#103 If I Were President for a Day

politics, postaday2011

This probably won’t be a popular post with a lot of folks but here goes.  If I were President of the United States for a day, I would make some changes that would redistribute the wealth throughout the country.

I mean think about it.  Do we really need to have people paying $500 for a pair of shoes to match their outfit that in all likelihood they will wear one time because they have three dozen other pairs of shoes to choose from?  Trust me there are people who pay $40 or less for a pair of shoes and have to wear the same pair every single day and they get by just fine.

Does anyone need to pay $3,000 for a sweater or a dress that you’re going to wear once or twice in your lifetime?  Are there really manufacturers who need to make that much profit on a sweater that cost them less than $50 to make?  Can you think of a better way to spend some of that money?  I know I can.

Do sports figures really need to drive 200,000 cars when a 40,000 car will get them around just as well?  Does anyone really need to have more cars than they can drive on a regular basis?

Do our pets really need to have their own closet full of outfits made to order?  There really are people who buy special made outfits for their dogs when they know that there are children in our country that often go to school without boots or a coat in the winter time.

I’m not saying that the wealthy cannot be wealthy or that they shouldn’t reap the rewards of their hard work, I just think that there are plenty of people who put in a hard day of work every day, 365 days a year without fail for very little in return.  Hard working people should be adequately compensated, period.

If that means we raise the minimum wage then we need to do it.  People with the motivation and drive to get up every morning and go to work should not have to come home at night and worry about whether their electric was shut off that day because the bill was past due.  There are people who get up every day and to work for sometimes ten or twelve hours a day and still don’t have enough to pay basic bills.  I’m talking food, heat, electricity, not extra things like internet, cable tv or cell phone.

Parents should not have to send their children to school in shoes or boots that are too big or too small because all they can afford is hand me downs. Parents should not have to choose between buying tampons or buying diapers because they only have enough left after paying bills to get one or the other.  And before you brush this off as unrealistic, I can tell you that there are many, many people who make these kinds of decisions every day.

I came across a group of three kids in the grocery store one time, the oldest was probably seventeen or so.  They had a list obviously from their mom and they were trying to decided between buying I think it was peanut butter and cheese because they didn’t have enough money for both things.  In that instance I gave them $10 out of my pocket and told them to get both. Children raised in households where there is barely enough food to get by….hmm I wonder what the long-term effects of that would be on society?

C’mon America.  Don’t be fooled by the media.  Are there some folks who milk the system, yes.  But the majority of people on welfare are working every day and still not making enough to get by.  Think for yourself.  Open your eyes and look around.  Those of you who have more than you need, you know who you are.  Find a worthy cause in your area that you can donate to if you aren’t doing it already.

Do we live in the land of the free and the brave?  Because I can tell you that for many people, including many of our veterans that risked their lives to protect that freedom, it is the land of the poor and hungry.  Veterans are living homeless on the streets in many cities.  Why?  Because the stress and trauma of serving their country was overwhelming, their minds snapped under the pressures, and they returned home to little if any resources.  Trust me I’ve worked with these guys.  They served our country and were discharged some dishonorably but most honorably and there was nowhere for them to go. Resources through VA facilities have long delays, are difficult to access, and care is half-hearted and uncoordinated.

This country is capable of amazing feats of goodwill as demonstrated by the fundraising and support that took place after 9-11.

Since I’m not yet President of the United States, my challenge to you today is to find a worthy cause, anything that you determine is worthy of your help and make a commitment to help in whatever way you can.

Whether you help one family in your neighborhood or choose to go through a non-profit agency or other organization, do your part and pay it forward in whatever way you can.

Let’s work together to make this a world that our children and their children will be proud to call their home.

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