper) over $700./oz.. 25.6oz. X $700./oz. equals $17,920.00 Again government actions (that caused inflation) stole $7667.75 ($17,920.00- $10,252.25=$7667.75). $7667.75 loss for each $1000 saved.
No wonder folks can’t save enough to retire.
U.S. Farming Subsidies:
In this section remember that family farmers raise and sell their crops to pursue the “worthy goal” of “self sufficiency”. Corporate farms are a whole different story.
American corporate farmers may be reporting record incomes but the American family farm has been declining in numbers (of farms) for the last 50 years. If farming is so profitable, family farm numbers would be increasing.
“Americans” don’t pay farmers to divert crops from food to fuel. Government is paying farmers through tax incentives, price supports, and enacting laws to divert food crops to ethanol fuel. Poor people in part go hungry because government commodity price supports keep food crops artificially high priced and thus nearly unaffordable to those working for minimum (or under the table) wages. In many cases the government pays farmers to not farm their land. This program is known as C.R.P. (Crop Rotation Program). If the farmer did not receive payment (to not farm), he would farm the land for some type of income producing crop. Again, government actions are distorting the market & resulting high food/energy prices.
The recent food “price spikes” do not prove that “free farm trade is a risky business”. The recent food price spikes prove that government meddling with forcing change from
food crops to fuel use is risky business. Free trade is nothing more than exchanging value for value without government import/export tariffs, charges or penalties by either nation. In “free trade” any market distortions by rich nations through subsidies should work in favor of poorer nations. Subsidies or price supports are to keep the commodity price up. Thus the poorer nation gains by selling his crop in the higher (price supported) market of the richer nation. The current food price spikes are the direct result of government actions of trying to lower the high cost of energy by forcing food crops to be converted to ethanol and used for fuel.
Excessive consumer food price increases are the direct result of government meddling in the market place through forcing (law) crop use for fuel (tax incentives) and borrowing money to spend (deficit spending) that devalues (inflation) our currency through reduced world confidence in our ability to manage our financial affairs.
U.S. ENERGY Supply Conditions:
Energy costs on the world market fluctuate from supply and demand of the world. Currently world energy demand is up from U.S. Govt. actions of opening relations (1970’s) and trade with China & others. As world energy demand goes up, supplies must also go up or shortages are seen on the horizon and investors will purchase contracts for future delivery of crude oil, betting that prices will rise so they can sell those contracts for a profit. This buying of future contracts for crude oil delivery are known as the “futures market”, and are bought and sold on expectations of future world supply & demand. This futures market speculation is necessary to give a time cushion to supply. Individuals will research both world supply/demand issues (without politics) before they invest their own $. This futures market results in warning of future shortages which cause price spikes but the price spikes would be much more severe if the shortage actually occurred.
Fanatical environmentalists have been able to gain political power, especially in the Democrat Party. Instead of demanding that energy suppliers clean up their act and become more environmentally responsible, they have lobbied/pressured the government to ban energy exploration (to increase supply) nearly everywhere there is plentiful supply. They (environmentalists) have also managed to get government to require much stiffer rules for new refineries so that not a single refinery has been built in 30 years. They have also blocked nuclear power production.
These government actions against supply have caused a shortage which is driving the price of energy far beyond its actual value. This further excludes the poor from transportation needs for travel to & from work, food supply and family outings, church and etc. Currently the government is encouraging electric cars. What will the additional huge demand in electricity do to its cost? What will that do to the poor?
It should not be too hard to see that as long as the government and states continue to ban increasing fuel supply through new drilling & new refineries there will be ever increasing world demand and resulting price increases. If your personal vehicle’s fuel tank is low, your only option is to fill it up or it will go empty leaving you stranded.
It is a good goal to move towards alternative fuels but we are decades away from fully developing new battery and fuel cell technology. We also have to develop the vehicles to use, and infrastructure to support the new technology. Yes, we are 4 to 7 years away from bringing new oil supplies to market, but that’s far less than the decades to develop alternative energy technology, manufacture vehicles to use it, support infrastructure and transition time till poor folks can afford the used vehicle.
We must pursue all forms of energy at the same time. America has enough known energy supplies for the next 60 years. That is enough time to develop & market alternative energy technology, vehicles, the necessary infrastructure & transition time period. The poor already have vehicles, they just need affordable fuel for their transportation needs. High fuel prices are hurting the rural poor disproportionately.
WE CAN AND MUST “DRILL OUR WAY OUT OF THIS SUPPLY PROBLEM” OR WATCH THE AMERICAN ECONOMY COLLAPSE.
The United Nations DOHA talks stated the obvious, “high food prices hurt the poor”. Well, duh!!! High prices of all kinds hurt the poor.
U.S. Corporation Conditions:
Businesses used to be more individually owned and after success in business would incorporate for tax advantage and protection from lawsuits. Today businesses are more likely to need start up capital and will incorporate & go directly to public financing before success. Note the “penny stocks” in the stock market. The investors in the stock market will demand a return on their money and if expectations of profitability are not met the stocks value falls and the business’ capital & credit will diminish. If un-profitability continues the business will fail. This public financing (stock) changes the focus of corporations to profitability, before success is established.
So, corporations have full time lobbyists to try to create favorable advantages for their corporations thru influencing elected representatives. They will try to merge their corporations for greater influence. Merging the energy companies has reduced competition
and thereby increased energy costs. These large energy corporations cannot merge without
actions of government permission.
Corporations also look for CEO’s that can make their profits increase dramatically.
A good example are the financial corporations or banks. In the late 1980’s we had the savings & loan bank failures. These were banks that extended themselves by lending more than they had assets, depending on the FDIC to insure their lack. When someone noted the FDIC only had a few cents on the dollar to bail out these banks, folks began to remove their funds from the banks and there was a banking crisis. The only government action that could keep these banks from failing was to use taxpayer $.
Thus corporations were able to use national treasury $ to guarantee their profits.
The financial corporations learned their lesson well and 20 years later have come up with an even better scheme to legally rob the public treasury. All they had to do was to have every bank make loans to everyone. The only requirement was to breathe on a mirror. If you could make vapor on the mirror you could get a loan for the house of your dreams. No proof of income or assets (proving you could make the payments), no financial credit history, in some cases “no interest” for X years, A.R.M. (adj. rate) mortgages and on & on. Of course no bank in its right mind would want to carry those contracts because of the risk. So, they “bundled” the real-estate contracts up & sold them to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Banks were betting that the government could not politically let Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae fail and have thousands of folks thrown out of their homes.
But this is not all of the story. By making too many very risky loans an artificial demand was put on housing that drove up prices way beyond true value. Now, when the risky loans are failing, the downward pressure on the housing market is forcing down prices to below value. People that had good home loans (& were making payments) are now finding that they owe more than the property is worth. Many are walking away from these home loan contracts. The bank forecloses on the property and homeowner equity vanishes.
The financial corporations were right. Government action (House) just passed a housing bill that will keep Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac afloat and folks in their homes. The Senate will pass similar legislation and Pres. Bush has said he will sign. The money will come from the public treasury (taxpayers) and the financial corporate banks will go on their merry way keeping their handsome profits. This puts off the day of reckoning but increases the pain of a future correction. The worst effect is a further reduction in confidence in the U.S. dollar which is falling in world markets. Thus resource costs (such as crude oil) rise and resulting fuel/transportation & fertilizer costs rise and the results are food costs rise. This further hurts the poor, costs rising without matching wages .
Resource value does not change but the dollar is devalued by government actions.
I could list other corporate robbery such as Enron robbing those who financed the corporation through stock and even its employees retirement accounts. Those CEO’s are paid millions ($$) to figure out how to rob others of hundreds of millions of $$.
U.S. FAMILY Conditions:
As prices for goods & services rose faster than wages, it was not long before both parents needed to work to make ends meet. At first the wife worked part time, but over time the disparity between slow rising wages & faster rising costs of food, shelter & transportation forced many families into full time employment for both parents. This left children to be raised by babysitters or day care centers. In a single generation teenage delinquency soared. Not having learned life & morality lessons from parents, many of these delinquents dropped out of school, leaving them the true victims of government actions of devaluing of our currency. These school dropouts were/are left with little choice but to gather together in gangs and /or deal drugs. Drugs further destroy families.
U.S. EDUCATION Conditions:
The government sponsored education system has deteriorated over the years. America became a great nation with teachers that had little more than a high school education, and some had only eighth grade. Educator’s pay was relatively low and thus only those who felt “called” became teachers. Then educators unionized and the rest is history.
Unions exist only to increase wages and benefits for their members. Increased wages & benefits attracted educators who were not “called” to serve the true needs of society. Then unions forced out those who weren’t “certified” even if they were “called”. The quality of education started & continues downward.
Currently the education unions claim that poor quality of education is because society does not pay their members enough $$ & benefits. A close study of the relationship between wages/benefits to education quality will reveal an inversely proportional scale. That is to say that the higher the wage scale the poorer the education quality on achievement tests for middle and high school. I personally followed this in Bonner County School district 82, now known as Lake Pend Oreille School District, (LPOSD).
Government has tried to fix this by requiring testing of education skills (“no child left behind”), but education unions and most teachers are rejecting any measuring of student or teacher skills. Educators seem to have lost the idea of teaching problem solving SKILLS of reading, writing and arithmetic. Instead they are filling heads with knowledge that is not needed in the workplace. Consequently, students are not prepared for the high paying, high tech jobs. Government actions (to counter the lack of a properly educated workforce) provided the H.2 B. Visa Program which imports foreigners to fill the business needs for highly educated employees.
The education system has to accept its share of the blame for continuing to graduate students with meaningless diplomas. Without a quality education in problem solving skills (thinking skills) these students will have to accept lower paying jobs. I call these students “victims” of the education system. This is a major contributor to the disparity between the poor and the rich. Rich folks send their children to private school. Without parental education & discipline students came to school unruly & unprepared to learn. The education system then began drugging these overactive students (Ritalin) which controlled their behavior but lessened their learning desire, limiting their ability to focus/concentrate.
The education system does not teach students skills to think outside the box of known knowledge but teaches limits to their inquiry, their self confidence and directs them to see the world through the prism that they (students) are victims of dysfunctional families/society and are not responsible for their plight and thus society owes them care & success from cradle to grave. Further, they see those who are successful as greedy. These students are not prepared to live self sufficient lives, have trouble taking responsibility for their own decisions and the results of those decisions. Students who “buy” this line are just about guaranteed to try to avoid true reality through drugs/ alcohol, movies and a host of other distractions such as cars, boats and toys of every description. Some of those who believe in their victim-hood turn to a life of crime (such as theft, dealing drugs & etc.) justifying their actions because of their plight and literally ruin their (& other) lives.
The decision to pursue these distractions, financially impoverish these folks.
When some college students wanted classes in (1970’s) computers, there were none. Bill Gates dropped out of college because it had no help for him in developing computers or software. Educators are puffed up about their knowledge, even though they primarily teach about the discoveries of others. Who taught Albert Einstein the theory of Relativity, gravity, and the basic atomic formula of E= MC squared? Where did James Watt go to learn about steam engines? Where did the Wright brothers go to learn to build/fly airplanes? What school did Jonas Salk attend to learn about developing vaccines?
What completely new knowledge or new inventions have come from the education system?
All inventors think outside of the “box” of known knowledge to develop new ideas.
Students pick up on the arrogance (of professors) from college knowledge but are very limited in actual academic skills to think outside the box of known knowledge.
U.S. labor Conditions:
One of the reasons we have “stagnant wages” is our government’s inaction in protecting our borders. Illegal aliens are encouraged to invade our country for the same handouts as given to the “victims” of the education system. Illegal aliens get the same or better benefits than citizens. They qualify for welfare, food stamps, emergency health care, their children get free citizenship and if they want to go to college they get “in-state tuition“ costs that are less than legal Americans. Of course these handouts are a better life than where they came from and thus (if possible) they will vote for those politicians that provide the most freebies. If our borders were protected there would be a shortage of workers which would drive up the wages of all American workers, including the poor.
A contributing reason for the shortage of workers in the American workforce, (that encourages government inaction of border protection) is abortion. With both parents working to make ends financially meet, “family planning” had to be considered. Also teens without supervision & little to do were getting pregnant. So, the government acted about 1973 to legalize abortion. Schools incorporated “family planning” classes. Thus began the euthanizing (killing) of the future American workforce.
Recently the government reported in the press that the American workforce is short about 30 million workers. It is ironic that this is nearly the same number of children that have been aborted since 1973. These children would be of all ages (up to 35 years) supplying the workforce, paying taxes to support our system and helping to take care of parents & grandparents needs (costs). Once again government action & inaction are the problem and not the solution.
U.S. POLITICAL Conditions:
Going back to the 1940’s and Roosevelt (Democrat) we had the government program called “The New Deal”. Before Roosevelt, there were no taxes on incomes below about $100,000. Corrected to today’s value would be at least 10 times that amount.
The New Deal turned out to be the raw deal because taxes had to be levied on incomes of nearly everyone to support World War II, W.P.A., C.C.C., S.S. & a host of other government programs established ever since.
These Democrat government actions set the nation on the course of government intervention for every domestic problem and began to penalize successful citizens and rewarding other failing citizens. Not all failing citizens were failing from their own fault. Government actions changed from providing a safe setting of “opportunity” to guaranteeing success through the “re-distribution” of wealth.
Taking from the successful and giving handouts to the poor will never make the poor self respecting or self sufficient. It must be a hand up (not a hand out) with “work-fare” and whatever else will set the poor on the path to self sufficiency. Permanent, subsidized, poor folks will keep Democrats in power but does nothing to reduce the numbers of poor.
In 1965 Democrat President Johnson got through the Democrat controlled congress “The war on poverty” Program. We got welfare, and a host of related handouts that amounted to subsidizing the poor. If you check out the numbers you will find that after we had the war on poverty for a few years we had ever increasing numbers of poor. Remember the basic rule “if you subsidize something (someone) you get more of it”. The war on poverty turned out to be the war on the middle & upper classes through much higher taxes and government controls. So, the lower middle class joined the poor.
Today, Democrats want the illegals to be given drivers licenses and voting rights and the Republicans want the illegals for cheap labor for businesses. Neither political party cares about (represents) the poor because they cannot donate big $ to the politician’s re-election and are far less likely to vote. Politicians will do anything to stay in power.
Democrats openly say they will raise taxes. Who can they raise taxes on? Certainly not on the poor who have little to no $. So they raise taxes on the successful middle/upper classes and more of the lower middle class will join the poor. The lower upper class will join the middle class and so on. This is war on the middle/upper classes. In the end we will have all poor victims and no one to tax to provide their handouts. Already, the top 50% of taxpayers are paying over 90% of taxes. Continuing to penalize the successful for their success and rewarding the poor (w/handouts) for their poverty will never solve the problem. Government’s war on the middle/upper classes (thru over taxation) will cause those with $$ to move their assets out of the U.S., just as businesses are already doing.
The education unions always support Democrats. When in power, a Democrat
administration works to increase these “educated victims’” handouts of minimum wage, food stamps, welfare, child care, extended unemployment & etc. On the surface this looks so noble. In truth, the reason educated (& uneducated) “victims” need these hand outs is because they are not prepared (educated) to fill the high paying job requirements of the current high tech business world or have the skills to think for “inventing” something.
Then Democrats reward educators with more $$ funding for turning out “victims”. Of course these “victims” will vote to keep Democrats in power to just survive. Remember the basic rule that the more govt. subsidizes something the more they get of it. Subsidizing the education system for not preparing citizens for the current high tech, high paying jobs, will just produce more “victims”, and block their path to self sufficiency.
What is not recognized by Americans today is that there are not two political parties but one political party with two names, Democrat & Republican. But there are two schools of political thought, Liberal and Conservative.
Conservative folks are those who are self sufficient and have become that way through “conserving” their money to make ends meet. When it comes to government they are “conservative”, desiring as little of it as possible because they know it costs them more money (taxes) to have a large government solve problems than the problem itself. They expect government to protect American borders for “sovereignty” and provide a setting for opportunity. In a setting of opportunity each American can achieve what he is capable of .
When it comes to homes, they are “conservative”, knowing they cannot afford high priced locations, large houses, all the gadgets, or the real-estate taxes. When it comes to vehicles, they do not drive the “Cadillac” because of its cost. When it comes to energy, they conserve at home and in their vehicles cost & mileage driven.
When it comes to religion, they hold to the traditions of the “Golden Rule” of “treating others (including unborn babies) as they want to be treated” and work to help their neighbors and/or giving $$ through their church’s charity programs.
When it comes to the environment, conservatives believe in personal responsibility and a divine God who created this world and continues to have final control over this planet. They generally see the planet as going through cycles of warming & cooling. The evidence of these cycles (for thousands of years) are recorded in ice of both North & South pole continents. The ice is core drilled and the cores reveal previous seasons like tree rings.
Generally speaking, there are two classes of Liberal folks. There are those who
are poor and not self sufficient (“it takes a village”) and have become that way through education or poor decisions, misfortune or etc. & those who are self sufficient such as those in the “American Idol” industry that have become liberal through education and good fortune, Holly Wood (acting/music/films), family inheritance, aggressive business tactics & etc..
When it comes to government, both groups of liberals want lots of it to solve their personal, national, & world’s problems. When it comes to homes, rich “liberals” have mansions and poor “liberals” have older houses, rentals, trailers, or none. When it comes to cars, rich “liberals” have limo’s and poor “liberals” have older vehicles or Junkers. When it comes to energy, both liberal groups want government to solve competing problems of price & environment at the same time. Rich liberals generally use more energy than others. (Example: Al Gore uses more electricity than 20 average American homes). They want government to cut the energy use of others, not their own.
When it comes to religion, liberals want clear separation of church & state as if people & their morality could be separate. They want government to solve problems of unwanted pregnancies, government to help their neighbors, government to protect the environment, government to control all aspects of morality such as greed & etc., especially in business which sets the prices of products & services. Liberals are much less sure that there is a God who created this world and controls it. So, liberals are left thinking that humans are controlling what happens to this planet. They believe human actions are causing cooling or warming weather conditions which will soon doom the planet.
Poor liberals will stay poor, depending on government to solve their poverty through all kinds of hand-outs, and rich liberals want government to solve poor peoples poverty problems with someone else’s money (taxes). It is far cheaper for rich liberals to pay a small (in relation to their assets) tax and mix it with others’ taxes than to attack the poverty problem themselves with their personal fortune.
So, what are the ideological differences?
CONSERVATIVES GO ABOUT SOLVING PROBLEMS WITH THEIR OWN $$.
They don’t have a lot of money so they make sure their $$ are solving the problem.
LIBERALS GO ABOUT HAVING GOVERNMENT SOLVE THEIR PROBLEMS
WITH SOMEONE ELSES MONEY (TAXES). It is easy to be “Liberal” & generous with someone else’s money.
CONSERVATIVES ARE “PRO LIFE”, EVEN WITH UNPLANNED CHILDREN.
LIBERALS ARE “PRO-CHOICE”, INSISTING ON THE RIGHT TO END THEIR UN-BORN CHILDREN’S LIVES. They prefer the term “pro-choice” over pro-death
More mothers are losing sight of morality, aborting their children after their birth.
CONSERVATIVES BELIEVE IN THE CREATOR GOD WHO CONTROLS EARTH & CLIMATE. God ultimately controls everything.
LIBERALS BELIEVE IN EVOLUTION WITH HUMANS CONTROLLING EARTH & CLIMATE. Humans ultimately control everything.
CONSERVATIVES BELIEVE IN PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCEPT THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR CHOICES. They live with it & deal with it.
POOR LIBERALS BLAME FAMILY OR SOCIETY FOR THEIR PLIGHT AND OFTEN REFUSE TO ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY & CONSEQUENCES OF CHOICES THEY MADE. The poor blaming others for their poverty guarantees continuation of their poverty. A problem that is not recognized with some responsibility taken cannot be solved. Blame for the past is one thing, continuing to blame others for not taking corrective action is not the fault of others.
RICH LIBERALS BLAME SOCIETY FOR THE PLIGHT OF THE POOR &
INSIST THAT SOCIETY ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY & PERMANENT CON-
SEQUENCES (PROVIDE HANDOUTS) FOR ACTIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT
THAT THE LIBERALS VOTED INTO OFFICE. Stop & think about this.
“Conservative” BCFC motto is “Neighbors helping neighbors”. We like to say
“a hand up, not a hand-out”. Then we require self help in every way possible.
“Liberal” mottos might be “government helping neighbors”, or “vote for more government, keep the handouts coming” or “taxes at work, keep dependence alive”.
Since neither the people or their elected government are going to do anything serious about the increasing gap between costs & wages, look for more & more poor folks.
Poor folks do not have the $$ to start a business and thus do not produce jobs. If the government continues the attack on the middle & upper classes (through heavy taxation) they will either financially wind up in the lower classes or move their $$ (& sometimes themselves) off-shore. In any case they will start fewer businesses and thus there will be fewer jobs, all from excessive taxation action of government.
It never ceases to amaze me that after years of government bungling, folks still want the government to “solve” their problems. Government cannot/will not protect our borders, could not protect us from 9-11-01 terrorist attacks, could not protect or respond quickly to the New Orleans disaster from hurricane Katrina, cannot now lower the price of fuel, food, health care costs & a host of others. In fact the high cost of health care (from $$ devaluation) is what has driven the premiums of health care insurance beyond the affordability of some 23 million Americans. (the other 20 million folks that do not have health care insurance are the illegal aliens).
But soon government action is going to make sure that everyone has health care insurance. Of course they will get the $$ from the middle/upper classes. What is not considered is what happens when 43 million new patients show up at the doctor’s office where there is already a dire shortage of doctors & nurses.
It was recently in the news that the American doctor shortage is over 100,000 now & will increase to 200,000 by 2020. How will a health care system that is so short of doctors meet the needs of an additional 43 million folks? The same thing will happen as happened in Canada. There you wait for up to 7 hours to see a doctor, up to an additional 5 weeks to see a specialist, up another 5 weeks to get the results of any tests & up to several months for any surgery. In other words there will be health care rationing. Many folks will die
before they can get the critical diagnosis & surgery to save their life.
“LIVING POOR” Tragedy or Lifestyle?
There are at least 2 classes of poor folks. One class is embarrassed at having to ask 16
for help. This class includes all poor that are single mothers, between jobs, injured, handi-
capped, mentally ill, and physically unable to help themselves, such as senior citizens.
The second class are those who make a lifestyle of being poor. Their motto is why work when you can enjoy life? They are often under age 45, able bodied, and are continually out of work which makes them short of $$. They spend their time enjoying life and their work is to research & use all the resources available. Being short of $$ cause the following problems & resulting “to do list”.
We’re short of $$ - See about welfare & other Govt. financial aid.
We’re getting short on food - See about food stamps & go to food bank.
Vehicle getting short on fuel - See about gas voucher.
Rent is behind - see about rent subsidy.
Utilities (lights, heat, water, etc.) are behind - see about energy subsidies.
Mortgage is behind - coming soon taxpayer bailout for refinance.
Car repossessed - see about another new one @ $99.00 dn. Or get junker.
Need lawyer - from legal action of above - see about legal aid appointment.
Need doctor - Stressed & feeling sick from above - go to emergency room & chg. It.
Depressed - got drugs? pick up cigarettes, a “rack” of beer & movies on way home.
This is not even close to a complete listing, just enough to get the idea.
It is a fine line between helping the poor to help themselves and enabling them to continue in their poverty as a lifestyle.
Thus the Bonner County Food Center (food bank) is conservative ideology in action. It requires the able bodied poor to be seeking work and qualifies/disqualifies them for services according to their income and various criteria of first class above, (this section).
The financial stability of BCFC is directly related in being “Conservative” with their resources which gives them a good reputation & standing in the community. Generally people want to help those truly in temporary need & wanting back on their feet, while rejecting help for those who want to make poverty a lifestyle. Thus community financial support is holding up for BCFC while taxpayer subsidized food banks are having financial trouble based on national economic conditions.
I am reminded of a lecture of a professor in Scotland, who was asked to comment on the new American nation during the 1780’s. He said that a “democratic government cannot
be long lived” because as soon as citizens learn they can vote themselves $$ from the
national treasury (pork projects) they will always elect the representative that brings home
the most $$. The resulting loose fiscal policies will bankrupt that nation and a dictatorship always follows. He then listed historic countries & stages of maturation. (added comments)
1. With nothing left, oppressed people & slaves turn to spiritual life & develop great faith. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal , that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness”.
2. Great faith or trust in God caused great courage. Example - Courage to give up everything in Europe and go to a new world & start over. Courage to defend their new nation against oppressive big government. “Give me liberty or give me death”.
3. Great courage leads to freedom and self sufficiency. Example - The rag-tag American militia had to invent a new way to fight (gorilla tactics) the world’s strongest military. Without body armor they got behind rocks & trees. Without navy, private ships.
4. Freedom of religion, thought & self sufficiency leads to great inventions. Examples - In America it was transportation (steam, automobiles & airplanes) Electricity & everything related (lights, phone, radio, T.V. refrigeration & computers) & a long, long list.
5. Great inventions lead to great wealth and power. Example - America.
6. Great wealth & power leads to complacency. (being satisfied with one’s self & possessions). Forgetting God & His blessings. (“I did it my way”)
7. Complacency leads to apathy. (lack of interest in or desire for activity, indifference)
8. Lack of interest or desire for activity & indifference lead to want & poverty.
9. Want & poverty lead to dependence. (on government programs, food banks & etc.)
10. Dependence leads back into slavery. (loss of wealth, freedom, & forced to work)
WHAT STAGE IS AMERICA IN TODAY?
It is hoped that this thought provoking paper has been of use. - Braveheart