Friday 09 Dec 2016

Look in the Mirror
AJ Robinson

There’s an old saying that speaks of getting what you pay for. As a writer, I tell this to prospective clients when they question my fee. I tell them that they can go “off shore” for their writing, but they ask, will it be any good? Time and time, again, I’ve heard them complain that while a writer in some other country, mostly a Third World country, could do their job cheaper, the finished product was NOT finished; it had to be fixed once it was delivered.

That saying rang in my mind as I heard people complaining about government. State legislators and governors are gutting the benefits and wages of public employees: teachers, police officers and firefighters. People are outraged when someone slams the Middle Class, but not when the rich, the job creators, and corporations receive massive tax cuts and welfare, I mean, subsidies.

I hear the outrage and I roll my eyes and sigh. I’m sorry, people, but – as the saying goes; you get what you “pay” for. The voters put these morons into office. What, were you expecting them to do something different?

There’s a story I once heard, sort of a variation on Red Riding Hood. A girl walking through the woods came upon a rattlesnake that was dying from the cold. It asked her to wrap it about her neck so it could warm up. She was reluctant; she was afraid the snake would bite her, but the snake promised it wouldn’t. Seeing the beauty of the snake’s skin, she decided to risk it. Sometime later, once the snake was warm, it bit her! She asked why, as she had done a good thing by being nice to the snake and doing what it asked of her. The snake, slithering away, said, “You knew what I was when you put me on.”

Over the course of the last decade, the republicans cut taxes on the rich, subsidized corporations, crushed unions, outsourced jobs, sent the national debt into the stratosphere and squeezed the Middle Class and the poor. There was no fiscal responsibility, no national energy policy and no encouragement of innovation and research.

What, you thought they would be different this time? The Speaker of the House said in one speech that, if the Americans put the GOP back in control, they could expect more of the same from the Republicans.

America, if you want to know who’s to blame for all the crap going on in the state and federal governments – look in the mirror! The only question remaining is what are you going to do about it? It’s said that only a fraction of eligible voters turn out at each election. If you truly want things to change, if you truly want “shared sacrifice” and a turnaround for the Middle Class, the answer is simple: vote!

On the other hand, if this is the direction you want the country to go in: unions gone, a repeal of child-labour laws, abolishing the minimum wage, no EPA, no regulations on business, and the rich not paying any taxes, then I think I’ll move to Canada. If you think this is moving forward, check your history, this is how the country was about a century ago.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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