Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lessons From "It's A Wonderful Life"

I have just finished watching "It's A Wonderful Life" for the umpteenth time. I love that movie! People say, "Merry Christmas" throughout the course of the movie so often I would imagine that it must make the skeptic, bah humbug anti-Christmas types cringe! Ha!

Plot summary:

George Bailey has spent his entire life giving of himself to the people of Bedford Falls. He has always longed to travel but never had the opportunity in order to prevent rich skinflint Mr. Potter from taking over the entire town. All that prevents him from doing so is George's modest building and loan company, which was founded by his generous father. But on Christmas Eve, George's Uncle Billy loses the business's $8,000 while intending to deposit it in the bank. Potter finds the misplaced money and hides it from Billy. When the bank examiner discovers the shortage later that night, George realizes that he will be held responsible and sent to jail and the company will collapse, finally allowing Potter to take over the town. Thinking of his wife, their young children, and others he loves will be better off with him dead, he contemplates suicide. But the prayers of his loved ones result in a gentle angel named Clarence coming to earth to help George, with the promise of earning his wings. He shows George what things would have been like if he had never been born. In a nightmarish vision in which the Potter-controlled town is sunk in sex and sin, those George loves are either dead, ruined, or miserable. He realizes that he has touched many people in a positive way and that his life has truly been a wonderful one. Written by alfiehitchie

When George Bailey's Uncle Billy accidentally left the $8,000 in the newspaper that Mr. Potter took back with him into his office, I watched the expression on the face of the man who wheeled greedy Potter around in his wheelchair. The sidekick's silence while watching such an injustice happen right before his very own eyes spoke volumes about the empty, couldn't-care-less attitude he harbored as Potter ordered him to wheel the nasty old man back towards the door so he could view Uncle Billy frantically looking for the lost money. Potter's "assistant" was obviously bought and sold and wouldn't betray or snitch on his evil boss - no matter what he did or how much harm he inflicted upon the people of the town. Remember, that money belonged to THE PEOPLE who were investing through Bailey's savings and loan company.

I see that a similar kind of theft is (unfortunately) alive and well within our current corrupt government.

Potter practically owned the entire town - except for Bailey's savings and loan company. He desperately wanted that too because the beautiful little homes being built by the company were taking people out of poverty and out from under the clutches of this money grubbing evil marketer.

Hmmm... it seems that Obama & cohorts are intent on keeping millions of Americans at the mercy of the government instead of doing what is right to help get jobs for people in order to get them out of poverty.

Recall that Bailey was offered a dream job by Potter - $20,000 a year (a fortune in the 1940's - when the film was made), but as Bailey started to shake Potter's hand, the slimey sweat he was feeling awoke George to what Potter was actually doing. Potter was going to "draw up the papers" of the agreement and you can bet that such an agreement would have taken Bailey's building and loan company away from George.

I see so many parallels in this movie as compared to what is going on via our current gangster government today. But some people STILL don't see the harm Obama & his cohorts are doing to our economy! The lure of "free" money - a third extension of unemployment benefits - is keeping people from seeking jobs. Some people choose not to make an effort to get off of the dole until the unemployment runs out. Many take the benefits and at the same time work "under the table" in order to get paid tax-free.

So, what is the solution to all of this? I think it would definitely help to keep the Bush tax cuts in place so that people will keep more of their earned money while at the same time, not add any of the pork or earmarks that the Dems want to the bill. Unfortunately, this lame-duck Congress will probably keep the pork in there and add more to the deficit before their final hurrah is over at the end of the month.

Yesterday, Legal Insurrection blog had a good post about this bait-and-switch scheme that the liberal leftist Dems and some of the more progressive RINOS are attempting:

I Have A Sinking Feeling That We Wuz Had

posted by William A. Jacobson at Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion - 1 day ago
When the "framework" of the tax deal was announced, I wrote that Obama "had a pretty good day." As the details of the actual bill are coming out, it looks like Obama had a great day, Senate tax bill lures...

My comment there:

Christinewjc said...
I, along with millions of Americans want the Bush tax cuts to remain in place. However, whenever this liberal leftist majority in Congress is involved in anything, you know that they will sneak stuff into the bill that doesn't belong there!

When Harry ReiDUNCE comes on board, you know the bill is troublesome and the RINOS in Congress have NOT learned their lesson from the TEA Party protests and the Nov. election results!

I'm so proud of Jim DeMint for being one of the first to recognize, and resist, this stink bomb for what it is!

The "deals" that this corrupt Congress are trying to press through are just as damaging to our nation's free market capitalistic system as was Potter's evil, money grubbing schemes which allowed him to take over most of the town of Bedford Falls economic industries.

More great comments at the Legal Insurrection link. In one of his latest posts, blog author William A. Jacobsen writes:

More Cornhusker Kickbacks and Louisiana Purchases

posted by William A. Jacobson at Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion - 20 hours ago
The original compromise tax bill was a mixed bag, at best. I understood the benefits, as well as the conservative arguments against. At least we were arguing over the merits of the bill. Now the tax dea...

Mr. Jacobsen concludes:

So, once again we get a Cornhusker Kickback and Louisiana Purchase in order to pass legislation which apparently cannot stand on its own merits. Except this time it's worse, because Republicans are a party to the payoffs, not standing in opposition as they were with Obamacare.

If there aren't enough Democratic votes to pass the tax deal without payoffs, then let it fail. Elections matter, and the nation is sick and tired of passing unpopular bills by paying off Senators.

If the original tax deal was good enough, then there will be plenty of opportunity in January to pass a bill without these payoffs. Or perhaps an even better bill.

I think he's correct! It would be better to hold off and vote on a clean bill without the Louisiana Purchase or Cornhusker kickbacks that the Dems want to pile onto the Bush tax cut extension bill.

The corruption, dishonesty, evil intent and willful ignoring that our current elected officials in Washington D.C. are guilty of is like the U.S.A. having a boat load of "Mr. Potters." I pray that things will change - for the better - with the new Congress getting into office.

One commentator at the "Wonderful Life" link (above) wrote something about the film that I think also could be related to the message that was sent by WE THE PEOPLE during the November election results of 2010 (see italicized portions):

This film has become a Christmas tradition in my family. We watch it every year and never tire of it. Frank Capra is a master of creating films with a message that reinforce strong values. This is probably his greatest film in that regard. Both he and Stewart have publicly stated that this is their favorite film.

The message in this film is one of courage and sacrifice for the greater good as George Bailey, a man with big ideas about seeing the world, continually forsakes his own desires to do what is right for the town. The second message is that each life [is] important. No matter how insignificant we feel we are, we are all inextricably linked to each other and play an important part in the fabric of one another's lives.
Capra's direction is brilliant. His genius is bringing human stories to life in ways that not only make a point, but that totally involve the audience in the lives of the characters. He is always extremely optimistic about the human condition. He is known for testing his characters with overwhelming adversity to make them struggle to triumph in a way that causes the world to change and the character to grow.

That is the exact prescription that our nation needs to learn and understand in order to get out of the grip of tyranny that the current liberal leftist cronies of Obama want to inflict upon the American people:

1. We need leaders in Washington who: "forsake [their] own desires to do what is right for the [nation].

2. WE THE PEOPLE must realize that perhaps God is "testing his [people] with overwhelming adversity to make them struggle to triumph in a way that causes the world to change [away from evil and back towards the Lord] and the [individual] character [within each of us] to grow" more in the direction of what God's Word would have us do.

Hat tips to all links.


GMpilot said...

Don't be silly, Christine—why would a skeptic object to “Merry Christmas” in a Christmas movie?
There weren't any Jews in the picture, either. That would only have confused people. Jesus was one of them, yet Jews don't celebrate Christmas as a religious day. Pointing that out could have led to all manner of unpleasant thoughts.
It's A Wonderful Movie--You'll get no argument from me there—and sufficient example that one man can influence the world, or at least the world near him.

So why do you see that message in this movie, and not in, say, Star Wars? With all your incendiary rhetoric on this blog, Luke Skywalker would actually be more akin to your thoughts than George Bailey!
Both have about the same level of reality in them, too: one has an angel, the other a Wookiee. No real ones have ever been seen outside of a movie theater.

Ben said...

You Americans don't seem to fathom that your country is not the bountiful land of endless opportunity promised by your forefathers (to say nothing of the Bible). Obama cannot magically create jobs out of thin air. Those jobs are gone. They left because you deregulated your economy and allowed manufacturing to move offshore, then restructured it around financial industries, the concomitant deregulation of which catalysed the financial crisis that resulted in your 10% unemployment rate. Keeping tax cuts on personal income is not going to make a lick of difference: wealthy people do not forego spending, they have no need to do so, they already have money to spend and no pressing reasons to save it(such as mortgages, bills etc); therefore giving them more money is not going to stimulate spending. Republicans, or at least the honest ones, hope they'll use their tax cuts to invest: the problem with this idea, however, is that they will not risk investing while the economy is spiralling downwards. They will save the money; as a result, the economy will continue to spiral downwards. Abolishing unemployment benefits would be even more damaging: beneficiaries (who, by the way, lack jobs not because of choice because there are no jobs for them to have; see above) will starve. If that doesn't worry you as a purely humanitarian concern, note that their lack of spending will only contribute to the downturn. Business that once received their patronage will languish, more people will be out of work and unable to make purchases, so more businesses will language, etc etc.
Your problem is you have lived too long in a land where problems were small and relatively easily to fix. This was possible because of restraints placed on the business and financial sectors, which ensured their actions, while not deliberately serving the national interest, did so tangentially. Those restraints were removed in the Reagan and Clinton years. This won't simply go away like past recessions.

Gary Baker said...

Wow, Ben, you must have graduated from a liberal university to have such a colossal ignorance of both people and economics.

" Obama cannot magically create jobs out of thin air."

True, and this underlines the fundamental dishonesty of both Obama personally and liberals generally. Government cannot create jobs, at least not without robbing from the private sector. And such since robbery is never %100 percent efficient, government jobs always cost the economy more long term than they generate.

" Those jobs are gone. They left because you deregulated your economy and allowed manufacturing to move offshore,"

False. Refer to your earlier statement.

" your country is not the bountiful land of endless opportunity promised by your forefathers"

And that land, a land which grew into to the top economy did so precisely because there was opportunity instead of government regulation and meddling. To disprove your thesis, simply look at Europe and Asia over the 20th century, particularly the last half. Virtually every developed country had far greater regulation on business and personal liberty than the US. At the same time, our economic development left them in the dust. If regulation were truly the key to jobs, growth, and development, US citizens would be living in mud huts by comparison to EU citizens. As it is, "poor" Americans have better living conditions than many middle class types in England, Germany, France, etc.

Gary Baker said...

Continuing the "Ben Smackdown"

Here is another instance where you contradict your own logic:

"wealthy people do not forego spending, they have no need to do so,"


"the problem with this idea, however, is that they will not risk investing while the economy is spiralling downwards."

The last time that I checked, investment is spending. It is simply spending with the idea of making a reasonable return. If they can afford to not care about spending, then they can afford to invest regardless of return. But they won't. To do so would be irrational. They look for an opportunity for return. Lots of people will take a chance on a down economy. Companies have invested in basket case third-world economies for decades when they thought that they could get a return they liked. The problem is the Obama administration has signaled the best they can hope for is return that he likes. And in the meantime, the laws that he has put in place will continue to increase the cost of hiring and doing business for the foreseeable future. Under those conditions, investment makes no sense.

", they already have money to spend and no pressing reasons to save it(such as mortgages, bills etc); therefore giving them more money is not going to stimulate spending."

No one is talking about giving earning people more money. The debate is limiting how much of what people earn the government will seize.

", they already have money to spend and no pressing reasons to save it(such as mortgages, bills etc); therefore giving them more money is not going to stimulate spending."

If what you say were correct, then abolishing benefits would have no effect on unemployment. Historically, abolishing or reducing benefits does reduce unemployment. Therefore, again, you employ (no pun intended) statements that contradict the facts and show your ignorance.

"note that their lack of spending will only contribute to the downturn. "

Incorrect. As mentioned above, money exchange is not without loss. Redistribution of earnings to people not earning wastes resources. A greater effect could be realized by withholding benefits and allowing earners to accumulate money for investments. It would also drive the cost of labor down, making hiring more attractive. Considering these facts, your "downstream" arguments really bear no consideration.

Gary Baker said...

"Your problem is you have lived too long in a land where problems were small and relatively easily to fix"

Perhaps. Or perhaps you have simply lived too long in a land where you abrigated your responsibility to fix your own problems and were content to let the government run your life. It may be a fine life for a sheep, but my ancestors had a little more backbone, thank you very much.

Christinewjc said...


Angels exist because the Bible says they do. Much is written about how "legions of angels" could have rescued Christ from the cross if he so ordered them to.
But he didn't. He went through with the greatest act in history - his death on the cross for the punishment we deserved for our sins, and his subsequent resurrection to life for the sake of all who believe in him.

One does not necessarily have to "see" an angel in order to know they exist. I had my own experience with this and it was one that I will never forget.

But you go ahead and continue to equate the man-made creation of the "wookies" with God-created angels. I recognize when someone like you resorts to using a false argument just to be snide, ornery and ridiculous. Keep up the good work. You will continue to have many people reading this blog laugh at you.

Christinewjc said...

Gary did a great job countering your arguments, Ben. I would just like to add that you have shown how little you know about Americans and their resilence to act to change our government when it becomes necessary (like we did this Nov. 2010) and their willingness to work to change that which is ruining our economy - namely the out-of-touch people who are supposed to represent WE THE PEOPLE in Washington D.C.

My family is not rich, but since the Bush tax cuts have been in place we have employed many people to help us fix things around our home. Without those cuts, we wouldn't have been able to do that. Now, multiply that times the millions of Americans who have enjoyed the ability to keep their OWN MONEY and spend it as they please - and you will see how the Bush tax cuts helped our economy.

There is a GREAT DEAL OF CORRUPTION which is at fault for the economic crisis of 2008. Go look up information about Obama's puppetmaster, George Soros, to see how this evil marketer has ruined other economies. He may have come close here in America, but the people are on to him now. The liberal leftist progressive movement will die - perhaps a slow death - but the American people aren't going to take their crap any more. The election of 2012 will boot Obama and his evil cronies out of office. Good riddance!

Government does not create jobs. All it does is take money from job creators and workers; and then spend it on frivolous pork-barrel spending projects that waste billions of dollars that American worked hard to earn in the first place!

I am wondering what country you are from. If it is Kenya or Indonesia, can you please take your country's village idiot (who is pretending to be our pResident) back? The sooner the better! Much obliged...