2012-02-23 / Sam Bari

So you want to be president…maybe not

BY SAM BARI

Whenever election time comes around, many of us fantasize about how we would solve the country’s problems if we were in charge. That’s an easy task as we sit in our cushy chairs in front of our televisions watching the six o’clock news while we wait for our nightly calorie-laden feasts. We are, after all, members of the privileged society, the one-tenth of 1 percent of the world that is well fed, comfortably housed, and well shod.

Many of us presume that our right to conjure profound and lofty thoughts concerning the philosophical attitudes, moral convictions and overall social mores of our society, is seriously at risk because the country is in such egregious decline. If we aren’t careful, our silk shirts will be removed right off our backs, and our exotic cars will be towed from our architecturally designed interlocking faux brick driveways. But it does not have to be that way. Gross mismanagement is the culprit.

Well…let’s not be so hasty. What say we take a look at a few of the issues that our presidential candidates face, but don’t really want to discuss. Why don’t they want to discuss certain subjects? You ask. One reason might be because of the political fallout that would result if they say the wrong thing. The wrong thing would be anything that would adversely affect the lives of a large block of constituents. When we say, “adversely affect,” that usually means economically.

Let’s start with outsourcing. That’s a good middle-of-the-political minefield subject. If big business stopped sending all of our manufacturing overseas to Third World countries, we wouldn’t have an unemployment problem.

Really? I suppose we should pick an industry that sorely needs to be re-established, since outsourcing made it all but extinct. I think the textile business would qualify. You remember textiles – anything made with cloth, like clothing.

What if we passed some quick legislation that would ban the import of textiles into this country so that the mills and clothing manufacturers would get back to work and everybody would be wearing domestically manufactured clothes?

Sounds good. But what are people going to say when the shirts they bought at Walmart for $12.99 suddenly go up to $49.99? Oops! Forgot about minimum wage, union agreements, and all those expenses that are required in domestically manufactured products, did you? Try to explain that price hike to Walmart shoppers.

Okay. That wasn’t the best topic on which to base a political platform. Let’s look at something else. How about reducing taxes by bringing all the troops home? We could cut our need for military spending in half. That would allegedly save the country $275 billion. Now that’s substantial.

Not a bad idea. But a few issues will have to be addressed after the troops return to home territory and civilian life. It seems that with the reserves, the U. S. employs more than 2 million people in the armed forces. We have hundreds of thousands in various stations outside of the country, some in war zones and some not. Their replacements are back here on home turf, training.

If we cut the military in half, we would still have more than 1 million members in our armed forces. What country needs more than that? You ask. That is debatable, but for sake of argument, let’s say you’re right. So 1 million people come home and are discharged from the military. Families are relieved. Their sons and daughters have returned to the safety of the homestead.

All we have to do then is find 1 million jobs for these people so they can pursue the American dream. Oh – and lest we forget, those discharged troops will no longer need equipment. That means they won’t need weapons, ammunition, armor, uniforms, vehicles or any of that military stuff. We must cut the defense contracts in half to be in keeping with the reduction in troop expenditures. That just knocked another million people out of work. Now all we have to do is find jobs for two million people on top of our burgeoning unemployment list.

What’s that? You don’t want to talk about this any more. But I thought you knew how to solve all the problems that our presidential candidates will be confronted with every day if they are elected. We haven’t discussed health care, and energy…and…and…

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