We’re Sorry, The Problem You Are Arguing About Has Already Been Solved…

The following is a unedited repost from my other blog, Almost Bipartisan. If you like what you see, consider putting Almost Bipartisan in your bookmarks. Hopefully I can continue to find ways to cross post more commentary like this.

The American Dream is becoming a lost concept. Before, it was completely plausible for everyone to aspire to have that white picket fence in the suburbs, with the dog and the kids frolicking along in the front yard. Before, our troops could have confidence when they came home because they knew their government was going to repay them for all they endured overseas in the midst of war. Before, all it took was a little motivation to achieve greatness in this country, but things aren’t quite the same anymore.

There’s something very wrong with the way modern America works today. We have the greatest disparity between the rich and the poor since the Great Depression and as you may know know thanks to the many “Occupy” protests popping up around the country, the top 1% control 42% of the financial wealth in the U.S. To give you a clearer picture, that means about 400 individuals in this country control nearly half of all the wealth.

There’s a reason we haven’t seen these kind of numbers since the Great Depression, and there’s a reason why American started going through its worse economic recession since the Great Depression when these numbers started remerging. Just like greed led to our crash back then, the same greed is back again wreaking havoc on our economy. Now, this is typically the part of the argument where people begin throwing around the term “socialist” or asking things like “why do you want to punish success?” That’s not the case, and people who say stuff like that are being short sighted.

My argument for what we need to do to fix the economy is a simple yet controversial one. The only way to put balance back into the economy is to either cut and slash or increase revenue streams. We need to do both. Yes, even though I lean to the left, there is no argument our government wastes money. It can be more streamlined and if we look hard enough, I bet we can find fat to trim in nearly every department. However, we can only cut so much from so many places and that’s where me and my more conservative friends start to part. Like it or not, government has a purpose in our lives. They pave our roads, fix our bridges, protect our cities, and help educate our children. We all benefit from the presence of government, even the super ultra rich. So isn’t it only fair that we ask the super ultra rich and corporations to step up and take on some of the burden? According to Time, General Electric made over $14 billion in 2010 yet they paid no taxes, zilch, nada, a big fat goose egg. Moreover, in that same year, the government paid GE $3 billion in credits. Can you imagine how much more revenue the government could have made if we simply taxed GE and other companies like it a measly 5%? That’s more money to help rebuild our infrastructure and so much more.

And what about the top 1% who controls 42% of the countries wealth? What if we also taxed them just an additional 5%? I mean come on, is someone who pulls $10 million a year really going to suffer and struggle feeding their family that much more just because the government took an extra 5% of their massive income? American was in a hole back in the 1930’s and the way we got out was by asking the super ultra rich to invest more in government, so government can in turn invest more infrastructure and our people.

Now that the same thing is happening again, why are we acting like we don’t know the solution to the problem?

Advice From The Future

This is to my 10 Year Old self. Remember how you think your life was so hard? I’m writing from the future to tell you to shut the hell up and enjoy what you have now. I’m not going to lie, being an adult can be pretty cool at times, and much of it is everything you ever dreamed of. There are no bedtimes, you can eat whatever you want when you want, you can drive a car, you can curse, and there’s nobody that can stop you from playing with matches. You truly do have complete power over your life.

However, as you well know from Spider-Man, with great power comes great responsibility. Mommy and Daddy are no longer here to take care of all your needs. Now, whenever you want something, you get it yourself. And I’ll tell you right now that video games and trips to restaurants can get very expensive. Do you remember when mom and dad always talked about paying bills? Well buddy, you now have to pay those too. And believe me, there’s one for everything. You’ll quickly learn that money really does make the world go round and the only way your going to keep up is to get a job. But don’t worry, the job we have now is at least fun, and we made a lot of new friends there.

You’re going to learn a lot about how the world operates, and you’ll soon learn that things aren’t always so black and white. You’ll discover politics and learn that the decisions of people you’ve never met, and probably never will meet will effect your life in ways you’ve never imagined. You’ll have to make decisions for yourself that requires you to choose the lesser of two evils, and you won’t always see a benefit from those decisions.

You probably don’t even completely understand what I’m trying to say to you, and in a way it’s better that you don’t. I just want you to know that life doesn’t get any easier. There are going to be a ton of challenges and obstacles that are heading your way, and even more that I don’t know about yet. That doesn’t mean you should be afraid though, you’re going to meet a lot of amazing people who will always be here to help you. Your family will also always be by your side, even though you are going to make some choices that they will not agree with. You have a lot to look forward to in the coming years, but I want you to enjoy what you have know. You don’t know it yet, but the phase of life you’re in now is the best one. Young and carefree. A life of simplicity. There will never be another phase of your life that is like the one you’re in now, and if I can teach you anything, it would be to soak in every moment of it.

Love Them With Your Hand

What you are about to read may be shocking, because I’m about to promote beating your children. Let me explain…

As a child, I kept it playful. I could play pranks, I could joke around. And as long as I didn’t get too out of hand, my parents let me have the freedom needed to become the (semi) well-rounded adult I feel I am today. But whenever I started getting crazy, they would beat me down.

Belts, spoons, landles, remotes, basically anything in the immediate radius that could be held. But in most cases, the hand would do.

I can remember instances where I would purposely knock something off a shelf at a grocery store or try to have a meltdown. When I did, I was greeted by “the secret pinch,” a technique my mom developed. If you acted out, mom would come close to you and pretend to be lovey-dovey when in reality she’s giving you one of the hardest pinches you’ve felt in your life. Or what about acting out while the parent is on the phone? My parents have another one in the playbook called “the look.” The scariest thing about the look is 1) how mom or dad would maintain complete control of the conversation while 2) giving you the meanest look possible. Even worse was the knowledge of impeding doom whenever that phone conversation ended. Don’t even get me started on the mind games they would play, like hanging a metal belt on the wall as a deterrent for bad behavior.

As someone who was disciplined, I can never understand why parents would allow their child to run over them. To get loud, disrespectful, and wreak havoc. I don’t even have kids and I already know that your kids should fear you, just a bit. And how do you build that fear? By giving them something to be afraid of. Giving your kid a good pop every once in a while doesn’t make you a child abuser, and it doesn’t mean you don’t love them.

You simply love them with your hand.

Man Up

I may not be a man. Okay, I should re-phrase that…

Media tends to set a certain tone for what a man is. If you were to spend a day watching TV or reading magazines and books, you would say that a man is someone who can spend their days doing nothing but watching ESPN and kicking back beers and be in heaven. A man is someone who lives for getting a new tool set for Christmas so they can spend the rest of their winter vacation restoring that old Chevy in the garage. A man’s man is gruff and can take a tumble. I have none of these qualities.

As a matter of fact, I might be the opposite in every way. If given the choice of only beer and an Appletini, I’d get an Appletini. I could go months without watching ESPN but if you try to stop me from watching the Rachel Maddow Show I just might cut you. I say things like “I just might cut you.” The only time I’m into tools is when I’m assembling a new piece of furniture and I much rather have a stranger fix my car than allow myself to mess around and (likely) break something.

Of course these are all stereotypes, but all stereotypes were at a time based on truth. Whoever said all black people love fried chicken and watermelon didn’t just pull that notion out of thin air, they had to run into a least a few black people who really did like fried chicken and watermelon (I know I do). The same is true here. Meaning that, at least to some, I’m definitely not a man.

I like to think that my love of Hip-Hop with excessive cursing might make up for some of the points I lose by publicly admitting I like Appletini’s, but at the same time I think I just have too much working against me. I mean, really. Appletini’s and Rachel Maddow? Quit while you’re ahead man.

The Itch

Graduating from school is an experience I always thought I would look forward to. No more exams, homework, or projects sounded like a dream come true to somebody who just spent the last 18 years of their life doing what seemed like nothing but. So that’s why I find it weird that I’m sitting here in my living room on a Saturday night thinking about how bored I am.

That’s not to say that being done with school isn’t awesome, cause it is. But at the same time I can’t help but feel an “itch.” Summer is coming to an end, school is ramping back up, and in a time I’m normally getting ready to get back to the grind, I’m faced with the fact that nothing is actually going to happen this year. There won’t be any classes, exams, homework, or projects. It’s just going to be me and my job, with no other obligations. Something I never even really thought about until I just wrote that sentence.

So now what? Now that I’ve successfully joined the masses of newly graduated 20 somethings with nothing but a dream, a 9.2% unemployment rate, and shitty economic prospects, what exactly do I do now?  Hone my skills? (could never hurt) Blog more? (god knows I should) Do something crazy? (maybe once the lease is up and the bills are paid).

Either way, I should figure it out soon. Summer isn’t meant to last more than 3 months.

T.I. vs. Wiz – Who Mastered the Beat?

Every so often, a curious thing happens in music. An artist will release a song, and then another artist, often within a short period of time, will release another song that sounds kinda like (if not exactly like) the song that the first artist put out.

It happened with Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce last year when obvious similarities were made between Clarkson’s “Already Gone” and Beyonce’s “Halo.” And this year it looks like Wiz Khalifa and T.I. are the victims.

“Real Estate” is a potential single by Wiz and is also the one many (including me) heard first.

“Poppin Bottles” is off T.I.’s upcoming “No Mercy” and just leaked Monday.

Either way, two good new songs makes a win for most Hip-Hop fans. Even though I personally think Wiz won this round.

My New Vision

My one failure when it comes to blogging is having a clear vision. I’m a man of many interests and I want to talk about them all. The problem with this is that I tend to get overwhelmed, tired, and not have enough time to talk about them all. That is true for one thing and one thing only…

Music.

I love Politics, but your guaranteed to be disappointed or furious and not want to talk about it sometimes. I’m a News Geek, but I’m also a Journalism major. So when I get home, I don’t necessarily want to talk about more news. The one thing that I’ll always talk about though, is music.

So here’s my new vision, to make this blog dedicated to music. Old and new, mainstream and niche. My hope is that the other topics that I’m interested in will slowly follow and integrate themselves. But for now, the focus is music.

I feel that this is the beginning of something great.