Thursday, August 26, 2010

Why emphsize being a knowledgeable good citizen?

The evolution of citizenry has overcome many difficulties along the way. When the Founding Father's saw an opportunity to make a New World with a democratic basis, they jumped at the occasion.
When they formulated our country they did not desire a country where everyone was "equal" as we have it today. They felt the free enterprise system was essential to an economic success and those people who had the most to say about that were the landowners, retail and commercial businesses, men, landed gentry. People who had a stake in the country based on their investment in the country were the people given the vote. Renters, slaves, indebted servants, and women were not allowed to vote, they usually did not have an investment or stake in the country.
The "voters" usually had time and money to read and discuss the issues, favor one over the other and had time to vote. All others were working people and did not have the time or money to get involved.
Over the years, the Constitution has been added to and stretched via Supreme Court decisions to include "all citizens".
Until the past fifty or so years, voters have been involved because they had enough free time provided by good salaries and benefits to get involved in "politics" and make good decisions. Starting around 1973, when the Lobbyist really "got it", and started to lobby congressional members heavily, hire former congressmen because they can get on the floor of their former "body" and discuss lobby goals, our country has started to move from:
Upper-upper class usually inherited wealth and CEO's
Middle-upper class-- Higher management
Lower-upper class-- Lower management --some entrepenuers
Upper-middle-class Hands on upper management Over all
Middle-middle-class Hands on middle management-some independent contractors - successful entrepreneurs
Lower-middle-class supervisors over workers retail managers
Upper-lower class Upper workers responsible for finished work
Middle-lower-class Team leaders, retail workers, independent contractors
Lower-lower-class Hourly workers

Because corporations have been moving out of the nation, with our government's assistance, jobs have been erased, especially in the middle class. People who have many degrees and a little age to them have been let go in favor of younger more technologically sound employees, also, salaries have not increased for the past 15 or more years, yet inflation and the dollar slide has made what people actually receive much less than they have been accustomed to and had made plans upon. The real estate slide has really been a key as well as the financial world's greed towards lowering the class structure in America.
Our class structure looks more like this now:
Upper-upper class old money, Greedy CEO's, investors scaming
people--financial instutitions scaming people
1% of the people have approximately 92 % wealth
those upper class people being able to take
advantage of a taxation system built for them.

Upper lower-class Old middle class college graduates that still
have their jobs.
Middle lower-class All others looking for jobs that are non-
existent, because people still think there is a
chance at "The American Dream".
Under class People who have given up looking for jobs,
People who are homeless because they lost
job, home, car, everything and are subsisting on government entities, relatives, part-time jobs and charity .
Salaries are deceiving also. A $40,000 salary looks great on paper, however it has an approximate spending value of $10,000--The American Dream is vanishing.
Once the world community figured out how to compete with our juggernaut economy their lower labor costs beat our labor costs all to pieces. If you were a board of a company and were faced with an assembly line worker making (a hard fought for) $75 per hour in wages and $75 per hour in benefits and moving your corporation to a country where the labor costs were $5-10 per DAY and no benefits, and no regulatory commission telling you what you can and cannot do at the workplace, the decision is a very easy, yet harsh. We can no longer compete. America is in the painful process of lowering wages and no benefits for its workers. Even both parents working doesn't cover the expenses. We are not going to talk about the cost of higher education in this Blog, however, it is getting to look like a two "class" society. Those with education and those without.
There was a survey on TV the other day that says our children are not learning cursive writing. They are so into "texting" and writing(or plagarizing reports from the internet) that they see no need to "write" with a writing implement and paper--as in taking notes!!
This Blog has been longer than I intended. This is just the starting to explain, why you need to be a knowledgable citizen. As with money being taken away or stagnating, "rights" are also being taken away. Later.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Be a good citizen based on your frame of reference and knowledge of democracy

Be a good citizen. Of course, that means following the rules. Being a good example to everyone, be fair in evaluations of businesses and individuals, help your family and friends understand democratic processes, help get out the vote. If you do not fully understand a specific area, say, the electoral college, do research so you can explain it to others. With Goggle and others, you can type in a word and have a pretty good understanding of that word, almost instantly. That assumes you have picked up technological skill along the way to help yourself and others work with and within the democratic process. A democracy MUST have democratic principals deeply engrained within a person's frame of reference. Constant revision of those items and updating them makes you a more informed citizen.
Up to this point, this blog has been explaining what is needed within a citizen in a democracy to function and benefit the society.
In reality, all our lives are becoming full from sun-up to sun-down. Raising kids, getting ahead at work, keeping everyone happy, paying bills, makes it difficult to enrich our frame of reference in democratic activity.
Start your quest by considering what you think is reasonable for you. No, we can't be activitist full-time, just take a small chew of the problem. Choose an issue that interests you most, then start contributing what you can towards progress--contacts, money, time, skills, etc. No contribution is too small.
Try to keep yourself informed. Pick your media to coincide with your beliefs and it will give you insights on any given topic, allowing you to gain a "citizen's level" of expertise so you can talk with others about it.
Use the computer that you have available, in home, in library, use it.
Our democracy is a living breathing thing. It belongs to all its citizens. Join with others, everyone feels better when they're part of a group, a movement, a community (whether real or virtual).
Become the media, write a blog, a newsletter, internet radio broadcast, etc.
Start up a local neighborhood group that meets periodically and discusses the issues. Move the group around, not always at one house, have the group bring refreshments--many successes in politics have come from these type meetings.