A woman who always reads this column told me that she has heard comments that people aren’t as enthused over my political columns and look forward to Aging’s return. So here goes. How many years have I been writing this column? For a good number of years, I didn’t keep dates on the file copies so I can’t be sure, but over 40 copies are in that folder. For a definitely older fellow writing a few more isn’t that difficult.
Greed is mentioned often. Maybe we all have a touch of it. Did we ever take the biggest piece of pie and attempt to convince others we didn’t intentionally favor ourselves? That low level of greed is not my point in writing this opinion. I’m baffled as to why greed grows even faster for adults with more wealth than they could spend on things they would use. In the year 2000, the great bull market on stocks and shares shuddered to a halt. Three years later, markets were still in the doldrums.
You may well have heard it before, but perhaps misplaced the copy of how your tax dollars are spent, so here is one to keep. The Friends Committee on National Legislation compiled this list. For each dollar of federal income tax paid in 2013, the money was spent roughly as follows: Forty cents of every dollar went to military spending.
There are lots of things to wonder about, aren’t there? Why did this or that happen at this period in history? How about today? Will our successors wonder about us, and some of the things we have or haven’t done? That thought came to me as I saw a cartoon in the New Yorker magazine. It displayed four scantily clad folks sitting beside a small bonfire in barren surroundings with one saying, “Yes the planet got destroyed.
A few years ago, I wrote an essay explaining why I feel that almost all people of the world, basically, are good people. They want to do the right things; they are almost all intentionally good people. I know some people don’t accept this view today. They can give examples for their negative view. I truly believe those are exceptional happenings, not the usual. I hope that you will have the time and disposition to hear me out. I began writing these articles in the early 1970s when Bill Goligoski was editor of the Superior Telegram.
Perhaps I’ve written too frequently about the immoral, growing wealth inequality in our country. I hadn’t received too much response, but recently received one from one of the culprits in my estimation — one of the richest of the rich. He made the case for the wealthy elite; they are acting as role models for Americans seeking the American dream. Could we continue to brag about the Golden Dream of America if we didn’t have unusual examples?
I’m asked frequently, where I get the ideas for these weekly columns. I still serve on the Advisory Committee for RSVP and the executive board for the Superior Vocational Center. I know about this subject from my own experiences, volunteering many years of driving for the Aging Resource Center — now Senior Connections — and for the Retired Senior Volunteer Program. I thought that Jeffrey Kluger in Time Magazine made some excellent points that I want to share with you. All of us, I think, would like to know how to live longer and happier lives.
I’m not Catholic, but I’ve been most greatly impressed by the new Pope. He exemplifies humility in so many, many ways. On the opposite side I’ve been embarrassed by some conservatives who bad-mouth our U.S. governmental programs that help those who need help. Certainly, I have heard of some deadbeats who didn’t truly need help, but made a business out of getting something for nothing. Most of those led very humble lives and were truly humble, embarrassedly so, because they couldn’t match the competition.
I have four signs on the back of my car: “War is not the answer!” I only remember one worthy war. I enlisted in WWII because it seemed an obvious need. Jews were being slaughtered and war seemed to be the only answer. I, personally, have felt that none of our wars since have been answers to anything. Vietnam was being taken over by communists was our war trigger slogan.
How can public education be improved? I began writing opinions back in the early ’70s for the Superior Telegram while serving on the Superior School Board. Those were my early years on the University of Wisconsin-Superior staff. I came to Superior after teaching in junior and senior high for six years, superintending schools 13 years and college lab school director for two years. Education has been my life. I haven’t written about education for several years because of having retired, but the field never left me.