Closing your eyes and hoping you find somethingFrom the desk of the working poor: The rebellion to stay the same has begun.
By: Forrest Johnson, Lake County News Chronicle
From the desk of the working poor:
The rebellion to stay the same has begun.
The recent tax-day tea party, cooked up as a grassroots groundswell of freedom to push back at the clutches of big government, contained all the trappings of a publicity stunt.
Once again I say that people are getting mad at the wrong things. It’s like everyone was closing their eyes and swinging their arms in the hope that they hit something, anything. The anger in some of the faces was real. The reasons for the anger were not.
I say, get angry, get involved in something that stirs a passion in you.
But please, before you go jumping into the frenzy of rebellion, figure out the reality of your anger.
I saw one sign in the midst of the crowd gathered behind the DECC in Duluth last week that said “Business provides jobs...Socialism is not the answer.”
There we go with the red herring of socialism again.
If we’re moving toward socialism in this country I must be on the wrong bus.
I say we haven’t been honest with ourselves over the years about just what we need to run an orderly society, what it takes to educate our kids, pave our roads, flush our toilets and take care of our health. Politically, we have never been honest about the numbers.
If we had been honest with ourselves, if we had looked at the numbers, perhaps we never would have built a federal interstate system that we now hedge to pay for, never would have built airports and harbors for commerce and travel, never given up the tried and true system of outhouses for expensive municipal wastewater plants or forgotten how to carry a bucket of water from the edge of the lake to our homes. Maybe we might not have created a public school system because eventually it would have meant paying for it.
We just returned from a ride through some of the most explosive growth we’ve seen in decades, no matter that it was built on a house of cards. Still, before the fall, we demanded that cuts be made to nearly every public sector I can think of other than the military. Education, environmental protection, medicare, city and county government, you name it, budgets were cut. It happened right here in Lake County. Everything was made to fit into a mean and lean package, fat was trimmed to the bone. From schools to the DNR to city government to district courts.
It again makes me think of a simple question.
That socialism thing.
A lot of our ancestors came from Scandinavia. I have relatives in Sweden, Norway, Finland. A simple question. What is Sweden? Is it a socialist, closed state with nationalized industry and a lack of democracy? That’s what a lot of people say when you ask them. That it’s a controlled state watched over by a socialist big brother hiding behind a curtain. People seem to love to close their eyes and swing their arms at a target like socialism.
Sweden is a social democracy, fueled by parlimentary means and a bustling market economy. Capitalism? Darn tootin’. The lazy socialist Swedes gross dometic production is ranked higher than the U.S., higher than most industrial nations in the world. Look it up. The lazy socialist Swedes have a higher standard of living than we do, are better educated, healthier. Those damned socialist Swedes and their social democracy and market economy.
They’ve figured out how much it costs to provide for their people and they pay for it.
Now I’m mad.
Yes, the rebellion to stay the same has begun.
Now I just have to figure out what I’m all mad about.
Those damned lazy Swedes.