William Thien

Someone I know and respect asked me to write something about the difficulty of finding a job these days on behalf of one of their loved ones and so here it is. This could very easily be about myself, though, or you.

Could it be that one of the reasons it is so difficult to get a job these days is because those who have the jobs make it so difficult to get the jobs in the first place? Or do they really have that many jobs to begin with? Are all of these numbers the government is always throwing around and employers are touting for real? Do they really have that many jobs or is there something else going on to begin with?

The reason I ask is that when I was younger, often getting a job meant asking someone, “Hey, I’m looking for work. Do you have anything right now?” Often if they had something and thought you could do it, they would put you right to work.

If you were still there at the end of the day, they would have you fill out an application which consisted of your name and address and where you’d worked previously and some contact information for those employers. You completed a tax statement regarding withholding from your check and that was it. Sometimes it was a little more complicated than that, sometimes less. But you were paid for that day’s work and hired if they asked you to come back. Not these days.

Today when you want a job at many places, many corporations make you complete an online application that frequently takes several hours of your time and requires that a rather intrusive, personal questionnaire to be answered. Many companies make you enact the actual job you will be doing by using role-playing software online that requires you to role play in the job of the potential employee. By the time you are finished with the application, often you have spent three or four hours, sometimes more of your time and still don’t have any response from the employer. You are working and not getting paid. I’m talking about the larger corporate employers of course, but many if not most have something similar involved nowadays. Is there a need for all of this pre-screening? To be sure, it has value, value in more ways than one of course as well shall see.

The reasoning behind it all is that employers believe they can acquire employees that are more suitable for the particular position and protect themselves from potential liability at the same time. And those are good reasons! But often employers are merely acquiring data on the person who wants to work there because the applicant also patronizes the place of business. People are known to apply to work at places they like to visit. In other words employers are telling applicants they have a job but instead what they are doing is testing the applicant in a marketing sense and acquiring extremely valuable data about your likes, interests, and financial position, in order to be more competitive. To acquire that data by collecting it in another fashion, legitimately that is, they would have to pay an agency a lot of money. In this way, they can essentially force you to provide the data to them for free. Employers are known to take a resume that you have sent to them in an email, populate it into a database, and then send you targeted advertisements based on the information, such as your hobbies and travel interests, that you list in your resume when you simply thought you were applying for a job. Employers are also known to accumulate information from all of the resumes they receive and create a picture of the potential customer by melding and merging information from all of the resumes. Not a bad idea in a business sense really, just a little bit unscrupulous, that’s all.

The entire process dramatically increases your vulnerability to identity theft as your information is traded from one interested party to another. Your file is enlarged as more information is added along the way. Soon, someone, a corporation or a political party perhaps, is bound to have everything about you that they need to do whatever they want to you when all you were doing at the onset was looking for a job.

Let me add that I am a conservative and believe business needs to be able to function in the most unrestricted manner possible.

Yet I think this type of behavior should be regulated. At a time when many Americans are desperately looking for a “decent” job, many employers are taking advantage of the circumstances and doing just what I describe. I know others who have had to endure the same process never to hear from the potential employer once they jump through all the hoops. Often it’s a scam to acquire data in such a way, no two ways about it.

That is why I believe the application process should be limited to merely asking the necessary questions to determine if the person is eligible to work in the particular environment in question and then a process should take effect whereby the applicant is promised reciprocal compensation from the potential employer in some regard. In other words, there should be steps involved that require the employer to first check for potential employability for that particular position and then the employer requests that the potential employee carry on with the application process with certain promises involved.

Instead, what is happening is that many, many employers are doing what in the statistics business is called “Harvesting Data,” and they are abusing a population desperately in need of decent employment by testing them, poking them and prodding them as they apply for work with no real ability or intent to employ each and every one who completes the surveys, questionnaires, the intrusive psychological batteries of questions that so many people looking for work must complete.

But it doesn’t stop there. Oh no! Once you complete all of that, many employers will make you take a drug screen, too, a drug screen often merely to earn minimum wage, after all of that other rigmarole.

They want to know about your driving record, have you ever been arrested, can they check your credit score, do you Facebook, do you have any debts, single, married, military service, education level, and the list goes on and on today. They don’t want to know if you can do the job and do it well, they want primarily to know “ABOUT” you. Employers buy and sell the information they receive from massive numbers of resumes after the information has been put in to databases. Yes! They do. It’s a source of profit.

They are not looking for a reason to hire you anymore; the entire process is backwards. They instead are looking for a reason NOT to hire you these days. It’s called screening. It’s always been done of course but now is has become an intrusive, predatory practice. You could be the most competent, the most capable candidate for the job but perhaps your credit score is a little low. Maybe there is a picture of you on a web site at a party living it up. Maybe they hired some firm to check you out. You are out of contention! But you know what, they still have all of your information, don’t they? Yes, they do. And they will use it. You can bet on that. They don’t purge it. How could they make any money off of it if they did that? In statistics you are now what is called a “case.” You have an electronic file at that corporation. They may even find something interesting about you in your resume and begin searching for information about you on the internet and build a file so they can test you. Oh, yes. They do that. Make no mistake. You have to be careful when you apply at a corporation these days. Ever look at a corporation when you are driving by and ask you yourself, “I wonder what they make there?” Maybe they are making YOU! Why don’t you send them your resume?

So, no wonder it is so difficult to get a job. The actual process of getting a job is often working against you and it is in fact designed to work against you.

It wasn’t like that when I was younger. I can’t believe that somehow all Americans have become monsters that would destroy a corporation in a way that the application process indicates they all are. Maybe it is the other way around. Maybe the reason people are having trouble getting jobs these days is because employers are making the task of getting a job simply too difficult and instead profiting from the process at the same time in what some might say is a predatory fashion. Yes, maybe that’s what is happening. Or maybe there is no “maybe” about it. By the time you complete the entire process, some “holier than thou” person you never meet has found some selection you have made online in the application process they didn’t like or you don’t match “the profile,” when instead all they really are doing is “harvesting data” only to use it against you in a sales pitch perhaps to profit from your need to work.

You might ask, well if the unemployed aren’t working, they don’t have any money, why would they want to market to them in the first place? Really? Marketers focus intently on the unemployed because many of the unemployed are receiving weekly benefits and not working. They have leisure time, time to spend their benefit money. Marketers also focus on single women having children out-of-wedlock who receive government benefits. Last year over forty percent of children were born to single mothers, nearly half. It’s a huge market. HUGE! It’s a science.

You often hear employers clamoring that they can’t get enough trained people in the US and they want to hire from outside the US. They want the State Department to increase US work visas for foreign nationals. Why? They claim that there are not enough US applicants. Why? Because the system of hiring has screened any potential US citizens out! The US produces more thoroughly trained applicants than any other place in the world and does it well. It’s just that the hiring process precludes many of them from working in The US. And the employers want a tax break for hiring foreign nationals, too! Go figure.

Some might say, “Bill, stop it. You are killing us. We are trying to do business here.” My response, “It’s a flawed business model. You don’t treat your customers that way. That’s not how you treat the American public.”

It’s time to regulate the job application process.

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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To me it is surprising how little most people realize how socialized The United States is and how much money is taken from the middle classes and given to either the very rich or the poor in terms of tax breaks or social programs.

But a country without a middle class is really just a master and servant society in a way where the many work for the few.

The cost of social programs has a devastating effect on the middle classes because the wealthy know how to hide their wealth and they write the tax code while the poor don’t pay many taxes. Socialism enslaves the middle classes, then, even if not by design as it is the middle classes that end up paying the majority of taxes in terms of a percentage of their income, squeezed between an ever growing population of poor Americans and an increasingly powerful wealthy class as money has now become defined as speech and the media takes the money with a glad hand. Eventually the middle classes are turned in to lower economic classes due to the structure of the socialistic tax code. Many believe that is in fact happening today. They call it the “Shrinking Middle Class.” You may have heard that term in the evening news. I’ve just explained what is happening, that’s all, even if they haven’t.

This is why I support a flat tax.

But we must also curtail social programs and certain tax breaks as it is the redistribution of wealth which is administered and it is the cost of administering the redistribution of wealth that amplifies the burden upon the middle classes.

What? What did you say?

I said, it is not only the money that is paid to the recipients of the social programs and the tax breaks given to the wealthy that is expensive, someone is paid to redistribute all of that money and provide and write those tax breaks, and those people are well paid usually. Paying them is an added cost which significantly magnifies the burden upon the working and middle classes. It’s not just the money paid to the recipients of the social programs that is costly; you also have to pay those who give your money away. Oh yeah, they never talk about that part, do they? That figures.

Some think the answer is just to cancel social programs altogether, but is that really the best solution? The media always offer bleak pictures of the country were we to discontinue social programs overnight. I have a solution.

Instead of canceling social programs outright, the country should begin to wean the population off of social programs over a ten-year period, for example. To simply take away all of the food stamp benefits that it is believed well over 40 percent of the population are currently obtaining, nearly half of the country, to take away all of those benefits would have an economic effect similar to the withdrawals that an addict who is addicted to a nasty drug would have when you took their drug away without providing any substitute. A country on cold turkey anti-socialism would exhibit some nasty withdrawals, I’m sure. Widespread civil strife. Small scale wars perhaps. But is that necessary? Please, read on.

So many people are currently receiving food stamps, so many single women are receiving benefits to raise children out-of-wedlock, and so many corporations are receiving tax breaks for producing products for which there is insufficient demand that to simply take away all of those benefits would send the country into a state of downward spiraling economic withdrawal. That is in fact what happened at the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of communism in Eastern Europe in the early 1990’s. Massive poverty and starvation resulted in the former Soviet Bloc countries and eastern Germany. It was because the changes to the economy happened too quickly and nobody knew what was going to happen. We know now.

Stepping down, stepping away one step at a time from socialism is the answer if we are to unburden the middle classes from the massive weight and insult of socialist taxation. Otherwise the massive economic withdrawals which might result from a sudden cancellation of all of the social programs might simply convince that portion of society which believes in the socialist dogma that socialism is the only way because in the end, they know no other way.

That is the only way to relieve the middle classes of the heft of the socialist system.

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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So I’ve been kind of getting sick of these gas prices holding above $3 and often approaching $4 and $5 for the last six or seven years with no relief in sight and it occurs to me as it has to those of you who lived through the seventies I’m sure that there were measures we all took which in the end lowered the price of gasoline back to a reasonable level. OPEC as well as domestic oil producers were trying to squeeze every dollar they could out of the American household.

The measures that were taken not only involved driving by using certain methods such as trip chaining (doing all of your errands at one time instead of returning home after each one) and driving more conservatively (where I reside the governor was lauded for establishing a lower speed limit on the interstate), but the methods used to bring fuel prices down also involved curtailing the use of other forms of energy, such as the electricity you purchased from the local utility. And it worked.

And it was in fact the curbing of the use of other forms of energy it was believed that contributed the greatest to the lowering of the price of gasoline for automobiles. I don’t really know the exact explanation except that somehow the various sources of energy, oil, coal, natural gas, whatever, were able to somehow interlink their prices so that if the price of one went up, so did the prices of all of the others. It was a new form of economic charlatanism that the media force-fed the American public at the instruction of the special interests involved, big oil for instance, I’m sure.

And a national effort was created to lower the price of gasoline and all energy sources. That national effort involved taking certain steps in the home to curb the use of electricity and fuel. Perhaps if we revisit those methods, we can help to bring the price of gasoline back in line. Who knows? They may be cooking up some new line in the big oil PR departments for the media to spew to the public which will justify new price increases. Even municipalities got it on it. They started turning off streetlights in the very early hours of the morning and turning off streetlights in industrial areas where there was not traffic whatsoever. Municipalities also began installing low energy use lights throughout their cities and towns. It was a huge effort and it worked.

The first thing you must do is elect or designate an “Energy Cop” for the household. Usually both parents will split those responsibilities with such wise admonitions as, “SHUT THE DOOR! What do you think, we are heating the WHOLE PLANET!?” Or, “If you aren’t watching the television, turn it off or I’ll take away your TV privileges for the month.” These directions will come as loud, sometimes blaring, in-your-face warnings and are usually effective enough to gain compliance, but stricter measures are sure to follow if the offending party fails to comply.

Remember, make a list of what must be done to save energy and put it in an obvious place so everyone in the house can see it.

I will attempt to recall some of the methods we used in the seventies to bring the price of gasoline in line. First, create a plan and put it on paper in a place where everyone can see it, a list of rules for managing household energy. Put the list on the refrigerator or somewhere where everyone can see it and you can point to it if there is every a question in the house.

Put these on that list:

1. If you are not in a room, turn off the lights. The same holds true for a radio or television. Turn them off and read a book.

2. Turn off porch and landscaping lights by a certain time, such as 8pm. Stick to that time.

3. Use a shorter cycle on the dishwasher or clothes washer. Hang dry your laundry.

4. Buy plastic sheeting to use as added insulation during the winter months and place it over windows and other places where air leaks through from the outside. Separate areas of the house with added doors or cloth barriers in the winter to decrease air leakage. Contact your local insulation technician and have them do a review of the house where heat is escaping. They probably can lower your heating bills substantially by insulating areas you didn’t even think needed more insulation.

5. Don’t go in and out of the door frequently during periods of extreme cold or warmth so as not to tax the heating or air conditioning. This is an important measure and if you follow it, you will see your heating and air conditioning bills drop significantly. Why? Because you use a thermostat to regulate the room temperature and even slight temperature changes can activate it causing your heating or air conditioning to come on.

6. Keep your thermostat at or below 60 degrees in the winter and 72 in the summer.

7. Cool liquids by placing them in cool spaces in the home instead of filling up the refrigerator with them. It takes a substantial amount of energy to bring the temperature of a case of beverages down to 36 degrees when they have been sitting in the back seat of your car in the hot summer sun.

These are just some of the measures you can take to bring your electricity and heating costs down and by doing so it may help to bring the price of gasoline back to reasonable levels. It’s no guarantee. The media is complicit or perhaps ignorant of the big oil PR line in the abuse of the prices, I believe, so you will have to be alert to the media line which is coming straight from the producers. I’ve said there is nothing wrong with making a buck. And I believe that. But when it means sending families into debt as it does for many merely to drive to work, there is a problem. One way we can all address that problem then is to help out by using such measures as I’ve described.

When Americans began enacting these measures in the seventies, when they said it was only a matter of two or three years before all the oil would be gone (yes, they tried that line of BS on everyone and it worked! People were scared, lining up at gas stations for blocks and blocks. Now we see it was all a lie to which the media facilitated), Americans began to see the price of oil and other fuel sources go down.

There was no way for the producers to keep the prices up any longer because the amount of fuel used was actually being measured and reported and the amount used had plummeted. They could not say that demand had exceeded capacity any longer. Prices had to come down. They had to come down because that was the line they were using to drive prices up in the first place.

So if you want that new tennis racket or your kids need a new pair of shoes for school but you don’t have the scratch, just think of what you can do to change that and stop throwing it all away by putting your paycheck in your car or burning it up to heat the house.

Make the list, put it on the refrigerator, and hold everyone in the house to it. You are the “Energy Cop.”

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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Recently the gubernatorial election where I reside has entered into a debate on the subject of outsourcing. One of the candidates is a family member of a large corporation that outsources most of its labor to China. One candidate accused the other of undermining the economy by outsourcing while the other candidate accused their opponent of not creating enough jobs. The debate began when one candidate made an increase in the minimum wage to $10 per hour part of her platform while the other accused her of being hypocritical because the company to which she is affiliated outsources most of it labor to China and pays those workers less than $2 per hour.

As you know, my position is that politicians don’t create private sector jobs in the first place; they create an environment which stimulates private sector job growth. But even that is limited.

Politicians promise jobs because they know how desperate Americans are for good jobs because, well in this case, one of the candidates is directly associated with a corporation that outsources a lot of potentially good American jobs. It’s a valid issue for any campaign, if you ask me.

Let’s examine this matter further.

The debate has centered or perhaps has been steered towards the belief that companies have outsourced generally because labor costs are too high here in The United States and that environmental regulations and other regulatory matters make it impossible to manufacture here in The United States.

All of that of course is false. Americans are considered the best industrial employees having higher education levels and greater reliability and are considered more productive in many cases.

The real reason companies outsource is that after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and communism in general around the globe, suddenly there were six billion people ready to work for pennies on the dollar, whereas before companies were prohibited from using such labor due to restrictions related to political matters. When the Berlin Wall came down suddenly companies had a chance to make obscene profits by utilizing the sudden supply of cheap labor whereas prior they were merely just doing well. Clinton then gave China Most-Favored-Nation Trading Status. That coupled with the North American Free Trade Agreement, also ratified during The Clinton Administration, pretty much shut the American assembly line down. As I’ve said before, it was almost as if President Clinton himself went to the end of the assembly line and threw the switch, bringing it to a halt.

Industrialists then blamed the so-called high cost of union labor in order to justify the outsourcing. Manufacturers blamed restrictive over-regulation. The media bought it like a cheap Chinese suit and now that’s almost all you can find anywhere.

The real reason companies in The US, and much of the western world for that matter, have outsourced much if not most of their industrial production is due to the chance for a massive increase in profits, the chance to make obscene profits in many cases. Let’s face it, the real reason many companies have outsourced is because of greed.

Now that the American worker can’t afford to buy such products anymore, many companies are reconsidering their short-sighted production strategies and they are bringing their production facilities back to The United States or no longer outsourcing to other producers. Many believe those jobs are never coming back. Though most experts agree that it is, let’s hope it’s not too late.

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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If a company is going to receive a tax break for outsourcing production to overseas facilities or those facilities merely just outside of our borders, and companies do receive such tax breaks, then I believe those products made overseas should not be allowed to be sold in The United States. Those products should only be for sale outside the borders of The United States. Or, if companies and corporations wish to sell products in The United States that are produced overseas, then any related tax breaks should be removed.

American tax payers should not have to provide a corporate tax break for companies making products somewhere else. American tax payers should not have to pay to undermine their own economic condition.

There may be substantial benefits as some companies claim to using overseas production facilities, and that is quite likely, but I can assure you that undermining the American workforce is not one of those benefits. Even if companies outsource component parts for their products to overseas facilities, they should not receive tax breaks if those products are sold in The United States.

From the perspective of the federal government and income tax revenue, it is a no brainer. Why is the federal government foregoing potentially huge income tax revenue and on top of that throwing away more revenue to corporations in the form of tax breaks for setting up overseas production. The clarion call from the corporate world when such tax breaks became commonplace was “what was good for business was good for America.” But what is bad for the American worker is bad for America. Outsourcing production is bad for the American worker. And outsourcing directly affects income tax revenue.

In a world with a global economy we cannot prevent companies from outsourcing, that would be unfair. But what we can do is see to it that companies eligible for tax breaks operating in that global economy don’t use those tax breaks to destroy our own economy by undermining our own workforce.

Either products made overseas by companies receiving tax breaks for overseas production should not be sold here in The United States, to include components of larger products, or those companies should not receive tax breaks for outsourcing.

There is nothing wrong really with buying products made overseas from time to time by foreign companies or American ones for that matter. Often you don’t really have a choice because we don’t make all products in The United States. But it is one thing to buy something that is made in The United States and it is another thing entirely to buy something that through clever marketing appears to be made in The United States but is in fact almost completely composed of foreign-made products. I recall looking at a T-Shirt in the bargain bin at one of my favorite sporting goods stores. On the front was an American Flag with the word AMERICA! printed boldly on it just like that. When I checked the care label I noticed the country of origin was China. Somebody probably got a tax break for that, too.

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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Being a veteran I am acutely aware of the staffing shortage some of the VA Hospitals have been facing and the problems with scheduling that have been brought to the fore recently, scheduling problems resulting in delays that then resulted in the deaths of veterans.

I think the solution to the problem is rather simple. Instead of forcing veterans to attend a local Veterans Administration Hospital for treatment, we as a country should pay for veterans to obtain treatment on the open market at a local hospital.

Paying for veterans to obtain medical care on the open market makes huge financial sense, for one thing. Some veterans have to be transported great lengths to receive treatment since they live hundreds of miles from the nearest VA Hospital. When scheduling exceeds capability to provide medical care, give the veteran the option of visiting another medical facility on the open market. Why let a medical problem exacerbate itself and become more expensive because we are making the veteran wait for care? Medical issues generally become more expensive to treat the longer into the condition or malady, any doctor will tell you that. Since we use tax payer dollars to pay for the treatment, why make it more expensive?

Our elderly who have not offered up their lives for their country or served in the military are eligible for free medical care and we do not make them go to a special hospitals for “the elderly” like we make our veterans attend VA Medical facilities. Could you imagine what would happen if we made our elderly visit special hospitals for the elderly? Could you imagine the political cacophony of screams coming from the retired? They are making us go to “death hospitals!” It is a valid fear really. So why do we force our veterans to do just that, visit special, overcrowded hospitals?

Let me add that I am not saying we should dismantle the current VA Hospital system, quite the contrary. We should enhance it. Certain war related catastrophic wounds are best treated by specialists who see that type of injury all of the time. But not all such battlefield injuries require those types of specialists. Therefore, I believe we can fund enhancements to our VA Hospital system through properly managing care for our veterans by providing choices.

My local VA hospital is an excellent facility and has not had any of the problems we have been hearing about in the news. But veterans who live in the northern part of the state have to travel hundreds of miles to receive advanced medical care and their families often have to stay several nights away from their homes when there are local hospitals right there in their own community offering the same care. Why do we put them through that? Again, could you imagine the raucous cries if we made the elderly do that, travel half way across the country for care? And most of them haven’t even served in the military.

I think this is a better way of dealing with the problem of overburdened VA facilities. Use of the facilities is slated to increase as The US draws down in Afghanistan completely so the problems are likely to get worse.

It’s time to give our veterans a choice option when it comes to care.

It is an indication of the failure of our country’s entitlement culture when we pay for our elderly to use whatever hospital they choose and they have not even served in the military while we force our veterans, many of them elderly themselves in to crowded VA Hospitals. It is just plain wrong. Veterans pay taxes too AND have served their country. So why are they being treated like second class citizens?

It’s time to give veterans a choice when it comes to receiving medical care. Not only is it the right thing to do, it makes huge financial sense.

Contact your Senators and Congressmen and tell them you think veterans should have a choice to receive care on the open market by clicking here Find Your Elected Representatives and send them an email.

You will be doing every veteran in America a big favor and saving yourself some money at the same time. And that’s what America is really all about. It ain’t about entitlements.

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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Respect for the law and obedience to the law are two different states of being in the larger social context of “community.” Respect for the law comes out of a belief that what the law does for the community is generally good. Obedience to the law arises out of a fear of the consequences of not obeying the law. Though both respect for and obedience to the law may achieve the same result, clearly one, a societal respect for the law, is better.

Respect for the law is better in that members of society will actively participate in maintaining the law and living by the code of the law and the larger effect of that is that perpetuating the law is much less expensive to the public because policing and enforcement of the law are much less costly when the population is actively and willingly involved in those tasks.

Getting a population to adhere to the law when they feel it is not in their best interest, when they feel the law is unfair is always more expensive, substantially more expensive and always results in a substantially larger tax levy to cover the cost of law enforcement.

When you examine what is happening in Chicago with regard to the massive shootings almost every year (two years ago The National Guard was brought in) you must conclude that clearly there is little respect for the law or obedience to it for that matter. At 82 wounded and 15 dead over the 4th of July weekend, those casualty rates are higher than in Afghanistan during the height of the conflict. Only it’s not Afghanistan, it’s Chicago. Stop what you are doing, set whatever you have in your hands down, and think about it. Really. Take a moment and think about it.

Now, I do not reside in Chicago. It’s a remarkable city and I enjoy visiting it every chance I get. The people are wonderful. But the cost of policing the kind of behavior as was witnessed this last July 4th weekend surely must be supplemented with Federal Dollars. All of the funds going to support that beleaguered police department are not arising from local tax dollars, all of our dollars as well from around the country are flowing in for sure. ALL urban police departments receive substantial federal tax subsidy.

Why? Is it merely that urban populations are suffering from economic blight and they are warring for sustenance? Hardly. Is it because there is substantial political discord among the urban masses? Very unlikely because most urban areas tend to vote as a solid block. Is even asking all of these questions in an attempt to determine a reason for such behavior after what is possibly decades of such activity even justified following so many attempts to adjust social norms, fund certain behaviors through entitlement programs, even change numerous times the lexicon with which we speak? Of course not.

Then what is it? It is the law. It is the laws. It is the combination of various socialist/communist laws coupled with a variety of laws governing consensual behavior that has created this poisonous soup once called The American Melting Pot.

It is the legislated cabal of entitlements that fertilize all sorts of what I call “sex for money” programs that reward women for having children out-of-wedlock, for example. It is the laws that govern adult consensual behaviors, the prohibition of certain activities that society finds acceptable behavior behind closed doors but fears what will happen when the laws governing such behavior loosen, because the system is telling them general pandemonium will ensue (look what there is now, is that not general pandemonium?). In that last circumstance, organized criminal activity takes control due to the profitability of the circumstances and you begin to see various forms of “street justice” being meted out and with that a general breakdown in respect for the law. What we are witnessing today is merely an amplification of that disrespect for the law which results from the combination of social programs and laws governing the behavior of adults. In a way, it is not unlike the period of alcohol prohibition, only worse because then, such massive and expensive social programs did not exist. Today, the problem is many times worse than during the prohibition of alcohol as it is exacerbated by heavy and expensive social burdens placed on the ordinary citizen.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is what is happening in Chicago today. I’m convinced. Certain. And it is that general breakdown in respect for the law that makes law enforcement so very, very expensive, both in dollars and the lives of those who offer up their lives to enforce the laws.

We must not fear changing the law to prevent bankrupting our society, both economically and socially. Because that’s exactly what is happening now. When there is no peace, when travel is restricted, when taxation for maintaining the general peace and well-being of our society grows so astronomically, as it has, the law must change. It must. There is no other solution.

Failure to adjust the laws to social norms, failure to require those who cannot control their personal interactions or to pay for the result of those interactions, is bankrupting our country. Look at the national debt! It’s no accident it is so huge. If we refuse to address the matter legislatively we can only blame ourselves. The government keeps trying to hide the surmounting debt!

When will the economy reconcile itself with the realities of our country’s debt and socio-economic condition? How far off is the next Black Friday? Who is to say if our government continues spending like it does and enabling behavior like that?

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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