October 10, 2012 By Jack Jodell
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Americans have become an increasingly impatient people. At times resembling small, spoiled children more than rational and critically-thinking adults, we are being transformed into a nation who goes with our latest snap-judgment rather than by careful examination of the facts at hand. Whether caused or aided by the growing reliance of soundbyte-making entities like Twitter; the constant barrage of rapidly moving videos and media advertisements; or the poor conditioning we have received from the endless stream of TV “reality shows” and sitcoms in which all of the world’s problems are simple, and are set right, in a mere half-hour – THIS is a very dangerous phenomenon! We cannot afford this foolish indulgence, and we must make a conscious effort to overcome it! For we are cheating and deluding each other when we allow ourselves to fall into this pattern of intellectual laziness.
Let us begin today with our troubled economy. While the official Great Recession ended in June of 2009, and there have been 32 consecutive months of job growth in the private sector since, economic growth has been steady but anemic overall. The official unemployment rate has now fallen to 7.8% (from a recession-high of 10.0% in October of 2009) Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Unemployment rate and long-term unemployment rate, January 1948 – December 2011, seasonally adjusted). Clearly, this is a VAST improvement over the situation which existed in January, 2009, at the start of the current Obama administration, when nearly 600,000 private sector jobs were being LOST each month! Still, there are far too many unemployed as well as UNDER-employed workers today, and irresponsible, overly ambitious, LYING politicians like Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul RUIN, are trying to spin this as a failure on the part of President Obama! By examining the graph below, taken from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, you will see at a glance how inaccurate this spin is! (Click on the graph to make it larger).
That this restoration of jobs has been slower than desirable is regrettable and undeniable, but it has hardly been solely Obama’s or his Democratic Party’s fault. For the obstructionist Republican Party, led by its powerful, reactionary Tea Party faction, has steadfastly refused to pass even a SINGLE jobs creation bill the entire time they have had control of the U.S. House of Representatives, dating back to January of 2011! This, of course, followed the Republicans’ 2010 campaign promise to create more jobs if they were to regain control of that body from the Democrats. How many remember John Boehner saying over and over that “jobs are our number one priority!”? Needless to say, this backward-looking, obstructionist party must be held responsible and PUNISHED for its obvious hypocrisy in this vitally important area! Because of their deliberate stalling tactics, designed specifically to defeat and remove Obama from the White House in next month’s election, is unprecedented and reprehensible. For it clearly shows the Republicans have placed their own political gain FAR ahead of the nation’s most important need and best interests! Common sense would dictate that these Republicans be justifiably thrown out of office in November.
I would like to offer our American electorate some advice on PATIENCE, using past precedent as my basis for doing so. Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Democrats took control of the Presidency and Congress in 1933, after years of Republican “free market” economic misrule which brought on the horrible Great Depression. Unemployment stood at an incredibly whopping 35% of nonfarm workers at that time! To the horror of these reckless “free market” conservatives, FDR began a massive economic redevelopment program called The New Deal, which gave the federal government unprecedented powers to involve itself in the nation’s economic affairs. By looking at the chart below (click on it to view it larger), you will see that this effort took quite some time to produce suitable results. By 1936, near the end of FDR’s first term, unemployment still stood at an unbelievably high 25%, and yet, that fall, FDR won re-election with an overwhelming majority of popular and electoral votes! Even more amazingly, he was re-elected twice more, with an unemployment rate above 20% much of that time!
How was this possible? It occurred mainly because of three things: the conservative Republicans did not exert a near-stranglehold on the federal government as they do today (their relative numbers were MUCH smaller back then); because FDR’s New Deal was actually WORKING and steadily creating more jobs for workers, and voters could see these results plainly; and because people in the 1930s believed that government AND workers had a vital role to play in the economy! Today, of course, reactionary Republicans and irresponsible media pundits are all screaming about the still too high, albeit much lower, unemployment rate of 7.8%. They have chosen to ignore the fact that it took FDR an incredibly longer 10 YEARS to undo the destruction wrought by conservative Republican economic misrule! The lesson we need to keep in mind here is that, today we must be more PATIENT with the President, and direct our wrath and impatience instead toward the “free market, trickle down” Republicans who created this mess originally!
Mitt Romney, and especially his eager-beaver running mate, Paul RUIN, have both, in their own way, called for greatly reduced regulation, an expanded military budget, and increased tax cuts for the already ridiculously UNDER-taxed richest 1% of the American electorate. They are pushing for the elimination of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and many other vital social safety net programs. In effect, they are calling for a return to pre-New Deal economic policies, the hallmark of which would be a vastly smaller and greatly weakened federal government. Common sense dictates clearly that, if your porch is on fire due to gasoline having been poured on it and a match having been lit to start the fire, the LAST thing any sensible person would do is try to put out the fire by throwing even more gasoline and lit matches back on it! Voters who think with reason rather than emotion will outright reject these far-right reactionary Republicans and all of their followers in the upcoming election.
I sincerely hope and believe that in this year’s election, American voters will display a great deal more patience, reason, and common sense than is currently being advocated by self-centered, reckless, and foolish far-right, radical, impatient, Tea Party-infested Republicans. Voters must realize the folly of electing either the Romney/Ryan team or ANYof its like-minded followers!
Our well-being and fiture as a nation both depend on it!