Commentary by: Roger Landry (TLB)
Everything needs perspective. How did we get here? Perspective allows us to see the difference of then and now, over an extended period, something hard to see when change is slow and measured over several generations. Personal perspective also has the ability to cancel out the rewriting of history or the heavy hand of media propaganda.
I have lived for three generations and would now respectfully offer my personal perspective of what I have seen transpire over this time-frame. This is by no means a detailed perspective, that would require a book … but it is enough to make a blatant point. For those who will disagree or push back, I would simply ask … How long have you been asleep?
Mid 1950s – 1970
I can remember as a youngster people would talk about millionaires as if they were somehow supernatural, with all the money in the world !!
I can still hear my father telling me that if he had a million dollars in the bank, he could live comfortably off the interest for the rest of his life without ever touching the principal.
Everyone who wanted a job had one. Supporting a family on a one income was doable with reasonable comfort. Welfare and unemployment were a still a problem of the future, Social Security was paid into a special fund that the government was not to touch, to be available as a safety net when you retired.
If the government ran a deficit in the tens of millions my parents would have freaked and wondered where this country was headed, and a billion was a number the average citizen couldn’t conceive of in its immensity.
America was loved and admired across the world … this was the place to be, to raise children, to dream.
The people were proud and happy.
1970 – 1990
I enlisted in the Navy at seventeen years of age. A sizable portion of this nation rails against one war, Vietnam, and forces government to hear us.
Millionaires were not that uncommon and the term “billionaire” was still just creeping into our vocabulary. I can remember a local radio talk show host saying that a new millionaire was created in this country every three days; wow, who would have thought?
We suffered through a choreographed oil shortage that forced us to economize our vehicles and our homes.
The average Joe had a good paying manufacturing job and enjoyed a decent lifestyle.
If we ran a multi-billion dollar deficit the government said it was good for the economy.
The military industrial complex and pharmaceutical industry were beginning to buy massive influence and flexing their new found political power.
Billionaires were the new Gods of money, and, as we were starting to realize, wielded some serious political clout.
This was the beginning of the me generation.
The people were cautious.
1990 – 2000
I was working for the military industrial complex, making great money and helping to arm every nation and faction with weapons (ally or not) these companies and our government could sell them to.
The term “billionaire” was becoming commonplace and familiar to the masses. A published article stated that a millionaire was created in this country every day and money and material possessions ruled society.
Credit was damn easy to get, and these were the decades of mass consumption.
The budget was balanced for the first time in a long time; but then, more and more jobs began moving overseas because labor was so cheap, and corporations began to show their true greed.
Oil and cheap products were flowing into this country at an alarming rate, building a dependency that threatened our balance of trade and economic stability.
The military industrial complex and pharmaceutical industry were making serious and deep inroads into the government, acquiring serious political clout and favor all without the average citizen having much of a clue.
The people were concerned.
2000 – 2010
We survived the doomsday event of Y2K.
I was running my own little computer consulting company and scratching to make ends meet.
Millionaires were commonplace and no big deal. Billionaires were plentiful and credit was cheap.
The housing bubble burst (intentionally) and wiped out a lot of the average Joes, the semi-well to do and many of the then common millionaires.
More and more of the common folk were out of work, and getting another job meant settling for less.
Big banks were failing, but receiving bailouts from their political cronies regardless of their blatant mismanagement, while We The People fell further into debt and relative poverty.
The military industrial complex was raking in billions from multiple wars that worked to their advantage. Pharmaceutical giants were now buying government favor at a rate five times what the military industrial complex could muster. Multinational Corporations now have a visible strangle hold on the government.
Budget deficits skyrocketed as the government tried to buy their way out of a hole they had dug, due to a “push it back” or “kick the can down the road” mentality combined with severe cronyism and incompetency.
Nearly every politician had his hand in the cookie jar and their time in Washington was consumed with padding their retirement instead of why they were sent there in the first place.
America was now officially an Oligarchy.
The people were waking up!!
2010 – present
I have now worked for two companies that have gone out of business because they can no longer compete in a global economy.
More than one out of five adult males is out of work and true unemployment (not the MSM reported stats) is over that observed in the great depression (23%). A large portion of this demographic is either collecting long term unemployment or some form of benefits from a government that is broke, and many are faced with very few prospects of ever regaining their past standard of living.
The talk of recession turns to talk of depression as more people exhaust their unemployment benefits or give up trying to ever find gainful employment again.
The big banks and global financiers have as great a strangle hold on the economy as the military industrial complex and pharmaceutical industry does on the government.
Our national credit rating has been lowered for the first time in history, and Washington’s answer is to borrow more money, or to raise the debt ceiling to heights generations to come will be severely burdened with.
Congress is impotent due to severe infighting, special deal making, and finger pointing. We now talk about yearly deficits using the term multiple trillions, a mind boggling number we could not even have conceived of a generation before!
You can’t drive through any city of size without seeing factory after factory closed down, abandoned due to the failure of American competitiveness, or beggars and the homeless on most street corners panhandling just to stay alive.
America, once seen as the shining castle on the hill, is now looked on as an out of control monster, or the proverbial bully on the block. War protests are almost non existent even-though we are involved in hostilities across the globe both overtly and covertly leaving millions of dead innocents (collateral damage) in our wake.
A college graduate is now competing with the out of work professional with thirty years of experience willing to work for peanuts. A full time job with benefits is now seen as a gift from the all-mighty. Our once globally admired middle class falters and shrinks.
The person who has worked hard all his life has seen his pension destroyed by greedy, inept bankers, while the average Joe who is about to retire wonders if the Social Security fund he has paid into all his life has been so badly abused and raided by the government that it will fail him when he needs it most to survive.
I founded The Liberty Beacon project to awaken the sleepers to the disintegration of America with the hope and belief that it is not too late.
The people are angry!
In a mere three generations, a blink of the eye by historical standards, I have personally watched the proudest, most powerful, and prosperous country in the history of this planet knocked to its knees by power grabbing, greed, and gross mismanagement and all to the benefit of a very select few!
I will always be proud to be an American, but there are so many Americans today that I can never be proud of!
It’s time to wake up America !!!