March 21, 2013 | Volume 118, Issue No. 12

Americans are hard workers

Escape with Eddie

I know I shouldn’t be asking these kinds of questions, but it keeps rolling around in my mind — the idea that saving is good, overspending is not. The other night, while watching the news, one of the concerns expressed was how much longer we are living than we did 20 years ago. Well, it’s no surprise. Medicine is more advanced, folks are taking better care of their health on their own, and voila! The benefit is longer and healthier lives. This is good news, Yes?

Apparently the news is mixed. Many of us elderly persons never expected to outlive our own forecast of fourscore and 10. However, the fact is, we are getting older every day. The downside: Lots of seniors are getting jobs to supplement/complement their retirement savings. They are outliving their forecast and are working to put groceries in the pantry and food on the table.

Well, it’s no wonder we’re having issues — the bank and Wall Street crisis, the automobile manufacturers, and the unemployment numbers have been a big draw on the economy, as well as retiree’s bank accounts and IRAs. Add to this the costs of fuel, once again at a healthy $3.79 in Moose Lake, (.20¢ cheaper in the Twin Cities) and we are all struggling to stay above water. I have decided that home is pretty appealing. Who goes for pleasure anymore? The pleasure of driving through the woods and up the North Shore is inhibited by the diminishing gas in the old automobile tank.

I’ve been reading an interesting mystery about nitrogen. Now I’m wondering if nitrogen could be used in some formula for propulsion of automobiles. There are certainly many ways it can be used for combustion, so why not as a fuel? It would probably break down into nitroglycerin and blow us all up to smithereens. Instead of propelling us forward, it might just send us up to the clouds.

Still, I do wonder why the price of gasoline remains so high when the news hounds tell us the U.S. has humongous oil reserves. Is there something we’re missing? Is there some reason why some of us can’t benefit from these reserves? Is there a reason that families have to choose between paying for gas to get to work and paying for food, medicine, or heaven forbid, a night at the movies?

I think we live in a great country. I think our great country does have to start helping those of us loyal Americans who have given our best to be good citizens. I think we need revised tax laws that are fair and just. I think we need representatives at the government level who speak for us and not for Oil Companies, Drug Companies, and the like.

We Americans are hard workers. We have done a great deal to serve our country. We have provided human power for the armed forces. we have provided nurses, doctors, teachers, truck drivers, grocers, bankers, etc. People from all the various career choices who have made this country what it is deserve respect. We expect to be heard by our representatives. We deserve to be able to maintain lives filled with dignity and grace.

I still ask the question my son verbalized to me this week: Why did we bail out banks and Wall Street for $850,000,000,000 when we could have given every citizen $1,000,000 at a cost of about $390,000,000? That money would have been spent to cover bills, short and in some cases long-term debt. The money would have hit the marketplace immediately and done a world of good. Now we have bailed out banks, once again charging exorbitant interest rates, and the people are in worse shape? How does this make sense?

Oh well, I’m just an elder, who in Washington is going to listen to me?

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