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November 06, 2010 06:08 AM UTC

Thursday Rant

  • 2 Comments
  • by: CantankerousCoot

Sit down.  Good.  

Four Billion Dollars.  Got it?  In your head?  Can you envision that quantity?  No, you can’t.  No human has the capacity to visualize quantitatively four Billion of anything.  We can deal with it as an abstract number, but not an actual volume of somethings.

Four Billion Dollars.  Do you feel the pain of America’s limping economy?  Do you feel the squeeze of 9.6% unemployment (and 16.5% underemployment)?  I wonder how much American made product four Billion dollars could buy.  How many jobs could be saved, how many mortgages rescued?  In the grand scheme of things, four Billion dollars is not altogether a large sum.  But that is only the amount spent in the last 6-8 months on this current election cycle.  This off-year election.  This mid-term election.  This non-presidential year election.  Four Billion dollars.

If there is four Billion dollars floating around the American economy, waiting to be flushed down the toilet, why wasn’t it put to more sensible use?  Yes, it was wasted.  The argument is frequently made that it is an investment in the future, buying politicos who will be legislatively friendly to the investors.  But that’s hooey.  The overwhelming majority of that money gets no return on investment, it’s simply gone.  

Okay, it did create jobs, for the advertisers and sign wavers, and group organizers, the bumper sticker printers, and so on…

But, did that production create a sustainable demand or in any way enhance lives at the household level?

Like, say, by rebuilding a crumbling bridge, or hiring teachers and buying educational supplies for your local grade school?

Do those people have jobs today?

Did we close the trade gap with China with that money?  Did we buy back our Treasury bonds from them?

Four Billion dollars voluntarily given to state and local coffers would have alleviated a significant number of goth-like self cutting measures faced at all levels due to declining revenues.

What would YOU have done with four Billion dollars voluntarily given with no expectation of return?  Money given in the hopes of making the world better somehow?

Disgusted?  Revolted?  Yeah, me too.

Comments

2 thoughts on “Thursday Rant

  1. I, too, am disgusted by the amount of money spent on the election; a mid-term election no less. I’ve had the same thoughts as you and I think I posted a comment in the last month about the amount of good $4b would do in the nonprofit sector, especially for the small to mid-sized nonprofit organizations.

    There is no longer a return on investment for the general public when it comes to elections. All we have done is given the winners the opportunity to run again because, after all, this is no longer about governing and legislating and improving the country and the quality of life for the citizens. It’s all about winning, one-upsmanship, gotcha soundbites, and negative ads.

    Disgusting and sad with a pinch for frightening.

  2. How many things in this country do we pay a lot more for and yet get less quality from year over year ?

    elections

    healthcare

    college education

    daycare

    TV

    electricity

    (to name a few)

    The direction our country is taking is sad.

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