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I Am One Stupid American

By Jim Vonmeier
I was just starting to drive when the Arabs realized they had us by the short
hairs and started pinching the pump. Soon we were paying a buck a gallon to
feed our vehicles. Of course at that age my main concern wasn’t the mileage
my car got; my concern was having a car, period. And for kids of the 70’s our
rides were often vehicles held together with spit and bailing wire…if you were
lucky the wipers and the heater worked (but we always had loud music).
Jimmy Carter was the president at the time and he told me,
“Jim, we need to come up with ways to produce our own energy so we
can not only get off our dependence on foreign oil but to protect the
environment as well. And to help you get onboard with this I will give
you tax credits as an incentive. “
Guess what, like an idiot I almost fell for it. I began drafting plans for an earth
sheltered home that would utilize solar for heat and wind power for electricity.
I began figuring ways to run my cars and trucks on hydrogen or batteries.
But then along came Ronald Reagan to put my mind at ease. He said,
“Jim, stop worrying about oil, we have plenty of it and if we need more
we will just ask our friends at Exxon to start punching more holes. Solar
and wind power, what a joke. Our electrical grid is one of the most
efficient in the world so let those power companies do their job. And as
long as we don’t need your help you don’t need those tax credits.”
I let out a sigh of relief knowing my prez was watching out for me.
When people began whining about global warming I said, “Hey, I am tired of
Minnesota winters. Is there any way to speed this up?”
I loved it when Wal-Mart figured out how to bypass our overpaid American
manufacturers/workers and start bringing in more reasonably priced products
from China and Taiwan. After all, it is our responsibility to make sure those
countries make money as well.
I was inspired when I ran across a list of the highest paid CEO’s and saw that
the head of Reebok tennis shoes was making 80+ million dollars a year and
he even figured out how to get paid after he quit (golden parachutes) and died
(golden coffins).
After the 9/11 attacks on America and Bush sent us into Iraq I was just glad
we were kicking somebody’s ass for a change.
When I read about how the top executives at Enron bled their company dry
while their employees had their pension plans wiped-out I thought too bad, so
sad, but I don’t work for Enron so why should I care.
Since Northwest airlines is located in my home state and I fly them often,
when they filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection I wondered how it would
affect me and my costs for a ticket. But the CEO came up with a plan; he
convinced the employees to take a 40% pay cut and that would put them back
in the game. And the day after they announced they were out of chapter 11
he rightfully gave himself a 25 million dollar bonus for coming up with this
brilliant strategy and millions more for his crackerjack team of executives.
When the 35W bridge collapsed in Minneapolis I was glad of one thing…our
new baseball stadium was already underway because if the bridge would
have gone down first the whiners would have said we need to spend public
money to inspect and repair bridges instead of a stadium and the owner of the
Minnesota Twins would have had to pay for it out of his own pocket. After all,
baseball is America’s pastime and we need those major league stadiums.
When gas prices started climbing I was grateful I had already bought my one-
ton, duel wheel pickup truck with the V-10 and the trick paint job because the
government started talking about requiring pickups and SUV’s get better
mileage and that meant I would end-up with a wimp-mobile that could only pull
a boat, not a house off it’s foundation.
I was amazed when I learned (from TV commercials) at how many illnesses I
was suffering from and ran off to my doctor demanding these wonder drugs
gobbling them by the handful.
And I cheered as I watched those stupid kids build high-buck homes (they
couldn’t afford) down the road from me because it tripled my property values
and allowed me to refinance my house to the max and pay-off my credit
cards, get that new plasma TV and buy that beautiful truck.
Oh wait a minute…I guess that wasn’t me, at least not
You see even as a punk kid running on beer and hormones I realized if a
handful of foreigners could control an entire country with a single product we
were in trouble and we should have spent the last 25 years working on
oil/energy solutions rather than ignoring it.
I also had enough common sense to know that although mother nature may
be capable of cleaning up her own messes (forest fires, volcanic action,
animal poop, etc) asking her to take care of the tons of pollution we pump into
the air and water everyday may be a bit much and we should try slowing it
I also knew that a warm Minnesota winter may be convenient for me but if it
was warm here in January it was going to be warm somewhere else where it
is not supposed to be (like the north pole) and downright hot in others. It’s not
nice to fool with Mother Nature.
According to legend, Sam Walton was a good man that believed in our
country and primarily sold American made products while trying to work with
communities to enhance them. But that changed (some say when his kids
took over) and the sole purpose became making record profits. To do this
they began demanding American manufacturers lower their prices, and when
American companies couldn’t go any lower they went overseas to counties
where the workers got paid in pennies and the products are made just plain
cheap; even dangerous (does lead paint on children's toys ring a bell? How
about poison in pet foods). At the same time they began invading
communities and purposely putting thousands of small family owned
businesses under.
And now the other American big-box companies like Home Depot, Lowes,
Sears, etc. have followed suit; they have given up on well-made, American
manufactured products that may cost a little more in favor of the cheap crap
made overseas to stay competitive with Wal-Mart, but when those orders go
overseas we lose jobs, and contrary to what most business leaders think, not
all kids want to get a college degree and find a dressup/sitdown job…but with
no more manufacturing they can’t find work.
How could a man justify paying himself 80+ million dollars when all he was
doing is buying tennis shoes for a few dollars from slave labor companies,
paying some big name athlete to do a commercial and convincing kids to
demand mom pay a markup of few thousand percent so they can get those
high-buck shoes.
And it wasn’t a brilliant business strategy that rescued Northwest Airlines; it
was the employees that agreed to take a huge pay cut that bailed the
company out. If anyone deserved a bonus it was them, not the overpaid,
greedy jerk or his crew that helped put them in the hole in the first place.
Answer me this; how can a company that just got out of bankruptcy afford to
give a bonus to anyone?
It’s not just a few CEO’s that are running on greed and outright stupidity…it
seems like they all are doing it. Look at how many CEO’s run their companies
into the ground and the stockholders lose money, but because they stack the
board of directors with their friends they can give themselves huge bonuses
and their friends go along with it. Getting paid millions in a bonus should only
happen when you make money, not lose it.
Even our government is in on the game. When the State of Minnesota said
we were facing a deficit I asked, “If we are 930 million dollars short this year
(now closer to 4 billion) then why are we shelling out 400 million dollars to
build a baseball stadium for the richest man in the state?”
At a national level it gets truly obsene. Our politicians go running off to
Washington rubbing their hands together like Fatty Arbuckle on his way into a
candy store thinking, "Lets see...how many billions of tax dollars can I spend
on things we don't need?" They want to use my Minnesota tax dollars to build
a $225,000,000 dollar "Bridge to Nowhere" in Alaska that even Alaskans say
they don't need. Yes that one got stopped (due to public pressure) but not
before 25 million dollars was spent on building the road to that bridge. Now
guess what, Alaskans have a “Road to Nowhere” that runs up to where the
bridge was supposed to start, then just stops. Brilliant.
Just a couple of other projects that our fearless bleeders want my tax dollars
to pay for are a half million dollar a sculpture park in Washington State that I
will never see and a $300,000 outhouse in Pennsylvania that I will never use.
But this waste isn’t just happening here in the U.S. They are giving billions of
dollars to foreign countries while people here are losing their homes and have
no health care. Even when they loan money to other countries they often
forgive those loans. Hey, I borrow money I have to pay it back...why don't
And something that really irritates me is, no one bothered to call and ask,
"Jim, would you mind if we give billions of U.S. tax dollars to countries around
the world so they can fix their problems?” No, they just do it. I mean I'm not
cold blooded…when a country is hit with an earthquake or a flood we should
help, but I think Americans should come first before giving major money to
these countries for mosquito nets and toilets. And to add insult to injury, many
of these countries don’t even like us with many cheering in the streets as they
watched the World Trade Centers collapse on live television (but they love our
President Clinton was the only president in recent history that didn't drive us
deeper in debt...he actually balanced the budget and came out 200 billion
dollars to the good during his term. In fact our country saw the highest , but
after a 55 million dollar witch hunt instigated by his political eniemys and
financed by the taxpayers then we learned about Monica, and it canceled out
all the positives the man did. I am not condoning what he did but if that is all
you can come up in a 5½ year investigation .
After the attacks on America I was all for striking back, but even I knew if we
were going to drop the most powerful military hammer in the world on
someone we needed to do it right, and Iraq wasn’t right. Husain was a brutal
dictator that ruled his country with an iron fist, and one of the reasons he was
so good at it was because he did not allow terrorists in his country. In fact if
bin Laden would have gone into Iraq Husain would have done us a favor and
killed him.
But did our president bother to factor this into his decision…no. He sent our
people off to be killed and maimed under the battle cry better to fight
terrorists over there than over here. Now look at Iraq, terrorism is running
rampant and with no Husain to keep them in check, Iran is building nuclear
weapons. Oh yes, we really fixed things didn’t we. And look at the money it is
costing us (that means the taxpayers); close to a trillion dollars at this point
and going up with no end in sight.
Now before you think I am a left-wing pacifist that supports terrorism, oh no,
this planet is a better place in the fact that I was not in charge on September
12, 2001 because I would have unleashed the most brutal retaliation the world
has ever seen. Mess with the bull and you get the horn. And when other
countries started complaining about my harsh methods I would have told
them, "Oh ya, you want some of this? We got a lot more...we will put you on
the list and get to you sometime next week. You are either with us or against
us, there are no neutral countries. Join our side or prepare to get your ticket
And when these irresponsible idiots spend more money than they take in they
borrow more. Right now this country owes so much money our grand children
will get saddled with paying because the people/counties we borrowed the
money from won't forgive those loans. So how are these loans going to get
paid back…by raising our taxes.

Foreclosures are at the worst rate in history...Why?

Shortly after 2000 big business got the green light to do whatever they
wanted. When the money lenders started making loans to people they knew
couldn’t afford it and would default, did our government leaders bother to say,
“Hey, maybe you should be qualifying people to make sure they can pay you
back before you start giving out high-risk loans.” No. Instead they let them go
unchecked because that hot housing market kept everybody’s mind off what
was going on and now with foreclosures and bankruptcies at record levels our
leaders are saying we (the American taxpayers) should bail these money
lenders out. No...they got themselves into this mess because of their greed,
they can get themselves out. After all, when I spend too much money I am
the one that has to pay it back.
Now President Obama has to deal with this nightmare and the
Drug manufacturers are using their tremendous profits to not only convince us
to take more pills but also control congress…they have passed laws that tell
us we can only buy those pills from them (not in Canada or Mexico where they
are cheaper) and how much we will pay for them. They, the pharmaceutical
companies, even managed to write and pass a bill that will bankrupt the
Medicare system in 10 years.
You see I knew these things and have modestly tried to fight against them by
driving more fuel efficient cars and trucks, refusing to gobble drugs by the
handful and not mortgaging my house to the hilt in the name of a plasma TV.
Where I am stupid is it took me 50 years and three beautiful grandchildren to
prompt me to start telling other people about it.
What does this have to do with you? Get a clue people; big business runs this
country and our elected officials are working for them, not you.
Americans as a group have been stupid because we have chosen to ignore
the fact that our politicians have climbed into bed with private industry and
special interest groups and have even taken on their role of going for profits.
Cities aren’t expanding treatment facilities because it protects the citizens;
they do it to bring in cash, higher property values (higher taxes) and lure
And if you really want an example of how we are on our own; most think car
manufacturers want higher oil prices. Nope. They will build whatever the
customer wants. If we demanded pickups that got 40 miles to the gallon (like
they do in some other countries) they would build them, but we haven’t. The
oil companies…you are going to buy gas/diesel no matter what. In fact the
higher the cost the less you are going to buy.
The one player in the game that is making out fat (but everyone thinks is on
our side) is the federal government because 18.4% of every gallon of gas sold
goes for federal taxes. Near as I can tell, at $4.00 a gallon the feds are raking
in a billion dollars every 2 or 3 days. That’s some serious loot Jack. Is it any
wonder why some of our cars get worse mileage today than they did just 10
years ago?
Note-My wife said a few years ago, “Every generation finds fault with the
government. Stop complaining because it will all work out…it always does.”
That’s true; things have worked out in the past because people went into
public office as a public servant whose goal was to make things better for us,
the American citizens. Sure they did some stupid things but not catastrophic.
Today going into public office is a career, and because they write the laws,
they can change those laws to make themselves rich. Don’t think so? The
senator that pushed the pharmaceutical/Medicare bill through (in what has
been described as the ugliest night in congress) and will bankrupt the
Medicare system in 10 years, has retired from politics and now works for the
pharmaceutical industry for 2 million dollars a year. If you or I pulled that we
would be sitting in prison.
And the general public has become so focused on their personal lives,
possessions and Paris Hilton, we have ignored their behavior which has
allowed them to run unchecked. Politics has become an out-of-control
cesspool of personal greed and corruption and the decisions they make today
control our future...unfortunately our great grandchildren will be stuck with the
People will be looking back at this chapter in history saying, “Why did
Americans let this happen?”
Jim vonMeier performs educational programs directed at homeowners teaching them the health and
environmental need for proper septic systems and how to find a certified septic professional to
inspect/design/install/maintain their systems. He has also represented homeowners in their fight against
public sewer projects and speaks at contractor programs around the country on the subject of customer
service. 1-763-856-3800 jvonmeier@septicprotector.com

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