The Talking Dog

December 5, 2011, More change we can believe [if not believe in]

Well, in these troubled times, we can take some solace in a successful government program-- indeed, one so successful, that it is achieving a new record of success. Unfortunately, that program is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or "SNAP," better known as "food stamps," which now serves a record 46 million Americans.

At this point, I think it's fair to say that neither political party has a particular clue as to how to restore much of anything in this economy, other than a continuation, if not an acceleration, of the status quo. Alas, the status quo has led to environmental catastrophe, infrastructure collapse, health care expenses that threaten to bankrupt both almost every individual in the nation as well as the nation itself, structural unemployment which, if measured the same way it was during the first Great Depression would be at levels comparable to the first Great Depression... and lots of other "unfortunate outcomes," including [say some] fifth-worst-in-the-world-wealth-distribution... but will be desperately clung to by the powers that be because, of course, a few people have profited obscenely from the status quo at the expense of over 99% of the population, and those "winners" are quite generous come campaign contribution time... lather, rinse, repeat.

And so here we are. Naturally, since there is not even a remote connection between Wall Street and Main Street... or indeed, between Wall Street and any reality, anywhere... the stock markets were up, even as it seems ever more inevitable that the European financial system is facing an imminent disaster which will likely have dire implications for [what's left of] our own economy.

Well then.

I'll say it again: Michelle Obama's organic garden, as far as I can tell, remains the only part of the Obama program that I can get down with at this point. I urge the rest of you... to do the same. There's more to life than raw economic output. There's... food, for one thing. Which, when you think about it, is pretty important. But once you've eaten, and you're in some kind of a shelter where you're not likely to freeze to death... and you have regular and meaningful human interaction [real friends... not "Facebook friends"]... the truth is... we really don't need too much more to live happy and fulfilled lives. We really do have to think about the mindset on a going forward basis. Because I predict we'll hit 50 million on food stamps long before we go back down to 40; as between 1 in 6 and 1 in 7 Americans need government assistance just not to starve to death, I would say this is as good a time as any to reassess everything.

Just saying.