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A Conservative’s Day Dream

I’ve been sitting around for a while now, as many people have, reading about the possible depths to which the economy may sink, knowing that millions of Americans are losing retirement savings every day, seeing the stock market nearly halve itself in a matter of months and watching our government seemingly do everything in its power to prolong/worsen this depression. Naturally, I’m worried about my future, but I’ve got time.

I’m much more worried about my parents and their friends, people like my father who woke up every morning at about 5 AM to commute into the city, work all day, get home around 7 or 8, and then start all over again the next day, all so that his children could have decent lives and he could enjoy his retirement and provide for my mother. My parents moved into my childhood home a month before I was born, and my parents still live there. They paid off their mortgage about ten years ago and own the home outright. My father managed to put together a healthy retirement account as well. But now they’re forced to sit back and watch as all their invested savings and their home loses value by the day. They (and I) are wondering how much is actually going to be left when they can no longer work. And there are millions of Americans just like them, watching their life savings dwindling away.

So I’ve been trying to find a silver lining in all of this, something to buoy me a bit, and it’s this:

Imagine for a moment that things continue the way they have been going for the past six or eight months, but extending for the next four years. The DOW continues to tank, dropping even as low as 3000. Housing values, despite multiple home owner bailouts, drop off a cliff. Unemployment moves into the high 20s. Unions, private and public, fail left and right as untenable pension plans and benefit packages prove too much for even the government to prop up. Obama and Congress’ approval ratings are in the 30s and teens, respectively (not that that would be a change for Congress).

Meanwhile, the value of a college education has plummeted along with the stock market as a lack of available “good” jobs makes a degree less important than a concrete skill set. Parents aren’t dreaming about sending their kids to college, they’re more concerned with making sure they can put food on the table. Universities shut down as funding rapidly dries up. Things are bad.

But in 2012, a rejuvenated Republican Party comes along and sweeps back into power on a platform of across-the-board deregulation, slashing tax cuts on business owners and individuals, massive rollbacks in government size and spending and crackdowns on government corruption. Basically a fiscal conservative’s dream. And imagine that this time we actually have the candidates to actually follow through. The American people, disgusted with four years of corruption, doom and gloom, expanding government and shrinking freedoms vote the GOP back into power with a clear mandate to make America great again.

Imagine the wealth that will be created almost overnight as people regain the ability and the motivation to work hard again. The stock market skyrockets with the renewed faith in our economy, fortunes are made in an instant, and then reinvested. More fortunes are made. The government stays out of the way for once as entrepreneurs and inventors and business people, frustrated to death over the last four years by lack of endless government bureaucracy, lack of available credit, high taxes and artificially-enhanced labor costs suddenly have the means to start new businesses. Individuals and families can suddenly afford to buy houses at dirt cheap prices as the government stops propping up home values.

As people realize they can live quite well without a college education, less people are heading to undergrad or grad school, more people are choosing instead to start their own business. More jobs are created while less full-time students live off government loans or their parent’s savings. The death of unions means businesses can afford to hire that many more employees at whatever wage the market will bear, without inflated benefits and salaries paid for by the rest of society. Foreign companies begin to outsource their labor overseas, here. An enormous and largely already-trained workforce but without union restrictions means creating manufacturing jobs here is suddenly cheap…

And then I wake up. But it was such a nice dream.

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03/09/2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

3 Comments »

  1. Well, this is an interesting post to say the least. Speaking from personal experience. I went to college and did my undergrad in Elementary education. I then went on to teach 4th grade for 2 yrs in NC. Now, being a white female in elementary education is quite different, so I agree that we need more males in elementary education. But, after 2 years I left teaching, so that I could go back and get my Master’s. I didn’t want to go back into teaching, I didn’t feel like I was doing enough and I thought I needed to be doing something bigger to affect change in education. So, I got my Master’s in Measurement and Evaluation and am now doing educational research at a non-profit. I do feel like I’m making more of a difference. You are certainly noble and brave to want to go into elementary education as a male, good luck, and I mean that in the sincerest way.
    The other thing that I wanted to comment on is your “dream.” I think you need to have a little more faith in the system. I think the problem is not just with one party, democrat or republican, but that their are corrupt people on both sides. Sometimes it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch and that is unfortunate. Also, you mention in your “dream,” not as many people will be pursuing higher education under Republican rule; how is this good? You yourself are pursuing a Master’s degree, so how can that be part of the ideal situation that you dreamt about? I’m confused!

    Comment by Elissa Stephen | 03/10/2009 | Reply

    • Hi Elissa – as always, thanks for stopping in and leaving your thoughts, I appreciate it, particularly coming from someone with a teaching background.

      I definitely agree with your comment re my “dream,” that the problem is massive corruption on both sides, not just with the Democrats. The Republicans have endless problems of their own with crooked politicians and a horrible lack of ethics. That’s one big reason why they have lost so much power so quickly. Not only are undecided voters moving left, but I certainly think that the Republican base is remarkably disenchanted with what’s happening within the GOP, particularly the massive spending and earmarks. So yes, it’s not just the fault of the Democrats.

      Having said that, I think the problem gets that much worse with the current domination of Washington by liberals. At least under Bush we saw a decrease in taxes to spur growth, under the Democrats we’re getting both exponentially increased spending, and higher taxes on wealth producers and job creators to go with it. I cannot see how this will do anything but drive the economy into the ground. I hope that I am wrong on that, but history has shown repeatedly that increased government control, nationalization and regulation of private enterprise does not work. So I don’t see how it can work here.

      My hope is, and this is where my dream comes in, is that the (in my mind) inevitable depression and loss of freedoms will prompt such a shift to the right that the GOP will be able to elect leaders that will be able to return this country to its ideological roots. I have no interest in bipartisanship anymore, I think that the Democrats have shown over the last few months that they have absolutely no interest in doing anything but advancing a liberal/socialist agenda, one which will destroy this country, and so I have no qualms about advocating a complete reversal of that if the GOP can return to power. I do have “faith in the system,” but only if we can change the people who are running the system. As it stands, I have zero faith in our current leadership to do anything but consolidate their power and enrich themselves at the expense of the rest of us.

      As for your final questions: The only reason I am pursuing a Master’s degree is because it is the most efficient and cost-effective way to achieve my goal of becoming a teacher. The government requires that I have a piece of paper saying that I am capable of teaching before I am allowed to teach in a public school. I am quite certain that I already possess the skills necessary to teach elementary school (or middle school, or high school). It would be much easier and more efficient for everyone involved if I were allowed to simply do a year as a student teacher to pick up the necessary classroom management skills and experience, and allow the school to evaluate me in a classroom setting. As I see it, the courses I am taking now are not much more than a means for me to be indoctrinated with liberal groupthink and to enable colleges and professors to get paid.

      And I would apply this belief to most of the college educations that people receive in this country. A bachelor’s degree is so omnipresent at this point that it has become a basic requirement, rather than the exception. As a result, more people are forced to go to graduate school to get a “better” job. However, many of the jobs that people are getting with their bachelor’s or graduate degrees don’t require anywhere near the number of years of education that are currently needed to be eligible. Certainly, students wishing to go into a “hard” science or medicine or law probably need grad school. But for the majority of people out there, for the majority of jobs, people need real world experience, not costly and wasteful education.

      People come out of college in this country with lots of debt and few real job skills. I understand that the traditional purpose of most of a liberal arts education is to teach students how to think and learn, rather than to teach them actual practical skills, but as ideologically one-sided as our colleges and universities have become, students no longer even get taught how to think. Instead, they are taught how they should think.

      Sorry this got so long…thanks again for coming by, hope you return

      Comment by Johnny Chimpo | 03/10/2009 | Reply

  2. […] unto itself. In this case, reader Elissa contributed a thoughtful comment on my rambling “Dream” post from yesterday, and I did my best to clarify. Not sure if it […]

    Pingback by Comment Post « Retake Education | 03/10/2009 | Reply


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