Physical appearance: The media plays up cosmetic surgery as if this is the norm. A few individuals are shown on television getting an eye or nose job, liposuction, a tummy tuck or hair transplant. To get a look at America’s norm, visit the local mall. Check out the morbidity obese that cast a shadow like a wholly mammoth as they graze at stores that vend ice cream, cookies and what is generally agreed to be unhealthy foods. The reality is that 3 out of 5 Americans are overweight or obese.
In California, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has the states utility customers by the nads. Utilities have gone up over 80% for many patrons. In April 2001, P.G. & E. handed out bonuses of over 55 million dollars to select top level employees.
The following week P. G.& E. filed for bankruptcy.
DOT-COM: Was it dot-com, dot-con, dot-bomb or dot-gone? Extinct are great sounding domain names like Furniture.com and PetShop.com, along with hundreds more. Imagine thousands of people leaving secure job positions in the hopes of striking it rich in the unknown, unproven and untried dot-com world.
In mid 1999 hard hat workers were talking about their investments in the stock market. They had about as much of a chance to strike it rich as Milosevic had of winning an international popularity contest.
Many defied standard work practices. They fought tooth and nail using laptops in an uneducated, hap-hazard feeble and pathetic approach to amass their fortune. They were refereed to as “day traders.”
Responsible people watched a few day traders on the evening news. Day traders appeared to be weak, sniveling wimps that complained. They complained of being stressed out when using their lap tops for hours on end. Buying and selling… again and again. Early on, many boasted of making a few thousand dollars each day before noon. As the inevitable crunch gained momentum, the majority of day traders realized they possessed the same level of skill selecting winning stocks as Pol Pot had with human relations.
In the Silicon Valley part of California, the only thing the vast majority of dot-commers did was clog freeways with SUV’s, 328 BMW’s and 320 Mercedes. They pushed the cost of housing, food, fuel and nice automobiles to record levels.
Imagine a few 28-34 year olds suddenly getting more wealth then they could handle. Some paid $1.2 million for $850,000 homes. Some paid $4.5 million+ for $2.5 million dollar homes. Others forced the prices of model year 2000 Jaguar’s, and Mercedes Benz’s up to $20,000 over sticker price. Most of the individuals that behaved in this manner thought it would never end. Many could not and did not save any of their paper profits. They are now leaving their expensive homes. Automobile repossession is at an all time high in Silicon Alley.
Towards the lower end of the dot-com revolution were employees that assembled various items for use in high tech equipment. At the bottom end were unskilled grunts that carefully placed styrofoam peanut chips around costly items that they put into premeasured shipping cartons. Many of them dreamed of becoming multi millionaires. These folks are still driving their 1979 Toyota Corollas.
On their time off, many of the hip dot-comers frequented neuvo avant garde coffee boutiques. Cappuccino, double mocha latte grandees were in vogue. Juan Valdez was relegated to the cups of normal folks. Well groomed young men boasted, “I build web sites”. Which of these highly trained people designed Web-Van’s site?
Something has to be said for the vast majority of hard working Americans that have the discipline to simply go to work every day. They took care of their family and financial obligations. They watched the stock market soar then crash. They continued to work and save for their future. I salute those.
Automobiles: Various promotions offered… Our SUV has more space then the other SUV. Never mind the tires that come apart. “There is no roll over problem with our SUV.” “Finally, an economy luxury sedan.”
Gas stations: Where else do you pay more and more and get less and less service? It doesn’t matter if your are a college student, home maker or top level executive. Park by the pump, go inside a small room, stand in line while someone ahead of us is buying junk food, cigarettes and then fuel.
Then it is our turn. We tell someone that speaks a language unknown to citizens educated in the Western world which pump we will use. This person might have received their green card earlier that day (maybe not)? We hand this individual our hard earned money. We go outside and put over priced and heavily taxed gasoline into our low smog emitting fossil fuel engines.
We return to the small room permeated with the personal body odor of the cashier who employs garlic as a deodorant. The laborious process of securing our proper change begins. We again wait in line while someone ahead of us attempts to make an informed purchase. Should they get the chemically induced chocolate pie, or the family pack of powdered sugar mini donuts?
Oh man. Just buy this crap. Eat it! Die! Just end it! Get out of my way. I am from America, the most powerful country in the world.
This is the current American version of… full service.
I say just a minute. I take one $20.00 bill back. I scrounge around and give him exactly $4.00 more. He is upset. I am home.
Tipping: For some unknown reason Americans have been trained to give after tax income in the form of hard cash to people that perform menial tasks. I.e. A waiter or server is hired and paid to come to work at a restaurant and do the following… 1) Hand you a menu. 2) Take your order. 3) Go to the kitchen and hand your order to the cook. 4) Bring you the finished plate. This is what they were hired to do. In most parts of the world, this is considered a no-brainer.
If a waiter botches up orders, does not pay attention to customers and/or acts in a rude manner he is fired. However, if the waiter does the job he was hired to do, in America you are expected to offer a tip of 15%-25% of the total check. That means, you are expected to tip this much even on the sales tax!
No doubt there are some that used to work in this field. They are thinking I am a hard nose. But, that is exactly why you used to do that type of work.
If servers or waiters want more money, they should get a better education. This could lead to a better paying job. Job. You know. Job. Get paid for what you know and what you can do. Do not expect extra free cash for just for showing up.
It is not the responsibility of the general population to subsidize servers and waiters that fall victim to restaurant owners that pay low wages. Especially with after tax cash from outside sources (the customer).
How many of us tip the wanna-be pump jockey in the gas station? The grocery clerk?? The tax man??? — Are people in America so wealthy we can afford to reward those with hard cash who prefer to avoid skilled and/or hard labor? Perhaps it is the ‘server’ that is putting more cash in their pockets vs. the tipper?
Marriage: For less than half of the American population marriage is satisfactory. I am happy for them. Over 50% of US marriages fail. Could this be the result of perceived entitlement? Women brow beat husbands into spiritual submission. If hubby resists Femi-nazi tactics, he can be sued for divorce and pays for decades. What ever happened to being an independent? Standing and having your own ground. Sharing life with a soul mate?
Our forefathers came to America to escape repression, oppression, injustice and/or political tyranny. They came to America for a better life. A life where they could bring children into the world that would have opportunities they could only dream of.
Today, far too many people visit America and simply forget to go home! Some legally immigrate and bring all the negative aspects of their homeland with them. Some enter America to have a baby or have their teeth capped. Then go back to where these medical services are poor at best. All this at the cost of American tax payers. The only people that pay taxes in America are the people that work.Please make an honest effort to embrace your step mother country. Do not demand that street signs be printed in your native language. Remember, right lane slow. Left lane fast.
Politics: We must recount the recount, again. Then recount again after the new President has been in office for a couple of months.
The out going president takes tens of thousands of dollars worth of furniture and items as he leaves the nations capitol. When he is caught, our ex-leader pathetically attempts to justify the theft of furniture as… perhaps a consolation prize?
Slick Willie left America with an economy that started to descentagrate like the Hindenberg’s last arrival into Lakehurst. This unraveling of Americas perceived prosperity started a few months before he left office. He cost tax payers (we the people) over $40 million dollars by lying under oath. His legacy is a blue stained dress. He left his side-kick Mr. Gore with little chance to take the position he was groomed for. But this is America. How quickly we forget.
Why is that when President Clinton had white house staffers on their knees in the oval office, no democrats complained. When Attorney General Ashcroft had staffers on their knees and most democrats are complaining.
Citizen at large