Down the Ballot

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Quality vs. Quantity

We used to favor an emphasis on quantity. We tallied up each census notch, each new bit of construction or expansion. We talked in terms of success being measurable in amounts of people, business, growth. It is not our intention now to halt growth or to discourage the expanding future we are determined to have. But we want to control that growth. -Tom McCall

I've always liked Tom McCall. He seemed to be one of the few leaders that understood the coming challenges of the 21st Century. Every election lately seems to be more about quantity over quality. How many jobs would we lose/gain? How many businesses would we lose/gain? How much will I have to pay in taxes? We seem to be missing the point. It is not about how much we have of something or not, but what is the quality of our current situation?

There was a time in this country, where if something was important, the American people stepped up to the plate and paid for it. That time has apparently past.
We would rather watch our schools become overcrowded and struggle to keep up with the global community. We would rather watch our once glorious national infrastructure crumble one bridge or one road at a time. Instead we waste billions of dollars on a war of choice, just to build schools and roads in foreign lands.
 Many of our citizens lack basic healthcare and most go without dental care altogether.
We would rather bail out large financial institutions that make dubious investments than help individuals pay off small debts and free up capital so they can spend and drive our economy.
We have decided that it is large financial institutions that define our economy and not the American worker. We have bought this bag of magic beans so many times over that we have shipped their jobs overseas and left them earning less and expecting them to pay just as much as they were in their hayday.We now have candidates claiming that corporations are people in their own right.

The path we have been on for 30 years will certainly be examined by historians pondering how we could have not seen the American decline coming. China is posed to overtake us. Instead of being that 'shining city on a hill' we have allowed ourselves to become complacent. That city has fallen into disrepair and no one president or congress is going to fix it.

How will we get back to making this century the 'Quality Century' that Tom McCall envisioned? America needs to reinvest in the American people; not corporations. If you are working two jobs to make ends meet do not let  people try and tell you that it is your fault you can't pay your bills or that it is your fault you don't have health care. You don't work hard enough. If you are struggling to find work that will give you the hours you need to work in order to qualify for health care, don't let the nattering nabobs of negativism get to you. It is not your fault corporations have de-invested in American workers. Profits have become the standard barer of excellence in both the eyes of corporations and government.

Profits are good only if the people who work to earn those profits are taken care of by their employer. Increasing the number of jobs means nothing, if those jobs lack the quality needed to ensure a healthy and vibrant country.

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