Opinions

These days, if you’re not sitting at the table, you’re on the menu

If you're paying any attention to what's happening in Juneau or Washington, D.C., well, it may remind you of breakfast. When you're looking at the chaotic situations, can you determine who is the bacon and who is the eggs?

Wait. Get another cup of coffee and bear with me.

In the great metaphor of "politics is a blue plate breakfast special," ask yourself, who gives the most to be on the plate? See, the chicken gives eggs, and keeps going to donate another day. The pig? Well, the pig has given everything. There's no going back. While the chicken is scratching for another speck of whatever chickens eat, the pig has been fully committed.

OK, you get it and now you may want oatmeal, but that's not an option in our little parable. Someone has to give, and a pain-free option doesn't easily present itself when it comes to public policy. I'm sure this isn't news to our leadership, but they seem to have no problem ordering ham, sausage and a side of bacon while barely squeezing out an egg of contribution themselves.

Hey, Alaska, we're going to take your collective PFD and tax your income, and then we'll spend it. Are we good? Um, not really. We're going to give all the bacon we can back to oil companies, because they're bacon producers and we really should be just so happy they are here at our farm, killing our pigs.

In Washington, D.C., it's worse. On the backs of the sick, hungry, poor and inmates (you know, all the people Jesus seemed most fond of) we are enriching the already rich. It would be great if the rising tide did float all boats, but too many Americans are being left drowning in debt.

It seems like every part of government is making it harder for the general public. Under the Environmental Protection Agency, the regulations to require hard-rock mining companies to prove they are financially sound enough to clean up their mess have been dropped. So mines who extract gold, silver, copper or lead no longer have to put up a bond or have insurance to cover contamination. Maybe they should call it the "Sorry about your Salmon!" rule. Or, "Remember when you could drink your water without consuming enough mercury to take your own temperature?" clause.

The protections for streams having coal mining waste dumped in them have been swept away. Again, the full weight of this decision is on the people who live downstream, and not the with the producers. I realize this is part of some campaign promise to raise the coal industry like Lazarus from the dead. Maybe this administration can bring back Beta video tapes too. Now that would be an accomplishment.

The U.S. Senate, both Republicans and Democrats, voted to roll back regulations on banks. It's as though there is a collective amnesia that struck all of them regarding the banking meltdown in 2008. Remember those "too big to fail" banks that had to line up in a breadline to take billions from American taxpayers? Well, rules had been put in place to create a threshold of who could get back in that line if they failed again. See, banks which have $50 billion or less in assets weren't on that list of "too big." That wasn't big enough for the Senate, so they've now set the bar at $250 billion. That's just an example of who gets protected. The result is there are only 12 banks left under the strictest regulations.

Dear America, Thanks for the bacon! Love, A bunch of banks.

Under the Department of Education, student loan borrowers are served up on a blue plate.  Several states sued lenders for illegal practices and harassment, and enacted new laws to protect students. The DOE stopped collaborating with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau when they sued the largest servicer. This may be a fine time to let you know that nationally, there is more student loan debt than there is credit card debt. Read that again. Who could possibly get rich by getting rid of predatory student loan practices? Right. Got it. A collection company DOE Secretary Betsy DeVos formerly invested in. Mmmm. Bacon.

I know it's tempting for most of us to skip the "most important meal of the day." The truth is, if you aren't sitting at the table, you're on the menu.

The views expressed here are the writer's and are not necessarily endorsed by the Anchorage Daily News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, emailcommentary(at)adn.com. Send submissions shorter than 200 words to letters@adn.com or click here to submit via any web browser.

Shannyn Moore

Shannyn Moore is a radio broadcaster.

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