Vail Daily letter: 11th hour strikes
Vail, CO Colorado
What’s wrong with all of you out there? I’ve spent the past 40 years being silent, politically. When in high school, I heard Khruschev mention that the USSR would never have to attack the U.S. because it would become socialist from within.
I can safely say I have never voted for anyone for president of the United States that I really wanted. I have always chosen the better of two evils.
One of those evils was Nixon, who called my generation the “Silent Generation,” and I guess we have been until now. We’re well educated but have been carefully taught by parents and corporations for whom we worked to keep politics out of the discussion.
So we did until the 11th hour. And this is the 11th hour. Now that we are speaking out, we have been called all sorts of names by the liberal media – or, worse, ignored and called inconsequential. Not a power, not even worth giving the time of day to. As more and more people of my generation begin to speak our true beliefs and are joined by younger people, as well, we are no longer inconsequential but rather racists and terrorists?
The media keep trying to pigeonhole us into a movement when in reality we are a bunch of people who have become increasingly concerned about the direction our government is taking and has been taking since about 1932, economically.
Personally, I have always called myself an economic conservative and a social liberal. I was, in the 1960s, a major supporter of the Civil Rights Movement. I applauded Brown v. The Board of Education and the desegregation of schools not just for the South but for the whole country. When it didn’t happen, I applauded Martin Luther King and all of the civil-rights marches to gain equality not just for people of African-American descent but for people of Hispanic descent or Asian descent, etc., as well. I have always been a staunch supporter of the women’s movement. I truly believe all people should have equal opportunity to work hard and achieve their goals without being hampered by prejudice.
I also believe that we have some major environmental problems leading to global warming that we need to address. But have we considered that the cause may be more base than carbon emissions? How about overpopulation? Just read Jared Diamond’s “Collapse” or books written in the 1960s about zero population growth.
My social agenda is long and would probably cast me as a liberal except for one thing: I have never believed that it was the government’s job to change us economically or socially. We have a Constitution written by men – we call them the framers – who had observed what governments can do to countries and to their businesses – whether they be agricultural or, since the industrial revolutions, small businesses and corporations – and to their individuals. In other words, their collective ways of creating the wealth we all value so much.
None of these framers believed that governments created wealth or managed it well. Instead, they created a government, the first of its type, that would check our whims and balance them with sound judgment using three equally powerful branches of government. The laws we pass are to be done in Congress by two houses, not just two people behind closed doors. Only then should the executive branch act. The third check is a court to determine, when tested, if that law fits within the framework of the Constitution. The idea being that no one branch can overpower another.
What my generation has seen instead is a steady corruption of that system. The framers carefully defined money, and that was corrupted in 1935 and in the 1960s. We chose instead to inflate the currency by printing more and more paper money so we could afford more and more government social programs. We have all paid. Taxes are a small part. Inflation decreases our buying power so that something like your house appears to have gone up in value. Instead, it just takes more paper to buy it.
My father graduated from college Phi Beta Kappa with degrees in economics and philosophy and then ran a small business started by my grandfather. That business survived the Great Depression. It may surprise some of you to find that it took my family until around 1960 to pay all debts incurred by the Depression. But pay them we did, every cent, without help from the government. I was surprised to find that this was done by using the kind of sound business practices preached by Yvonne Chinard of Patagonia: frugality and conservation of resources.
I, too, graduated from college, spent 37 years teaching American history and married my husband, who worked for a large corporation. We have spent a lifetime saving and saving, often cutting ourselves out of things we might have had earlier in order to buy property and have a comfortable retirement. We carefully planned our investments over all those years so we could earn our retirement.
And out of our hard-earned retirement income now come taxes on our home that have risen astronomically, homeowners’ fees that are slated to triple to pay for things we don’t want. And now, not only does Obama slide in a health care law that will cost trillions more than he predicts, but he thinks he can get the money by taxing dividends that are the earned income of millions of investors like us. Personally, I believe we need to get back to a government that stays out of our economic lives and allows us, through hard work, to create our own wealth.
Yes, I think Obama’s plans are socialist in their totality. But no, I’m not a terrorist. I am, however, guaranteed free speech until that, too, is taken away by the current administration.
And, using that right, allow me to reiterate.
People create wealth. The government does not!
Our general welfare referred to the country, not to a person’s right to be supported by the government in any way.
We’ll remember come November.