CBS News recently conducted a 60 Minutes-Vanity Fair Poll. How could they have forgotten to ask me what I think? Here is my commentary.
It shouldn’t surprise me that Walmart is the institution that best symbolizes America today. It won over Google, Microsoft, the NFL and banking. I am wondering if there were some other choices, even though everyone seems to crowd into the nearest Walmart store except my son who takes Walmart’s ethics very seriously. I am wondering how many people voted for the Christian churches, or McDonald’s. The answer to this survey question says a lot about American economic thinking on the local level.
Should the US tax the richest Americans by at least fifty percent? Only fifty percent of the respondents said yes. What’s wrong with us? If I remember my American history correctly, when the income tax was put into place, the idea was to have it graduated according to ability to pay. The people with the money are running the government, so they make it sound as if taxing them without regard for their financial largesse is a burden on them. This question applies to taxing people for their purchases, too, I think. Of course there should be a large sales tax on their yachts and Porsches. It’s not that I want these things. It is that they are examples of American greed.
The luxury people hate to sacrifice in tough economic times turns out to be dining out, according to the poll. Television talking heads say that many people eat most or all their meals in various eating places. If people can’t afford to eat in restaurants, they will have to learn to cook and maybe find the grocery stores that no longer are near their homes. Construction workers would go back to work designing functional kitchens for the homes of people who suddenly need to use them. It could be good for the stomach and the economy. The losers here would be the people in urban areas who can not get to stores other than convenience stores.
Fighting obesity among users of fast food chains is interesting. The paragraph above might be one solution. Dining out seems to be a luxury. The biggest (pun intended) response was to put scales in the eateries. I suspect that the people who eat there would be the last ones to get onto the scales. I suggest that one way to lessen obesity is to avoid the fast food chains.
People said it is much worse for politicians to take bribes than to have extramarital affairs. I agree. The sins of the spirit (i.e., ethics, etc.) are worse than the sins of the flesh. However, I sympathize with the plight of Elizabeth Edwards, Hillary Clinton, Jenny Sanford and Eleanor Roosevelt.
When will Obama bring the troops out of Afghanistan? Probably in time for the next presidential campaign, but maybe in time for the mid-term elections. I believe the people are becoming cynical. It’s likely to be that way. Where is change we can believe in? This is a war we can’t believe in.
Here comes pop culture. Who is the man with whom to trade places for a week? I think I could trade places with George W. Bush for a week and enjoy life on the ranch in Texas, doing nothing except visiting with Laura, Mom and Poppy.
The top responses were Barack Obama, Tom Brady and Bruce Springsteen. Obama has the hardest job in the world and lives with constant barbs against him for his race and his actions. Tom Brady is a professional football player. Who would want to be pounded physically into a life of disability at a young age, even for a week? (He's not Brett Favre, after all.) Bruce Springsteen is a more reasonable choice, but not for me. My father and my husband were celebrities, although on a small scale. Forget it.
Top responses for the women with whom to trade places were Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Angelina Jolie, and Beyonce. What? Not Sarah Palin? Not Oprah? Certainly not Lynn Cheney. I could try Barbara Walters or Rachel Maddow.
Maybe all this explains why CBS news didn’t call me to ask these questions.