Thursday, February 28, 2013

What's wrong with kids today? Are you kidding?

While watching the ORielly Factor tonight, I heard Bill and the panel discussing the plight of a teenage beauty queen who had to give up her crown because she had made a porn video months earlier. The discussion turned to how kids today have gotten to the point where they can't seem to recognize the potential consequences of bad decisions. Are you kidding?

We have made celebrity millionaires out of the Kardasians, The Real Housewives of Whatever, the Jersey Shore crowd. Honey Boo Boo's family makes more money in one episode than many people make in a decade. Politicians and their well connected friends make their fortunes in back room deals and lying to and manipulating the rest of the population. Do you think the kids don't see all this? The whole notion of personal responsibility has been demolished. Everyone is a victim of their circumstances and it doesn't take much imagination to spin any set of circumstances into an excuse.

How can kids or anyone else foresee the consequences of bad decisions when there don't seem to be any bad decisions? In reality there is still some reward in being a decent human being. That is that you get to walk around with the knowledge that you're a decent human being. Personally, I think spending our grandchildren's future earnings on Chinese wind turbines is a much more serious moral offense than making a porn video, but in any case, the kids are clearly not the problem. Many may work things out okay on their own. But the fact that they have to work it out on their own is our fault, not theirs.

Sequester madness

About 18 months ago, when Congress and the White House were not able to agree on a plan to deal with the budget deficit and the national debt, they gave themselves a deadline to come up with a plan, or automatic reductions in the proposed rate of increase of about 2% would kick in. The deadline is tomorrow, and no deal is in sight.

Keep in mind, this is not a 2% cut in spending. It's a 2% reduction in the proposed rate of increase in spending. Spending goes up in any case. In typical big government fashion, the first cuts being considered in what's been deemed "the sequester" are those that will cause the most pain and get the most attention. The politicians who make their living doling out increasing amounts of your money want to make sure you never consider hampering them again.

They're not proposing cutting out team building trips to Las Vegas, or Hawaii. They're not proposing eliminating studies of the behavior of fish or ketchup flows. They're not considering selling vacant buildings or unused land. We're still going to send fighter jets to the Muslim Brotherhood. Everyone in D.C. still gets a raise.

No, the cuts that have been promised are more along the lines of letting prisoners out of detention, laying off school teachers, not paving roads, laying off air traffic controllers, moth balling air craft carriers and more. You're going to be severely punished for your insolence. How dare you suggest the government curb spending!

If you ever had any doubts about the government's insatiable appetite for more money and more authority, just turn on the news. No matter how much they have, it's never enough. There is no cut or reduction in the increase that is not "draconian". When you have to give up 2% of your income, as every worker did this year when the "payroll tax holiday" expired, that's no big deal. Suck it up and pay. When government is asked not to increase their spending quite as much as they had planned, that's insanity.

The politician's behavior is not surprising to me. They're just doing what they've always done and will always do until the people say enough, and give them the boot. The more ominous thing is the reaction of the people. If you believe in the pollsters, most people are okay with this. They seem to think that turning over everything to central authority will make their lives better. Can you point to a single example in the history of the universe where that turned out to be the case?