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In the midst of the financial maelstrom swirling around the nation and, for that matter, the globe, another point of realization is beginning to elicit attention and comments from the experts. Another kind of change sorely needs consideration. We find ourselves in what might be the worst economic dilemma our nation has faced since the years following 1929 yet we are, in effect, void of leadership and a sense of direction.

The present administration has, for all intents and purposes, divorced itself from any decisive sense of urgency or solution beyond threats of collapse and panic stirring. Secretary Paulsen doesn't show any signs of having a clue as to the viable action required, and what they have enacted seems to have only made matters worse. In his defense, he's stated that "facts changed” since the 700 billion dollar bailout failed to bring the promised stability to the credit market. Congress, displaying its usual degree of ineptitude, postponed a vote on rescuing the automobile industry until after the Thanksgiving holiday. Meanwhile, over the weekend we learn that the nation's largest bank, Citibank, is about to fail and it's crucial that they be rescued immediately, too.

As previously admitted, I'm no economist and I don't harbor a lot of compassion for the travesty in which the 'Big Three' and the UAW presently find themselves. I've stated my opposition with throwing more money at a broken entity. Yet, one does have to wonder why a key industry that is the backbone which this industrial nation was built upon, and is indirectly responsible for three million jobs isn't as vital as the banking industry which was also extending a tin cup with lack of a 'plan'.

In past columns here at Fab 40, I've frequently referenced the obligation of government to adhere to the principles put forth in the U.S. Constitution. Yet, it is becoming increasingly apparent that a portion of those principles were mandates of a long bygone era. A time when communication, itself, was a rather slow process, transportation was often arduous, the number of those being represented, and the problems with the economy were miniscule in comparison to today's various statistics. Men worked with their hands back then, food could be grown in your own yard, and wood could be chopped for heat. In a less mobile society, families were close and more able to help each other. It's a different world now.  

In a world of hi-tech and instantaneous tumult, a system that allows a void of leadership for seventy-five days to accommodate a transition of power and authority is, in my opinion, archaic. The nation is literally crying out for a decisive direction to assuage the lack of confidence and fear of disaster. I almost cringe when I hear comments as to the need for any action by the incoming administration to be 'appropriate' to the protocol due the present lame duck do nothings. Tell that to the families who won't be having much of a Christmas this year.

Perhaps, it's time to consider a re-write of Constitutional Law which fails to meet the nation's present day needs. Should the Electoral College determine the result of elections so that one state or district wields the power over all the electorate rather than the popular vote? Should total transparency and accountability be demanded by a review board before an elected official can hold office term after term after term based on financial resources, earmarks won for one state or region, or favors to the lobbying powers that be? Should amendments and executive orders be scrutinized as to Constitutional requirements and legality? 'Executive Order' has rewritten the meaning of 'legal' over recent years.

If anything good is to be gained by the drastic change of events exposing the real depth of political corruption over recent months, and the corrective change promised and needed coming to fruition, I believe it will be the 'wakening of the sleeping giant'. In this case, the people. It's imperative that we don't go back to sleep again.

Wishing you all a peaceful and reflective Thanksgiving holiday. May you find a rainbow or two.  

Susan Haley, Author

     **Susan Haley is the published author of two books, several articles and essays. She is an award-winning poet, copy editor and book reviewer for Pepper Tree Press Publishing and reviewer for AME Marketing out of San Diego. She also contributes a column to "The Florida Writer" the official magazine of the Florida Writers Association, of which she is Facilitator for the Sarasota County Chapter. The audio version of her novel "Rainy Day People" was awarded runner-up Finalist in the 2008 Indie Excellence National Book Awards. She also contributes a variety of editorials and excerpts of her work to various E-zines, newsletters and local papers.


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