Around the turn of the 19th century and the Industrial Revolution and for a while after WWII this country became strong, powerful and famous. We did so by making things. We built stuff. Good stuff. We created products people wanted to buy and use. We were a proud and glorious nation. Then came the 1980's and Ronald Reagan.
I keep hearing over and over how RR is one of our greatest presidents and how we were so prosperous and rich while he was in office. How everyone was working and the nation was happy. That may be partly true. I say partly because my big question to those who praise the Gipper is what did we really produce in the eighties? Reagan stepped in and thought why not give money, benefits and power to those at the top rung of the ladder and they are sure to reach down and help the guy on the bottom up a few steps. Well as a guy on the lower rungs I have to say I have seen no hands.
What I saw in the 1980's was a change in how this country thought and worked. A change in how this country was perceived in the world. Reagan started a belief that government was itself bad. No matter what it did or did not do if it was government it was just bad. If we just leave the businesses alone, all will work out, the old "hands off" economics. He began with deregulation and helped to build up the corporations not people, but pieces of paper called corporations. Things changed so that these pieces of paper could be seen as people in the eyes of the law. They were given all the rights and benefits of a real flesh and blood person, but sadly none of the responsibilities. Funny, since Reagan prided himself on everyone taking responsibility.
Slowly as we turned a blind eye. These pieces of paper began to grow and money began to be made. We saw the wealth of this country sore. It seemed like the money was never ending. But the problem was that like those corporations, the money was just paper. We as a nation were not really producing anything but wealth. Remember in the 80's how "Made in America" became a joke? We learned how to make a cheaper product and sell it at a high price to make more wealth. But we built nothing. We had nothing but lots of paper to show for it. Well those large pieces of paper called corporations became as they say today, "to big to fail."
So now its been almost 30 years and that type of thinking has come back to bite us. We tried to build on those pieces of paper but nothing stood. It all fell down. We are no longer making anything people want to buy. Most of what people want to buy is made in India or China. That is a truth. It is a hard pill to swallow. It is a truth many don't want to face. Many still want to believe that we are the nation everyone wants to be like and looks up to. We are not.
So now Obama is now in charge. He is saying for the first time in a long while. "Lets stop giving money to those on the top of the ladder. Lets stop supporting the guy in the big office with the $3,000 suit. Lets support and help the guy with the lunch box and overalls; who gets his hands dirty from actually building something. The guy who has something to show for his day at work rather than just more zeros on a spread sheet." Obama is saying lets be a country that actually creates something more than wealth. Lets be a beacon of hope again. Lets be a place where someone can come, work hard every day, and actually get better. Actually pass something on to their children that they can be proud of.
I just don't believe that simply giving tax breaks to businesses will make them hire people. You can give tax breaks all day to the business owner but if people around him don't have money to buy his pizza he won't be hiring anybody to cook them. There are many things I think Obama is doing wrong. But this idea that his outlook and vision of an America more in tune with 21st century thinking is socialism is wrong in my eyes. We as a nation have to wake up to the fact that we are members of a much smaller world than we were in the times mentioned above. And if we can't or refuse to accept that we will be the worse off for it.
Of course this is just my opinion I could be wrong.