Wednesday, June 20, 2007

On Signing Statements and Ignoring the Law

As reported by Think Progress: Federal agencies ignored 30 percent of the laws Bush objected to in signing statements last year, according to a report released today [actually, June 18, 2007] by the Government Accountability Office. In 2006, President Bush issued signing statements for 11 out of the 12 appropriations bills passed by Congress, claiming a right to bypass a total of 160 provisions in them.

In a sample set of 19 provisions, the GAO found that “10 provisions were executed as written, 6 were not, and 3 were not triggered and so there was no agency action to examine.”

The report, which was requested by House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) and Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Byrd (D-WV), gives the first indication of the impact that President Bush’s signing statements have had on the enforcement of laws passed by Congress.


csm says: This is yet another example showing how this president flouts the law to his own means, caring predominantly about his narrow interests than what is best for the USA.


Ceroill said...

csm, it seems to me that most of his signing statements are focussed toward one aim: Increasing the independent power of the executive office, and reducing the checks on the president from Congress and the Judiciary. I may be wrong, of course.

jan said...

I agree with Bob. (Should I be saying "ceroill"?).
I may be wrong, of course. :)

And, again, csm, you're the one who gave me the only way I have of smiling about this -- thinking of how they will like it in HRC's hands.
I don't have a solution for this. Anyone?

I'm not hinting impeachment. I wondering what CITIZENS can do directly against an out-of-control executive branch (short of what the first paragraph of the D of I encourages -- anarchy).


Vote for Ron Paul maybe?

Ceroill said...

jan, Bob is fine. I have noticed that the conservatives in power are now finally beginning to take notice and worry about this power, since it won't be long before it's in the hands of someone else. As long as it was just GWB they could accept it, but the thought of a Dem with those powers really worries them, I think. Worries me too, but no more or less than Dubwa having 'em.

jan said...

I agree with Ron Paul more than any other Republican in the field, but there's no way I would vote for him.

I'm surprised at how much my R Senator, John Sununu, has continued to rubber-stamp GWB. He promises me that September is going to bring some changes, so we'll see. I got a call yesterday that Jeanne Shaheen is putting feelers out to her supporters and she will definitely kick his ass as she jumps in.

just fyi, I'm also concerned about any All Democrat government. People say Democrats lost in 1994 because of the Contract with America. They actually lost because they were a bunch of check-kiters with too much arrogance.
So, I think when a Party first takes power, they are at their least corrupt. And it goes downhill from there.
I think it's going to be a generational election in 2008, and the government will be firmly in the hands of Democrats for a number of years.
So, starting in 2010, we get to check how it's going and ADJUST accordingly.

Power to the People! :)


Two points Jan, one, I am considering the Democrats time on the clock as starting in 2006, not 2008.

Two, I think because you favor a national healthcare system, stronger controls on our market system, federal imposition on the country's educational system and all the warm fuzziness the Democrats are promising, you will get most of what you want. With this in mind, how tough will you be on the Democrats. I have heard nothing of how they are going to reform Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Sure they will tax the rich and the oil companies and anyone else with deep pockets(which I am not totally opposed to myself, i.e. my previous posts on taxing all wages for SS), but I fail to see how this will one, solve our looming problems and two, balance the branches of our government and three, return some of the power back to the people, who for the most part live in states. Personally I think it will be the opposite result, but I have little power to change that, eh? My hope is that somehow the Reps get the Senate and we will have a governor(the engine kind) to the Dems. To me that would be the best we could hope for(and I already know your position on gridlock).

jan said...

bawdy, I have to say, I don't think it's very fair to put the Democrats on the clock at 2006 by themselves -- for two reasons:
One, we were discussing one party having all three branches of government, as, for example, the Republicans had 2002-2006. Look at what they did between 2002-2006 with no oversight!
If the Dems do that with four years in complete control, I PROMISE you I will hold them accountable.

Also, the current Senate is actually 49-49, with two I's who caucus with the Democrats. Again, that's pretty tenuous control to hold them the only ones accountable from 2006-2008.

From 1992-1994, when Dems had all branches and were check-kiting fm'ers?
I held Dems accountable.

I am for this, in respect of "promoting the general welfare" these THREE things you listed:
"...a national healthcare system, stronger controls on our market system [family-friendly wages only!!!], federal imposition on the country's educational system [age 0-7 literacy only!!!]..."

and then, bawdy, after those three, you're going to have to tell me what you mean here:
"...and all the warm fuzziness the Democrats are promising..."

As far as "solving ss, mc, ma..." Again, probabaly close to half the people in the legislature don't even want those systems to exist... and never have.
Therefore, as I've said before, call me back when 67 Senators are on the same page at the foundations (meaning whether we should ever have even had them or not) and I'll start holding them accountable for solving the problem.
Right now some people would just solve it with murder.
Not my solution.
My solution is not a soundbite.

I think the balance of government will be back when we all decide which problems are national, international, and global; and which are state, community, and private.
Unitl then, flustercluck, with even you and me fighting -- nevermind 535 representatives from 50 different states.

You think abortion is state; I could never agree.
You think benefits for marriage are from government; I'd maybe compromise some, but I don't agree.
I think guns should have child-safety locks and it's a matter for government; you don't think that's the place of government.

When you and I can figure out OUR balance of government, I will hold 535 representatives to that standard.

bawdy: "Personally I think it will be the opposite result, but I have little power to change that, eh?"

bawdy, this is your coach speaking. YOU have the power. YOU have the power. You ARE "The People."
Our Constituion gives *US* the power!

Who ya gonna hire next time around? :)

p.s. imo, the Republicans will not be getting the Senate.
They are having to protect all 22 of thier seats up for grabs, even potentially ones like Pete Domenici's. Almost none "safe" and most "in danger."
The Dems only have 12 seats up, and only one is in any danger whatosever.

I think the GOP's only chance for a role in government in 2008 would be (possibly) the Presidency.
However, with careful analyzation, I still can't fathom who the GOP are going to pick as their candidate.
Assuming the same people are in, I think the Dem ticket will probably be Clinton/Obama.

And, yes, you already know my position on gridlock.
And on girdlock, for that matter.

bawdy, let me throw this out:
In trying to figure out what I thought the "general welfare" was at one time in my life, I asked myself what I would want for my child if someone found him along the side of the road.

I decided at the least I would want (a democracy, of course, and...) safe nourishment and shelter unitl he could be expected to provide those for himself; healthcare for preventable and curable diseases; and the opportunity to know how to read as early as possible, in a nation with free libraries.
And I would also want the government to guarnatee that, if he worked hard and honestly, he would, as an adult, earn family-friendly wages from any business large enough the effect our overall economy.

That's sort of the way I came to what i think the overall government should do to protect its citizens if they have no safety net.
Since I would want that for my child, it seems to me that's what I must be willing to provide for all children, even those I don't actually know.

What would you want me to provide as a safety net if, philosophically speaking, I found a helpless loved one of yours without a safety net, for whatever reason? Hungry, toothache, broken foot, 40 degrees...

I have a hard time being a human being and not thinking (since I have the frontal lobe) that we have the power to end our fellow human beings' "un-fortune"-ate suffering.
I have a fortune; that shouldn't be the reason why I am able to have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in America.

Ceroill said...

The current online edition of Slate has a review of Moore's latest film 'Sicko'. Have a look. It's hardly a glowing endorsement of the man and his methods, but does agree with the overall point Moore makes.

Ceroill said...

Another goodie from Slate:

TP's Top Five List … The top five most secretive things about Dick Cheney from the WP lead:

5. "In the usual business of interagency consultation, proposals and information flow into the vice president's office from around the government, but high-ranking White House officials said in interviews that almost nothing flows out."

4. "Man-size Mosler safes, used elsewhere in government for classified secrets, store the workaday business of the office of the vice president."

3. "Even talking points for reporters are sometimes stamped 'Treated As: Top Secret/SCI.' "

2. "Cheney declines to disclose the names or even the size of his staff, generally releases no public calendar and ordered the Secret Service to destroy his visitor logs." (Three in one!)

1. "His general counsel has asserted that 'the vice presidency is a unique office that is neither a part of the executive branch nor a part of the legislative branch,' and is therefore exempt from rules governing either."

coreydbarbarian said...

hi all!

just droppin in 2 say hi.


anyways, my computer blew up a week or 2 ago. big ol' lightnin ball flew out the backside o'my p.c. very pretty. blue & white, not yellow-gold, like i expected.

so it may take a while 4 me to get back online with any regularity.

didn't want anyone 2 worry 'bout me, so i thought i'd let ya know.

miss you guys (and gals, o'course!).


I hold all elected officials accountable all the time; not just when one party holds the Congress and the Presidency.

Warm fuzziness=all the things the government wants to do for us to make our lives better(supposedly), such as: making a college education affordable(let us not ask why it is so unaffordable to begin with), child care for everybody, making sure our autos are efficient, etc. Where I come from a village doesn't raise a child, parents do. This village thinking is another way to say, you as an individual WILL have your sovereignty eroded.

Thanks for glossing over the real problems facing our country(and ones started by the Democrats, ironically) of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Unless solved quickly, all these other so-called problems will pale into nothingness, never given another thought.

As far as your paragraphs concerning national vs. state authority, all I can say is if this country had followed the Constitution without fail we might very well not even be talking about any of these current problems. Of course, we would have some sorts of problems, but not of the variety we have now.

As my coach, I get the feeling you are directing me to vote Democratic, my vote won't count unless I do. If I had no choice but to vote Democratic I would cease to vote. There is only a portion of the Democratic platform which I can stomach(the same goes for the Republicans). I can give a big sigh of relief though, as you are not my political coach and I am free to vote the way my conscience dictates.

When I was seventeen I was kicked out from my parents home. It was the best thing which could have happened to me at the time. I will admit, I got lucky and got a job right away(nothing cushy or high paying though, it was very hard work) and was able to make my way. There are no guarantees in life and I like it that way. There will ALWAYS be those unfortunate ones who find life too hard to handle my themselves. There will ALWAYS be poverty. Life is tough and that will NOT change. I am not saying we should not have a safety net, what I am saying is there is no net which can save everybody.


Oh, BTW, csm, if you get a chance to catch Radio Birdman, I would highly recommend it. They were tight, they obviously have practised and were eager to please. We had a small but energetic crowd and they(Radio Birdman) were pleased with the rabidity of all us old farts(this was an all ages club, but the "No Drinks Past This Line" line was moved to the point where it was a non-entity). They played old stuff, new stuff and BOC covers. All great and one of the best shows I have seen in awhile.

jan said...

Cop out: "Warm fuzziness=all the things the government wants to do for us [...] making a college education affordable... child care for everybody... making sure our autos are efficient... ***etc.***

FACT: Democrats are making college LOANS more affordable and more available. Democrats have no control over making college itself more affordable.

FACT? Democrats are making us pay for childcare for everyone? May I have some info on that legislation before Congress?

And those bad, bad Democrats... Making sure our autos are more efficient! Here I thought it was making sure the air that we need to actually stay alive is the best that it can be. Silly me.
So, clean air bad?!!?

Bawdy, it does take a community to raise a child. Just, some communities are behind security gates and think the rest of the world community doesn't affect their lives.

Maybe your parents didn't need their community's help. But, for the parents who do, a healthy community would be foolish to let a struggling parent fail.

"This village thinking is another way to say, you as an individual WILL have your sovereignty eroded."
I am one who believes a society is measured by how they treat their weakest. America has the greatest foundation in history -- it's Constitution. Creating safety nets for vulnerable human beings will never bring down America, imo.

I didn't gloss over the fixes for ss, mc, and ma. Do 67 Senators actually WANT ss, mc, and mz?
No, they don't. So they certainly don't want to fix them.
bawdy, are you actually in favor of ss, mc, and mc yourself?

(byw, I'm not. I'm for universal healthcare for preventable and curable diseases, and for us to take care of the needs of our elderly if they need us to.)

Also: "Unless solved quickly, all these other so-called problems will pale into nothingness, never given another thought."

We are currently spending a billion a week in Iraq. If we have the money for that, we have the money for anything, including shoring up these programs. Not my choice... but, hey, a friend of mine thinks gridlock is dandy.

bawdy: "As my coach, I get the feeling you are directing me to vote Democratic, my vote won't count unless I do."
I'm asking you to stop telling us how powerless you feel you are to change things.
(bawdy: "Personally I think it will be the opposite result, but I have little power to change that, eh?")

You got kicked out of your house at 17 and you made it, bawdy. Congratulations!
Tell me what you think the future holds for the kids who get kicked out of their houses at 7? Where do they turn?


Did it ever occur to you that when you make student loans more affordable and available this will do nothing but make the cost of a college education more and more expensive? Supply and demand works here too. I think somebody ought to investigate the universities themselves not just the student loan industry. The findings should be interesting.

I never said Democrats or anybody wants us to pay for child care for everybody, I said Democrats want child care for everybody. And I will always disagree with you about raising kids. I believe this is the parents responsibility and if they don't take that responsibility(i.e. your example of kicking a 7 year old out)they go to jail.

CAFE standards deal with auto fuel efficency, not with the emmisions out of the tailpipe. That is what I was talking about.

Safety nets for vulnerable citizens would not take down our society, but raping and pillaging the instruments designed to provide the safety net will take down our society. And this raping and pillaging has been done on the watch of both Republicans and Democrats to the point where this problem needs to be solved. I hear no candidates even whispering a solution to the problem and these are the fucks you want me to vote for. As for your question as to whether I agree with the programs we now have; does it matter? They are here and we have to live with them.

"(btw, I'm not. I'm for universal healthcare for preventable and curable diseases...)

I will assume your system would take care of broken arms and major head trauma which do not come under the heading of "disease".

As for the legacy which could be ours if nothing is done about SS, MC and MCD, do you realize the liabilities for these programs are now being measured in the "trillions" of dollars; over three trillion dollars for SS alone? Medicare is in even worse shape.

"We are currently spending a billion a week in Iraq. If we have money for that, we have money for anything..."

True, very true, because all we have to do is print more money. Let's just get those printing presses rolling 24/7 and just paper our problems away.... The world doesn't work that way and the bond market is telling us now if we aren't careful ALL these problems will become moot.

Because I do vote and I do feel powerless, why shouldn't I voice my feelings. I thought that was what places like this site were for. Am I wrong about that? Am I just supposed to sit quietly in the corner and pout? You happen to be on a side which has a good chance to win this time. That has to be a good feeling for you. You agree with much of what they(Dems)want to do. I feel good for you, really. I just can't bring myself to sit beside you, couldn't stomach the crap I would be forced to eat.

And to answer your questions about where the 7 year old getting kicked out turns to - the states, unless you are looking for a federal solution for that too.


One more thing, in your post on 6-22 @ 2:04pm you wrote:

"You think benefits for marriage are from the government."

I don't know where you got that from. I believe marriage is a religious rite and that the government should have nothing to do with it. I believe the benefits in question should derive from a civil union which would be given by the government. Marriage= religion. Civil Union= governemnt.

Ceroill said...

Jan, Bawdy, I think I spotted a miscommunication between your respective posts. Jan, at the end of your post you mention '7 year olds' getting kicked out. Did you mean '17 year olds'? If that was a typo, it could have led to a serious misunderstanding. Bawdy, does that make sense to you?

jan said...

bawdy, voice your feelings all you want. If saying you feel powerless in a government by, for, and of the people helps you to feel better, go for it.

My point is you are not powerless.
Or else, America is a failure.

Also, my point on all the other topics is, if half of us support (for example) federal public education under "promoting the general welfare"; and some of us think states can always govern better than D.C. ...
Well, fuck it.
We'll just go our own ways and continue to voice what WE would do if We owned the world.
And that's exactly how it is in D.C.
You expect them to do something you aren't doing -- solving problems by compromising some of your ideology. You begrudging go along because you haven't gotten your way as far as majority rules. But my complaint is what comes next, from ideologues -- they obstruct solutions because they really don't want public federal education to work, or they really don't want universal healthcare to work.
Her's my statement: If Americans WANT it to work it will work. Private sector, competition, teamwork, it doesn't matter.
The KEY for Americans is first wanting it to work.
Let me know when you want public federal education or social security to work.

Sometimes you seem to believe that none of the rest of us are quite capable of understanding the Constitution.

marriage=the two people involved;
civil unions "benefit"=any benefit that government gives any union... which I believe should be *NONE* idealogically.

But I'm willing to compromise my own desire for limited government when it comes to personal relationships, by accepting civil unions.

Bob: I've known more than one 7-year-old who has been thrown out of the house, especially by a drunk or two parents.

Did I ever tell you about the three young girls -- oldest was 12 and was in one of my classes -- and the parents who went to court about every three months to argue over who had to take them. None of them had so much as a room at either of their parents' houses. None of them could expect breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or even groceries to be provided.

I could go on.

Ceroill said...

Jan, I wasn't doubting that such things (7 year olds being kicked out) do happen. I know that cruelty and stupidity are rampant in this world. I was just wondering if maybe that instance in particular happened to be a typo.

jan said...

Bob, I don't think you're doubting me. In fact, I doubt anyone thinks I'm lying when I make the blanket statement.

But I just wanted people to know there are names, faces, entire lives... little people attached to my statements. What stands between them and the pursuit of happiness are some pretty basic things, like a bed and a breakfast.

I really resent teachers and school counsellors being used as surrogate parents and unpaid social workers in our society.

What i do for our society is teach math and English.

imo, what our nation (via our governing bodies) needs to do for our society is provide a safety net for its most vulnerable citizens.

I take kids under my wing all the time, and in some rather serious ways sometimes.
But that should be my ice cream to reward them for eating my broccoli. It shouldn't be the way we all find out that both their parents are working two jobs and they're home alone when they come home from school, or they watch their parents sleeping between shifts.

And, btw, this isn't the ghetto either. I've never taught in anything worst than a suburban public school, and only then, just a couple of years out of 35 years of teaching.
In the private schools, these types of parents leave for Europe and don't bother to take the rugrats.

These children are in every school; there are just fewer of them in rich schools. Maybe only one.
Do we care if it's "only" one?

But thanks for your concern.
I really admire your desire for peace among us creatures.


"I really resent teachers and school counsellors being used as surrogate parents and unpaid social workers in our society."

I thought it took a village to raise a child, now I read this. Which is it?

Ceroill said...

First off, I think there's an implied difference (at least in my mind) between 'it takes a village', and 'surrogate'. One is indicative of broad support, the other of replacement.

This also, in my head, links in with my ruminations on the similarity of the current economy to the economy at the turn of the 20th century. Before the advent of the 'nuclear family' after WWII, it was commonplace to have multiple generations living in the same household. In a situation where you need multiple incomes for a family to just get by, it makes sense to me for this tradition to be revived. Thus, when the multiple bread earners are at work, on whatever shift, there will be granparents, aunts, uncles, or cousins on hand to look after the young-uns and deal with what used to be called 'tradesmen'- delivery folk, plumbers and whatnot. Of course this kind of setup also works best in an old fashioned urban type neighborhood or small town. Not so well in a suburb, though it would still help.

jan said...

well, bawdy, i thought i made it pretty clear that my part of raising the village was the place where i teach math and english to everyone's kids, even though i don't have to work -- especially at a low-paying, high-demanding public service job like teaching.

there are lots of people like you who think that teachers ARE our society's surrogate parents and our society's social workers.
But i personally would prefer that foster parents and actual professionally-trained social workers do that vital part in the village for us.

So far, no one has asked the teachers to be the firemen for the village too, in order to contribute to the village...
but, yeah, that may come under No Child Left Behind 2.0.

And I actually came back to say...

I think kids getting kicked out of the house at 17 is a great idea. I seriously do.
Part of my personal expertise is Adolescent Psychology, and a boot into the real world without mommy and daddy is usually a good thing for adolescents.

However, I think beforehand they should have had, at the very least, equal opportunity to good health care, proper instruction on learning how to read, and safe food and shelter.

And, btw, I don't think businesses should be paying for healthcare; I think businesses should be paying for high school... via what i call a "work/study wage."


"There are lots of people like you who think that teachers ARE our society's surrogate parents and our society's social workers."

I defy you to show me where I even come close to writing that I feel it is the job of teachers to raise a child. I don't believe it(I was the one who posted it DOESN"T take a village to raise a child, remember? It is the PARENT'S responsibility, remember?)and it is antithetical to my personal responsibility sensibility.

It is obvious to me that this is an exercise in futility. I will just finish with this. Because of my cynicism of the world around me and my attitude, it would be a reasonable assumption to any innocent bystander that you are a better person than I. This doesn't bother me much because I don't expect much anymore. I see crap all around me and I am inured to it. You call for my compromise and I say I have compromised all my life, internally, by abiding by the fucking mess no one seems to care to solve for whatever reason. I basically just live my life, find my individual happiness where I find it and will leave the coming fucking mess for others to clean up. You seem to think the Democrats are up to the task of solving our problems; I am pretty darn sure that won't happen. Both parties have run this country for a very long time and we still are waist deep in crap so I will not hold my breath, but be assured I will NOT compromise on what I believe is the right path to take. It won't be the first time I find myself to be by myself.

jan said...

bawdy: "I defy you to show me where I even come close to writing that I feel it is the job of teachers to raise a child."

me: I guess I don't know what you mean by this comment then:

Bawdy: (quoting me) "I really resent teachers and school counsellors being used as surrogate parents and unpaid social workers in our society."
Bawdy's comment about what I said: "I thought it took a village to raise a child, now I read this. Which is it?"

me: So, what does that mean, if it doesn't mean that teachers should accept the responsibility of acting as surrogate parents, as part of their responsibilities in the village?
This isn't about either of us being better people than each other or other people.
This is about me treating others like I would like to be treated. It's about you treating others the way you want to be treated.
Hopefully, that doesn't imply in any way that either of us are bad people. I don't really even like those terms. I trust that people are being honest with me unitl... well, until I catch them not being honest.
I find you to be impeccably honest.

This is about us finding ways to compromise our ideals so we can solve problems in a democracy.

You go on to say you are in no mood to compromise. ["You call for my compromise and I say I have compromised all my life, internally, by abiding by the fucking mess no one seems to care to solve for whatever reason."]

You go on to say this is an effort in futility. ["It is obvious to me that this is an exercise in futility."]

I say the two go together.

If you the libertarian, me the independent, and csm the liberal, with the good influence of bob the peacekeeper and coreyd the christian, can't compromise with one another to solve any problems...

Why do anyone expect 535 representatives to compromise for our sakes and solve any problems?

You say you are cynical.
I'm not.
So be it.


It meant I was pointing out a percieved inconsistancy in YOUR posts.


How many of you are finding the current gasoline rationing induced civil unrest in Iran very interesting. This is one more indication the consumer and markets are king. The Iranians were getting used to .11 per liter gasoline. Since the price was so low, they didn't conserve at all, hell they did the opposite. Now they have out run their gasoline refining capacity hence the rationing and now the people are pissed at the government. Just goes to show even dictatorial governments aren't immune to markets.

This is also the reason I feel high world gas prices are going to be the best way for this world to find a solution to carbon based fuel and climate change. When the prices are high, people look for alternatives, when they aren't, they don't.

csm said...

By the way Bawdy, what BOC covers did Radio Birdman play? Tell me it was something more obscure and not just "Don't Fear The Reaper"?

I need more cow bell...


Sorry it took so long to get back to you csm(I don't know why I am sorry, you are on vacation, right), but I had to look up the correct song title(I am no BOC afficianado(sp?)). The cover they did was "Hot Rails to Hell". Hope you enjoy your time off.

csm said...

Thanks, Bawdy. I don't know that BOC song, but I like the title!

jan said...

bawdy, I've been thinking about stuff.

I think maybe one of the difference between us is that you think of Americans as consumers and I think of Americans as workers.

It's a very subtle thing and I'm not really going to do more than offer that insight. It has nothing to do with anyone being right or wrong. But it's made me realize that we will probably always look at government protections from a different p.o.v.

How's your weather? It looks hot as hell.

csm said...

Bawdy, I'm intrigued with Jan's observation. Do you agree with her? Do "you think of Americans as consumers" while Jan "thinks of Americans as workers"?

Obviously, most Americans are both of those things, and much more. But if one had a predeliction for thinking along a certain line it would definitely cause friction in discussions with someone thinking along a different line...

(My hunch here is that Bawdy will not agree with you Jan, but I could be wrong.)


I am not balking at this one; just trying to organize my thoughts. I will answer.

Ceroill said...

Just my own two cents here, not expected or intended to either settle or provoke. I have seen it suggested that America has gone from being a production economy to a consumer economy.
On a different note, one of my favorite humerous observations is that there are two sorts of people: Those who divide people into two sorts and those who don't.



I believe our difference is the way problems get solved. I believe the states and more importantly, the markets should be utilized to solve most of our problems. I feel(and this is just a feeling) you look to our central government to solve them.

Everybody in the world(as long as they eat)is a consumer and lots(but not everybody)of people work, but I don't think that is what divides us.