I have a theory about why our middle class has increasingly struggled and is in dire straights these days. It’s not what the Democrats did or what the Republicans did, but rather what they both have done together. The two parties have made it more advantageous for our corporations to build most things elsewhere.
The lion’s share of the jobs the middle class used to have are now being done in other countries. It’s great for those living in other countries, but a disaster for many living in ours. Our manufacturing jobs also paid higher than minimum wage, too.
About 80 percent of jobs in the U.S. are now service jobs. The reality of it all is that not much is made here. Until our leaders decide to make it more advantageous to make things in the U.S., the middle class will continue to languish.
I haven’t heard anyone running for office mention such a plan.
Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offerered one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:
“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3 percent of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.”
The 26th amendment granting the right to vote for 18-year-olds took only three months and eight days to be ratified! Why? Simple. The people demanded it. That was in 1971—before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.
Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven took one year or less to become the law of the land…all because of public pressure.
Snopes.com says Warren Buffet did not ask anyone to send his message to a minimum of 20 people on their e-mail address list and in turn ask each of those to do likewise as was stated in the e-mail I received.
Here is what someone else added to his idea in the form of a Congressional Reform Act of 2011 (it makes total sense to me):
1. No tenure/no pension. A congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.
2. Congress (past, present and future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
3. Congress can purchase its own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3 percent.
5. Congress loses its current health-care system and participates in the same health-care system as the American people.
6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
7. All contracts with past and present members of Congress are void, effective now. The American people did not make this contract with Congress. Members of Congress made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.
I have run this list before but in my opinion it bears repeating.
If you wish to share your comments or ideas, my e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.