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How Do You Get Off a Sinking Ship When The Lifeboats Are Full of Holes?

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This is a story about the legendary ship, the USS America, a once mighty ship that was the envy of the world, but now is foundering on the rocks of disaster. This ship is rapidly taking on water and it's time to get off, but the lifeboats are useless. So, the ship's passengers, just like those on the Titanic, before it went to the bottom, are huddled together on the deck, confused, full of fear and dread, praying for a miracle.

Except for a crippled main engine, a badly damaged rudder and the leaky lifeboats, everything else seems to be fine. Wall Street bonuses in the millions continue, reality TV shows abound, and state lotteries create new millionaires daily. Corporate America is funding candidates for electoral office, primarily Republicans, and is spending many millions of dollars to establish an oligarchy in America.

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The captain and the ship's officers somehow lost the charts and cannot, collectively, figure out which course the ship should take. President Obama has seemingly lost his audacity and cannot seem to locate his bully pulpit with which to reach America with some kind of message, any kind of in-depth substantive explanation of how he intends to get us out of this mess and into a new direction. He says we need to create jobs and restore the economy but doesn't seem to have a clue on how to do it; but, then again, no one in America does either, including numerous respected economists and financial gurus. Question: why is it so very easy to escalate our wars and so very hard to create jobs?

Congress keeps very busy collecting millions upon millions of $ in campaign cash, perks of all kinds and, while we can't yet prove it, quite possibly some cash under the table. That may be why, as I recently read, the Congress in now chock full of millionaires. Speaking of Congress, it looks like the American people, in their extreme frustration, are going to throw the spineless, cowardly Democrats out of office, and bring in the treacherous, deceitful, hateful Republicans who are intent on turning the middle class in America into serfs and peasants. Why, that's what's commonly referred to as cutting your own throat!

So, as this once formidable ship of state begins its descent into the deep, dark waters of economic collapse, it is time for new thinking and new ideas that can still save us. To stabilize this ship and put it on a new, positive course, here are some proposals that cannot fail:

The best and easiest thing to do? Why don't we just get some more money from China to prop us up until we can figure how to get out of our economic quagmire? That would solve all our problems. What, you say we can't do that because our Chinese credit cards are already over their limits and the Chinese are thinking about taking action to foreclose America? Sorry, forgot about that and the fact that the greatest portion of our monumental national debt is already owned by the Chinese. So, o.k., just scratch that idea; but there must be something else we can do.

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This time I have the real answer; we can stop the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and bring our troops home. That will not only save hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars but will also save the lives of untold numbers of our troops and innocent civilians. That will solve our problems and get us back on our feet. What, we can't do that either? You say that we have to stay the course, that we must keep trying to win the hearts and minds of those backward people in those nations that we have invaded and occupied so that we can bring them freedom and democracy? Well, I guess that is true, we need to do just that; and besides, in repayment for our services, we will certainly be entitled to share in their natural resources a nice tradeoff.

What else can we possibly do? I'm starting to run out of ideas but how about this? Why don't we create millions of new jobs in new industries and why don't we call it the "Green Economy?" We could establish new cooperative programs between the government and private industry to develop new energy systems using windmills, solar panels, alternate fuels and other forms of clean energy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and, at the same time, employ millions more American workers.

But where would we get the additional engineers and highly skilled technicians to develop and manage these new industries? That's easy; we could pump billions more into our national education systems, hire more teachers and professors to educate and train our new workforce. This is the kind of stimulus that would result in positive benefits, a far better use of our money than the previous stimulus program that has been less than a resounding success.

What, the answer is no yet again? Those multi-billions of dollars that we would need to create new industries and jobs are already committed to the rebuilding of the infrastructure that we have destroyed by our bombs in the Big Three (Iraq, Afghanistan & Pakistan)? Well, I guess that these countries need it more than we do for schools, water systems and their bombed out electrical grid - and for creating badly needed jobs over there. After all, we must remember that they have many people standing in their unemployment lines.

Well, I certainly tried and gave it my best, but I'm sorry that I'm out of ideas. I honestly don't know where to go from here. This ship is rapidly taking on water and it is going down. Time to get off before we sink, but where to go? Any suggestions?

Michael Payne

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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)

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