'Tis true, Madison is a wonderful place to live. The same can be said of New Jersey (stop snickering) and the USA for that matter.
That does not mean we can simply "go with the flow" and not demand better for both our community and world as a whole.
Since it has been about 10 hours since a woman accused Herman Cain of sexual impropriety, can we take a closer look at some hard truths that need correcting?
First, banks need to start cutting checks to the American tax payer, and fast. When giants like Lehman and Merrill were disappearing and other firms were gladly taking handouts from working folk to stay afloat, folks like me were expected to continue making mortgage payments in good faith. Turns out folks like that are only needed in times of crisis. Had a payment been missed Chase would have certainly given a call. Had there been several missed payments they would have been sure to foreclose.
As the recession continues, average American citizens are finding it near impossible to get credit (due in large part to the overvaluing of home prices by the very banks we bailed out.) For example, a Madison home purchased for $390,000 in 2003 is worth about as much today (in appraisal terms.) At least that is what TD Bank might say on one of their "drive-by appraisals." This week the homeowners were told a $10,000 Home Equity Loan has been denied.
Really? With no debt and credit scores near perfect? Interesting. If good, honest and bill-paying folks are unable to secure credit (from a Canadian bank no less!) how can there be confidence in the overall health of the banking industry?
And don't get encouraged by the "record" numbers you read about over the weekend. Black Friday sees a boom in over-extended folks putting money on credit cards that will be paid off sometime around never. Credit Card companies win. Big-box stores and Asian manufacturers win. If anything, the next few weeks puts us deeper in debt.
The greatest issue we all face is our inability to produce things. Perhaps more damning is the expectations we place on our children. That is, more often than not we tell them in no uncertain terms that college is essential.
It is? Can I get a number on how many psychology majors there are in the USA today? OK, then tell me how many of them will successfully use their degrees after college? How about communications majors? We are training our college kids to be lawyers and pharmaceutical salespeople.
Those folks are essential, but in far less scale!
Bring me the math and science students. Show of hands for the engineers please? Environmental studies? Green technology? Electric fence builders?
Is it time to rethink our goals and needs overall? Should there be a greater push for technical schooling?
Can we get a nation to rethink and/or come to terms with its lack of advancement? Are we even capable of taking such a leap? After all, who will teach us? And really, why would anyone want to get into teaching anyway? They are underpaid, under-appreciated, and overwhelmed. The same can be said for police and fireman. Those folks we rely on the most are the ones most in peril. We ignore them repeatedly until we are in need or they make glaring mistakes.
So the beat goes on. We put our faith in a system very much in disrepair. We understand and love it despite all its dysfunction. But it might be high time for some radical changes. It is not like JPM Chase or Goldman is going to cut you a check anytime soon.
It is clear we can not rely on our government to handle the enforcement. What then can we do? You tell me, I was an English major. You see where that has gotten me!
For more: guidetosomewhere.blogspot.com
P.S.: Two things on Madison football. First, go get 'em! Anything to quiet Summit and Rex Ryan is always welcome thing. I was fortunate enough to see them play a few times this year and I truly hope the kids bring it home. Give it your best and enjoy every moment.
Second, I am thinking the "War on 24" sign near the Nautilus Restaurant needs to be re-worded. Several of these kids can literally be waging war within months. I get behind being enthusiastic about beating a rival ... but this is a stretch. War is taking out Allied Forces near the Afghan border from a helicopter missile. Lacing up the sneakers for one of NJ's 75 football championships does not a war make. Let's keep our priorities in order please. Game on.