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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

What I Should Have Said Was Nothing....

Recently a woman on Facebook asked a very provocative question. Her views are left leaning and she wondered how anyone could support Trump. The posts her question created reflected incredulity from all her readers. After scanning the page I read she is a very talented writer, professor and journalist. I trusted her question was sincere and honored her the request to know why anyone would vote for Trump. Be clear I am not a Trump supporter, I do not have a candidate, perhaps I will but for now, I am one of millions of Americans classified as "undecided".

After writing an emotional response that included my family’s experiences over the last 8 years or so, I expected to be skewered. The response on her facebook page was phenomenal. She expressed empathy to a plight she didn't realize was occurring. She was kind, and expressed true concern for our situation. Then she did something akin to asking my husband for a recipe, she asked me to write about it.

I can do that.

These are my simple observations from personal experiences. No hyperbole, just our agenda to survive. I am not running for office, nor am I advocating a candidate. I really don’t know who to vote for. My views are mostly middle right, I mostly stick to a live and let live attitude. Making a living is hard so I don't picket or boycott since you rarely land a glove on the folks you want to hurt anyway. I have friends from all walks of life and lifestyles, all races, creeds and tongues...You can believe my honesty on this front or not.

Our politicians say a great deal for votes and then do very little once they are in office. The apex of our crisis came to my family 8 years ago when the recession began. Nevada has the second worst unemployment rate in the country and during the worst parts of the recession it was number one and number one in foreclosures. Not one Nevada politician came to help. They could have at least said things are bad but we know they will improve. But they did nothing. I asked Rep Joe Heck our republican congressman what he was doing to help with our crisis. He said to my face..."I am introducing legislation" So basically nothing. Construction everywhere stopped right in the middle of projects, and overnight businesses closed. And then the ripple effect began, construction stopped, jobs lost, homes lost and great people began to leave Nevada in droves because there were no jobs. The recession went across the country and our president in an attempt to encourage people to tighten their belts made a careless remark about not going to Las Vegas. The next day companies cancelled conventions scheduled here and folks cancelled vacations.The mayor was apoplectic and in a rare move Harry Reid objected. President Obama later corrected his statement in a letter, but few people heard it and the damage was done.  It was a deep financial hit and a morale killer. Years later he told a group there is "nothing like a quick trip to Vegas in the middle of the week". We live and learn.

When our health insurance bill became so high we considered giving it up, instead we signed up for Obamacare because our income was so low. I misunderstood the instructions - which in my defense are as complicated as a nuclear arms treaty - and didn't know we had to state our income on a guess going forward instead of what we made the previous year. When our business began to make more money, (and that is what we want to happen, right?) we were fined $4,000 for incorrect information. It was a huge mistake I am still bitter about. Everything we make goes back into the business and our survival so it was a huge hit. When Mrs. Clinton made mistakes with emails that could have - might have - impacted national security, national security, and received no consequences I was angry. Why isn't there an insurance mulligan with Obamacare mistakes? National security gets a mulligan but not the regular guy? I got off of Obamacare as quickly as I could find different coverage and now we have coverage through a private healthshare program that qualifies under Obamacare. For the record some of the changes Obamacare have made are long overdue. Children staying on their parent’s policies until 26 (although if there were more jobs this wouldn't be necessary) and preexisting illnesses no longer preclude you from coverage. Changes did need to be made to health insurance and republicans were not going to do it, so the discussion starts with Obamacare. Repealing it without an alternate plan will not work, but too many people are facing higher deductibles and premiums with less coverage and there will eventually be a rebellion. Small businesses cannot afford the guidelines and they will continue to hire more part time workers. And that doesn’t help anyone going forward.

I did not caucus for Trump, but he took Nevada by a huge margin. Why? Jobs...or lack of jobs. Hardworking people are looking around at no retirement, no savings, no IRA's and a government hell bent on taking more of what we don't have. I have watched my college educated husband start over at 60...why? Because he had to, the choice was giving up or going forward. Some folks did give up, they walked away from their homes and every obligation they had. In the last 10 years 16 million (excellent article) people have left the labor force making it 92 million people total. It is easy to quote a very low unemployment rate when you take so many out of the equation. I realize that number includes retired people, but it also includes people without hope of work or they find themselves unqualified to work. With our savings, investments and IRA's gone, the Tagliaferri retirement plan changed to "no retirement plan"or "work until you drop". But what could we do? We were too old to get jobs that would come close to our obligations, so we started a business. Nothing has been harder, but we refuse to give up.  Learning social media, quickbooks, advertising, buying, and a never ending conga line of regulations has not been easy. We are competing with companies that are long established with much bigger budgets to hire people to advertise, do books and keep up with regulations. I didn't even know where to start. So after a nervous breakdown (real) I realized we are not alone in this, as my dear friend and accountant said to me during a raging meltdown, "Donna do you know how many of my clients are in the exact same place you are?" I finally realized it wasn’t just me, the whole country was 50% off.

Enter Trump. The anti-candidate, the guy with all the answers but mostly sounds like he has none of the answers. He wants to be our proxy against the established team of politicians on either side. He throws mud at ideas and concepts that haven't worked. And he has tapped into a group of Americans that are afraid continuing to use these failed ideas and concepts will finally finish us off. Up to now any candidate that stood up and said things need to change was unelectable. But the Donald came at just the right time for a whole group of people politicians have been ignoring. People who have lost his or her life savings and finds no one in government really cares. I am a county planning commissioner, I know the language of distress, distrust and disgust from constituents. When no one takes the time to hear their concerns they rebel. That is what’s happening in America, people are rebelling and their pitchforks and torches come in the form of Donald Trump. When I talk to people about who they are voting for gender doesn't come up. People don't care if Hillary is a woman or not, but the media does and it provides another wedge to drive us apart.
I don’t see any proof that either candidate has any idea what today's economy is like. They are all privileged beyond measure. All of them attended Ivy league schools, their children attended Ivy league schools (I consider Stanford a Ivy league school - at least by cost) none of them have student loans or a dismal path to employment, they will never worry about health care or retirement. They don't even have to be concerned about ISIS since they are surrounded by secret service or private security 24 hours a day. To insure I will never understand their lifestyles Mrs Clinton gave a speech at UNLV in 2014. (I have provided a link stating her demands for giving the speech from the Review Journal article) When people were struggling to pay mortgages Mrs. Clinton is demanding a Gulfstream and a presidential suite.

It doesn't help that the entire DNC was devoted to how good things are and the RNC was devoted to how bad things are leaving me to wonder....

"Where do I go now?"

Enter Trump

He isn't a politician, he isn't nice, he isn't smooth...he has no filter. He got the nomination because he isn't a politician. Politics haven't worked for the hoi polloi in a long time. His rhetoric is grating and nonsensical, he is PT Barnum. When I ask people why they are voting for him two things are mentioned...He understands the economy is challenging, and he says the snarky things they want to but can't. In an interview Nancy Pelosi referred to "uneducated white men" when discussing those voting for Trump. The phrase “blue collar worker” had been replaced. Probably because blue collar workers are a democratic stronghold. Instead of trying to find out why Americans are feeling disenfranchised and hopeless they dismiss them by diminishing them.  And then Trump leaves us all dumbfounded when instead of trying to find a solution for immigration Trump wants to build a wall...seriously? He talks about torture and nuclear bombs as though they are pieces to a game. He doesn't have a plan to fix anything any more than Mrs. Clinton does, for the record her plan is more of the same.  Since neither side has a path to recovery for the economy just admit it and get out of the way. The people are the reason America is great, not our politicians. We work, we invent, we dream, and we take risks. Government was never supposed to make jobs, it's sole purpose is for the "common good” , that which is shared or beneficial for the common community.

Working through my dotage is our retirement plan, I get that, so get out of the way and let me do it.

And someone find a leader I can follow.....