The Slacker Factor ::: The Voice of Generation X: Podcasts, Blogs, World Domination

Our Country’s Pathetic Future

Posted on October 20, 2010 | By Robert LaFrance | 2 Comments

Our Country’s Pathetic Future

I usually tend to shy away from political topics. In the past, I just haven’t cared enough to concern myself with politics. It didn’t really affect me so I didn’t care. But as I get older (though I don’t look older), I begin to realize that the decisions made by both the leaders of this country and it’s population will eventually have a real impact on either me or my kids. And when you really start paying attention, you’re quick to realize that this country and our society in general are completely falling apart!

Lucky for you, with my incredible intelligence and insightful vision ;-) , I’ve identified two major issues that we must act on immediately to save our future. 1) We need revolutionary change in government. And by revolutionary I mean let’s scrap the whole system and start over. This country was founded on some pretty amazing principles as detailed in the Constitution and all that stuff. Those can stay. The real problem is the continual expansion and ballooning cost of the government itself. Just look at the amount of money the state and federal governments spend in aggregate – roughly $6.4 trillion. And a trillion is A LOT! (If you get a chance, check out USgovernmentSpending.com). To put that in perspective, our total Gross Domestic Product, which essentially measures what the country spends in total, for 2010 is roughly $13 trillion. So, government spending makes up almost half of our total economy. When the hell did that happen?!? Well, I’ll tell ya. In 1950, government spending was about 23% of the economy. In 1970, the year I was born, it was 32%. In 2000, it was 30%. In 2005, it was 28%. So in the last 5 years, it’s ballooned to close to 50%. WTF! 30% sounds about right. Yet we are mired in debt, unemployment, foreclosures, budget deficits, and a slipping educational system.

I’m no bleeding heart liberal, but we definitely need to spend real money on things like education, defense, welfare, and maybe a couple other initiatives. But, let’s can the rest. How about this… let that unscrupulous insurance company and that awful car maker FAIL. Then, keep the spending at 50% for a couple years but use those billions of extra dollars to truly solve the core problems that our nation faces – I’d be OK with that short term. I’m sure that sending a billion dollars to T Bone Pickens might help a bit with our oil dependence. Or how about a billion or so to subsidize organic foods so even the poverty stricken can eat healthy and not subject our country to an obesity epidemic… just thinking out loud here.

Secondly, we need a society where people take full responsibility for their own actions. This is never more evident than with your own kids. My nine year old son could be playing alone in his room, hit his head on a door knob, and blame his brother for calling him in to see his new Pokemon card. If I had a dollar for every time I heard “It’s not MY fault”…. Unfortunately, the whole of America has refused to grow up. Every problem from obesity to poverty is blamed on other people or organizations. I’m fat because McDonalds sells $1 cheeseburgers and Purdue puts steroids in their chicken. I’m poor because no one will hire me and I’m way too smart and educated to wait tables. Well, stop your whining, get off the couch and run a mile then go earn a couple bucks digging ditches if you have to. And stop relying on government and corporate America for your next pay check. It’s YOUR fault, damn it!

Whew… Anyway, I think this plan of completely scrapping and re-doing our government along with some renewed personal responsibility (maybe combined with Slackernomics – that new economic theory I came up with a few episodes ago) could change the world. Are you with me? Robert LaFrance for President!

< Listen to this rant, and more, on the podcast here or on iTunes >

Comments

2 Responses to “Our Country’s Pathetic Future”

  1. Paul Dailey
    October 22nd, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

    Politics Rob….wow….you’ve come a long way man.

    I dont think we are too far off ideologically, so I wont go too far here – except to make a few cursory points.

    Everyone wants smaller government, until it effects them. Who cares about the agency that inspects oil rigs, or coal mines -until, right you guessed it. And I dont want to pay any more taxes, but I want my grandparents to get medicare and my kids to have art and sports in school – oh, and I need a student loan and a grant to subsidize my masters degree. You get the idea. It is easy to say what is too much, until it is up to YOU to draw the line.

    As for responsibility, I again agree in theory. But the bottom line is that it is all of our responsibility for each other….remember that “my brother’s keeper” thing from that famous book, what was it again?

    We can say it is people’s own fault if they dont to to school and study hard, dont eat right, and dont learn how to manage their own lives. But when an under educated, over fed kid from New Haven or Boston decides he needs to find a place to break in to get some money for his next fix – well, THEN it becomes our problem.

  2. Robert LaFrance
    October 22nd, 2010 @ 9:03 pm

    Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Paul. 

    Please understand that the rant is intentionally exaggerated for both comedic and entertainment value. And by no means am I running for office anytime soon. 

    That said, I agree that government plays an important role in the lives of its citizens. We’ve painfully seen just what can happen when industries go unsupervised – profitability reigns at the expense of the individual. But, the pendulum of government spending has clearly swung too far. We need a such a substantial cut back that I don’t think it’s possible to “move the needle” without revolutionary change. 

    Here’s hoping…

Leave a Reply





  • The Slacker Factor – Podcast and Web Space

    Not about shareholders or performance quotas, about neither diapers nor afterschool activities, The Slacker Factor podcast and web space is for all of us who feel the intensity of adulthood, and, sometimes, want to run away. Listen to the latest podcasts here, or via iTunes. Read, comment, and contribute to all things slacker through this site. Relax; become part of the slackerdom.

  • Subscribe

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new podcasts and posts by email.

    Join 3 other subscribers