WHY ARE WE, AS AMERICANS, NOT AS OPTIMISTIC AS BEFORE?

    Peggy Noonan, columnist for the Wall Street Journal and conservative political pundit, wrote in her column today about this situation.  She mostly reviewed the concept of “social pessimism”, claiming the economy really isn’t the cause. She cites the deteriorating social structure, we are becoming a “more coarse” society. I would blame the ever-expanding role of the internet in our lives. People don’t interact with each other like they once did. You can easily hide behind the keyboard and the cell phone while texting. Because the social rules don’t apply to cyberspace, people are becoming more crude. They leave the realm of the internet and come back to human contact and communication but are beginning to act out as they do in cyberspace. Thus, we have a break down of polite societal interaction.

   I believe the people who are yelling the loudest about this are perhaps the people who are always looking for something for free, i.e. the freeloaders always looking for the harassment or hostile work environment lawsuits. I’ve commented previously on my contempt for these kind of people and the attorneys that represent them. Either they are way too sensitive or they are lazy free loaders! this phenomena has really only been around since the mid-nineties.

   I haven’t seen any polls from the Bush years regarding optimism in general. Now, I would think that should have been an all time low!  Bush blew a 150 billion dollar surplus and turned it into a trillion some dollar deficit! What do you think that does for our psyche when considering the future. Under Bush’s leadership, we were attacked by terrorists, he had been pre-warned about something like this and chose to ignore it. Bush then led the U.S. into a sovereign state invasion, based on lies generated by his administration. He then went on a nation building campaign with more disastrous results. These lies and incompetent screw-ups cost our country thousands of lives and literally trillions of dollars! Based on a lie! Bush led America down the tubes in the eyes of many of our former allies and wrecked many allegiances around the world. Based on his leadership in the war efforts, Osama Bin Laden got through Tora Bora and is now orchestrating global chaos from Pakistan. The icing on the Bush administration cake came with his and Cheney’s close personal friends on Wall Street taking the global economy down the drain. When he authorized the bail-out and “TARP”, he did so with no oversight. So now as the Wall Street giants are more profitable than ever, are giving themselves record bonuses, there really is nothing the present administration can do about it. Some of you will place the blame elsewhere, the Fed, Congress, Treasury, but the buck stops at the desk in the Oval Office. Bush signed off on legislation that effectively became a windfall for Wall Street. Okay, so you have a replay of the highly successful Bush years. If people had been polled then, how would they have felt?

   I disagree with Ms. Noonan about the economy. When people are out of work or worried about keeping a job, they, by human nature, will have a dour outlook. Having a job, providing for themselves and family really is the top concern for a person’s very being! 

   Another reason for the country’s pessimism is the real possibility of the next generation not out-producing the previous generation. This will be the first time in our country’s history! When placing the blame for this condition, we as “baby boomers” are clearly responsible. Because our parents instilled a work ethic in us, we struggled and worked our collective asses off to be successful or even comfortable. We did and it worked. Because we thought we had to work too hard for what we have gained,  most of us are in a position to make it easier for our kids, the “twenty and thirty something” generations. They haven’t been taught about hard work and long hours, so when the “boomers” hire them, they become extremely frustrated because they aren’t willing to put in the time or effort. Just because they’re parents didn’t work weekends, they think they shouldn’t have to work weekends. I lost many employees over the years because of their lack of desire and looking for something for nothing! This is a generalization, and I understand that, but I would never hear any longer of someone fresh out of college willing to work 60 hours a week for $9200 a year! That’s what I did. I did it because that was a requirement of the job and I knew the experience would be invaluable to me for the future. Not many college grads these days would work more than a 40 hour week, much less at nights or weekends. The pay is mainly to cover social life and fun. Yes, this next American generation is in deep doo-doo. Oh well, we did it to them, and only need to blame ourselves. My wife told me years ago; ” do not hold your employees to the standard you have set for yourself, because you’ll only anger them and frustrate yourself”! This is why I no longer have any desire to manage people, unless they are over the age of 50! Thanks for the read.

Cam Obert

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