Sunday, July 17, 2011

Political action

I'm very worried that the politicians in office now are going to ruin our economy and society.  I've spent the morning contacting every one I could with the message below. 

Here is a web site you can use to find out who represents you:
http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

I wrote the following that I sent to both my senators and representatives.  I also sent pieces of it to the President and Vice President.  I have no idea if this will do any good.  However, I feel like I should speak out.  I'll at least have voiced my opinion. 

I urge anyone who feels the same way to do the same.  If you want to copy what I have below - feel free.  If you have additional ideas - add them in and post them here.  Maybe if we all start talking one on one with them - flooding them with our beliefs then they will start to listen and act appropriately.

Here is what I wrote:

This year has been a difficult one for our country.  There is a great deal of divisiveness in our country and especially in politics.  This divisiveness is part of what is hurting our economy.  The public does not trust our politicians to do what is best for the country.

I am a state worker and a union member but I don’t necessarily vote the way my union wants.  I look at each candidate and determine how closely candidates’ beliefs are to my own beliefs.  I look for someone who is willing to do what is right and what the people want rather than what they or their contributors want. 

I realize I’m one voice.  I am one person in a sea of constituents who are diverse and have as many opinions as there are people.  However, I cannot in all good conscious remain silent about what I feel needs to happen to make our country better and stronger.

Business is important to our economy.  Without it we are back to an agrarian society and we have too many people to go back to the family farms.  Business needs to have a level playing field.  However, this does not mean they have a free ride as I feel they are getting.  It means that we make sure there aren’t monopolies and that they are able to do the business they are in – provided it is legal and safe. 

They do not deserve tax breaks so they can billions in profits while the majority of the people cannot make their bills.  We may be a global economy but we certainly aren’t preventing companies from taking their business elsewhere.  It has happened repeatedly and to the detriment of our economy.  American workers are among the best educated and the hardest working.  Yet business doesn’t value that because they have to provide a safe working place, work with unions, and pay a higher wage. 

While it may be cheaper to use Chinese workers, the quality of product is substandard.  The safety of the products is below par as we’ve seen from all the recalls. 

With gas prices hovering between $3 and $4 a gallon, the regular person often has to choose between food and other essentials and the ability to get to work.  I do not work in the same town I live.  I have to drive 19 miles to my work five days a week.  This gets to be costly.  There are not any buses or trains that allow me to commute or I would.  My husband has to commute the same distance.  We cannot afford to upgrade our cars nor can we afford one of the hybrid cars.  Therefore, we are stuck paying the outrageous price for gas while the oil companies make billions in profits each quarter.  This means I have less money to spend on other things. 

Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security have been under threat by political players.  These programs help those who are either unable to work or have worked all their lives and are now in retirement.  My mother is 80 years old.  She was widowed in her 50s.  She’d been a farm wife her entire adult life.  Because of the many factors she sold the farms, file for bankruptcy, and had to start over.  She went back to school, got a degree and started her career.  She worked well into her 70s retiring only a couple of years ago.  She was a Certified Nurse’s Assistant working with Alzheimer patients at a county home and then at a private facility.  She contributed to retirement and social security. 

Her retirement barely covers her expenses and she is already living with one of my sisters.  Now there is a threat that social security won’t be able to be paid out because the politicians can’t seem to grasp a concept that most kindergartners do.  Cooperation is key to solving our problems.  If my mother does not receive her social security, she will not be able to pay her bills.  This means that she and my sister may not be able to stay in the house they are in.  They could lose the house and their financial stability.  They won’t have money for food, electricity, and other essentials.  Will the politicians be going without their paychecks until the budget crisis is over?  If not then I suggest you find a way to keep Social Security payments going out.

As for cutting these services, don’t.  It is wrong.  Most of the people using them have been working their entire lives, paying in to get this benefit.  They are relying on this as their retirement.  If you take it away then they are without a safety net.  Incomes are not such that most people can afford to put away money for retirement and medical care.

Perhaps politicians would understand this better if they had to utilize the same benefits rather than getting a special retirement fund that gives them benefits based on nothing more than being a politician.  Politicians are not above the American public, they are the servants of the American public.  Therefore, they should not have any benefits the American public doesn’t have.

Planned Parenthood, birth control, and abortion are key issues for me.  I’m a woman with three daughters, four sisters, and five nieces on my side of the family and many more on my husband’s side of the family.  Women make up 51% of the population.  Yet we are underrepresented in politics.  As far as I’m concerned, men have no say in what happens to women’s bodies.  It isn’t your body that is wracked with hormones and the severe and drastic changes that occur during a pregnancy.  Women have three choices when it comes to being pregnant.  If the pregnancy is unwanted, none of these choices are easy to follow through with.  No one should have any right to say what happens to a woman’s body except that woman. 

Would I like to see abortion stop?  Yes.  However, that is not likely to happen.  Men do not take responsibility for where their sperm goes (condoms are the best contraceptive yet so few use them) and they also are not stuck with a child they don’t want.  Many men are able to walk away without one ounce of responsibility.  Until men control themselves, women should have the right to an abortion, free birth control, and the privacy to make the decisions needed when pregnant without stigma or recrimination. 

Society penalizes women for being women.  Our wages are still only about 80% of what men make.  Women are typically the ones responsible for most day care, household chores, and family maintenance.  This is just another reason why women should have access to free birth control, abortion and the privacy needed for decisions about her body.

There are several ways to improve the economy without attacking the m idle class, elderly, and poor.  We do need a balanced budget.  We need to live within our means and stop borrowing or living on credit.  This goes for the individual, business and government. 

Here are the ideas I have for improving the economy. 

Sales tax:  Sales tax means someone is buying something and paying the government a portion of it.  If you buy a stick of gum (because that is all you can afford) then you pay less than if you buy a private jet.  Therefore, let’s have a federal sales tax of 1-2% as well as raising the state sales tax by a ½ - 1%.  This will increase funding based on what people can afford. 

Tax breaks for the rich:  There shouldn’t be any.  They make the most money and should pay the most for taxes.  They should contribute to social security based on how much they make not have a flat rate for those who make over a certain amount.  If you make a million dollars a year then you pay into social security a percentage of that million dollars – the full amount.  If you make $30,000 a year, than you pay in the same percentage on your annual wage. 

Regulate the banks and the oil companies.  These groups seem to be out of control.  Every time the price of gas goes up the economy tanks.  So make them ask before they are allowed to raise prices.  It is done with utility companies, it can be done with oil companies.  As well as these regulation let’s get some decent, safe public transportation.  I’d be happy to let someone else do the driving for my commute – if there were a service available.  There isn’t.  I live in a small city and commute to a small town.  Banks seem to think it is ok to set up fees for their customers.  Fees that are complicated and confusing so a person who already barely makes ends meet is hit with fees that they didn’t even know were on their account.  There needs to be more honesty in the banking industry.

At the same time we are working on the economy we need to be looking out for our environment.  We cannot continue the way we are destroying the natural world around us.  We see in the violent weather patterns that Mother Nature is trying to bring herself back into balance.  This may be a natural cycle as some scientists say but I think we brought this cycle around quicker by destroying so much of our natural world. 

If we destroy our world by polluting our air, water, and food supply, how will we live?  We have to make the environment a top priority.  Instead of destroying our natural environment we need to protect it and find safer, healthier ways to live.  There isn’t one answer that is right in this issue.  No one thing will replace our reliance on oil and coal which are the worst polluters.  However, making solar, wind, geothermal and other environment friendly power sources more affordable will allow more people to utilize them.  This means that we are less reliant on these dirty power sources and more reliant on the clean ones. 

These are just a few ideas can help us go from floundering to recovering.  We need to find our feet and stand firm.  To do that we need to work together rather than acting like spoiled children fighting over whose turn it is to be in control. 

2 comments:

  1. Good points, all, but I would fear it is way too long a letter. I'd suggest breaking it up into individual letters with one subject in each to make it quick and to the point. I think you'd have a much better chance of it being read.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Are you suggesting that our politicians don't have enough intelligence to read an in depth discussion on current events?

    I have to say I haven't received any responses yet from anyone from the president down. This is somewhat disappointing. However, it they actually read my comments and consider them while focusing on the issues at hand that would be better.

    I've done smaller letters on individual topics and gotten nowhere for the most part. Probably because the people I'm writing to do not agree with my point of view.

    It would be nice for them to remember that they represent everyone of their constituents - not just the ones who agree with them.

    ReplyDelete

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