Retirement Talk

WHAT to do with the rest of your life?



                Wish I Could Improve the World


            It’s pretty presumptuous of this old fogy firing on one piston to think she can come up with any solution to the world’ s problems that might keep the canary, in the mind, chirping.  But I’m going to presume.

I’d do away with resumes (usually overblown) recommendations (who’s going to throw a friend or acquaintance under the bus) interviews, affirmative action, quota, nepotism and make college placement and jobs based on tests ONLY. I know tests are usually based on speed, risk taking, and penalize those who think slowly and carefully, and the SAT can be coached until students become skilled test-takers—but in spite of all these drawbacks, tests are better than the intuitive, guessing games of the past hiring, and college placement interviews.

I’d decriminalized victimless laws against the poor.  It isn’t that crime is more prevalent amongst the Caucasian poor than the Caucasian rich—it’s less.  It’s that the method by which the poor survive: selling drugs, panhandling, and prostitution, is construed as crimes. 

As for the crime of murder, I believe it is just as common amongst the upper classes, but is covered up.  Murder was certainly more common amongst the rich in the past then it was the poor.
The rich were poisoning each other so often and with such abandon, food tasters could practically have unionized.

Over three years in the clink does more harm to the community than letting the criminal go without any punishment.  The only thing long term sentences does  is keep murderers from murdering again, except each other in the calaboose.  All imprisonment does, for the rest of the ginks in prison, is furnish free room and board.  Or as one friend, who’s done time and throws into the conversation infinitum, “Three hots, a cot and God.” As if that were justification for whatever. 

And if you want to be objective—but who’s objective—murder, with the exception of murder for the ego satisfaction of vengeance--would have a better pay-off in the luxury loop then in the ghetto. If you need to make some work for the police, concentrate on crimes amongst the upper classes—like insider trading, offshore shell games and a hundred other tax dodges and monetary hi-jinks.  There are enough of these capers to keep the cops busy for years.

Certain behavior considered to be confined to the lower classes becomes a crime, but when that behavior changed and becomes a middle or upper class crime—for example, homosexuality or gambling, it ceases to be defined as a punishable crime.

I’d do a voter overhaul.   Vote on Saturdays.  And charge those who don’t vote 2.00 for the privilege of abstention.  Also I’d register voting on the same day.  I know the peak likes it that only the elderly, the educated and the middle and upper classes vote, but the country belongs to the poor and uneducated, as well as to them.

I’d give a guaranteed annual income that would confer the same respectability on the poor that social security does on the elderly.  With that the poor might be treated courteously and maybe, something besides anger, might develop between the classes—that is, if we continue to have classes, which everyone says we will, although the rate social hierarchy is losing traction since the bailouts, so it’s hard to say.

With a guaranteed income, we’d need less dummy dust to get through our days.  To be at the bottom means enduring threats, humiliation, blame, contempt and disregard.  It keeps the poor crawling on their knees.  Then again perhaps that is why something like a guaranteed annual income has never been used—as it certainly isn’t the cost, which would be less than the government is spending now.

The government could unshackle the job market, and establish programs like the CCC camps and the WPA of the thirties.  Lots of work to be done: repairing roads, restoring historical buildings, cleaning rivers, planting trees, etc.  Think of our wars.  Read somewhere they cost us a billion a day.  The CCC, WPA, etc., work type groups would cost us two hundred billion dollars which would pay for eight million jobs at $25,000 a year. Or 200 days, which is about 6 months of war.   Lots cheaper than wars.
Yeah, a guaranteed Annual Income is just, but then, if I wanted to be surly, I could say, when have we ever been just?

As I see it drugs and grog will continue to be the most rational way to handle an unhappy life.  Also as long as drugs are illegal, the poor will earn a little cabbage from their sale.  So from my cynical nadir, as drugs are becoming a middle-class and upper class pastime, they will be legalized soon. If the government tries to put the kibosh on something, such as businesses under-paying their employees, businesses just gather up their toys and move to a foreign country.  And the workers are worse off than if the government hadn’t tried.

Democrats and Republicans want to bring about some improvement in conditions, along with keeping their jobs.  But when they try to make improvements the special interests get them by the conjones. There is a covert war going on between rich and poor, always has been, and hopefully, won’t always be, but the rich, with all their bucks, hires cowboys to keep us in our place and as most decisions are made, not by shared discussion, with the poor, but by covert emotions of officials—

Now that I’m sailing along on my soap-box, day-dreaming about how to solve the problems of my people—the poor, if I could I’d persuade the poor to vote, even if their choices aren’t perfect, but voting for someone who is only slightly better is preferable to slightly worse.  The reason the poor don’t vote and how to fix it:  (1) vote on Saturday, (2) register on voting day (3) as all the candidates, except the presidential candidates could be names of insects have a short resume after their names (4) fear of the voting booth. 

Fear submerges all the other reasons.  They’re afraid that if they go inside the voting station, the care-takers will say, “What are you doing here?” And the poor will show their ignorance.  Plus, the poor think they aren’t good enough to vote.  They should leave it to people who are more knowledgeable.  And that is the basic reason we don’t vote, although if it saved us a few berries, we’d overcome our fear.

I don’t see any solution coming from the world of shrinkdom, the legal professions, the media, politics, the economy, nor liberals or conservatives.  If any change comes it will come from the intelligentsia, because it is they, who refashion the thinking of the young.  They’re the ones who make them into volunteers, rebels, free-thinkers, demonstrators, scientist, corrupt stock brokers, self-centered politicians, and Occupy Wall Street kids, and it is they who will instill a new appraisal of the conditions of the world. And I believe as the elderly increase in numbers, and it’s been argued by many, that having adult education will becomes as important as youthful education. 

During the early part of the century, when Social Darwinism was in full flower, they had the idea of letting all the poor people die out, so only the eugenically pure rich were left.  That may still be a good idea, as genetics are so popular nowadays—sterilize the poor and only allow the rich to pro-create. 

I’m all for letting the rich do all the breeding.  The poor don’t need any more kids to wind up as poor adults.  Let the rich and their kids harvest their own food, sew their own clothes, and clean their own mansions. 

And as wars are seldom on booty or territory anymore, but on political, philosophical and religious differences, people will become disgusted with religious and philosophical wars and overcome their need to escape the mundane by immersion in wars and into the supernatural, and it will be replaced by one propagating a new perspective about the validity and justice of the hierarchical division, which will rearrange the social contract to such a degree that people a hundred years from now will gasp in bewilderment at our cruelty to each other.  But don’t bet the ranch on that.

And of course, if all else fails, we will blow the whole shebang up and began the hoo haw all over again from the branches of the remaining trees.
The End





Follow Retirement Talk on Facebook: on Facebook