Thursday, July 23, 2009

An open letter from a middle-class American

I'm going to take a quick break from writing about flying and write about life in general. You, my friends, may not agree with each of these points, but I at least want you to think about each of them.

I am a middle-class American:

1. I believe that the best solutions to problems come from somewhere other than Washington, D.C.

2. I am not in a high tax bracket; in fact, I am "between jobs." However, I don't want the government to fix that for me. I'm spending my own funds, saved over the years through much sacrifice, to make my professional (and thus my family's personal and financial) life what I want it to be.

3. If we lost our insurance benefits tomorrow, we'd figure it out. Don't feel sorry for me or count me as a statistic ("uninsured Americans") and tell me what I need. The healthcare system does need to be reformed, but not in a hurried manner. I understand that the President wants to get while the getting's good, and I believe that if the current plan prevails my children and grandchildren will suffer financially and physically because of it.

4. I believe in the free market. The government does not need to intervene; brands and companies go by the wayside all the time. Do not spend my hard-earned money to bail out companies who cannot keep their affairs in order. If they cannot make a profit, their market shares will be replaced by companies that can.

5. I believe that a strong military is necessary to protect the country against its foes, and I am proud of my friends in the military and their brothers and sisters in arms.

6. I believe that spending is out of control in this country. The TSA and the TARP bailouts are both good examples of organizational theatre; they are symbols put in place to give people a good feeling and give the appearnce of doing something, when in fact they are just black holes for tax dollars. Don't waste my tax money to put on an ineffective show. I'm not stupid and I know you're decieving me.

7. I believe that excess taxation removes initiative---the initiative to innovate, to achieve, to create new companies and jobs is at the center of what it is to be American. We will surely lose any world leadership legitimacy that is left if this initiative goes away.

8. I believe that voters should be self-educated; don't vote for a feeling or a great story. Know the facts. We are beginning to see the adverse side effects of electing a reality star.

9. I believe that we deserve what we work for. If we make $20,000 or $200,000, we've earned it. In a free market, no one has a right to say what is an "excessive" salary.

10. I believe that a person can be a professional at anything. I have met janitors who are more professional than some bosses I've worked for. The trades are disappearing in this country. Refer back to my point about initiative.

Many of my views, especially after grad school, tend to be "middle of the country," and I try to give the benefit of the doubt. However, the more you push me, tell me how backwards I am, and presume to tell me what I want and need, the further to the right you push me.

I am a middle-class American. I look at America through the eyes of Frank Capra and James Stewart, and believe that there is still much good to come from our experiment in democracy.

I am a middle-class American. What I see coming from Washington alarms me. There are many like me. If you are elected to an office, you work for US. And we will be heard in 2010 and 2012.

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