Saturday, October 22, 2011

Any American Can Become President! But "1%-Level" Wealth Helps...

Don't worry, 99%!  You can trust the guys you've voted in to look after your best interests, not theirs...

The 1%'s Argument: People are Poor Because They Don't Work Hard Enough

The 1% will argue that the wealth they have attained (and that they'll use to manipulate politicians to allow them to hang onto) has nothing to do with the opportunities their parents, or the society they grew up in, offered them versus their less fortunate neighbours.  The hard-working poor, however, will prove to you by their circumstances that no amount of hard work, smarts, dreaming, or even scheming, can overcome lack of opportunity...
Given the IQ bell curve, there are several people on this truck with GENIUS brainpower.
So when you hear the argument that harder work and smarts are the reasons that the wealthy 1% should be entitled to keep MORE of their money than the 99% (i.e. pay the same % in taxes -- or an even smaller % through manipulation of loopholes that politicians have engineered) because they've worked so hard for it and are so darned smart, go have a chat with that great mechanic you use, or the meticulous grass-cutter you like so much, or that 'switched-on' guy working for his family's carpet shop, and look for evidence that they really are lazy and stupid. 

The 'story' the 1% will feed you, that they are just naturally smarter and constitutionally harder-working, has to be totally and utterly dispelled upfront to understand the injustice that the "Occupy Movement" of the 99% is fighting against.  Genetics have very little to do with high IQ or hyperactivity -- there are equally smart, workaholic-type individuals throughout the population of the middle-class and poor.  What you'll find if you look for the examples is that the families of these super-smart, hyperactive individuals couldn't afford to push them in the right direction, or simply never even considered it because it was such a vast distance from the lives they lead on a daily basis.

Members of the 99% who are incredibly smart and extremely hard working are all around you, but before you go thinking that you don't even have daily encounters with anyone in the 1% because they're all millionaires, think about this...
At an 'entry level' of $350k, you interact with business owners (contractors, owners of small business chains, landlords, etc.) and professionals (doctors, accountants, managers, etc.) everyday who are in the 1%.  The crux of the matter is not at what level of earnings the wealthy should be taxed more heavily, but rather why they have a pressing need to NOT be taxed more fairly -- why do they need to keep that percentage of their 'hard-earned' cash?

Many experienced doctors work fewer hours as they approach retirement than equally experienced nurses or janitorial staff.  Why?  The reason they can afford to is principally because they spent more years in school.  The same is true for lawyers versus their clerks.  These professionals not only made up for the non-working years they went through in university, they have to work less as they age.  It's a great deal if you have the chance to get into it, yet most of these people came from privileged backgrounds that allowed them the opportunity.  Genetics do not improve IQ, years in school improve IQ.  If you grow up in a family that does not believe in and encourage the goal of higher education (for whatever reason -- maybe dad's got mental problems and mom cannot get off the booze), no matter how smart and hard working you are, you will not be steered towards professional school.

Yet once any household had a couple of professionals in it or a business owner or two, regardless of their family history, and when that household passes the $350k income level, what is it, exactly, that they have to pay for that they need to hold onto to the higher percentage of their cash that would go to tax rate increases versus their less educated, less wealthy co-workers?  Once anyone is making that amount of money, how would they, the 1%, suffer if their income was reduced by 10%, or 20%?  They would make some reductions in payments on their properties and other luxuries, that's all.

Here's what, virtually universally, even the 'least wealthy' of the 1% have:
  1. A large, well-appointed home.
  2. Two fairly new top of the line cars.
  3. Kids in private schools.
  4. A nice vacation home.
  5. Full medical insurance.
  6. Lots of 'toys' like boats and sports equipment.
  7. Yearly vacations to exotic destinations.
  8. Very comfortable retirement investments to ensure they live equally well until they die.
Many, even if they pay the maximum US income tax percentage of 27%, plus state sales and municipal property taxes, do not give a substantial percentage of their wealth to charity causes every year.  I'm struggling to understand why they cannot afford to pay double, or triple, the taxes they currently pay?  Over the long run, what would that tax burden reduce in terms of their lifestyles?  A slightly smaller house?  Cheaper cars?  Fewer toys?

I've enjoyed an income of close to the 1% for a few years in the past.  Since my divorce and the recession of 2008 I've made just enough to keep up payments on my car and home.  I certainly liked making a lot more money, but though I'm currently less able to afford medical insurance or retirement savings, I'm not exactly suffering like those people in Sudan on that truck above.

I find it tough to explain to the people with equal or higher IQ's, who are just as willing to put in a lot of hard work to get ahead, but never had the opportunity, why they can't have universal, tax-supported health care anywhere on the planet because their more entitled fellow human beings would really prefer to keep most of their wealth they've been lucky enough to accumulate to themselves.  Or why their kids can't have equal opportunities to become wealthy through the support of their more entitled human beings everywhere on the planet.

Oh, you can sputter and curse me for even suggesting this heresy (the tendency to see 'others' as not as worthy as our own 'tribe' and family is integral to human consciousness), but the question remains on the proverbial table:   
Who died and made the 1% kings?  
In innumerable fundamental ways, the planet's 99% provide the funding/wealth for the 1%.  There is a set amount of land and resources on the planet and we all have to share it, yet it is the fact that ALL of us have to pay to use a myriad of products (resources) during our lifetime that the 1% enjoy their vast gap between how much they have versus the 99%.   They've figured out ways to scoop cash out of the pockets of the rest of us and they WILL NOT share any of it unless government forces them to do so. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Occupy Movement is Protesting "Anarchists" & The Rich: Our Society's Two Extreme Sets of "1%"

MESSAGE TO THE "OCCUPIERS":  When you see a late teen to early 20's male with a black shirt/hoodie/bandana mingling with your crowd, call 911 on your cell phone and 'out' him -- those sociopathic 'joy riders' are about to hijack and destroy all the positive change you are working for and they are NOT members of your movement.
Contrary to the conservative simpletons trying to dismiss it, the growing global protest is NOT about 'liberalism' or 'socialism' or union support, per se, it's just a protest against 'looters'.  What's most fascinating is that the fringe at both extremes, the 'anarchistics' at about 1% and the conservative 'dismissers' who blindly support the systems that are in place to maintain the wealth of the richest 1%, have exactly the same mind-set -- "Let's do what our selfish brains would most like to do!"  This comes down to either collecting more wealth than the rich can actually spend by manipulating financial and regulatory systems, or setting fire to cars and looting stuff.  In both cases, the extremists’ brains are very pleased with the self-satisfying outcomes.

Many years ago the inventor of one of the world's most successful new religions, who was already by that point a wealthy science fiction writer, said "If you REALLY want to get rich, invent a religion!"  He even went so far as to build-in an early version of video-game-like points collection into it so that egoists like Tom Cruise could rise up the hierarchic pyramid and stay vested in the scam.  

The next best way to get even richer, if you are already rich, is to support politicians who will work hard to start a war for the shiftiest of rationalizations, then shift your investments into the arms and rebuilding companies that will benefit most from the taxpayers' dollars going into the effort while your poorest fellow citizens fight and die.  It's a nearly perfect money-making scam!  It's what the university-educated members of the "Baby Boomers" generation united against (more or less!) in protest against during the Vietnam war when the rich politicians energetically tried to silence them, killing a bunch at Kent State in Ohio in 1970.  Wars are money-making machines for the rich, though most of the 99% don't really fully understand how.

The "Boomers" kids, the "Gen X" generation, really never had much to protest about as the 'post-wars' work ethic of the "Boomers" allowed them to cruise along riding their apron strings (and the Kuwait and Bosnian conflicts were more or less 'flash in the pan' affairs).  The next generation, the "Millennials," are now entering university and the work force and have a new war (and group of decision-makers) to protest against.  This generation, however, who are better schooled in looking for the underlying roots of big problems and going to the source to address them, is protesting not against the government, exactly, but against those who manipulate the government to their own advantage, the rich, and the bastion of the rich, the global 'stock market' system.
Over 100 years a VAST amount of wealth has been funnelled into this gambling pool!
The only reason to have 'government' worldwide is to ensure we all have an institution to control the few from over-running the many to benefit themselves -- humans are inherently self-centered and some of us lack empathy plus are highly motivated to accumulate stuff, whether by illegal or legal 'looting', for ourselves regardless of the cost to others.  The rich have the power to direct government worldwide and, given the opportunity, they do so with their political contributions and by getting voted into office. 

This new protest is against the fact that our global economy (and both our pension funds and national economies) is totally at the mercy of a gambling institution called the "stock market".  In every 'stock market' the rich gamble on what the masses will do ('consumer confidence') and cripple the rest of us financially.  There's more than enough actual wealth out there in the planet for us all to be comfortable (and for ALL the poor to become educated to the point where they realize making babies is not an effective way to ensure a secure retirement).
The 'Occupy' movement is not going away, no matter how much the conservatives wish that things would just go back to the way they were, or the young male thugs who like to blow stuff up and steal try to hijack it.  This 'movement' was created by a generation of self-centered "Gen Xers" living in every country where their kids had exposure to mass media (i.e. including most of the developing world like Egypt).  This generation of parents, who weren't faced with much to protest over (or were shot if they tried), desperately focused on feeling good about being 'extraordinary parents'' by protecting their kids from facing any kind of disappointment or failure, whether on the soccer field or in the classroom. Their "Millennial" kids, in America and, to a lesser extent, developing countries outside of Asia, got prizes at school just for showing up.  I lived in Mexico from 1999-2005 and I can tell you that this insidious trend had already arrived there, driven in part by exposure to American movies and TV shows.

The "Gen Xers'" kids, the new "Millennial" generation, expects unprecedented 'fairness' ('entitlement') whether they live in America, Mexico or Egypt and they WILL NOT accept that people can lord it over them just because they railroaded themselves into power (dictators), were born into money, or are indebted to rich people for paying for their election campaigns.  They'll give up their lives to fight against tyranny, whether it be political or financial.  Get used to it, you retiring grandparent "Boomers" and parent "Gen Xers", these kids are the future, and they expect cradle to grave services and expect both themselves and the rich, at an exponentially higher rate (only fair given that they have much more than they could ever reasonably need to spend), to pay for them.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

"Occupy Wall Street" Versus What Keeps the Rich Wealthy at the Expense of the Poor

Very few people, rich and poor alike, though ESPECIALLY the people who are not wealthy enough to 'invest' in the stock market ever think about what the 'holly grail' of the richest top few percent of the human species means.  In the States, or anywhere in the world, when the rich, whether liberal/Democrat or conservative/Republican, espouse 'free market capitalism' they are generally talking about one thing: the stock market.

As any economic geography 'opens up', be it poor African countries, or former communist regions, or former dictatorship, one of the first things that takes place is the institution of a new 'stock market'.  On the face of it, this misnomer makes it sound like something very solid and reliable is being put in place: a 'market', or forum for buying and selling tangible portions of viable, profit-making businesses.  "Stock", after all, when you talk about a 'stock room', or 'stocking the shelves', or 'taking stock', means actual goods on shelves in a warehouse.  In the so-called 'stock market', however, this is not at all the meaning.

"Occupy Wall Street" is a movement, at its heart, whether most of the participants realize it or not, to raise awareness of what so-called 'free market capitalism' does to those people who are not wealthy enough to leverage the 'stock market' to increase their wealth.  'Stock markets' around the world are in place for only one reason, to give individuals, corporations and  collective fund managers (many of whose funds are 'funded' by the pension and union accounts of the working poor) the opportunity to gamble and make more money, or risk losing it all due to the individuals involved in buying and selling 'stocks' panicking like a swarm of lemmings -- selling to minimize losses and just driving 'stock' value further 'south'.

Click to enlarge. No cash in the bank: Dow Jones & home ownership rocket as saving declines.

The 'stock market' is a gambling enterprise on a national and global level, pure and simple.  Some 'bets' are more stable than others, but none are guaranteed.  This enormously powerful gambling enterprise has been set up to allow the entire world's economy to be driven by it, allowing the relatively meagre wealth of non-players to be evaporated at the whim of the small group of players.

If you are wealthy enough that you can absorb the losses, it can be very profitable, as during periods of growth all the participants make money as the pool grows, but primarily for the wealthiest players who were 'first in'.  For the rest of us, all that Wall Street represents is the 'haves' playing with commodity prices and our pension and union funds on the basis of nothing more than whether or not the other players are 'feeling' things will move up or down.

[Note that there is one 'point of entry' for members of the 99% to enter this privileged 'casino' and that is as dealers/croupiers: brokers/traders.  It helps if you are also an intense, aggressive individual with very low empathy, focused very narrowly on nothing but making money for your clients without regard to what your monetary manipulations are doing to world commodity prices or to average people's savings funds so that you can scoop off as much commission for yourself as possible.  With a low cost of entry hese 'peripheral players' can make millions, and relatively quickly, fast becoming official members of the 1%!]
A gambling pool?  THAT'S what we've come up with as a global economic platform?  Rich guys betting against each other over whether random natural disasters or the weather will effect the prices we all pay for commodities, or whether everyone else is getting nervous or confident with their bets? 
AND we're going to set up a system in which only the really rich and pathologically power-hungry get into the political system that governs us all?  Holy crap!  Now that's a really stupid plan for the betterment of humankind!
If someone told you they were going to set up a system where a few ballsy poker players were going to gamble your pension funds on a high risk game, most of us would balk, but that's what the global system of stock markets is, just a big global crap shoot played with mostly the money of the 1%, but including a significant portion of your money and mine.  When you add in the fact that this gambling game can, virtually overnight as the players in one country after another panic and sell, help bankrupt entire countries like Iceland and depress economic activity in every country of the world, thereby driving down employment and impoverishing social services that support you and me, it's pretty crazy.

Humans are inherently greedy and short-sighted -- self-interest is what drives us at our core.  Left to our own devices, we WILL screw each other over, led by that significant percentage of the human genome who are devoid of empathy or morals.  Government exists for a simple reason, to force us, en masse, to pool our resources against our baser instinct and both plan for the long-term future and share equitably.  Freezing sales on specific stocks or shutting down exchanges until cooler heads prevail (more rational thinking returns) is sometimes the only way to prevent an almost instant collapse.

The US version of democracy is fundamentally flawed because it has foolishly been allowed to (so far) inextricably link its conceptual foundations to 'free enterprise capitalism'.  What the "Occupy Wall Street" movement is beginning to realize is that a government of the people that is not run by the people, but is run by the wealthiest, self-centred and short-sighted few, will inevitably screw the voting majority by hoodwinking them into agreeing with what is actually against their best interests.

The Republican party in the US is especially devoid of any moral compass in this regard, shamelessly manipulating the emotions of a vast swath of under-educated Americans with fear-mongering, half-truths and outright falsehoods that 'light up' the 'hot buttons' of their blindly loyal voters, blatantly mixing religious issues into politics in a country that stands up and SHOUTS that it's constitution separates church and state, baldly hinting that a half-black president is not really deserving of his office as he is 'other' and therefore not like them.


At the end of the day, the wealthiest leaders of this voting block do whatever works most effectively to get themselves re-elected, then they go back to looking after the best interests of themselves and their buddies (investors in health insurance 'stock') by whitewashing their not-so-smart voters with a non-stop barrage of bullshit to convince them that tax-supported universal healthcare is not in their best interests.  LOL!  These people actually vote Republican while going bankrupt paying for their daddy's heart bypass operation.

Throughout human history groups representing the best interests of the common people have rebelled against the wealthy few to regain some measure of control/self-determination and wealth.  America did this against England in the late 1700's, the former Soviet Bloc countries succeeded in doing so against their so-called 'communist' ruling elite, but only ended up giving up control to a few members of the former KGB and Politburo.  Average Americans are starting to do the same again today against their ruling elite, the wealthy few who continue to 'game the system' to enrich themselves at the expense of the rabble, the hoi polloi, the bourgeoisie, the 'great unwashed'.  If you want to become really rich, don't sell expensive things to the rich, sell cheap commodities to everyone.

The world's average folk are beginning to 'get it'.  They're beginning to realize that, while the American Dream is seductive, basic statistical analysis reveals that, no matter how hard we all try to become rich, only a few ever will be -- and they'll do so at our expense, so it's up to the 99% of us to stand up and demand a more equitable system than the rich have gradually concocted for themselves, for their families and their friends over time under the guise of democracy. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Occupy Wall Street": It's NOT a Protest Against Obama, It's a Protest Against GOP Policies

Here's all that US politicians need to watch to 'get' what the growing protest against 'free market capitalism' is really all about in America:



While it has taken a very long time for the fiscal reality of what politicians in the US have gradually voted into being to filter down and be understood by average Americans, (ESPECIALLY what the GOP did under the second Bush: finding an excuse to make trillions for themselves and their buddies at Haliburton, the arms and oil companies  on American tax payer dollars by going to war against some 'brown' people), they are finally starting to understand it.  Their elected representatives, in an effort to get into power and stay there, have been borrowing from around the world to give Americans a lot of stuff without having to pay for it with sufficiently high taxes.  What individual Americans have been doing in going into vast personal debt has been mirrored by their government.

In Canada, in the province of Ontario, we're facing a similar political choice today, October 6, 2011, in a vote to either keep the Liberals in power under Dalton McGuinty, who are giving us more services at the cost of higher taxes, or the Conservatives under a power-hungry, relatively inexperienced young politico named Tim Hudak who is free-capitalism-friendly and promises us more services with LOWER taxes.  He's a bald-faced liar since getting stuff without paying for it is impossible, as the US has demonstrated, but many wishful old farts and not-so-smart voters will vote for him as his promise seems REALLY attractive!  (If anything seems too good to be true, however...)

My voting decisions are based on a very simple analysis.  I would like to live in a country that is even MORE like the countries that  consistently score at the very top of the 'best quality of living' global rankings: the northern European countries like Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland.  LOTS of 'cradle-to-grave' services, balanced national budgets and very high taxes -- in other words, you get what you pay for.  Sign me up!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Why The Future Does NOT Belong to Narrow-Minded Old Farts

Here's my 'open letter response' [my comments in brackets/blue below] to a much circulated by email (and much mis-attributed, recently to Bill Cosby) blog post by Robert A. Hall  <<http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/imtired.asp>>:


This should be required reading for every man, woman and child in Jamaica, the UK , United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and all the world...

[Unless they are open-minded, tolerant and forward-, not backward-thinking.]

"I'm 76 and I'm Tired"

I'm 76
.
Except for brief period in the 50's when I was doing my National
Service, I've worked hard since I was 17. Except for some some serious
health challenges, I put in 50-hour weeks, and didn't call in sick in nearly
40 years. I made a reasonable salary, but I didn't inherit my job or my
income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, it looks as
though retirement was a bad idea, and I'm tired. VERY TIRED.

[There is a personality-type characterized by people with extremely active brains.  These individuals find it difficult to relax and ‘do nothing’.  Their brains are constantly thinking, thinking, thinking.  They are very ‘high energy’ and are very often well above average on the IQ spectrum.  They often become business leaders, in part because, especially during their early years in business, they are not only smarter, but tend to work 80 hours to the average colleague’s 40 hours, doing twice the work, practicing the skills twice as much, making twice the mistakes (and learning from them) of others.  They also tend to be extremely self-focussed, egotistical, obsessive-compulsive and in deep denial that they have any serious character flaws.  They are 100% right and everyone else can go to hell...]

I'm tired
of being told that I have to "spread the wealth" to people who
don't have my work ethic. I'm tired of being told the government will take
the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to earn it.

[Sadly, not every human being is the same.  If you happen to have been bestowed with genes that compel you to work obsessively versus the majority who are less compelled, does this fact mean that only you and your genetically similar humans should survive a famine caused by drought or an ice-age?  Does it mean they should have to pay for their own health care even though you make an exponentially higher salary than they do?  We’d be a sadly non-diverse species if this was the case, but good for you for (essentially) wishing death upon those who are less work obsessed.  The best countries ranked by quality of life world-wide are all consistent: lots of services, cradle-to-grave care for all, high-taxes to pay for it with the highest rates for the highest money-earners.  The US ranks variously depending on the measure, but it is usually not in the top ten.]

I'm tired
of being told that Islam is a "Religion of Peace," when every day I
can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and
daughters for their family "honor"; of Muslims rioting over some slight
offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren't
"believers"; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning
teenage rape victims to death for "adultery"; of Muslims mutilating the
genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur'an and
Shari'a law tells them to.

[Humans have been finding excuses to kill each other over ‘they don’t believe what we believe so let’s wipe them out’ religion for millennia.  The single common denominator has always been very low levels of mind-opening education.  When an entire culture is undereducated, as countries with Muslims in the majority tend to be both due to poverty driving them to over-procreate to ensure surviving children, as well as their religion dictates which encouraging them to teach from the Koran and no other resource (the Koran being a centuries-out-of-date text with little relevance to living in the modern world), we get a situation similar to the “middle ages” of Christianity in Europe when the crusaders travelled to the ‘Holy Land’ to try to exterminate the ‘non-believers’ in the ‘Holy Land’.  Xenophobia is the natural result when humans are educated in only one narrow ‘belief system’ -- it encourages our inherent ‘us vs. them’ instincts.  On top of this, in large part due to our extraordinarily large human brains, we have a disturbing capability for pathology.  A very small but significant segment of the human population who are prone to socio- and psychopathology, REALLY wrong-headed thinking.  If theses disturbed individuals are given ‘permission’ to obsess over ‘socially acceptable’ outlets for their pathology, like throwing acid in the face of young girls for attending school, or dressing in black and blasting fellow highschoolers in Columbine, they will — they have no empathy, only intense feelings of irrepressible, irrational rage.]

I'm tired
of being told that out of "tolerance for other cultures" we must let
Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries use our oil money to fund mosques
and madrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in Australia, New Zealand,
UK, America and Canada, while no one from these countries are allowed to
fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia or any other
Arab country to teach love and tolerance.

[Interesting that exactly the same people who strongly identify with this paragraph are the same people who will aggressively protest the building of a Islamic Center (not even a mosque) many blocks away from “Ground Zero” in NYC.  Irony is totally and absolutely lost on these xenophobic individuals.]

I'm tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global
warming, which no one is allowed to debate.

[“Debate”?  Like “debating” whether the earth is flat or that “gravity” is “just a theory”?  That “debate” was over a couple of decades ago, just like “debate” over “the theory of evolution”, but then maybe the high correlation between “believers” in the literal interpretation of the bible who are also “non-believers” of “global warming” -- and who are, by definition, people who HATE change and new ideas — should consider commiserating with their like-minded brethren in the Muslim world who won’t accept anything but a literal interpretation of THEIR book.]

I'm tired
of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help
support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ
rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses
or stick a needle in their arm while they tried to fight it off?

[Interesting that those who support this notion across middle-America’s ‘Red states’ are now surrounded by spouses, friends and “God-fearing” neighbours, many of whom are now addicted to Oxycontin.  Addicted.  And permanently unless they enter rehab facilities or 12 step programs.  They were also members of neighbourhoods during their youth wherein, even if poverty was an issue, drugs were not readily available.  Had they grown up in a terminally poor neighbourhood where drugs had been pushed on them as a ‘right of passage’ and they had tried’ either crack or heroin, they’d have a vastly different perspective since both of those drugs, readily available to desperate-to-be-socially-accepted pre-teens in those neighbourhoods, are instantly addictive with a single hit.  Instantly and permanently.  Makes you think, unless you are incapable of thinking.]

I'm tired
of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of all
parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful
mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting
caught. I'm tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.

[And you aren’t alone.  There are kids of the new “Millennial” generation who are ‘tired’ of their lazy, not-so-smart peers who feel vastly entitled to be handed a high standard of living.  Ironically, as quick as these older folks are to blame parents for ‘making’ their kids into entitled brats, recent social research is proving that the entire generation is getting their entitled attitude NOT from their parents and grandparents spoiling them, but from society as a whole, from TV and movies, from the celebrity magazines that their moms and grandmothers pore over every week, from each other.  Even the strictest, most conservative parenting cannot seem to entirely eradicate this generation’s sense of entitlement and it is not restricted to the ‘Western World’, youngsters in the “Developing World” are showing signs of entitled expectations.  It’s highly unlikely that this can be reversed, but one day they’ll all be in charge and they’ll have to deal with each other!]

I'm really tired of people who don't take responsibility for their lives and
actions. I'm tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination
or big-whatever for their problems.

[?!?  Seems like there’s a AWFUL lot of ‘blame’ in all of this author’s content above.  I’d like to see him confront his prejudices, his presumptions, his flaws, faults and all the errors of his past honestly and openly to see just how much real responsibility he’d lay at his own feel for his life and actions.  Most individuals who hold a list of convictions like these are the absolute worst at taking real responsibility for their actions.  Maybe this highly prejudiced, narrow-minded, old-fashioned writer is an exception, but the odds are against it.  There is only one real solution for the future: it involves REALLY listening, finding a middle ground, compromising on even the things you hold closest to your heart. The future is about acceptance of differences, not xenophobia and understanding that the biggest challenge humans face is overcoming our natural tendency to become addicted to things, narrow points of view included...]

I'm also tired and fed up with seeing young men and women in their teens and
early 20's be-deck them selves in tattoos and face studs, thereby making
themselves un-employable and claiming money from the Government.

[What inexperienced, desperate-to-be-accepted-within-their-social-group teens to early 20’s youths without the ability to understand long-term consequences fail to ‘get’ is that tattoos are merely a fashion fad.  It, too, will pass, but they won’t be able to erase their poor judgement.  The real problem with tattoos is not even their permanency, however, it is that the act of getting them stimulates the brain’s addiction regions.  Some kids will get one and be done with it, but many will immediately begin talking about getting ‘the next one’.  This is especially apparent with the phenomenon of ‘sleeves’ -- once one of these sadly poor-at-making-judgement-calls young people gets a tatoo on both their shoulder AND elbow or wrist, they start spending an inordinate amount of time staring in the mirror and at their arm day and night, obsessing over how they must now begin ‘filling in’ the missing spaces.    The phenomenon is virtually identical to the “Michael Jackson” plastic surgery debacle — once he’d ‘fixed’ a bit of his face to more resemble a cartoon character that would be more likely to appeal to pre-teen boys, he just couldn’t stop until his mental image of what he could become had been realized.  Sadly his efforts didn’t result in his attracting the boys he desired, he had to go out and purchase a couple of them.]

Yes, I'm damn tired.
But I'm also glad to be 76.. Because, mostly, I'm not
going to have to see the world these people are making. I AM JUST SORRY FOR
MY GRANDCHILDREN AND THEIR CHILDREN......
THANK GOD I AM ON THE WAY 'OUT' AND NOT ON THE WAY IN.

[Yes, indeed!  The world will need tolerance, flexibility and open-minds to thrive, none of which you can provide.]

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