Craig Baltz's Blog

Craig's personal ramblings

Adjusting to normal people, two party politics (what happened to the middle class), and I need a vacation.

Posted by craigbaltz on February 23, 2009

A very nice advantage of moving back to California after being on an island in Alaska for three years is the adjustment to being around normal people.  By normal I must clarify that while in Alaska I adapted and even got accustomed to  living and working with a group in which 80%+ had committed felonies and spent time in prison, and probably 80%+ were alcoholics and drug addicts.   It’s nice to work with a group that isn’t jonesin’ to get to the bar at 9 A.M.  It’s nice to know that I can leave a soda, or a dollar bill on my desk with a reasonable expectation that it won’t be stolen if I leave for sixty seconds.  It’s nice to have intelligent conversations and discuss sports other than NASCAR and wrestling.   It’s also nice to see women on a daily basis that shave their legs and have all their teeth.

I watched Arnold Schwarznegger (no idea if I spelled that right) on This Week with George Stephanopolous (again…no idea if I spelled that right – anybody named Smith around here?).  I still don’t know what I think of Arnold as a politician.  I like the way he talks about the two party system, saying right or wrong is not a party issue.   Issues are individual and it seems that no matter what the topic it starts out contentious along party lines.  Republicans would argue against saving a drowning baby if Nancy Pelosi supported it, and the same is true in converse of the Democrats.  Where do they find these people that are 100% Republican and 100% Democrat?  I have some views on each side and some that are right down the middle.  Watching Congress and the House argue is like watching an episode of Crossfire or Wifeswap, where you take two polar opposites and try to get them to get anything done.  The fallout of this type of politics is that our politicians don’t represent us anymore.  I’m not proud of either side, 99% of the Republicans in politics are very close to Rush Limbaugh in their view and opinions.  99% of Democrats are close to Sean Penn or Al Franken.  Even our great hope for change, President Obama is a classic far left Democrat.  He is not a moderate as he portrayed himself and as such it is VERY unlikely that he is going to be some great “uniter,” able to bring these bitter enemies together.  Arnold is probably able to stay a little far from the fray for two reasons.  First, since he was Austrian born is he is constitutionally barred from being President.  Second, he has so much money he isn’t too terribly worried about his life and future in politics.  He would be much better off financially to return to acting.  Most politicians aspiring to a continuing career need the support of their party, and rocking the boat, or straying from the party line is severely frowned upon.   As I said earlier, our politicians no longer represent us, they have abandoned us.  They are looking out for themselves and the money machine they need to get elected.  This is the major cause in the elimination of our middle class.  Maybe someday soon I’ll stop bitching about it and come up with a proposed solution.

I need a vacation.  Unfortunately I just started a new job a couple of weeks ago.  Of course it is one of the new generation in American jobs.  My official title is Field Operations Supervisor for Quality Control for the U.S. Census Bureau.  I supervise about 250 people.  I have a ton of responsibility and cover an area from Merced to Mojave.  I am well paid.  The downside…it’s temporary, they can release me any time they want.  I can be let go next week or two years from now.  I also receive no vacation or sick time, and no health benefits.  I am a broken leg or a car crash away from total financial ruin.  I like the job, I like the people I work with and I like the challenge.  It is just the reality of the new world that there are so many positions like this.  I need to go to Vegas and have fun for a week.  I have plans to go to Aspen in September for a rugby tournament, possibly Costa Rica in 2010, and New Zealand in 2011.  I just need a small filler trip in the mean time.  I get antsy without travel and fun periodically.  Guess I’ll just wait until I’m in Mojave on business on a Friday, and keep heading east for the weekend.  It’s the best I can do.

 

 

 

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4 Responses to “Adjusting to normal people, two party politics (what happened to the middle class), and I need a vacation.”

  1. Brian S. Lumberg said

    Craig,

    “This is the major cause in the elimination of our middle class.” I was surprised to see you perpetuate this claim. There is no static set of people that make up a “class” in this country. The mobility in the income strata among Americans is unequaled in the world. People move up and down from year to year.

    Here’s a link to Walter Williams providing some relevant stats on that:

    http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams120507.php3

    I think you’re right about the two major parties in congress. At least for 90% of them. The priority is party, not country. I see little evidence that any of them have read the U.S. Constitution, let alone the bills they vote on. They get direction from the party leadership and vote accordingly.

  2. Craig said

    Sorry you disagree, I didn’t mean to establish a class structure, the middle class is a generic term that has been used for years and I didn’t mean to “static” anybody. Nontheless I stick by my statement. I think the politicians looking out for themselves and their rich friends, selling all of our jobs overseas, catering to the wealthy that make the large donations that get them elected – is a major player in what is going on in our economy. No oversight in the banking industry mainly because politicians had no intention of biting the hand that feeds them. We all have our own experiences and opinions, and I know MANY MANY people who are a lot worse off than they were ten years ago. We used to be mobile in both directions, and for quite a few years now the MAJORITY of the mobility seems to be downward.

  3. Brian S. Lumberg said

    If you read the Walter Williams article I linked to, you will see that the MAJORITY of the mobility has been upward.

  4. Brian S. Lumberg said

    And, as for the “selling of our jobs overseas”, the manufacturers locate where it makes the most sense. If our federal government wasn’t pinching 35% of their profits, it would make more sense to locate here. Since our corporate tax is cost prohibitive, they are taking the option that allows the most ROI. Business is amoral. Unfortunately, many people look at business as immoral.

    Use Ireland as an example of the benefit of lowering corporate taxes. There is a direct correlation between their recent drop of corporate tax rates, and increased economic benefit.

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