My English paper blasting the socialist agenda of my school
This essay had some good points but I am seeing a theme, a pattern here at Green River Community College. My husband had to endure a film called “Affluenza” which tried to relate that capitalism is a baaaaaad thing and we ought to be ashamed of ourselves in America for having such a high standard of living. Now I read this essay which tries to take a “light hearted” look at consumerism. I do not understand why it seems that this college is so anxious to push socialism and communism as a viable economic system.
While it is true that our desire for more things has probably increased since World War II, I don’t see it as completely bad. Our economy is based on supply and demand, on capitalism and everyone in this country has an equal opportunity to participate in it – that does not mean that there will be equal results. One problem with business in America is that we do not teach it in most of our schools. The average high school student has no idea about how to start a business and run it. The average college student doesn’t fare much better. Is it any wonder that 70% of businesses go belly up within 10 years? We don’t teach our own economic system to our kids! We need to teach it to our kids so they will not be relegated to only working for someone else and so they can recognize when academialand attacks it with their socialist agenda.
Secondly, why is it portrayed as bad that the consumerism is creating a demand for jobs? I truly do not understand this at all. People need to work and earn money. I get really irritated with people who make “documentaries” in a Michael Moore fashion that lead the audience to assume that what they are being shown is true and oh so bad. For instance, when salaries are talked about in these mockumentaries, do we take into account the local economy? How about the cost of living? Usually not. Usually, we hear things like, “These poor people only make 10 cents a day”… Well, what does 10 cents translate to in their currency? What is their cost of living? We hear 10 cents and equate it to how we would live on 10 cents in our economy and immediately think, “Oh those poor people that we are exploiting for our pleasure.” Let’s get all the information before we start making those judgments.
I love listening to idiots who blast business as "BAD"... or rich people as "BAD"... uh, has a poor person ever given you a job??? My bet is no! It is a very simple formula: Businesses need to make a profit to stay in business and feed their families, they HIRE people to help them do that, they SELL things to people to make that profit, they PAY taxes and wages so that others can feed their families. It’s not rocket science!!! If the businesses don't sell their products or get taxed to death, they make no money to pay workers, workers lose their jobs, no one is paying taxes which fund other programs... it's just a big mess.
I agree that the author has some valid points, such as "Human beings love things," of course we do, that is why during the reign of the USSR, we Sailors could sell our Levis to them for about $500 a pair. However, the author’s not so subtle communistic themes were not lost on me. (Marx used is "insight"(???) to motivate the “HEROIC" (???) struggle against capitalism?? Are you kidding me??) Sorry but, whether you like it or not, COMMUNISM DOES NOT WORK!!! Just look at the former USSR, Cuba and what is happening in China now. The author can pooh-pooh all the evil Americans and their ability to buy stuff, but as history shows, the ability to buy things that we choose to buy is one aspect of a free and democratic society. When we all have to line up to be issued cheese or toilet paper (like they used to in the USSR), when we all have our professions chosen for us, when we have absolutely NO chance of making a better life for ourselves, we lose our ambition and our incentive to work and work hard/smart. And when that happens, people start to rise up as they did in Poland, East Germany, the various satellite countries of the USSR and eventually Russia itself. Cuba is even allowing some free enterprise and Chinese officials are already planning for their own security by siphoning off money into Swiss bank accounts for WHEN communism fails, not if it fails, when it fails.
I do think that a combination of bad legislation and out of control consumerism has led to our current economic situation. In 2004 when a certain party was trying to do something about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac being out of control, Barnie Frank and his buddies are on video saying, “There is nothing wrong with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.” Between people like the Sandlers, who sold bad mortgages to Wachovia and made a ton of money (legally-yes, ethically-hell no) and George Soros doing his bit to devalue the dollar, between the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act(CRA) signed by Jimmy Carter and the 1999 CRA section 6 signed into law by Bill Clinton which MADE banks meet quotas for high risk loans for mortgages to satisfy Democrats who asserted that everyone deserves a home, the seeds for this economic meltdown were sown by the Carter Administration, not the Reagan Administration as some would like to think. The quotas for the high risk loans, required by the Democrats, spawned the banks to do a little “creative financing” and so the Sub-prime adjustable rate mortgage was born. Predatory lending practices by banks trying to meet the CRA quota led to some sheeple just signing on the dotted line, not understanding what that ARM meant! Why in the world would ANYONE get a mortgage, that they can barely make now, that will readjust to a higher payment in 5 years???
I have also noticed a huge increase in the popularity of luxury items. I think this has been spurred on by wonderful shows like, “My Super Sweet 16” and the bombardment of images of the wretched lifestyles of the rich and morally corrupt famous for the last few years, I have noticed that people want to buy all this crap that "Paris" or some other no-talent famous nobody has, even if they don't have the money! Now every teenager and middle aged woman wants to be carrying $1500 Prada bags and two pair of $250 Dolce & Gabana sunglasses so they can be the star in their own reality show – or at least their fantasy of it. They get their $200 hair cuts at the trendy salon while their husband is out breaking his back working and the kids are outgrowing their clothes… Grandma and Grandpa were RIGHT! Save your money for the things you want and try not to get into debt. Oh but what do they know, they are old fashioned! Well, see where this has led us?
So here is a suggestion, how about we use the brain that God gave us to discern between our needs and wants... NOBODY NEEDS a pair of $250 Dolce and Gabana sunglasses –let alone two! or a $1500 Prada bag... If you have that kind of money and you WANT it, go ahead but for the rest of us, we need to use wisdom. Say "no" to your kids once in awhile - it won't kill them! Honest! Shoot – say no to yourself once in awhile! Discuss with your kids how empty a person is inside who just goes on mindless shopping sprees. Watch who they hang out with and what they watch on TV. Encourage them, and yourself, to develop character, integrity and creativity and they won't need to fill their lives with junk.
That is what needs to be criticized not our economic system.
h/t: Kerry Hooks