February 18, 2009
Hey Joe! I love you!… You got $39 Billion?
I was 13, when my eyes were opened a bit to exactly what destitution really was… but then I was in “Culture Shock” mode already.
We had just moved to Yokosuka Japan from Coronado California… (two poles of a cultural magnet if you ask me) where Dad was to assume command of the USS Midway (CV-41). Only problem was the Midway, as was more the normal, wasn’t currently in Japan. Nope, she was down in the Philippines at Cubi Point (Subic Bay) on exercises. This was back in the day when the United States actually had military facilities in the Philippines.
So, not wanting to miss this momentous occasion, the whole family winged our way south to the land of Jungles, Monkeys, White Sand Beaches, and Olongapo… home of “Antiques while you wait,” the Po River (AKA Sh!t River… AKA Open Sewer!) and the “Hey Joe Kids.”
Ya see, connecting the US Naval facilities of Subic Bay (and NAS Cubi Point) to the local township of Olongapo was a bridge across the Olongapo River, known by far less proper terms as aforementioned. On this river were a number of kids (8-12 years old on average) in canoes yelling at the sailors headed into town on liberty, asking for donations to their charitable cause! “Hey Joe! Got a Peso?”
The obliging sailor would then pull out a few coins of the realm, and toss to the kids in the canoes. Or so went the theory. Many o sailor, lacking a comprehensive understanding of the situation, and not fully understanding why prior to arriving in this humid jungle of Tijuana East, was required to receive both cholera and typhoid inoculations… would toss the coin not to the waiting hands of the kid in the boat, but rather, into the disease and germ infested Po river! (Some sailors did indeed know better and did it anyway… vermin!) The kids, certainly not recognizing the hazards of their actions, dove in after the maliciously tossed coin! This explained the average life expectancy of a “Hey Joe kid” being somewhere south of 18 years!
Later the US Navy made it a Court Marshal offence to toss a coin at the kids in the river. The navy recognized the insanity, the malice of one taking glee in killing the innocent.
I was in shock watching this… Being the quite impressionable 13 year old I was, I could not quite grasp the magnitude of what I was seeing (and smelling).
We crossed the bridge… Dad wanted to show young John more of what the rest of the world was like. It was an eye opener to say the least. They came from everywhere, kids no older than I, mobbing us asking for money. They knew no other way to survive, and holding out their hand had continually proven profitable. These kids were addicted, to their own demise. For as distasteful as this was… Uncle Sam was indeed the economic life blood of Olongapo! Without the Navy, there was no economy… as the people would learn the hard way when a few short years later the US Military succumbed to the pressures of the Filipino government who viewed the US with distain… and left.
The people of Olongapo who knew only how to suck on the economic teat of the US Military were left to starve now that their sow had died.
I see the same thing happening in our economy today. Once proud auto manufacturers standing in a river of shit with their hands out asking to be thrown coins of the realm for their survival, not knowing that in this act itself have all but assured their ultimate demise… only prolonging the agony.
Banking, Retail, Entertainment, Durable Goods Manufacturers, Resorts, Aircraft Manufacturers, Green Energy Producers… all blinded by the immediate allure of money being tossed with reckless abandon by a gleeful yet naive government, thinking they are doing the “Hey Joe Kids” a favor.
Mr. Obama, Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Reid… I don’t want your hand outs, you are killing our drive to excel, to strive, to become more efficient, to think for ourselves, to achieve meaningful goals. You’re conditioning us to chase trinkets thrown into a river, to satisfy your malicious heart, satisfying your narcissistic impression that power comes from you… not from we the people.
As long as the teat of the American Sow is laid forth, the weak will indulge, sadly to their own demise when the milk runs dry.
Please, stop this madness, we are Americans, with the will, the intellect and the drive to succeed no matter the odds. Do not take away our motivation by falsely providing us mirages of comfort, temporal as they are. Tough love is what is needed. We can be better, we just have to remember that in order to succeed we HAVE to be better, mediocrity should not be rewarded.
What is claimed as “Stimulus” is nothing of the sort. The only thing the recent bill signed has done is to empower government more and de-motivate the majority of us, to a condition where we no longer feel we are earning for ourselves but rather earning for the STATE to take care of us.
Now we learn this is only the tip of the iceberg. Mr. Obama is now proposing the next great rescue in $75 Billion of a Mortgage plan, and another $39 Billion to save a failing car manufacture that should have re-evaluated 20 years ago!
Of a scarier nature is… President Obama has not even submitted a budget, one wonders what that will look like. And cost us, not to mention our children…! To many the milk you offer looks sweet… sad that it soon be vinegar.
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Read your history books! It is all there and being repeated, and don't just pick on the Dem's, Reagan raised taxes 4 times in 2 years and created new taxes as well and if I remember correctly our economy was "extraordinarily Bearish." I remember well as I had just gotten out of the Navy FEB.83 after serving 3 years on the Midway, one of them under "HOAGY" Carmichael and I am sure that Bush jr. convinced America, "first" that a bail-out of our banking system was ALL-AMERICAN!
I am not saying roll with the punches necessarily, but to see and understand what is really behind all this mess, it is called Capitalism and I love it and believe it will always be... for better or worse
Posted by: Dan | Feb 22, 2009 4:54:21 PM
Crash n' Trash the whole economy then have us beg to live under the jack boot of some cryto-commie socialist/fascist goverment. No thanks, I'll pass...
by any means necessary.
"The trouble with socialism is you eventually run out of other people's money" -Margret Thatcher
"A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have." -Gerald Ford
"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it." -Ronald Reagan
"A claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers." H.A.Hayek
Posted by: Ken | Feb 21, 2009 6:32:24 PM
If Martha Stewart did time for what she did, what should the punishment be for the likes of Madeoff (Madeoff with everyone's money) and the CEO's of all those companies that received all of our tax money to wallpaper their offices with gold and buy $10,000 waste paper baskets...
BTW, my other daughter is now an official blogger. Link is on my post today.
Posted by: ~sWaMpY~ | Feb 20, 2009 3:16:31 PM