Austerity was the most searched word in 2010 according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary. Not a real surprise because the global community was at the crest of an economic crisis short of the Great Depression that year and ordinary folk may have encountered the word “austerity measures” a little too often both in both print and TV media. Austerity comes from the root word austere which means “rigourously self disciplined and severely moral”. When applied to economics, it translates to ” financial belt tightening”. In short, if the house is in severe financial stress it needs to cut expenses to pay off a mounting debt. Everyone must make a sacrifice by spending less, curtailing whims and spendthrift habits, holding off on unecessary purchases to keep the books in order. The government being the catalyst of the economy must keep its financial house in even keel amidst the tempest and austerity measures is a proven recipe to keep it afloat . Politicians are known to act slow on austerity measures for fear that reducing expenses and social services would ruin their approval rating and therefore risk not getting re-elected. When people are pissed with the economy, they show their vengeance at the polls. Take the case of Greece. It is so unbelievable that the country was going bankrupt if not for the Europen Union bailout that saved it from doom. The bailout wasn’t without strings attached though. The EU demanded that Greece shrink the size of its government, reduce expenses by a certain percentage to keep its book in order else the bailout won’t be granted. Citizens who feared losing their government jobs or pensions took to the streets and rioted, burned buildings, cursed their politicians and demanded a status quo – no changes. It boggles my mind how people react to dire situations. How in the hell can you get out of bankruptcy if you don’t give up something ?? This reminds me of a quote of Albert Einstein ” We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them ”
Enter Pinas. Do we ever complain – burn buildings, stage riots because we are fed up with the government ? Do we ever punish politicians at the polls ? No. Why ? Well, first of all there are millions of us who are either freeloading with relatives or engaged in the underground economy and don’t pay taxes and never get any service from the government – so why give a rat’s ass anyways ? And, we don’t vote for performance. We vote for emotional reasons – we like the person or the family name – period. At the end of the day, our elected politicians possess that sense of entitlement to do anything they want while poverty increases and guess what – we just keep quiet and suffer in silence. Austerity ? We know what that word means. We’ve been stretching it out for many decades now. Who needs social services when we have family to bail us out ?
Last week, a strange event happened. Air Canada pilots surprisingly called in sick instantly stranding a total of 90 flights. Thousands of passengers missed their flights. Many people were aggravated because missed boat cruises, weddings, funerals, vacations tours – name it. Luckily, no one ran amok and burned a plane to the ground. A month ago, many passengers got stranded at the Toronto airport because of a walkout by the baggage handlers. Why do people take their union vs. management battle at the expense of the paying public ? I don’t understand it. These aforesaid walkouts are blatantly illegal and the government doesn’t seem to have the appetite to punish these unions. Greed and selfishness. As long as their wishes are met, they don’t care about the consequences of their actions. Unions are supposed to follow the rules of engagement when it comes to staging a strike. Yes, you have to provide a notice of strike – not just walk out of the job and aggravate the public who have nothing to do with your beef. Screw Air Canada. An hour more I could drive down to the Buffalo Airport in NY State and take my flight from there. And it will be a lot cheaper.
BORING AMERICAN IDOL
I don’t know about you but I find this year’s edition of American Idol very boring. I can’t seem to get glued for 2 hours on the Wednesday show. I am inclined to watch the Thursday episode to find out who gets booted out. This year’s finalists, good singers as they are, don’t possess that much needed charisma. The contestants have serious personality issues. In my opinion, only one of them – Philip Phillips possesses the personality to qualify as American Idol. He’s got a pretty good voice too but mimicks Dave Matthews a lot. If he’s booted out I may lose interest in the show.
Filed under: Social Issues |