Monday, June 29, 2009

The Dream Is Over - Part 2



The Land Of Entitlements


There has been a shift from self sacrifice to the get rich quick ideal in America. “Ask not what your country can do for you”, is no longer the watch word for a generation. Having a fast car or having paparazzi follow you around is now the goal of most of the younger generation. A generation that was raised by MTV and not their parents. The myths of truth and self-sacrifice are no longer relevant to them.

A long list of initiatives by the Federal Government and the populace as a whole has brought us to this social quagmire. While all of these ideas were good in concept or motivation, the execution and reasoning were often flawed:

1) Desegregation and school bussing. Ever expanding social needs and the lack of societal resources to addres them led to a lack of truent officers and the lax enforcement of societal laws concerning behavior and decorum. Not that these are bad ideas per sae, but without the proper visionary concept of how they would affect society in the long term and the long term resources they would entail, they are now considered failures. Are having your pants sag round your knees ever going to be a acceptable when applying for a job?

2) Giving every developmentally delayed child the right to attend schools with other 'normal' children is a wonderful, idea, but the lack of commitment and resources to follow through on the concept did not raise the disabled child's status as much as it lowered some of the resources for the 'normal' children.

3) Making abortion illegal and legimizing every fetus as a person with rights is wonderful, until the cold reality that there are not enough resources available to care for or find homes for all these unwanted children. A child given life, that is unloved is not much different than a child that never knows life.

4) The idea that winning is everything and that everyone should win (there are no losers). In our effort to give everyone a medal just for showing up, we have diluted our society to be mediocre at best. We have to fear losing in order to want to strive to be better. The result is just the acceptance of failure as an option.

5) Failure to enforce immigration laws until the torent of illegals becomes too much to repell. Meanwhile, profit hungry capitalists begin advertising on billboards and print media in foreign tongues in order to tap into the illegals economic resources, thereby legitimizing their presence.

6) 1-800-Bankruptcy. The thought of making poor decisions and running up debt no longer has stigma...so why bother to pay off those credit cards?

7) Single mother - multipule fathers. (Octomom), the concept that women are reproductive units unto themselves and the failure of society to hold the birth fathers or the biological mothers of the children accountable for their actions or indescretions.

8) The repeated failure of those in power / control to foresee the inevitable future (energy restriction / pollution / economic inflation / increasing population / global connectivity) and not focus the resources of their companies / governments on long term, conservative sustainable growth. So now we have corporate CEOs and governors that retire with millions of dollars in stock options or influence peddling kickbacks that have left their companies / governments in shambles.

If any of these examples had occurred in the 1950 or 1960, the public outcry would have been overwhelming. We have since been dumbed down as a society to find them acceptable.

These all speak of a society that no longer strives to excel and force assimilation of its populace into am educated society that is diverse at it's core but has binding similarities on it's surface. Instead we end up with one that creates a meaningless and bland group of people only driven by base self interest, greed and ego.

Combine all this with an apathetic outlook based on instant gratification (if it takes to long to do it it isn't worth doing) and we seem to develop of form of sociatal amneshia regarding the events that swirl around us. We have all been here before, but no on seems to remember this. Chrysler, The Arab Oil Embargo, The Dot.com boom and bust, the Savings and Loan Scandal, Enron, $5 a gallon gass, The real estate boom and bust....leading up to to the collapse of GM and the Bernie Madoff debacle

A very good documentary summed up this whole problem very nicely. The film “Who Killed The Electric Car”, showed the desire of the people of California to prod the auto industry in a new, cleaner direction. The backlash from the corporate board rooms was to have the law overturned by special interest groups. Before it was overturned, GM hedged its bets and built their first all electric car (the EV-1). When the law in California was finally overturned by corporate backed lobbyists from Exxon and Mobile, GM recalled all it's leased EV-1s, crushed them and then scraped the plant that manufactured them, leaving no trace of the car. Eight years later, gas hit $4 a gallon and GM filed for bankruptcy. What did GM do with the excess factory capacity left by the EV-1’s demise? They built the Hummer.

(up next: In Conclusion)