Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thoughts about ways to fail to act.

I rarely take action on anything. After watching tonight's presidential debate followed by Bill Moyers’ interview with Andrew Bacevich, I am still failing to act. But these are a few ideas I ought to explore.

Personal Position Statement
Political candidates have them. Nobody actually reads them, but it occurs to me that their value is as much for the author as for the reader. Deciding to codify and publish my positions on political questions and issues might actually force me to think them through, rather than tweak them on-the-fly for the convenience of a given conversation.

Personal Economic Responsibility Plan
It’s undeniable: we collectively live beyond our means. Am I contributing to the problem? How can I fix that? How can I encourage others to?

Core Values Statement
In my mind, “The American Way of Life” is a euphemism for all of our excesses and self-indulgences. What am I actually willing to fight for? What would I be willing to give up?

Diary of The Fall
Is it all ending? Will I witness first-hand the collapse of our nation, our global economy, civilization as we know it? What will people afterward want to know that I could tell them?

Petition of Permission
Politicians’ actions, when influenced by the public at all, seem driven by our lowest-common-denominator demands to address short-term grievances. Our collective long-term best-interests almost always suffer. (Lower gas prices now, or energy independence later?) If I were to draft a Petition of Permission to our representatives in government, offering tolerance for the short-term sacrifices necessitated by long-term solutions to big problems… would anybody else sign it? Would politicians listen? Would I even honor my part of the agreement?

Warrior Politicians
Which is more useful… an elected official who first-and-foremost works to stay in office, or one who fights the good fight once but pays the political price? We recognize the duty of our soldiers to die if necessary in defense of our freedom and national interests. Why do we not demand that our representatives in government make the infinitely smaller sacrifice of ‘political suicide’ when doing so might enable a policy victory worth having?


Blogger drinkspiller said...

I'm trying to understand what's going on with the economy. What it means, how we got here. Much of the information out there I don't understand. These are the best resources I've found, written in plain language.

More focus on how we got here (long article, but excellent information in plain language):

More focus on what it means (click "skip the ad" in the upper right):

Defectiveguru says we collectively live beyond our means:

...and describes it as a problem. In so much as living beyond our means is tantamount to excess, it is problematic. In fact, lending money to people who couldn't pay it back was an instrumental element in a string of circumstances described in the first link above. When reading this post I thought "It's true, I have a nicer car than I can buy outright because of a loan. I only have a home because of a loan that allows me to afford more than I have. I'm living beyond my means."

But more recently I've been able to recognize the that living beyond our means is not only about a self-indulgent lifestyle. For many, it's also what it takes for to go to college, or afford a house in a place your child can get a good education, or open a small business, or for a business to get a line of credit to make payroll instead of firing employees.

And that's why the bailout bill is important. Because without the ability to borrow money, small dreams go unrealized and opportunities go unexplored. America may be justly characterized by its affinity for excess, but her essence is more fittingly captured by opportunity.


12:00 PM  
Blogger Stephanie... or Stevie. said...


1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope. Not buying it. Why? Because I can't afford it. Isn't that what got us into this mess in the first place? And now the Prez wants the banks to start being nice to us and gives us loans again. Yes, things are cyclical aren't they. In the end what really matters? Absolutely nothing but our experiences.
Lets face the facts here brothers and sisters, we don't have a choice anymore. Naada. Zippo. Zilch. And if you think you do when it comes to politics and bankers, I laugh a big fat HA HA at you. The end is nigh and the sleep will be long. Enjoy it all while you have it because it's all gonna be gone.
You think I'm freaky by now don't you? Well, take a long look around you right now. Do you really think the peoples consciousness is in harmony? No, it isn't. Until we rise up in a collective effort we are just marbles on the board of life, bumping into each other. Who really controls who?
I'm outta this rat race. I will watch you with great amusement as you go about your days accomplishing all that you think that is important to you. Seriously, you are too caught up in your own thoughts and dreams and not really living life to your full potential.
I will wait and watch in anticipation to see if you all have the gumption to take control of your true destinies. I can only wish and hope that you know what I know.

12:07 AM  
Blogger Abram said...

Wow. Somebody found my blog. Woot!

8:44 AM  
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