Americans Under 30 the Most Cynical Bunch Ever. Good for Them. And Us.

Categories: Schutze

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Took a few days off to go canoeing on the Buffalo River in Arkansas -- always a fine way to clear the mind and ease the soul -- and came home to wonderful news: The Harvard Institute of Politics released its 23rd "Survey of Young Americans' Attitude Toward Politics and Public Service" today, finding that Americans under age 30 are more cynical and less trusting of America than ever before.

I knew we'd get there if we just kept trying.

It's the best possible news for the nation as it exists today. Maybe if we stay on this track for another 10 or 20 years, the nation as we know it now won't even exist anymore. After being out in the splendor that nature gave us as Americans, it's hard to imagine a happier outcome.

cantor.jpg
Rep. Eric Cantor. Remember that face.
The survey finds that the confidence millennials have in the major institutions of American government and society has been eroding steadily since 2010, especially where the private sector is concerned. The number who trust Wall Street to do the right thing is now at 12 percent, according to the study.

The only major institutional entity with a lower trust rating than Wall Street is ... let me pause a second and check back with the chart here once more ... it is, uh ... here it is ... oh, well, that's not important. Forget I mentioned it. And, by the way, there's no need for you to click on the link and go looking at page 15 of the executive summary yourself. It's obviously a glitch or something.

Well, wait, anyway, why am I coming back from my canoe trip and rejoicing over a study finding that young adults think their country is a piece of junk? Because it means they're not idiots. That's a good thing, right? Let me offer you just one small for-instance.
A year ago Congress and the president passed the "Stock Act," making it illegal for the first time for members of Congress or their staffs to do insider stock trading on secret information they themselves create by handing out government money or by slapping companies down with investigations. Yeah, we'll go over that again.

You know that the federal government sues and imprisons private citizens for using secret proprietary information to get a leg up on stock trades. The Wall Street Journal has reported that hard-time prison terms for convicted insider traders are going up and are now at an average of two and a half years in the joint.

But before the Stock Act, members of the federal government could do the same thing themselves and get away with it. Let's say you were assistant to the chief of staff of a congressional committee, and you found out that Congress was about to push a huge fighter plane contract to XYZ Corp. somewhere. Go for it, man! Get you some stock. And what if you're the congressperson who actually steers the deal from the beginning? You could get in way early. Why, it's so sweet a deal, it's enough to make you think that's why they're where they are in the first place.

As Dallas Morning News business columnist Will Deener observed recently, "I mean, did you ever wonder how so many dimwitted politicians could end up so wealthy on a $174,000 a year salary?"

The Stock Act put a stop to all that. After it passed, the people in government had to obey the same laws used to flail everybody else. Now they can't make stock trades in a company based on their own insider knowledge of what they're about to do to it.

And how would anybody ever know if they did? Did they also create some kind of new FBI to cover this stuff? Did they hire a bunch of agents whose job is to watch the stock trades of everybody in Congress and their staffs? Nah, no need. They put us in charge of that. The Stock Act required all trading by members and staff to be reported in a public database that could be sorted as a spreadsheet.

So we're at home. We see that some committee just announced it's going to hold hearings on insider trading by those bad, bad Wylie brothers from Dallas. We wonder if anybody connected to the committee has been taking short positions on stock in Wylie-controlled entities. Simple. Just click into the database, search by company names and see who you catch.

So you know who Eric Cantor is, right? Majority leader in the House, founding member of the Republican Young Guns, to the right of Speaker John Boehner on budgets and all that good stuff? Did you know that two weeks ago he waited for a Friday afternoon when most of Congress had left town for the weekend, issued a one-sentence email announcement and pushed through a new law gutting all of those reporting requirements?

Yup. No more database. No more online searches from home to see who's been naughty or nice. Oh, you can still find out. All you have to do now is travel to Washington, go to a basement archive and search file folders by name of staff member only.

So, wait. Eric Cantor, Mr. Get-Tough-on-Government, the big integrity dude, the guy who's going to clean it all up: He just pulled a little legislative magic trick he hoped nobody would notice making it way easier for Congress to break the same laws it imposes on the Wylie brothers, the same laws it imposes on you and me?

Again, yup.

Today Harvard announces that millennials are increasingly cynical about the American system. But Harvard, which, by the way, can't make up its mind if politics is a singular or plural noun used the same way in the same paragraph, also can't offer us a possible reason for that cynicism, other than suggesting that things in Washington are just too darned partisan and maybe that's turning young people off.

You know. Like the illennials are kind of ADD and stupid and everything, and they hear a bunch of arguing, and it's too much for them to figure out, so they just get cynical, meaning even dumber.

But what about this, instead? What if it's not that the under-30s think Washington is too partisan? What if they're not stupid and ADD? Maybe they look at Washington and perceive correctly that it's corrupt to the bone, as in cripplingly crooked, as in utterly vile, as in our system of government and the crass materialistic culture it supports are a vile betrayal of the trust we received when this splendid continent was bequeathed to us by generous destiny in the first place?

I'm going with that one. I don't see any evidence of stupidity. I see evidence of the opposite. That's why that cynicism makes my heart fly up. First, the cynicism. Then, the anger. Finally, a revolutionary commitment to a remade nation. It all starts here. Thank you, Mr. Cantor. And, again, no need to check to see what that institution is that Americans trust even less than Wall Street, because I think it's a typo or a joke or something.



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62 comments
lamecynic
lamecynic

Cynicism is NOT a virtue of any measure.  Reality is good, cynicism a crippler.


“Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying “yes” begins things. Saying “yes” is how things grow. Saying “yes” leads to knowledge. “Yes” is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say “yes'.”

― Stephen Colbert
“All I ask is one thing, and I’m asking this particularly of young people: please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism, for the record, it’s my least favorite quality and it doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.” 
― Conan O'Brien

noblefurrtexas
noblefurrtexas topcommenter

Of course they are cynical.  They've been lied to by their president and his minions, fed one-sided stories by media sources telling them what to think, seen the collapse of the economy when they are trying to get started - and the utter failure of Obama to fix any of it, and the lessons they were taught by liberal, union, teachers turn out to be wrong or heavily prejudicial to liberal causes, and against things like patriotism, religion, and constitutional regulation of government. 


In other words, this generation is being taught what to think instead of how to think and make up their own minds. 


And, the numbers in the Harvard study will drastically drop off as these people get closer to age 35.  Family and job responsibilities tend to do that.

gordonhilgers
gordonhilgers

Oh well, here goes: I am simply going to go out on a limb here and offer-up some "news flash" for those of us Texans too danged slow to play catch-up with the Big Boys up there in AC/DC Land, formerly known as the GOP:

Friends, indeed the change from the ancient regime in which religion, a form of primitive politics that emerged when some numbskull Neanderthal figured-out that if he (or she) could convince a herd of ignorant, illiterate and somewhat superstitious people he (or she) believed to be forerunners of the Great World Bozo Contingent that he (or she) had the absolute, total and unquestionable backing of God, the gods or Nature (please choose one), and then used various material or bodily notions such as shame, guilt and fear to wreak havoc on the stronger Bozos in terms of getting a good waffle-iron grip on their sexuality or their stomachs, and BINGO!  CHEESE WHIZ!--well, the change to a new order a little less authoritarian than the old one is getting a little too much like trying to get a mule to keep moving, isn't it? 

The old trick: The herd follows the one who has the backing of the entire universe. 

Not to be pointedly mean-spirited here, but when warriors of the Old World like Eric Cantor continue to fight for the Old World, the turn away from "Religious Boss-Man World" to a more free and equitable planet simply gets either slowed by the friction or rolls over the orange traffic cones and proceeds into the future. 

Something Mr. Cantor simply refuses to understand is that, here in the United States, citizen and subject alike are free to choose what to say, where to print what they think or feel, how and to what name they desire to offer gratitude for simply being sentient on a planet of surprises, one in which no one and nobody have the slightest idea of the why's and wherefore's of 1) why human beings are here; 2) why human beings suffer; and 3) what happens to human beings when human beings die. 

I am not being anti-Semitic here.  Freedom of religion is an "estate" that is allowed to function freely and without taxation under the umbrella of a democratic republic in full-out rebellion against the Old World, one considered "a problem" by the Catholic Church after the American Revolution, the very first episode of common sense and reason the world had seen since perhaps the earliest days of the Roman Republic, and yes, the United States in 1789 was anti-European, anti-imperialism and a revolutionary new idea. 

Millions are indeed free of the Old World and the Old World's games. 

However, this reactionary turn that began in the mid-1970s has throttled the United States, not in the "right" direction, not in the "left" direction--but in the "reverse" direction.  I do not like to see the democratic republic I grew-up loving and liking being divided the way it is, but honestly: When is the horse going to stand-up and refuse to be drawn-and-quartered by three fairly slimy Old World hegemonies? 

In fact, I am pleased to see Israel return to its ancient homeland, wish that "the other chosen ones", namely the Islamist quasi-Marxist renegades stirring up trouble all over South Asia, would decide to go ahead and share the so-called Holy Land, a scrap of dirt, really, that has been assigned value by "true believers" but happens to be quite unholy right now. 

It saddens me to see all three "exclusive" Abrahamic religions--Islam, Judaism, Christianity--trying to reclaim absolute power, and cannot help but wonder sometimes if--if there really is a Jesus thinking about coming back to earth--Jesus is asking his stellar army of warriors, "Hey, guys!  You sure you wanna camp here?" 

Utter garbage on this, the third dirt-clod from the sun.  All those billions of light years of vastness in both time and space, and here we are, still trying to decide which way to pray to The Big Boss is the correct one.  Sorry to offer up my own, personal version of a wake-up call, but didn't Jesus himself admonish those who claimed he was God Incarnate, "My kingdom is not of this earth"?

That is a hint, people: Not of this earth means: not a material kingdom.  Considering that the one singular totality in the universe now known to physics and cosmology is that material is illusory because everything is energy, well, I know I am more than likely wasting my breath, but why this century-long food fight over freaking little metal round things?  What's up with that? 

Unlimited competition is nuttier than a fruitcake dosed in LSD.  Yes, the United States indeed has been KOed by unfettered "free market" competition before--in, like, the 1870s--and it did not work.  Even the railroad barons, the U.S.'s first big capitalists, finally went to the federal government to help them to cooperate with one another in "governed competition", and guess what: Ever heard of the term "railroaded"?  Nothing like no less than six zig-zagging railroad tracks running every-which-way all over some family farm in Kansas to show us: Nope, "free market" capitalism is a load of garbage. 

Whenever economics takes the driver's seat in a political world, we get one thing: totalitarianism.  Old boss, meet New boss. 

It's like the instructions on a shampoo bottle: apply liberally, rinse, repeat if necessary. 

Someone somewhere certainly likes wasting their shampoo on, like, hair, don't they? 

lewbowski300
lewbowski300

I say let all inside information trading be legal. That at least would be a level playing field.  The stock markets are almost exclusively a speculation marketplace. Very little "wheels of capitalism" stuff goes on there any more. If you aren't using inside information, you are the sucker.

sammy
sammy

I grew up in East Dallas and I'm way over thirty but I've always been cynical - maybe that's another advantage of being from East Dallas.  Why do Parkies/North Dallas/Collin County people do anything for money and why do those from South Dallas try to get it from them?  I just ignore most of this BS although I do find it amusing.  I accept people for what they are and I'm not that curious about their jobs or what they can do for me.  So maybe I'm also a little naive. Lakewood is a bit like Mayberry, but we aren't rubes.  And yes, our schools are good.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

Please explain again, Jim -- Why is mindless cynicism better than mindless credulity?

Rod Wymer
Rod Wymer

Hey Cantor....your money's no good in hell.

garlandsucks
garlandsucks

My generation's for sale, beats a steady job

How much have you got?

My generation don't trust no oneIt's hard to blame, not even ourselves
The thing that's real for us is fortune and fame

All the rest seems like workIt's just like diamonds in shit
I'm high class, I'm a whore

Actually both, basically I'm a pro

We've all got our own style of baggage

Why hump it yourself?
You've made me an offer that I can't refuse

Course either way, I get screwed

Counter proposalI go home and jerk off
It's truly a lie, I counterfeit myselfIt's truly a lie, I counterfeit myself

High and mighty, you say selling out is a shame

Is that the name of your boo?Push a silver spoon in your ass

No more holding us down

You're insulted, you can't be bought or sold

Translation offer too low

You don't know what you're worth
How many times must I sell myself

Before my pieces are gone?I'm one of a kind, I'm designer
Never again will I repeat myself


 

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

I get a kick out of the people that think the younger generation voted for Obama because they thought he was the "better" candidate.

No, truly, to the cynically minded millenial, there is no such concept as a "better" politician - only one that is less worse.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

And the media lob softballs. Tbey are so afraid of losing their place on the cock..TAIL, I meant TAIL circuit....

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Boil it down Jim... angry citizens are better informed and vv. Glad th ey are stepping up. Too many drone suckups to authority in my generation.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

It's no mistake, Jim, that the media is trusted even less than Wall Street.  For every Wall Street scandal, there is a faction of the media complicit in smoothing it over.  For every political morass, there is a faction of the media wagging the dog.  The media in this country has been the lapdog of the power structure from the beginning, Jefferson knew it and wrote of it often.  The reason we go from Cronkite being the most trusted man in America to the media being less trusted than Wall Street is simple: access to information.  The people can now get their information from any angle they desire.  The under 30 crowd embraces the internet as an information superhighway in a way the over 30 crowd just can't quite bring themselves to do.

You're right, the under 30 crowd is smarter, they're more technically savvy, as a whole than the older set.  The media can't compete with people who have unrestricted access to information, from various sources, and the determination to make up their own minds.  Traditional media, like all traditions, is dying.  Your melodramatic, wheezing column is part of the death throes of the Fourth Estate.  You deny that your industry is dying, you publish furiously in the hopes that activity equals life.  Meanwhile, the people step around you and try not to get anything on their shoes.

CornyDoggy
CornyDoggy

Don't worry Jim, I'm sure they're referring to the MSM.  Thank the Lord for Stewart & Colbert

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

Cantor needs a swirlie in a crackhouse toilet, on Saturday morning about 3 am.

bealotcoolerifyoudid
bealotcoolerifyoudid

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/after the moneys gone
Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.

Same as it ever was...same as it ever was...same as it ever was...
Same as it ever was...same as it ever was...same as it ever was...
Same as it ever was...same as it ever was...

Water dissolving...and water removing
There is water at the bottom of the ocean
Carry the water at the bottom of the ocean
Remove the water at the bottom of the ocean!

rke
rke

You left out the part where the President  signed it.

James080
James080

Of course, the institution the under thirty crowd trusts even less than government, is the media.

I believe one of the reasons our government, from dog catcher to the president, is so utterly corrupt and corruptible, is because the media has abandoned ethics and responsibility for it's work product. As the events of the last two weeks demonstrate, getting it "first" has apparently replaced getting it "right" as the prime objective in the media.

The young skeptics also likely perceive the teaming up of political parties and mainstream media outlets. It's hard to distinguish the Democratic platform from the "editorialized" news as reported by MSNBC, Huffington Post, Slate and other. Likewise, FOX is clearly an outlet for the Republican agenda. Hell, merely choosing what to report is more often than not a political consideration.

Jim's example is one in a long list of frauds perpetrated on the public by congress. Tired of facing heat from voters for giving themselves a pay raise every session, in 2004 congress tacked an amendment onto a spending bill which automatically raised their pay every session.....without the necessity of a vote or accountability.

I hope young people are skeptical. I'm only afraid they're not nearly skeptical enough.

PrestonHoller
PrestonHoller

The more interesting question is:  WHY are people under 30 more cynical about politics?

 Here’s my theory:  Those under 30 are the ones that voted overwhelmingly for Obama and the Democrats.  They were all mooning over how super neato, uber cool, and ultra hopey-changey/changey-hopey Obama was.  The seas were going to be lowered and the entire nation was going to (finally!) be healed.  Oh, yeah.  And there were going to be jobs, jobs, jobs for college graduates.  And the meanie “rich” were going to have to pay to give everyone healthcare.

 Since the 2008 election, unemployment for those under 30 continues to be abysmal.  Those under 30 are realizing that most of that burden of all that free healthcare is going to be disproportionately paid by those under 30.  The stock markets up.  But if you are young and can’t find a job, you aint got any money in the market.  On top of it all, the seas haven’t subsided and the nation hasn’t “healed.” 

 No wonder those under 30 are more cynical about politics.  Just wait another 10 years.  Those cynical 30 years olds will be angry 40 year olds with a healthy bitterness towards any Democratic hopey-changey-ness.

noblefurrtexas
noblefurrtexas topcommenter

@bvckvs I somewhat agree with you about "feeling", but it's a legitimate question in polling - depending on where the poll is going. 


I think perhaps you're interposing "government" for country.  In this country, we are not about the government.  We are about society and business and individual achievement.  We're about quality of life.  And, we're about being a nation of laws; not men.  Government is about taxes and throwing tax dollars away. 


Seriously, having seen much of the world, I agree that the contrast is stark, and further understand why our country is truly exceptional, and so many people want to come here and live.


However, our government under Obama has become more oppressive, more intrusive, and more Fascist in the last six years.  Privacy is almost a thing of the past, and individual initiative is not applauded as much as group efforts. 


Whether Obama is truly a foreigner or not, he thinks like one -- and a paranoid one at that. 


Nobody much trusts him, and certainly not younger people who see through his BS.

noblefurrtexas
noblefurrtexas topcommenter

@gordonhilgers Free market Capitalism is normally a great thing.  It keeps prices down, quality up, and innovation in constant motion.  If someone can make a profit in that environment, good.  If they can't, they leave that marketplace. (It's weak point is the almost automatic process of buying out or somehow removing fair competition.)


There is no better example than the saga of AT&T's break up, the aftermath, and eventual re consolidation into more of a monopoly than before. 


Countries around the world envy our economic system and success.  Immigrants to America from Europe weren't seeking a new form of what they had lived under, but seeking freedom and the opportunity to do as well as you can in a place where government is servant, and citizens are master.

garlandsucks
garlandsucks

@TheCredibleHulk was like a choice between a leech and a gila monster...and America chose the leech...The Devil You Know

garlandsucks
garlandsucks

@ozonelarryb This under 30 generation is the worst generation Lady America ever pushed out of her vagina.  Horrible music, lifestyle, fashion, political/un political choices.  A generation of disenfranchised mamas boys and crazy cunts.

Guesty
Guesty

@RTGolden1 More importantly, the public now has access to "information" that generally supports their views, no matter how wrong headed or inconsistent with the facts, giving all walks of life the freedom to believe their ignorance is equal to other people's information.  That is what is killing the media.  You want to believe 9-11 was a Bush conspiracy, there is a website explaining how it was and how the media white-washed the whole thing.  Want to believe Obama is a socialist, Nigerian plant hell bent on handing the keys to the country to the UN, there is "information" on the web to support that.  

And because we are absolute suckers, the media has no choice but to spoon feed us the garbage we demand.  Something happened somewhere but there is no definitive factual information and a real investigation will take months? We demand that the media speculate non-stop for hours.  A complicated policy issue has many sides and can't be simplified down to a 20-second segment?  Bring on two political hacks to give us our daily 10-second talking points from each side (got to be balanced you know).  

We have made the monster that is in Washington DC and in the media. 

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

@RTGolden1 Ahmen Brother - The media is in on the game and now considers themselves celebrities, most are afraid of offending any of the Mandarins for fear they won't be invited to the next event.   Just look at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

James080
James080

@rke  

Of course he did. See my comment below.

alteredjustice
alteredjustice

@PrestonHoller No.

I didn't vote for Obama in either of his election wins, but I am still cynical about politics. Wow! Strange! It's almost like I don't fit into your theory at all.

One major problem with your theory is that a majority of younger voters voted for Obama, not just in the 2008 election, but also in the 2012 election. He wasn't running on the hope and change thing this time. They/we still voted for him. So it's hard to see how young people are disillusioned with the government due to Obama.

Personally, I don't really hold anything against Obama (or Bush, for that matter). Look at the things Obama was running on, and see how everything changed when he was actually elected. Then look at Romney and how all his policies and ideas changed once he ran for President (and how he almost won). Look at Ron Paul and his popularity, but how he had no chance due to his ideas being seen as "outsider." Point being, if you are going to be president, you are going to fit into the mold the government sets for you. Otherwise, you just plain won't be president. This is a HUGE problem, because it means our votes are essentially meaningless. 

I hold more against congress which is a complete joke. They hardly get anything done. Ever heard of the "do-nothing" congress? Well, yeah, this congress does even less. The sequester is a joke and does absolutely nothing positive for society. This stock act is a joke, then there are numerous other bills like CISPA that they are trying to push through. Don't even get me started on them when it comes to science and NASA.

I have a huge problem with the unemployment rate, wall street, and the way the education system works. But those are problems that can be fixed. There are other things they're doing, however, that will damage our country forever.

CornyDoggy
CornyDoggy

@PrestonHoller 

Here's my theory:  That your theory is heavily biased towards your personal political views

monstruss
monstruss

@PrestonHoller Just curious, but how does the "frothing-at-the-mouth older conservatives constantly screaming about how shitty everything is" contingent fit into your little theory? 

Blankshore
Blankshore

@PrestonHoller As someone who is actually under 30, I can assure you that your analysis is incorrect. Are we disappointed in Obama? Yes.

The truth is, we're disappointed in his constant compromises. Obamacare is disappointing because it expands the power of private health insurance. Many of us fail to see the logic behind paying a middle man each month just in case we get sick even though in most cases we still pay for the care out of pocket. We are cynical because health insurance companies make profits. That's right, in our country we have a very successful industry that makes money by giving out less than they take in when it comes to our health. We see that and know it is morally wrong. We also see the amount of money thrown at politicians to keep up the status quo and therefore we have little hope anything will change.

We're told we live in a democracy, but many of us feel powerless. We get to vote, occasionally protest and complain via social media, but few of us can afford lobbyists. We understand that throwing money at Washington is the way to get what you want. We are not blind to the fact that the industries that do extremely well (health insurance, energy, pharmaceuticals, etc.) spend huge sums of money to get what they want...lower regulations, lower taxes, etc. 

We are less afraid of "big government" than "big business" because at least we can theoretically vote to change the course of the government. If we continue to shrink the government and deregulate every industry, then we can't do anything to curb pollution or hold Wall St accountable or make sure all of our food isn't chemically produced. 

There are lots of reasons we are cynical, but it's not what you think. I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but very few of my peers are even slightly conservative. Many of us are highly educated and drowning in student debt. Many of us would prefer to pay higher taxes in exchange for access to high-speed rail, "free" public healthcare, higher salaries for educators, and I could go on forever.

We are cynical. We want real change. And we aren't going away.

James080
James080

@PrestonHoller  

They may also be starting to grasp the fact that the president and congress are writing checks on an over-drawn bank account that the under thirty crowd is going to be called upon to pay back one day.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@PrestonHoller 

Yes, but why are they even more cynical about Wall Street?

gblatham
gblatham

@Blankshore 

I greatly appreciate your comments. What you've had to say neatly sums up the various reasons why I have so much hope for - and affinity toward - your generation.

One small quibble: your remark concerning insurance companies and how their business practices are "morally wrong" may be justifiable, but you possess no personal right to deem anything moral or immoral.

If morality is subjective - and many people today would affirm that to be a true statement - then no one is in a position to condemn another person or entity for anything. [Perhaps, since you are "cynical," "want real change" and are not "going away," you can attempt to establish a new, generally accepted moral code of behaviour in the future (presumably by majority vote).]

On the other hand, if there is an objective standard of morality, then we are all beholden to keep it.

If I have but one bit of advice, it is this: please read and study the Bible - for yourself - in your attempt to understand your spiritual nature. Cynicism notwithstanding, there's a difference between healthy scepticism and agnosticism.

I wish you well,

Garl B. Latham


PrestonHoller
PrestonHoller

Blankshore:  Oh, I get it.  You are one of those “highly educated” Liberals that “are drowning in student debt.”  In other words, you equate obtaining a sheep skin as a sign that you actually have a brain. 

I love it that you “would prefer to pay higher taxes in exchange for access to high-speed rail, ‘free’ public healthcare, higher salaries for educators, and I could go on forever.”  Given your alleged “high education” and corresponding debt that is overwhelming you, I think it is safe to say that your highly suspect financial planning skills means that you will unlikely be paying any substantial amount in taxes to pay for all of these free goodies that you are wanting to enjoy on other people’s dime.

As for your preference to pay higher taxes, let me add to your stellar amount of education by letting you in on a little secret – you CAN pay all the taxes you want.  Nothing prevents you from voluntarily paying additional taxes.  For example, you don’t have to take any deductions from your federal income taxes.  Heck, you can make direct contributions to the Internal Revenue Service just for grins.  I’m sure the DISD would be more than happy to accept any contribution you want to make.  Knock yourself out.

Why don’t you and all your “highly educated” peers take the lead and start voluntarily paying additional taxes?  Shame all of us meanie Conservatives to follow your example.  Go ahead.  What are you guys waiting for?  Wow us with what you guys can accomplish with your “high education.”  Enlighten us knuckle draggers. 

We’re waiting.  C’mon.  Put your money where your mouth is.

You say: “We want real change. And we aren't going away.”  I don’t want you to go away.  On the contrary, I want you right where you are… so long as you are willing to put up or shut up.  When I see you ACTUALLY doing what you SAY you would be happy doing, maybe I’ll pay attention to you.  Until then, you are nothing more than a blowhard.

DISDTeacher
DISDTeacher

@Blankshore @PrestonHoller Just wait until you have kids and get to decide between handing your children and your taxes over to DISD or commuting from Anna.  

DISD is big government and you're not afraid of that?  Yeah, right.  But go ahead and vote those worthless Board of Trustee incumbents out.  It's worked so well so far.

Let's see how much you trust Big Government once you have kids.

bealotcoolerifyoudid
bealotcoolerifyoudid

@Blankshore @PrestonHoller 1) You are going away, that's the way age works.  Each year natural selection, disease, and old age will thin your ranks.

2) Right now you are drowning in student debt, so you probably aren't raking it in.  So you really don't pay a whole lot in income taxes.  What do you mean by "higher taxes" are you going to chip in an extra $10,000 or $20,000 a year or did you want someone else to do that for you?

3) Big business can be voted out, it's called a boycott.  I hear it has really damaged Wal-Mart. 

4) Other than technology and possibly the weather nothing is changing.  Everyone talks about revolution.  By definition a revolution comes full circle back to the beginning. 

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@JimSX @PrestonHoller Because they still want to Believe in the Won and buy his bullshit about it being Wall St's fault that they can't get a job (and not regime uncertainty from Obamacare and taxes.)

danholan
danholan

@Blankshore "Keep in mind, I am very cynical."

..no, you're NOT!  ..anyone who is willing to pay taxes is a fucking dumbass, regardless if you pay them 'voluntarily' or not... Taxation is a fucking THEFT!!

I categorize you as a 'librul fucking douchebag' as opposed to 'pissed off rednecks' also presenting themselves in the debate ...

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@PrestonHoller"...Why don’t you and all your “highly educated” peers take the lead and start voluntarily paying additional taxes?  Shame all of us meanie Conservatives to follow your example. ..."

Uh, I'm conservative and I already don't take any deduction except for the standard deduction that everyone is allowed.  Anything else, taken by a conservative, is hypocrisy.  How can a 'conservative', spending their days bitching about welfare and the nanny state, look at themselves in the mirror while taking government subsidies in the form of tax breaks?  You need a liberal 20-something to show you the difference between right and wrong?

Blankshore
Blankshore

It would be easy to respond with an "eye-for-an-eye" outburst of emotionally charged drivel, but I would prefer to respond to the argument I think you are trying to make. As you kindly cited, I did say I would prefer to pay higher taxes in exchange for various things. I never said I would like to voluntarily pay higher taxes now given the corruption and incompetence of our leadership. Keep in mind, I am very cynical. I merely stated that I would not be opposed to paying higher taxes if our government did it's job. My idea of a good job is probably different than yours.

I also apologize if my education is disappointing to you. I guess you're right that choosing to become a first generation college graduate shows I have "highly suspect financial planning skills." I should have rubbed the genie lamp a little more while I was in my mother's womb so I could have been born to richer parents. My parents worked hard and did the best they could, but couldn't afford to pay for my college education. I did receive some scholarships and worked throughout my college career, but it's hard to avoid taking out loans. You should also know that I actually have paid quite a bit in taxes since graduating and I don't expect any "free goodies" on "other people's dime." I certainly haven't received an income tax refund since I joined the workforce. 

I also hope that my generation will do more and say less. It's true that leadership is more than just words. Don' t worry about your condescending attitude and oversimplification of my supposed beliefs. We won't hold it against you when we hold the power and the purse strings. I think it's safe to say, many of us hope to make our country a better place to live for everyone. I think you might be surprised by what we are accomplishing under the radar. Hopefully, we can do even more in the future to make life better for both of us.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@Blankshore @DISDTeacher I highly doubt our social or political philosophies would have much in common, but, reading your comments, I'm comforted that we are not handing down this country to a generation of people who think reality is found somewhere inside an X-Box.  It would seem you've got a lot more going on in your brain bucket than I did at that age.

Blankshore
Blankshore

@DISDTeacher I don't think I ever said I like "Big Government." I am cynical of the government for a plethora of reasons including the corruption written about in Jim's article. I just wanted to point out that my generation is cynical about far more than the government. 

Despite our cynicism, there are signs of hope as well. It seems that a lot of my peers are very motivated. While it is true that many are motivated by greed, there are large numbers of young people who are passionate about service. A lot of us have a hard time believing the system is going to change on its own. Many well-educated, talented millennials have chosen to work in positions that offer little in terms of pay, but provide an opportunity to directly benefit a segment of society. We don't have confidence that just voting for a particular candidate is going to make things better; we have to work too. It's really easy to pick a scapegoat and blame it for this problem or that. There is plenty of blame to go around, but I'm more interested in working to find a solution.

The DISD has plenty of problems. You are right that voting out Board members isn't going to magically fix everything. Is running away from the District and enrolling our children in other schools really the best solution? Would it make a difference if more affluent, well-educated parents sent their kids to DISD schools? They would probably have more interest in tackling problems if they directly impacted their kids. I don't think you can simply equate DISD's problems to "Big Government." As citizens of Dallas, we should all be doing more work to change the things we don't like and stop merely complaining and pointing fingers. We're all cynical, but that just means we have to take matters into our own hands until things start to change.

gblatham
gblatham

@bealotcoolerifyoudid @Blankshore 

Yes, we are all "going away." That's "the way of all flesh."

Still, statistically, his generation will outlast yours. That's the point - and that should give us a feeling of hope.

Garl


Blankshore
Blankshore

@RTGolden1 I should have picked my words a little more carefully. I certainly didn't intend to say I would only pay a higher tax rate if I receive a direct benefit. What I meant by proper representation was elected officials who actually work for the common good of the 300+ million you mentioned instead of just special interest groups with cash to spend. I completely agree with your comment.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@BlankshoreHere's my only issue taken with your comments: "As I said, I and many of my peers would gladly pay a higher tax rate if it came with proper representation of our values.".  I take this to mean you're not OK with paying taxes, unless those taxes directly benefit you, or issues/causes you value.  That doesn't work in a democracy of 300+ million people.  Remember, a lot of those 300 million don't share your values.  Trying to allocate government funds to cover the values of each and every taxpayer would be enormously stupid (and I'm sure it's not what you meant, only how I read it).  The taxes are there to provide for the 'common good' whatever that term has come to mean in modern times.  If you want it to give a proper representation of your values, you're going to have to roll up your sleeves and get involved in the political process.

James080
James080

@Blankshore  

About 90% of incumbents are reelected, year after year.  The system is severely rigged in their favor. A boycott, unfortunately, is mightier than the pen, and more powerful than the ballot box.

bealotcoolerifyoudid
bealotcoolerifyoudid

@Blankshore The assumption was based on you "drowning" in student debt which implies that after paying your loan and bills there is nothing left.  And yes I am aware that the student loan deduction is only $2,500 and less if you make more than $60K.  But if you and your peers want to pay for the cruise, I will gladly go along.

Also, I am not really that afraid of big business as most are.  Many businesses have to survive by being decent to their customers. 

On the other hand some business are so closely aligned with big government that they can get away with treating people and the earth however they see fit/most profitable.  Monsanto, Haliburton, Lockheed Martin are not  big scary companies without support from the government.  But the thing is people need jobs and will work at these companies.  And people want returns on their 401(k)s, so really nothing is going to change.

Blankshore
Blankshore

@bealotcoolerifyoudid If you want to live in a world where boycotts are more influential than votes, that is terrifying. Also, there are some industries that are basically immune to boycotts because of the nature of its business. Also, I'm not sure why you assume I pay low taxes just because of my student debt. It's still very possible to get a decent job. I pay taxes based on my income not my debt. Deducting student loan interest doesn't have nearly the impact you think. As I said, I and many of my peers would gladly pay a higher tax rate if it came with proper representation of our values.

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