November 18, 2019

Today, Everything Seems Out Of Control

A friend of mine told me the other day that the State of Florida is becoming crowded as more and more Americans defer vacationing abroad. This makes sense to me. With Europe now being the center of controversy regarding the Syrian immigration issue and ISIS now concentrating their efforts in Belgium and France, I am not sure that I would want to take a vacation in Europe. Vacationing in the Middle East is almost suicidal with wars raging in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and the surrounding countries. Israel is risky with the Palestine situation and even Greece and Egypt are no longer places high up on the list to visit.

I dread watching the news as nothing ever seems to go away. The presidential “circus” continues with the candidates attacking each other. The general consensus seems to be that none of the candidates are worth voting for and none of the candidates seem to have a real grasp on the issues facing the American people. Tax plans are thrown out like confetti with little thought as to how we, as a nation, will pay for them. The National Debt keeps mounting with America soon to cross the $20 trillion dollar debt mark and the interest on this debt keeps rising. Our roads and bridges are falling apart and our “do nothing” Congress doesn’t seem to have a clue. Car manufacturing in the United States appears to be a thing of the past as Mexico is now the new “Detroit.” It would also appear that we are rolling along for another year without a budget from Congress. Forget a “balanced” budget as that would seem to be beyond the grasp of our current politicians.

Controversy reigns as our beloved media now debates where men and women with “gender dysphoria” will go to the bathroom. States argue and lawsuits fly back and forth as they argue over treatment of gays, lesbians, and transgender persons. Men continue to marry men and women marry women. Divorce remain strong and the ranks of the homeless grow and the big news becomes who is pregnant in the Hollywood generation. No mention is ever given as to whom is the father or whether they are even married. Marriage seems to be “out of style” in today’s modern society.

States are now running out of money with nothing set aside to pay for the pensions of the soon to be retiring state workers. Property taxes and State sales taxes are rising regardless of whether the citizens can afford them. Corporations try to relocate overseas to avoid and reduce their tax liability and these same corporations sit on trillions of dollars in foreign banks hoping to avoid paying tax again on the money if they are forced to bring it back to the United States since they were taxed once already on that same money in Europe or Asia.

The $15.00 minimum wage seems to be gaining acceptance but the economic arguments seems to fall by the wayside as companies cut staff in order to pay for the higher minimum wage. Big Macs and Whoppers will go up in price and people will look for alternatives to fast food in the coming years and employment in the fast food industry will go down.

Church attendance remains down and the dreaded sexual abuse of years past continues to dog the Catholic Church like a disease and never seems to go away. The Pope appears to preach tolerance but fights an “in-house” battle as conservatives fight liberals over the interpretation of clauses and words in his letters and speeches.

Our economy is not as strong as the politicians would have us believe. True unemployment is somewhere around 20%+ and our food stamp program is under attack along with every other welfare program. The entitlement programs are bleeding our Federal spending and the cost of the three major programs is skyrocketing with the Affordable Care Act hardly being “affordable” to individuals or insurance companies. Our retail industry is struggling as words like “Sears” will soon disappear from our vocabulary. I am not sure where we are headed but I have never seen more turmoil, dissension, and confusion than currently exists today in the United States.

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Written by
Donald Wittmer

DONALD WITTMER is a retired business executive who held key roles in the automotive and banking sectors. For a time, he also served as a Fiscal Agency Manager for the Detroit branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. He received his undergraduate degree from Cincinnati's Xavier University, an M.A. in business management from Central Michigan University, and earned certification in bank operations from the School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A husband, father, and grandfather, he teaches part-time at the Kent Place School for Girls in Summit, New Jersey.

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Written by Donald Wittmer
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