Hurrah! Congress Finally Solved a Problem...Or A Sign The Apocalypse Is Upon Us
We can rest easy now. According to a December 3, 2010 Associated Press article, our political class and the Congress they run have finally com together in a momentous manner to solve an issue facing all Americans. Would could it be, you say:
- Did they finally win the War On Drugs that plagues our country? No, still working on that one since the late 1960s.
- Did they finally come up with a comprehensive energy strategy that protects our national interests and defense and helps save the environment? No, still working on that one from the mid 1970s.
- Did they finally find a way to fix our failing public school systems? No, still working on that one, a problem that was identified in the early 1980s by the Reagan administration.
- Did they finally find a way to solve the illegal immigration problem and come up with a strategic plan to deal with immigration? No, still working on that one which has been around for decades.
- Did they finally find a way to deal with the fast approaching financial insolvency of Social Security and medicare? No, still working on that one even though they have known about the aging of the baby boomer generation and its impact on these entitlement programs for decades.
- Did they finally find a way to get government spending under control? No, still working on that one and moving in the wrong direction with the Presidential commission On Debt Reduction failing miserably to garner enough votes to move their recommendations to Congress.
- Did they finally find a way to bring home our troops that are so widely, expensively, and foolishly distributed around the world? No still working on that one also.
- Did they finally find a way to create more jobs and reduce the unemployment rate in this country? No still working on that one and also moving in the wrong direction with the statistics announced today showing that unemployment is rising and private sector job creation is a fraction of what first time unemployment benefit filings are.
No, unfortunately, Congress made little progress on most of these issues today and in a few, actually lost ground. However, we can thank them for passing legislation that would prevent television advertisements from being louder than the shows they are embedded in. The bill was sponsored in the House Of representatives by Congresswoman Anna Eshoo of California and in the Senate by Sheldon Whitehouse. These are two real life politicians and their staffs working and wasting resources on an issue that pales in importance to some of the problems listed above. If you surveyed every household in America and asked them to rank the issue of television commericals' sound volumes, where do you think it would rank? Would it make the top 50 issues facing American households today? Would it make the top 100?
What a pitiful issue to be working on. I would bet that most of America does one of the following when a television commercial comes on:
- They mute the sound with their Mute button.
- They use their DVR to fast forward through the commercials.
- They leave the room to get something to eat.
- They leave the room to do something else.
It would seem that these four options, all within the control of the person, would more than neutralize the impact of higher sound volume of commercials. Why do we need dozens of Washington people working this nonsense when other critical issues go unattended and unsolved? And now the President will get involved and waste some of his time to sign this bill, even though the problem of the Bush tax cuts is not yet resolved and our service people are still dieing and getting wounded in two wars and our government apparently cannot keep a secret (i.e. Wikileaks) and a whole set of other issues might be better served by the President than taking even five minutes to enact this legislation.
What is really pathetic is a quote in the article from Senator Whitehouse: "Every American has likely experienced the frustration of abrasively loud television commercials. While this may be an effective way for ads to grab attention, it also adds unnecessary stress to the daily lives of many Americans." I would bet that not being able to find a job is more stressful than the sound volume of TV commercials. I would bet that seeing my child not get a good education in our public schools is more stressful than the sound volume of television commercials. I would bet that having a loved one become addicted to drugs is more stressful than the sound volume of television commercials. Fix these real problems and Americans would be able to cope with the stress of high commercial sound volumes.
So I guess I should be happy that Congress finally agreed to do something. But I am not happy, I see this as another sign that the apocalypse is upon us. It helps verify the suspicions of many Americans that the political class does not know how to solve the big problems facing the country and American families today. Thus, to justify in their own minds that they are important, they work on trivial matters that have absolutely no bearing on our general welfare. It's that old cliche that the political class is only good for rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic rather than getting up in the crow's nest looking for the much bigger icebergs floating out there that could really affect our voyage.
We need to find a way to greatly downsize government so that it works on fewer but more important problems and provides an added focus to those problems. If properly executed, the political class would not be working on trivial matters like the sound volume of television commercials since the funding and resources to do so would have been eliminated or switched to the national drug problem, the public education problem, the immigration problem, and only a handful of other important, national issues.
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