Saturday, 21 September 2013

The Banana Republic Speech

“This is the United States of America.  We’re not some banana republic, this is not a deadbeat nation, we don’t run out on our tab.  We can't just not pay our bills."

-- President Obama at a Ford plant operation in Liberty, MO

For roughly three years, the President's theme speeches have spiraled downward.  It's hard to say if they let go of the four-star writer, if they ran out of four-star material, or just thought to revert to average speeches.

We are at some point where people doubt the government in general.  They don't believe the promises.  They don't believe campaign platforms.  They don't believe honorable men who sit in the Senate. They don't believe journalists.  They don't believe judges, lawyers, or tax-men.

A banana republic?  Unless you've lived in really don't know or understand the way that they work.  Banana republics usually promise you everything, and rarely deliver more than ten percent of what they promised.

Banana republics tend to be corrupt, from the mightiest office, all the way down to the local dog-catcher.

Banana republics set fake costs onto products, to help the discontented folks at the bottom.  A roll of toilet paper would be a nickel each, but a bottle of whiskey would be $25 (even the cheap $9 bottles of Jim Beam).

Banana republics give out hand-outs.  You show up at some corner on Saturday morning and a government guy arrives to give  you a grocery bag with a bottle of cooking oil, a small package of sugar, a box of condoms, a six-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon, and some cheap apple jelly.  For this, you are appreciative and shake the guy's hand.

Banana republics stage prices for gas.  You can have cheap gas, but only four gallons a week.  So you tend to buy black market gas for $5 a gallon to make up the rest of your weekly requirements.

Banana republics provide free phone service.  Got a bad line?  Well....there's no service for that.  You just accept the bad line as part of the free service.

Banana republics tax luxury items to the extreme....not a mere six-to-eight percent.....but more likely to be twenty-to-thirty percent.

Banana republics pay their service employees (fire men, cops, street cleaners, etc) low wages....until they strike, and then they offer a one-time bonus that really makes everyone happen with a giant check. Then, things go back to the norm with low pay.

Banana republics have political figures who typically spend a lot of time on TV and the radio.  They talk on and on about the newest trend, the newest problem, the newest solution, and the newest corruption.  There's never a shortage of topics for them to appear and talk.

Banana republics tend to have lousy journalists who never do investigative reporting.  They usually like traffic accidents with fatalities or chicken-trucks that have overturned.  Front page stories usually discuss the terrible greed in the republic, the terrific sins of the rich, the woeful stories of the poor, and the sorry state of public streets.

Banana republics have banks that stay mostly empty.  There's no cash flow, so there's no real need for banks to exist except for the rich.

Banana republics have leaders that travel around the country.....making speeches....blaming someone for the woes of the republic.....and always looking good for the camera.

Are we in a Banana republic?  It's a debatable topic, if you ask me.   Sadly, the President will now be noted for the weekend news chat having given the "Banana Republic-speech", and debate will now rage if we live in such a place.  It's a sad mess.