The nation, along with many states and local municipalities are burdened with overwhelming debt. Like a company that’s about to file for bankruptcy, they can’t afford to honor their contractual obligations and make payroll. How did this happen? Who’s responsible? I’m told it’s the government workers. They ‘re bleeding us dry so let’s bust the unions and do away with collective bargaining. Let’s take away their pensions! After all, why should my hard earned tax money go to give them better benefits than my boss is giving me these days?
While the anger is understandable, it is somewhat misdirected. I can assure you that the governments’ seemingly insurmountable fiscal deficits have been caused more by politicians corrupted by the corporate elite, than the common folk who educate your children, put out your fires and keep you safe. A teacher’s average salary is many times less than the average bonus for a Wall Street trader. Don’t believe me? If you can get past the gates of the richest neighborhood you can find, check out the teacher to Wall Street fat cat ratio. And let’s not forget, a teacher greatly shapes your child’s development, whereas a broker dumps dubious derivatives and toxic assets on unsuspecting clients. “Yeah, well” you say, “I don’t pay the broker, but my taxes go to that teacher’s salary.” I was hoping you’d say that. I have one word for you – bailouts. That’s right, much of the eight hundred billion dollars worth of your tax money went to bonuses for the very people who got us into this financial mess we are trying to deal with. Instead the government should have put them in prison or confiscated their assets. Their assets would cover a lot of debt, but instead our government chose to cover their asse(t)s. So if you want to get angry, direct it at those people. If you work for a large corporation and your retirement package has been greatly reduced or taken away completely, be angry at them. They are in breach of contract. When you agreed to sign up with them all those years ago, it was with the understanding that after a certain amount of years of you paying into your retirement fund, you would be paid certain benefits. If they can’t give you back the last 30 years of your life, they should be legally and morally bound to honor their original agreement. It should make you even madder to know that the bigwig who made the decision to cut your benefits was given a big bonus for saving the company money by screwing you and your co-workers.
Now you want to go and do the same thing to the government workers who serve you everyday. Don’t do onto others as was done onto you. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Instead, let’s start reducing the deficits by first making those at the top who have profited by manipulating the system pay back into it what they have taken from us.
On second thought, don’t get mad … get even.