Two nights ago, I watched the Independent Lens show "As Goes Janesville." (Which I should add was on PBS - that and This American Life and Bill Moyers - those are excellent shows that have inspired and challenged me in ways that reality TV never will. PBS is way more than just Big Bird.) And I have to say that I found the show rather discouraging. Maybe all of these events are too fresh for us to have any concrete evidence to support my sentiment that the political actions happening now are going to have disastrous consequences. I think I was expecting a little more cause and effect type of explanation, some sort of rebuttal of paths taken (and not).
The main thing that I have been turning over in my mind since watching the show, was the role of an M&I bank executive (a business I happen to know donated a LOT of money to Governor Walker's campaigin). She begins with the concerns over the high number of foreclosures in the area and ends up spearheading a business booster effort to bring more jobs to the area. That all seems well and good, and yet she seems to be accepting the idea that any job is a good job and while that seems true when you are unemployed, I have my doubts that lasts too long if your job doesn't bring you much further above national poverty levels. In a similar way, the efforts of our Governor seem less concerned with the quality of jobs created. Anyway, I've been stewing about this woman and what I am coming to call short capitalism. It is short-term and it is short-sighted. I feel that job creation is one part of a complicated picture, which has to include a solid educational system, healthy people and environment. Without looking at the entire picture, you can get economic success for a few, but it will come at a cost to others. I think there's a better way (incidentally, I'm glad I'm not alone in this and am so glad to be a part of the Wisconsin Business Alliance).
Most notably, as I watched this bank exec pander to executives who were pretty blatant about their intentions to create low-paying jobs, I wondered... how is this going to help her with her foreclosure problem? On the whole, I find such short-sightedness puzzling, and yet it seems a pervasive attitude in today's economy. Businesses promote the message that they need lower taxes and less regulation to be successful, but when push come to shove, they do little to change the stagnating worker wage situation that we've had for so many years. They say they aren't hiring because they are worried about consumer demand. But how can there be consumer demand if workers aren't earning a decent living?
Well, anyway, as you can see, I've been stewing. Luckily we have button therapy...
Sachi's latest series is the Sesame Street series which has caused a renewed round of laughter at the button table. It did get me into a rather lengthy discussion with someone on Facebook. He was upset that we were focusing on trivialities.
And yes, I agree the Sesame Street thing is a triviality. But it is a rather amusing one... and so we had to make buttons. I have many other more serious reservations about the prospect of Mitt Romney as President. I think he is guilty of short capitalism which will continue to hurt our economic recovery; I think he will sacrifice the greatness of this nation (its human and natural resources) for the personal gain of a few people; I think he is likely to draw us hastily into war which will neither further the cause of democracy in the world nor improve the conditions of our own nation; I think he considers people who are not like him to be sub-par, and that includes women and minorities and the poor; I think he will only expand the national debt; I think he will use the budget as an excuse to pursue a social/religious/moral agenda which I totally disagree with and find unAmerican and unChristian; and I think he is stuck in a past way of thinking about what is valuable and what is success, a way of thinking that can no longer work in this world that we have now, and I think he is not suitable to carry our nation forward.But the trivial comment about Big Bird also speaks to me about a manner of couldn't-care-less-ness which I find unPresidential.