Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Dear Young People

I occasionally run across an editoral by a younger person, ok, young person, meaning somewhere under 40 and often under 30, and their rant is against old people and the world we're leaving them when we die.

Ok, I agree about the world, and I'm sorry it's fucked up for you. I did my part, badly sometimes but hey, I tried with my career to make it a good place. That said, I don't agree about this person's thoughts about old people. Why?

Because, while I'm physically old, like mid-60's and it sucks, I'm not mentally old. I'm of the younger Vietnam-era generation who came of age under the draft and faced one of every young man's worst nightmare, dying in Vietnam, and hardest decision, to enlist, be draft or split the country.

I chose to enlist, serve and then use the GI Bill to get a BA and a MS degrees, and then spend 28 years with the USGS. I retired in late 2005 to start a new career and business, which the former is doing ok but the latter isn't. But that's no one fault but mine.

My point is that I agree with many of the ideas, thoughts and directions the young people want our President, our government and especially our Congress to do. I agree with the Occupy movement and their ideas and goals.

So don't stereotype me or put me in a box to label as "typical old person's political views" and then decide I'm the problem simply because I'm old. I know I'm old, but I also know I also hate my own generation for our failures.

We failed to make the changes we wanted when we wanted to change the world 40 years ago. We screwed up, got lost, and whatever other excuses or reasons you want to use. We had to get jobs, build careers, have families, yadda, yadda, yadda....

I do want to see a single univeral healthcare system, to cover people from pregnancy to death, just like most of the countries in Europe. I already have a good healthcare plan and I'd like to see a similar one for everyone else.

I do want to see a financial security system to ensure corporations honor their retirement plans, and keep them for all employees than dump them on the workers and federal government. I want Social Security not just to be solvent, if Congress would stop using the revenue for it and borrowing from the trust fund, but better, to be a program for people to build a decent retirement.

I do want to get all our enviromental problems solved to have this country with the cleanest air and water, and the best land. I want industry and corporations to take responsibility of their production and products, to reduce pollution and waste to near zero.

I do want the enegy companies to do more with less, and not destroy our country and enviroment. The Gulf is our Gulf, not theirs alone, but all of us, and they should only drill when they have the capability to cap a blowout immediately and prevent almost now spillage into the water.

I do want this country to have the best K-12 and post-high school places in the world. We were there, we can get back to there. We owe it to guarrantee a good education for all children funded by all of us for the widest range of students and education possibilities.

I do want equality for everyone, no matter their race, ethnicity, religion (or not), sex, gender, and whatever other criteria used to discriminate against people, be it for marriage, worship, work, housing, education, etc.

I do want cuts in the military. Lots of cuts. We shouldn't be the police force of the world. We should have a fair sized military for our self-defense and assistance to other nations when asked through the international organizations, eg. NATO, UN.

Let's cut the DOD and DIA budget by 5% every year for the next 10 years and then only increase it for the cost of living, and not add any new weapons programs until the old ones have totally proven to be antiquated, and then only approve a few to replace current ones.

Let's put the DOD budget to the American people. Ask all of us how much military and intellingence we want from our government. Not Congress which is owned by them and the corporations. Just us. They propose choices, we vote, and the majority wins. And DOD and DIA lives with it.

I do want all new wars to be thoroughly vetted by the public. Not the media which bought into the two latest wars where Congress failed to do their job to thoroughly vet the President's proposal. Then I want a very narrowly crafted authorization for that military intervention and nothing else.

I do want the national debt paid down and zero'd out if possible, whether it takes 25 or more years, it's time to do it for the future generations. Let's make the weathly pay more, a lot more to pay for government and the debt.

I do want a balanced budget, but only by reducing the DOD and DIA and other bloated agencies and budgets. I want the government do to what it should for the people, of the people and by the people. It's our government, work for us.

I could go on but you get my point and you get the idea - Don't put me in a box to hate simply because I'm old and you think I'm one of the enemy. I maybe old, but I'm not your enemy.

1 comment:

  1. Young people don't vote very much, and that's a problem. It's easy to complain about how things are but if you want them to be different you have to do something. Voting is the bare minimum.