Archives For gridlock

Slice 1Gridlock seems to be endemic within our political system here in the U.S. for decades now but never so much as it is today. Those guys in Washington just can’t get along no matter what the circumstances are.  The solution to this problem seems insurmountable using any conventional wisdom of the day.

So it is time to attack the problem with some “off-the-wall” thinking. If RJsCorner is anything it is about off-the-wall thinking, it is about viewing things for a different angle. So why not tackle this issue head-on. Why not be a “Fixer” at least in a metaphorical sense? Someone has to do it, why not me? Let me put on my gridlock buster suit and jump in…

But before I do that I will admit that this whole series will be pretty much tongue-in-cheek. I know that I don’t have much power when it comes to national, state, local, or even household issues but that doesn’t stop me from having opinions.  We all have great personal expectations on what we will contribute to the world. So, the fool that I am, I will rush in with ideas to solve this issue in upcoming posts.

Starting out, I don’t think gridlock has a silver bullet solution.  I know my GOP friends think the solution is really simple and that is for everyone just  join the Republican party. But I kind of think it will take a multi-faceted solution.  Sorry, but everybody joining the Republican party is just not an answer. Actually I think that mentality is a big part of the problem. ;)

I have been working kind of hard to come up with an appropriate logo for this endeavor. After all in today’s world appearances are everything so it is important to get it correct up front. The logo above seems to fit the bill. One guy with a sledge-hammer attacking a gigantic brick wall seems to describe what I am trying to do except I can’t actually put up the real size of the wall on this post. It just isn’t remotely big enough. If you see some similarity between this logo and a thirty year old movie it is intentional. There needs to be an army of gridlock busters out there to take down this wall. It’s too big for even me.

Keep an eye out in the coming days to see the first few possible solutions to this mess we are in and feel free to join the club and chime in wherever you think you can contribute….

We Cuss The Lawmakers….

October 21, 2014

2014-08-03_08-55-51“Well, we cuss the lawmakers . . . but I notice we’re always perfectly willin’ to share in any of the sums of money that they might distribute.” – Will Rogers, 7 April 1935

Being that we are coming up on an important election day in America I thought I would ramp up some of my feelings about politics here. I know for most, including me, this is a gutter issue in our country. We simply disdain those who we have currently chosen to represent us at the national level.

But as Will says in this quote. We seem to have disdain for all those other politicians but ours are OK as long as they get us more than our rightful share of the money they might distribute. By almost every poll taken in the last ten years we simply can’t stomach the goings-on in Washington but we seem to have no idea how to change that condition.

The first step in that  process is to accept that we are in denial when it comes to those we personally choose. In order to break the gridlock and dysfunction within the DC beltway means that we have to send a clear message to those folks. Attacking this problem around the edges has simply not had much of an effect. We send our local representative back to do the same thing over and over again and somehow expect a different result. How utterly stupid is that?

The only way things will change is to vote those currently in office out until they finally get the message. Yeah I know that might mean voting for someone who you don’t agree with on some or even many issues but you must hold your nose and do it anyway. I don’t think it would take more than a couple of total replacement for the candidates to get the message.

There is some light at the end of the tunnel in some of our current elections. It seems that an independent is leading the Kansas race. Kansas has never had a senator from a different part for over sixty years I think but that just might change this time around. If our friends in Kansas can do it surely the rest of us can also??

 

Burnout…..

May 15, 2013

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FrustrationI know I am getting burned out on all this constant bickering in the U.S. I watch little or no news on TV now. All the news channels seem to be about inciting a riot among us. My internet news sites which I visit first thing every morning are now for the most part briefly scanned.  I am just tired of all this stuff. It may just be time for me to go “Walden” as Thoreau did and drop out for a while. I seem to only be able to see the dark side of life and I just can’t live in that mode very long.

Since the Spring and Summer months are the busiest times away from blogging for me I will likely be limiting my posts to one every other day or so for a while and I will likely stay away from politics, at least for a while. I just need time to get things back in perspective again and get all this fighting off my mind….

Feeding the Cynicism….

March 29, 2013

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I have been thinking about all the partisanship and our legislative process lately.  We seem to be in a gridlocked pattern that is almost impossible to break. Washington is completely out of step with the rest of the country.  Poll after pole tells us that we the people want them to get off their butts and do something.

Doing nothing in the U.S. Senate feeds the cynicism in the country which enhances the Republican view that government can’t do anything right. The filibuster is the latest major tool used  to accomplish that task. All it takes now it for the representatives of about 10% of the U.S. population to shut down all activity in the legislative branch.

Congress used to work 45 weeks a year in the 1970s. They now are only in session for about 32 weeks. Last year set numerous records as being the least productive senate in our history. Only 2.5% of the bills submitted were even acted upon. When I think about this I get upset.  There are so many things that need done. But then again maybe doing nothing is what is right for these times.  We need to move both of our political parties back to the center. What it will take to do that is anybody’s guess.

The Turning Point…..

March 4, 2013
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“Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem.”  – Ronald Reagan

ReaganSometimes when we look back at history we wonder how did we get to where we are.  We often have trouble pinpointing a particular person or date to where it all began. On January 20, 1981 when Ronald Reagan uttered the words above  he ushered in a new breed of Republicans. These particular words were the turning point to gridlock and jumping from crisis to crisis that we see today.  It is also the specific moment that I turned away from the Republican party to look elsewhere.

No longer was government to do the people’s business but instead they were to just get out-of-the-way and let our corporate elite run the country as they had during the Robber Baron days a century before.  Government had no meaning to those who swallowed those words hook line and sinker. The safety net for our citizens lost its meaning to them.  This was the turning point where we backed away on our pledge to make sure our citizens would not starve. This was the point where “entitlements” to our poor or aged became a dirty word for some. Government became a hindrance instead of the benefit. The people’s business took a back burner to corporate interests or was actually thrown entirely off the stove.

I believe that any serious student of U.S. history knows that capitalism without regulation was a pre-cursor to the death of the middle class. It was a point where those trying to keep our food and drugs safe were stymied by lower and lower budgets. The agencies responsible for our banking system and financial sector were gutted. Taxes which were from that point on deemed almost evil were difficult to obtain to maintain our countries infrastructure and safety nets. Common sense and compassion took a back burner to greed and corruption. The people’s business suffered greatly.

stoolAnother turning point that compounded these same problems  was the sudden popularity of the MBA program in this country. That was the point where employees changed from being an asset to be treasured and treated with respect to being a liabilities that needed to be removed or gotten at the lowest possible cost. I remember very distinctly when that happened in the corporation that I was employed.  Up till that point most employees were very loyal to the companies that hired them. Chevy guys would never dream of buying a Ford and visa versa. Suddenly employer’s loyalty to workers disappeared. Benefits were taken away. Wages were stifled in order to increase corporate profits. What used to be a three-legged stool of  owners/employees/customers was suddenly taken into severe imbalance.

These two events that created the “government is the problem” Republicans and “employees are the problem” business leaders caused a dramatic shift in our economy.  When workers lost their living wages they were no longer able to buy the goods and services they had previously. To counter the loss of buying employers cut wages and benefits further. Anyone without an MBA could clearly see this cause/effect but it just didn’t seem to occur to those who  now are on most rungs of the corporate ladder.

To end this post on an upbeat, I believe that the day is coming when a balance will be restored. The majority of us will realize that our government needs resources to keep us and our world safe. Employers will realize that without a living wage their workers will never buy an increasing number of the products they desire to make.  I am an optimist. I believe this day will come. I just wonder if we will be able to pinpoint that particular point in time as easily as when Republicans became the party of “government is the problem”

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I have been feeling gloomy lately; I wonder why?  Everything runs in cycles, but our congress it seems, so hopefully my outlook will swing back to something more normal soon.

There are not many in Washington that I look up to anymore but Olympia Snowe was one of them.  Those two ladies from Maine always given me hope that there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel. Senator Snowe usually put the country above party when it came to  the many partisan votes of recent years. She has become a rare breed in that respect. She was one of the few Republicans who voted against impeachment of President Clinton because she knew it was only being done for political reason.

Senator Snowe is only the latest of many voices of reason that have left office due to frustration of gridlock. Here are some words from the article about that:

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