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Isn't this an already 'beaten to death' question? You may be asking yourself, why is she bringing that up again now? Now, when current ridiculous events are dominating the airwaves.  First, because there has never been a satisfactory answer to this question, and secondly, because I continually request input from the readers so it only follows that I should address the suggestions. Annie proposed this may still be a valid topic for a future column in her comments on the previous column, "A New Form of Government". More importantly, to me, I'm seriously suffering rhetoric overkill. This nation has too many important dilemmas facing us for me to contribute even more chatter on the most obvious distractions and chicanery already dominating the narrative.

Because choice of semantics is so important to my telling the truth, I acknowledge that in Annie's suggestion, she used the words, "I think companies should be allowed to fail." I am changing her word to 'corporations'. Should corporations be allowed to fail? But first, to address Annie's statement:

Driving down the major highway that runs through the entire county of Sarasota, Florida, my eyes are assaulted, literally, with signs proclaiming, "Going out of business sale, Retail space for rent, Office space for rent, Close out sale -75% off etc etc etc. This tells me that we already allow companies and businesses to fail. They are failing all around me. On the same route, I see notices outside of government service buildings, notably libraries, animal services, and yes, schools offering adult education classes, "New Hours will go into effect as of . . .  Due to funding cuts, schedules cut for evening classes – Call for further information. It seems to me that we definitely allow failure in this country.

At this same time, on this same stretch of highway, I see many new construction sites with signs announcing, "Future site of Bank of America, Coming soon: Wachovia Investments, A new Fifth Third location to serve you . . . I'm sure you get the keyboard sketching I'm attempting, the other side of the failure coin. Isn't there something terribly wrong here? Small companies, local governments, mom and pop retail are, indeed, failing. Yet, the recipients of the Republican-legislated 700 Billion bank bailout have hit the ground running. They immediately resumed the 'business as usual' agenda, again started paying out multimillions in bonuses for failures, failed to resume crucial lending to small business and even to lesser corporations. Foreclosures still shout the failing of American families and homeowners due to the leveraging, high risk lending practices of banks that we taxpayers were obliged to save. Big money is obviously not allowed to fail. Again, I must ask why and dig beneath the political rhetoric we are fed daily.

Next, came the big insurance companies led off by AIG – too big to fail! It would severely threaten the stability of the nation. They weren't allowed to fail either. Despite heavy increases last year, yet again the taxpayers were called on to bail out the sinking ship. Profits are again flourishing. A report came out just yesterday that the insurance companies are planning a 17% rate increase citing the cost of the new healthcare reform mandates. I contend that it is no coincidence that this is announced just as the midterm campaign ramps up. Concurrently, the CBO, a nonpartisan agency, reported that the implementation of new healthcare reform mandates costs were only 3% of the 17% increase. Where will the other 14% go? Better coverage? I'd wager they will go right into the ever increasing profit margins.  

And yes, I'd also go on record as predicting the president and the democrats will be crucified and assigned the blame for the increase even though it won't be a truth. I'm in full agreement with Annie here. Why weren't these huge entities allowed to fail? Why are they yet continuing to proceed at will with the agenda that had all of us dangling over the edge of the cliff? Why were no stipulations put in place as with the Obama GM bailout? Why would we want to vote these same republicans back into power? If big corporations should be allowed to fail, should not the politicians responsible for the failed policies also be allowed to fail? Because they have the party of big money in their pockets? I'd wager another yes that's why.

Just what is it that President Obama has failed to do, or at least addressed, without being obstructed at every turn? As I type this, a bill put forth before summer break is languishing in the halls of congress, stalled in yet another republican filibuster, which would offer huge incentives for small business to invest and start hiring again. If the interests of the American people are really the issue here, why is that? Why is proposed legislation stopped from even coming to the floor for debate and a vote?  

The president promised to close Guantonamo, which he has technically done. So why is it still holding detainees who've yet to be charged with anything? Still costing the taxpayers through the ever-rising defense budget? Because the republicans immediately threw up roadblocks as to where and what kind of trials they could have, where they could or couldn't be housed, etc. This, when we have never had an escape from a maximum security facility. These are but two examples of so many I could mention, including one republican senator holding up an emergency extension for unemployed workers for days. Only when democrats demanded an all night session to solve the problem did he concede. Only when his own sleep was affected!

*Note: As I type this, I just got the news that Republican Senator Voinovitch from Ohio has just announced he will switch his support to the Democrats on the Small Business Bill left in limbo on his return from break next week. The Senator was quoted as saying, "America is hurting. The time for games is over . . ."  My kudos to Senator Voinovitch. Is there fresh hope for a few reputable Republican Senators who really care about the middle class? Unfortunately, Senator Voinovitch is not seeking re-election.

Yes, Annie, I wholeheartedly agree that some things should be allowed to fail or be nationalized if their existence is necessary. I'm afraid I'm going to fail in my resolve not to get caught up in the agitation of yet another campaign horror show of dishonesty and self-interest. After the events and resultant spin on the despicable behavior so prevalent over the last two weeks, I feel obligated to at least speak out against what turns out to be obvious pandering and manipulation by both politicians and the media.

I followed an impulse today. I watched the president's press conference this morning, near noon actually, live as he spoke. I took notes, pondered a few things, and looked up a couple of others. Later, I watched the news reports, various ones. I'll wager again that you can figure out what I discovered. There's one thing about verbal communication, its meaning is easily altered with subtle changes in words and structure. One just may pay close attention. If it weren't for the consequences 'we the people' have to deal with, it would be laughable.

Susan      

**Susan Haley is the published author of three books, several articles on networking, an award-winning poet, and a contract copy editor and book reviewer. She also contributes a column to "The Florida Writer" the official magazine of the Florida Writers Association, for 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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Member Comments

    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Sep 11, 2010
    • Susan I always love reading what you write about. I too wonder why and what if.........



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Midnightmom wrote Sep 12, 2010
    • Anything I might add to your points made would be moot. Such a glaring truth you make and it couldn’t be stated more clearly than you did.

      Now, I wonder, how can the politicians hide behind a glass window?!



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Cheekymonkey wrote Sep 12, 2010
    • worriedHello Susan, How are you? I again enjoy reading your posts. They are always informative and give me something to think on.estatic



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Tuliplady wrote Sep 12, 2010
    • Susan, you very eloquently put into words many of the things I’ve been thinking lately.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Susan Haley wrote Sep 12, 2010
    • Good points, Annie. I don’t disagree with any of them. Including we all have perspectives that tend to go along
      with what we want. As a writer, I’m just fixated on the words used.

      I think the legislature deliberately writes legislation that is so long and so deep it takes a team of lawyers to dissect it. That is partially the blame. If everything was held up until every legislator read every word and got the input from their constituency, again, nothing would get done! What is the purpose of all these committees anyway? Knowledge of what is in a bill should be known before it’s brought to the floor for a vote! And length should be limited. I think everyone would agree with that! Even if it took several smaller bills to achieve the same purpose. At least, progress would be made and people would understand what was going on!

      I wasn’t at all in favor of the healthcare bill that was passed, or as you say, rammed through, although I don’t think an entire year as ‘ramming’ anything! I was in favor of single payer, then would have settled for a public option. Got neither. What we did get is more help for college kids and the lift of preexisting which was a good thing. All else of the voluminous legislation is worthless and actually is costing me money. Again, the working class gets hit. Congressional benefits weren’t affected at all. Probably why it ended up passing. The entire system of back and forth over and over and fillibuster is corrupt. Yes, on BOTH sides.

      I’m more of a State’s rights person, actually. The government gets too powerful because everyone looks there for handouts and favors. Each state has a different economy.

      As for outlawing corporations from unlimited or ANY funding is the only way! That is why so many were up in arms about the recent Supreme Court ruling that opened the gates! It was passed under the “freedom of speech” element. The fight was about corporations being given the rights of an individual. A corporation is not an individual and if people that work for them want to donate, fine, but they should do it on an individual basis with the same rules for everyone including you and me.

      I agree about your ‘too big to fail’ theory completely. As to why Lehman was allowed to go down . . . I’d say that probably was worked out in boardrooms amongst the banks. They absorbed what was valuable and tossed out what wasn’t.
      Period. It wasn’t even a government decision.

      Thank you and everyone for making my column an interesting and respectful place to talk politics. Too bad politicians can’t accomplish that.

      Susan



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Sep 13, 2010
    • Amen Susan to your last line!



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Sep 13, 2010
    • Annie I too am interested in all opinions because YES that is how we learn and grow. Unfortunately there are some (my sister is one) that you can’t have a conversation/debate and expect it to be 2 sidedfrown



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Susan Haley wrote Sep 13, 2010
    • Yeehawww! :)

      When I first started writing for Fab 20, I often stated that I was offering only ‘thought food‘. If I state an absolute fact, I better be able to name more source so others are able to check it. And it better be a source beyond cable media hype, which is by the way, what motivates me to dig deeper. I’m one of those cynical folks that don’t easily buy everything I hear. And I don’t think you girls are, either.

      That we all should be open-minded is a sign of thoughtfulness and critical thinking to me. How can you think critically if you only have part of the information?
      That’s why I love to get indepth responses! Then I can be made to think as well.

      Also, as a writer with a background in journalism and an ‘old’ criminal justice degree, I do tend to be very observant. Often, I’ve discovered both sides lying. Why I don’t have a lot of respect for trial lawyers . . . they look more for loopholes to get a victory than fact or truth.

      I’m not anti-corporate by any stretch of the imagination. It takes a certain amount of wealth and investment to create jobs. I am, however against corporate welfare, which is exactly what some of these large corporations get with the labor force getting little of the profit. During the BP oil spill mess, I was shocked to learn just how little of the wealth that is sucked out of American waters is given back to the states these same drilling operations endanger. It came out when the plight of Louisiana was being investigated. I could write an entire book about that!

      Anyway, I’ve fallen into rambling with a cup of coffee, so let me just say I appreciate you all and the more you can refute of mine, or share of your opinions, the more I get out of this venture which I only do as a volunteer contributor. So bear with my ever-present bio at the end of my original post. :))

      Susan
      Thank you.



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