The Recession and our Generation of Hope

I woke up this morning and went about my normal routine but today was different.  I could feel it building inside me. A sense of hope springing forward as I began to think about the generational challenges we are faced with and why this generation, our generation is ready for them. I look at what we can do, and what we are already doing and I realize that we will overcome not just this economic crisis, for those come and go. But we will overcome the crises of education, of healthcare and of energy within our lifetimes. Before I start to sound like too much of a salesman for the current administration, I want to share why I think our generation-the new professionals are uniquely suited to the age we were born into.

1. People are the new profit. If you read the commentary on web 2.0 and the future of the internet there is no end to the hand-wringing that goes on among the older set. The old saw goes “that’s great, but how do you turn a profit?” It’s not that we are a generation of socialists unconcerned with profit and loss, it’s that profit isn’t the driving force behind our motivations. Facebook began in a dorm room as an experiment in connecting people on campus. Google strove to create the better search engine. Netflix changed the way we rented movies. The list goes on, but profit wasn’t the driving force behind any of these ideas at the start, in the beginning it was about solving consumer’s problem. These companies have created new verbs, “google it”, he “friended” me, oh just “netflix” it. Fundamentally changing the way we do things, by solving a problem, rather than selling a bill of goods.

2. Small is the new big. If there’s one concept our generation is reflexively against it’s the concept of “too big to fail” entrepreneurship is something we all have a stake in now. We are a generation that maintains blogs and tweets to the world. We are our own ventures, our personal and professional lives are no longer as separate as they once were. For our generation ideas move as fast as you can type and hit the send button, so work happens wherever, whenever. Perfect for when the problems are global in scale and complex in nature.

3. Forget the suit, just bring your brain. The people at companies changing the world come to the office in sneakers and a sweatshirt. Power isn’t the currency anymore. We’ve changed the game, now it’s ideas and collaboration that build the better mousetrap.

4. This isn’t an age thing. Our generation is the most blind ever. Race, color, creed, gender, these matter less than what you bring to the table as a person and as a professional it doesn’t matter how old you are, it doesn’t matter where you grew up. Our generation looks to leaders like Google, like Ecko, like Apple, you know what all of their leaders have in common? Nothing, and that’s exactly how it should be.

5. Not afraid to dream. Rare is the person of our generation who can’t quote Star Wars, or didn’t watch Sesame Street and the Muppets as a kid. Those kids grew up and gave us Lord of the Rings, and Pixar and Slumdog Millionaire. We’re a generation that’s not afraid to dream big, we’ve been doing it since we are little. The naysayers see us a generation afraid to grow up. They’re wrong. We’re a generation that remembers what it is to dream, what it is to want something better, and will always work to make it happen.

6. Apathetic we are not. Young people fueled a political campaign and elected a president. Faced with eight years of leadership that completely rejected the values they hold dear this generation rose up and elected a new face to the scene. He might have been untested, but it was his ideas and rhetoric that drove President Obama to the oval office. His campaign’s ability to make every voice matter, to make every volunteer action important and open the halls of power to the masses that made him this generation’s choice for the Presidency. President Clinton had to beg young people to go vote, President Obama was their champion.

It’s not that I am arrogant about who we are and where we’re going, it’s not that I hate the ‘boomers or resent having all of these problems to solve. It’s that I think our generation is uniquely suited to problems that lie ahead. Ones where millions of brains will be needed to fundamentally shift our way of life from waste to sustainability, from consolidated power to diverse networks, from me to us. Our generation will spend the better part of our lifetimes calming the seige of global warming, ending the world’s carbon addiction, finding better ways to educate our kids and making sure we can all grow up healthy. We will lead the nation to a brighter day, one brilliant idea at a time.

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The AIG Smokescreen

It’s not that I think the folks at AIG deserve bonuses. It’s not that I think they should be rewarded for playing a pivotal role in driving the national economy into the sewer.

I won’t point out that taxing one particular subset of Americans who are deeply unpopular is politically soothing but Constitutionally bunk.

I won’t even point out that the TARP program specifically allowed for executive compensation just like what we’re seeing now.

What I’d like to point out is that what the bailout, the stimulus package, and all of the other actions the government is taking to try and save the economy isn’t going to fix the core issue facing the US. The idea that any given company is too big to fail. We’ve allowed our corporations in America to become so large that they dictate fiscal policy.

The very idea that we’re going to some how “take back” the AIG bonus money is laughable, next quarter we’re likely to give AIG more TARP funds. Taking back our own money to give it back to the same company points out how twisted things become when government and private industry intertwine.

The rage we are feeling about AIG bonuses paid with our Tax dollars is justified. But it’s misplaced. We ought to have some rage at the fact that our government had no choice but to bail out these huge corporations because for too long we’ve sat by and let them become so integral to each other and to the global economy that they cannot fail, cannot be accountable for their errors, and are considered above the rules that govern the rest of modern capitalism.

When the dust settles and smoke clears from this debacle. I hope we see some real reform in the form of trust busting and robust regulation that brings these banks back into line with sanity. All the bonus taxes in the world won’t do a thing, until we institute real, politically difficult reform.

Gore Vidal Goes Coo-Coo For Cocoa Puffs About Election on the BBC

Simply priceless.

Looking at the world through rose-colored glasses

My cohorts are unable to see the irony of their own words.  What you think I’m saying and what I’m actually saying are worlds apart.  You’re no different than the Media Cartel who try to define what Conservatism is, by using your own terms.  You can not see the world through my eyes, much less try to describe what I see.

There is no conspiracy theory.  The media is biased, according to their own words.  In an independent study done late last year, most reporters aligned themselves as liberals.  Media owners are large contributers to liberal candidates and special interest groups.  Most media (print, television, etc.) are owned by the same seven megacorporations.  By most, I mean that about 90% of everything you read and watch on television ultimately comes from the same source.  All liberal.  It’s not a matter of opinion or conspiracy, it’s documented fact that the media is biased.

You make it sound that I am a supporter of George Bush, when in fact, I am not.  I don’t agree with much of anything he has done over the last 8 years.  His inadequacies as President helped set up the defeats we Conservatives have suffered in both the Congress and the White House.  But George Bush is not the anti-christ either.  The American people have been led to believe that the President has all-encompassing power that he simply doesn’t have.  Most of the failures attributed to Bush by the media and the American people rightfully belong in the lap of the largely liberal Congress.

War was waged when we were attacked on 9/11.  They struck first, we didn’t.  They struck several times under Clinton’s watch, and we did nothing about it.  People oppose any war, it’s just the way of things.  No one wants to send their son overseas to die.  The closed mouth way the Bush Administration has handled the whole affair has only added fuel to the fire of a war that most Americans simply don’t understand.  We’re in Iraq because the terror regime roams the borders of the middle east looking for a home.  A weak country they can invade and take over.  They need money coming in to fund their activities.  Iraq was that safe-haven, and we have taken it away from them.  The surge has succeeded, but we need to get the country on its feet before we leave.  If we don’t, al-Queda will be back stronger than ever.

The government has spent our social security money long ago.  I can not afford to fund the retirement of a generation more than triple the size of my own.  Social security was meant to be a temporary fix to a problem 50 years ago, and instead has become a crutch and mainstay for government control and spending.  It is not the job of government to administer retirement plans, nor health insurance to the American people.  Yet another simple fact that most Americans can’t grasp.  A large majority of those 47 million uninsured have chosen not to accept insurance through their employer.  Another large portion are the wealthy, who are self-insured.  Don’t let the numbers mislead you.

I am not rich.  I barely qualify for lower-middle class.  Yet even I can see the significance in tax breaks for businesses and the wealthy.  These are the people who supply jobs for the American economy.  They are the backbone of capitalism.  When they are overtaxed, we all pay higher prices.  When they are way overtaxed, our jobs move overseas.  Businesses are there to make money.  If they can’t turn a profit within our borders, they will find a new home.  Punishing success is one of the most rediculous foundations of liberalism.  Those who achieve will cease to achieve when what they have worked for is redistributed to those who did not earn it.  Those principals have been applied throughout history in Europe and failed.  Most people want to work hard and reap the rewards of their work.  Not have it handed out to those who have done nothing.

The current financial crisis is a result of our culture, not George Bush policy.  As Americans, we want everything now.  Credit has made that possible.  All credit is based upon the 30 year mortgage, which is not a fragile thing under normal circumstances.  However, when the liberal-sponsored Freddy Mae and Freddy Mac programs instituted by Jimmy Carter and revised again by Bill Clinton gave loans to people who couldn’t pay them back, our financial system collapsed.  These government programs gave huge payouts to Democrats in Congress, Barack Obama included.  Yet another example of the government interfering with private industry and failing.  The recession is a direct result of the average American household carrying nearly $16,000 in credit card debt and homes that aren’t worth anything anymore because banks are very wary of who they’re loaning money to these days.

You, as an American citizen are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  You are not entitled to health care, a retirement savings account, or a cheap home to live in.  This is the land of the free, the home of the brave.  If you’re willing to work hard, nothing here is supposed to stop you.  This is the founding principal of capitalism.  Those who work the hardest, reap the rewards.  We have become a jealous nation who thinks everyone is entitled to the same thing.  Despite being taxed nearly out of existence, private industry and donors far eclipse the donations of the U.S. government to charity and world causes.  We are a generous nation, we don’t need the government to step in with a roll of red tape at every turn.  Take some personal responsibility, and make something of yourself.  Don’t expect your neighbor to give up part of what he’s earned to help you out.

Will I hold on to family values, traditions, and my Conservative roots over the next four years?  You bet your ass I will.  If upholding a way of life my grandparents fought and died to protect makes people look down their hippy noses at me, then that’s a badge of honor I’ll proudly wear.  Your baby-killing and same sex marriage movement is slowly killing off future generations of Democrat voters, and that’s just fine with me.  I’m not interested in your brand of change, or reaching across the aisle to work with you.  I will not light a candle and stand with you in unity.  I will not be bi-partisan in an effort to reach an agreement.  To do so would be giving up half of my principals.  Liberalism is to be defeated and cast into the abyss of history where it belongs.

There will be a resurgence of Conservatism in 2012, of this I am certain.  Someone will step forward with new ideas and a new voice, just as Reagan did.  His ideas were radical at the time, but proved to be exactly what the country needed after a failed administration under the liberal guidance of Jimmy Carter.

Don’t pretend to look at the world through rose-colored glasses.  Don’t wave around the flag of liberalism and claim to have the authority to brand others with the iron of Conservatism.  Free men will not be oppressed to serve their government.  The shores of this country have never been invaded by foreign foot soldiers for a reason.  We are an armed and free nation, and the American people absolutely will stand up for freedom and defend what they have worked to build.  They’re certainly not going to stand idly by and let the founding principals of this country be destroyed from within.

Shades of Red

Jarvis is going to have you believe that Barack Obama won because we were all duped. What he can’t seem to be through his thick, conservative skull is that no one was fooled. He’s going to whine about reverse racism and make it sound like it was all a conspiracy cooked up by black folk and the media elite. He’s going to say that ACORN had a hand in it all. He’s going to claim a vast left wing conspiracy.

He sounds an awful lot like the people that thought there was a conspiracy to “steal” Florida in 2000. He sounds like a whiner on the losing team.

Jarvis, I’ll grant your request. I’ll never call President Bush a conservative again. I’m sure you’d call him a liberal because Rush and Hannity taught you one thing liberal=bad.

So I will paint a picture of the last 8 years as Jarvis must see it. President Bush and his liberal cronies decided to get together and cut taxes for the richest one percent of Americans, twice, while waging two wars. Then in an effort to spread his liberal ideology he decided to wage a premptive war in Iraq. He was so deeply liberal that he even proposed privatizing social security. His liberal ideals allowed for wages among all Americans not in the top 1% of earners to actually fall over the last eight years. All the while 47 million Americans went without health insurance.

And it was his staunch liberalism that allowed his Fed and Treasury departments to watch as a bubble of credit and real estate grew to enormous proportions setting up a recession. A mistake that liberal crony Alan Greenspan called a fundamental shock to his worldview.

President Bush left no liberal stone unturned. His lavish spending on aid to New Orleans after hurricane katrina made it like the storm never happened.

President Bush was too liberal for America.

The fact is Jarvis is really equating conservatism with competence. Stop calling Bush competent makes a lot more sense to anyone paying attention than stop calling Bush a conservative.

One last thing. You said that Obama’s entire platform was “I’m not George Bush” Well if we can have an anti-Bush for the next 8 years maybe things wouldn’t be so bad.

Not so fast…

If nothing else, the very least you guys could do is stop referring to the current Bush Administration as Conservative.  I have said it time and time again, but apparently it doesn’t sink into your thick, liberal skulls…

George W. Bush is not a Conservative.  Period.

Your vague attempts at trying to build ties to conservatism and Bush have lost their luster.  The damage has been done, and Obama is President-elect.  His entire platform of “I’m not Bush” has been built up by the media and spoon-fed to a gullible and uniformed public, and they bought it.  Regardless of what you think, Obama has been a media darling from day one.  He’s been portrayed as a rock star, a visionary, and proponent of change and hope.  It’s all hogwash.  If he wasn’t black, he would’ve just been another candidate, and that’s the simple truth whether you can see it or not.

This election has been a case study for campaigning in new millenium.  I will give Obama props for his efforts.  Both his internet marketing and ground troops really put things together for him, even if ACORN had a hand in all of it.  Personally, I think there will be some scandal in the coming months over his campaign finances, but we’ll have to wait and see.

As for not fighting against Obama, I don’t see that happening.  The last time I checked, which as 1:00am EST stats, Obama has about 51% of the popular vote.  In other words, regardless of the Electoral College victory, at least half of the country didn’t vote for him.  That’s not a “decisive” victory.  That’s not a country unified for change and a new direction.  That’s Obama squeaking by because he got 95% of the black vote and because of his campaign’s efforts to get college students to the polls.  Again, because he’s the black rock star.  It has nothing to do with his policies or experience or stance on issues.

The 51% of Americans who stood up with one voice are about to be clubbed in the kneecaps with the big heavy stick of the most liberal government in history.  The public at large has been so confused and misinformed about what socialism is, are about to find out first-hand.  Don’t make it sound like this was some kind of overwhelming decision, because it wasn’t.  As time goes on, the support for Obama will wane as his policies are introduced.  And God help us once he and Biden implement their Pakistan strategy.  I hope you have a fallout shelter.

Americans Do Weigh In

A response to Mr. Fielding’s earlier post: You’re right.

You’re right in saying that this will indeed be fun. Because this nation will prosper anew, free from the politics of irrational fear and the failed policies of faux conservatives who conserve nothing. This isn’t a conservative loss. This isn’t a liberal victory. This is a change in direction.

So…

Stop blaming the media. Stop blaming “celebrity.” Stop blaming PERIOD. This kind of cynicism does absolutely nothing constructive. You want reform? Work for it. You want to hold the new President accountable? Step up and work with him instead of fighting him from Hour 1. The fact of the matter is, the nation has more decisively than ever chosen its leader. That is not something worthy of blame. It is worthy of celebration that DEMOCRACY has prevailed. A Democracy John McCain believes in and has fought for his entire life. A Democracy he will continue to serve with distinction. Democracy doesn’t just work when “your” candidate wins. That, my friend, is self-importance and entitlement. And I agree that our nation has indeed embraced those value over the last 8 years. But last night, America took responsibility for itself and responded with volume and clarity of voice.