Friday, December 5, 2008

What are we teaching our society?

The signs seem to be everywhere. But the signs are sending mixed messages. The TV cries for recognition of a recession and the next story tells how to make your own cappuccino at home so you don't pay $4 for it at a coffee place. Is that really how we toughen it out?

Scores aren't kept in T Ball, since we don't want losers. Red pencils aren't used for correction since it would hurt the feeling of the students. But doesn't hurt help us understand joy? Doesn't the pain make us appreciate the sweetness of success? Would we have a mountain if we didn't have valleys? Would we appreciate clear sunny days if we didn't have cloudy gray rainy ones?

So, we are we teaching capitalism by bail outs? Why did we quit teaching civics? If the CEOs and staffs aren't being held accountable by the shareholders then who is the government to do so? I am so surprised to think that I have lived in the world where my folks and their parents talked about the tough times: eating vegetables they grew but didn't like; changing jobs to find work; moving to find work; frying spam and the baloney sandwiches I remember all too well.

We set up 401(k) plans to have people make their own choices about retirement--and then we encourage companies to have automatic enrollment so employees don't have to decide; then we encourage companies to set up "life strategy funds' so employees don't have to make decisions about what funds to use.

I say we because the government is us. If we don't like what is happening in DC we need to be involved.

So, now secret ballots for employee elections are being "discussed." It is expected that signed cards will be the necessary vehicle to organize a union--nothing more--no election--no secret election. No more will individual choice-just you and the ballot-be the environment. What was a private decision will be public.

I've been through these unionizing campaigns. The line is walked carefully on both sides since there is passion involved in winning. But in the end--it is up to the employees. It is up to each individual to make a decision whether to unionize or not. It is up to the employee to weigh the information from the union and the information from the company and then determine what he/she feels will be best for his/her.

These may seem like strange topics to combine: cars, bailouts and the lack of secret ballot.

They all are steering the direction of this country away from personal responsibility and accountability and into "whatever."

This is America. This is where you can come and become "American." What other country allows that? This is something you can't get anywhere else. This is where you work hard, make mistakes, learn from them and get up and go on. It is an ideology at work.

Let's go back and read what our founding fathers wrote. The were divinely guided to create this experiment called the United States of America.

Let's return to the strength of the individual to choose what they want for themselves. Let trust to help each other. I have learned in several communities in several states and each time whenever a need was known-it was solved by the community. it was helping the Children's Home; fostering dogs, building a barn.

Why would we want to eliminate the joy we have of giving to our own community? If all is decided for us, by those who think they know what is best, then why do we exist? Where is the need of the individual mind?

The bailouts are absurd. The automobile business model never changed to adapt for the changing world. The workforce addiction of mediocrity was created by the unions and enabled by the firms.

The surplus governments enjoyed in the bustling economy we had was spent not saved. Where was the planning?

The people being asked to bailout industry after industry will be supporting people who never suffered the pain they have. The taxpayers without medical or retirement plans due to cost will be paying for programs for civic employees or employees in lost industries.

Where does it stop? What do we allow just because we don't speak up?