This is a political blog and not a blog about films. However, you should see this one if you haven't. I watched it again recently and there is such an interesting line in it where Arturo Sandoval makes the comment that Castro came to power by promising the people the things they were most desperate for.. something like that.
The recent political climate worries me. It seems that the man leading the pack right now is the person who will promise that the government will give the most to the people. I am not comparing Obama to Castro, (much) .. but I am comparing the attitudes of the people of the United States to the people of Cuba.
The government is not a self-filling magical cornucopia of goodness. It can only give to one what it takes from another. The sense of entitlement that we see in the people worries me. The news coverage of Katrina especially bothered me.. So many people waiting for something to be done for them rather than doing for themselves.
I believe in this country, but I am concerned that we are slowing giving away our liberties. As we allow government intervention to encroach more and more, we are risking our independence. It is so difficult already for a start-up business to make it. Less than half do. With more taxes and government regulation, with more people demanding less of themselves and more of the government, where are we going?
In Cuba, the people wanted Nationalized Health Care.. They got it! Now their best Doctors drive cabs in order to make a living wage.. along with their physicists and engineers.
We need to demand of ourselves, not of our government. What should people be demanding of themselves? Remember John F. Kennedy.. (a liberal) who said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." What happened to that attitude? What does our country need from us, an education, for one thing. There is no reason whatsoever that a person should not get a decent education in this country. It doesn't have to mean college. There are all kinds of great jobs that can be had with other types of training. We have Pell Grants and student loans and free public libraries. Nothing else is needed other than the will to do it. Instead, we entertain ourselves to death and expect to drive the cars and have the lifestyle of our favorite celebrities appearing in In Style Magazine on the basis of earning a GED.
Then, it is pathetic to me as well how many people go to the trouble of getting a college education and then figure they've learned it. Lifelong learning not only helps people to understand better what is happening in the public forum, but it makes you a more interesting person. Read... or be a bore.
People don't learn to manage their money. They don't get the concept of you must either make more or spend less.
I am also so tired of hearing about how hard it is to live on the minimum wage. I've made minimun wage... I know! But, no one is meant to spend their life working for minimum wage. You are meant to get through school earning minimum wage.. just to get started, but eventually you should be getting more training and education and be able to get a better job. We can't demand that small business pay benefits and high salaries for jobs that take little or no skill. We as a nation cannot afford the inflation. When you raise the minimum wage, you simply raise the cost of everything for everyone, including those who make minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage is an issue that Democrats love to get elected on, but in actuality it helps not a single soul and hurts many.
Everything should be done to get out of the way of business and help it prosper. This is how the individual succeeds. When more jobs, better jobs are created.. people have the opportunities they need to advance out of the menial and into a better life... and they do it in a way that doesn't teach their families to live on the dole for generations, they do it with pride and independence.
I've been interested to read recently a fascinating book about Paul Revere, which I will review in a few days on my other blog. From this book, I learned that Paul Revere charged his elderly mother rent to live in his home. Not that he was a jerk of a son or anything like that, the practice was very common. He charged his mother rent more out of respect for her, knowing that she had saved and prepared for her old age and was able to care for herself.. an independent woman. That independence, that financial liberty was so prized and respected people spent blood, sweat and tears to get it. We think a dollar is hard to come by these days. Revere would never have disrepected his mother by assuming that she could not care for herself.
We don't know what it is to save like that and I am concerned. Social Security (who wants to live on that measly amount anyway) is not going to be there for my generation. If it is, it will be because the government will have passed the bill a long to our children.
I hope that when this next election comes up.. the electorate will be smarter. Don't fall for the easy line. Don't fall for a Robin Hood. We are the government, when the government takes, we all give something up and in this election year, it could be a devastating amount.