Friday, December 28, 2012

American Democracy in the lower case

As near as I can see and understand, the United States remains a country with the same laws it has always had.

I believe our Congress no longer cares about the people, but about those who are pumping money into their campaigns.

I believe if they are egregious enough, Americans will petition for their removal, or campaign in the streets enough to let them know we do matter.

I believe all of this.

I believe we will "go over" the fiscal cliff. I believe the hasty fixes Congress will announce, like no cost of living on Social Security, Medicare at 67, tightened strictures on Medicaid and CHIPS, will hurt the working poor and add very little to the budget while hurting many.

I am not listening to the news. Not much these days. News now is all about scaring us and herding us in one direction or another. We used to have one of the most free press in the world. I think we are now ranked somewhere in the upper 20s. Capitalism has taken over.

What am I going to do about it?

Not panic, for starters.

Conserve on what I buy, second. Oh, I realize the economy needs us spending, but how can we,when we don't know how much money we will have? Especially those of us on fixed incomes. Well. No, not us. The worker who gets laid off because his employer has much to lose is a bigger loss. (I used "he" as something most politicians understand, even when it is the women raising the children.)

I will spend as little as possible. I will be joyful as much as possible. I will listen as little as possible. I will tune in for the news on what is actually happening. What they speculate? How does that help me live a good life?

I will plant my flowers. This spring, I will plant tomatoes and peppers again. I will help where I can. Oh, yes. I see a world of pain coming from the fiscal cliff. I will help where I can.

I'm not going to worry about it.

The hand-wringing news can do that.

We compensate and survive.

It's not what I used to think democracy was. Oh well.

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