Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stimulating Confusion

Confusion has set in! It has settled, relaxed and become the norm. I am not sure where to go with this. I've been stewing on these thoughts for so long, I might linger way too long for a blog post. I wonder if someone who knows a lot about history is destined to spin it ... and if someone doesn't know history is bound to repeat it ... then if someone just knows a little of history, like myself, does that mean I am destined to spin repeatedly around in confusion. Because this is what is happening to me and I don't like it.

To be specific one point of confusion is the naming of things. If you give something a new name, does that make it different from the old thing even though it is basically the same? ... like when you name something "The Surge" or "The Stimulus Package" but then do exactly what we were doing earlier... in this case, sending soldiers over seas and spending government money, respectively. Or do we name it something new because it slightly larger than what we have done in the past? We send soldiers overseas all the time, but since we are sending just a little bit more and concentrating it into one area ... does that constitute a new name? History and current events would be less confusing if rhetoric would go away.

A lot of confusion stems from those who complain about the Stimulus Package like it is a new idea or it has never worked before. Stimulus packages and government spending in general have not only worked on a very large scale, economically, but have worked culturally as well. Here are some examples:

A Stimulus Package defeated Hitler and Imperial Japan. The government spent an exorbitant amount of money on World War II, not only for weapons but parachutes, socks and uniforms for the troops among other things. This spending trickled throughout our communities and pulled us out of the biggest economic depression in our history.

A Stimulus Package sent these guys to college and created one of greatest cultural revolutions in the history of the world. After World War II, the government was going to stiff the GI's as usual but thanks to a handful of Senators, Congressmen and President Eisenhower, they received Grants to go to college, buy property and start businesses. Because most of them were working class, many believed that this would not come to anything. Yet here is just a handful of Americans who used the GI Bill to do amazing things with their lives: Harry Belafonte, Charles Bronson, Johnny Cash, Bill Cosby, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gene Hackman, Joseph Heller, Jack Klugman, Norman Mailer, Frank McCourt, William Rehnquist, Rod Steiger, James Whitmore and James Wright. Not only that but the GI Bill sent my father to college. How cool is that?

A Stimulus Package sent a man to the moon.
A Stimulus Package built the railroads and easily connected cities and towns from coast to coast to each other and their resources for the first time ever.
A Stimulus Package built our interstate highway system ... the envy of the world.
A Stimulus Package built the Hubble Telescope.
A Stimulus Package built the Panama Canal.
A Stimulus Package built the Erie Canal, Grand Coulee Dam and the Hoover Dam.
A Stimulus Package defeated polio.

Government spending paid for my primary education, paves my roads and brings me my mail each day. How much more evidence do you need? Because I have a lot more.

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