What is it I don’t understand about American people?

March 15, 2016
Chas Smit

Chas Smit


I am born Dutch and have lived in California since 1987. As a child, I always looked up to America and someday I wished I would live there. From day one I learned this is not the best and greatest country on earth (a statement made by many of you who have never been abroad).

You probable say; why don’t you go back to where you came from? With my children born and raised here it’s easier said than done. I am kind of stuck here.

Things I just don’t understand:

Common sense

To stimulate a strong economy can only be accomplished by a strong circulating currency.

In other words; people have to earn moderate to high wages so they can consume goods and services. Without that in the equation the economy stagnates. The majority in this country makes less than $10 an hour giving them non to zero spending money resulting in a stagnating economy.

Minimum wage

Minimum wage in the private sector is about $8 or $10 an hour, while prevailing wage is $35 an hour or more. So by law, I can have a guy work all day for $100 while that same guy who works for the city/county/state makes $350 or more a day.

The guy in the private sector has almost non existing benefits and most likely has to work till he drops dead while that same guy working for the government riches himself with a lavish lifestyle and retires before he reached the age of 50. Everybody out there with common sense will admit something here is wrong.


Small businesses are required by law to have both liability and workman’s comp insurance. Some folks obey these laws but many don’t. The enforced law doesn’t check people who don’t obey these rules resulting in unfair competition, basically putting the legal guy out of business. Remarkably, most folks supporting these regulations hire the guys disobeying these laws (Being a small business owner I know this is true).

Large government

Trading commodities (buy and sell) is the foundation of a strong economy. It’s like a business; trading without a profit results into going out of business. Nobody can support anything without making a profit. It’s called revenue!

Revenue is the stronghold of a country. It pays for roads and bridges and all that other good stuff we need in daily life so what’s the problem?

High government wages and sweet benefits have made working for the private sector a joke.
Getting paid so much more and be able to retire before the age of 50 why would anybody wants to work for the private sector and make $10 bucks an hour or less with no benefits?

What most folks don’t realize; government doesn’t create revenue. It spends revenue created by the private sector. Buying x selling x profit = revenue. If revenue no longer exists where will government get its money? For now they borrow money, but since they are putting the private sector out of business, they have no resources to pay it back.

The problem can’t be fixed

Anybody elected into the White House will be hand tight and unable to make any changes. Whether its Hillary, Bernie or Donald. As long as they don’t get what they want through the House or Congress nothing will change. In the meanwhile, the country will fall even further in into disarray.

Most democratic supporters are either local, state or government employees. Certainly, they don’t want to lose their sweet jobs and benefits and therefore they prefer Bernie or Hillary into the white house. These folks simply don’t want to lose their sweet paid jobs and high profile benefits and not to forget their early full paid retirement.

On the other hand, if a Republican gets into the white house the majority of us will stay hungry and uneducated so how to get a happy medium?

Somebody who is able to bring both parties together and get some common sense into the equation and give up on:

1. Wasting money by government and equal pay for state, government and private sector employees. (Like all other industrial countries). No more prevailing wages. Equal pay and benefits for everybody. No exceptions!

2. Eliminate bureaucracy. It simply kills everything. We all want clean environment but we have created such a paper and time consuming mess in witch government is no longer working for us but we are working for the government. It simply doesn’t work!

3. Make economic education mandatory in elementary and high school levels so kids and young adults understand what I am writing here. It’s all common sense but with the low level of educations in this country most folks don’t know how to use their common sense. In all honesty I belief this country likes their stupid people. Donald said it the other night on TV lol.

4. Lobbying can no longer be legal.

Representatives can only be elected based on performance. It simply is ridicules, to be elected into the white house takes almost a billion dollars. No wonder this government is corrupt. I buy my U.S. made prescriptions online in Canada for less than half the price then what I pay here. This has to stop.

How can a stock broker be sentenced into prison for inside market information while at the same time a member of Congress/Senate pockets millions of dollars from lobbying large industries? It makes no sense.

5. A 25 percent flat tax for everybody is a strong alternative to bring this slagging economy back into motion. No more tax exemptions for the rich, no more tax deductibles, no more government subsidies for corporations wanting to move overseas. And if corporations move overseas they will be panelist with higher import tax.

6. Eliminate state and government funding’s (grants) so they no longer waste money by over paying law enforcement, firefighters, local government etc. They all get a spending budget and if they run out they no longer can hold up their hands and take the money from us, we the people.

Last week, I took my dog to Choro Creek Dog Park. Just before the campground I ran into three fire trucks, one ambulance, three cop cars, one sheriff car and two rangers. Between the fire guys and cops, I counted more than 15 people standing around a handcuffed woman. I never hear anybody complain about this sick and money wasting nonsense. It’s like everybody here is in denial. And for those guys in those firetrucks and cop cars; don’t they feel guilty knowing they are wasting so much money

That same morning at that dog park, I met this young lady. When I asked her what she does for a living she told me she works for a local general contractor and her main project is the new juvenile hall addition (for the folks who don’t know where this is. It’s that new construction on hwy 1 near the animal shelter).

She told me it’s a 22 bed addition and the cost of it is $15 million dollars. She also told me the current facilities are not 100 percent occupied and therefore the new addition is just an over capacity. I simply couldn’t belief it. $15 million for a 22 bed housing project or almost $700,000 per bed. It is so disturbing.

It’s your local government and local representatives who allow this waste to happen. In order for them to keep getting funded with grands and federal aid they have to throw money away or otherwise the flow stops. It literally makes me sick into my stomach.
And you folks let this happen because you simply don’t know or you are just in denial. At least most of you out there don’t know.

For all of you out there reading this I want you to know, I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. I am a realist with lots of common sense. I simply don’t understand how you folks let this happen right in front of you. It’s like having somebody come into your home steeling your stuff and you’re just sitting there and tell him to go ahead and take what he wants.


I am a non-believer but respect all folks out there with a faith in the religion of your choice. It’s your business and your faith and again I respect that however what I miss out there is the passion and compassion for each other.

While these government folks are wasting millions and millions of dollars and all of you are worshiping on your Sunday morning in church, what are all of you doing for these poor homeless folks. Other than judging them into one category that all of the homeless are druggies and alcoholics what do all of you folks do to solve this growing intercity epidemic?

Have you ever asked yourself the question; what do you do if tomorrow morning on your way to work the ATM machine tells you your card is declining, you arrive at your job and you find out the company went belly up so you’re out of a job, you can’t pay your mortgage so you’re losing your house and eventually you end up in the street?

The same folks you sit next to in church are now looking at you in a different angle. Instead of helping you they now put you in the category of druggies, alcoholic, loser and more. The same folks drinking their  $5 Starbucks coffee may give you 50 cents as if that will help you to get back on your feet.

So again, what are you going to do if you lose everything and you have absolutely no place to go? All these church goers, government employees, the community has done nothing to 0 for the homeless. Instead to chase them away telling them to go to the next town and the next town does the same thing and on and on it goes.

So for all these compassionate money wasters out there, what about converting some of the Camp San Luis or Camp Roberts barracks into living facilities for the homeless?

Each barrack can be split up into small apartments with running water and a small kitchen and for the folks with pets there’s plenty room for dogs out there. The facility will be drug and alcohol free and everybody willing to sign up for a job training program can apply for housing. So now we convert the homeless guy into a clean and shaven participant of society. We implement a job market and within no time these folks are back on track.

How simple and inexpensive can we bring these folks back and make them feel strong and proud again?

So before you vote for Hillary, Bernie, Donald, Marco or Ted think twice. Maybe you should not vote at all. Get rid of your government and let us “we the people” run this country. We hire Bill Gates or Warren Buffet to be the CEO and we’ll be fine.

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Re: “Hypocrisy”

Unfortunately, you have written false information. Atascadero people of faith work tirelessly to provide for the homeless and for those addicted. There’s too many wonderful churches and a synagogue in Atascadero too list. But they all provide food and work to assist in providing food and shelter. Find a church and see what good works they do.




http://abcchurch.org/care/ABC stocks a food pantry for both members and guests who may be in a financially stressful season and could benefit from groceries.

To donate or volunteer for the food pantry click here.

You are right in that he has a lot of false information but many of his points are still true in general.

In addition to the resources you mention for the homeless and addicted, there are others available too for those without a religious bent. CAPSLO, despite its unjustified poor reputation on this site, does a lot of good for a lot of homeless in the area. They also have openings for volunteers willing to make a commitment to regular hours. It would be a good way to discover a lot of the realities of homelessness (& mental illness & addiction) in this area and would also prove that their paid employees are not overpaid.

Similarly, there are a lot of public employees that are not overpaid — although certainly some are. I would even be willing to accept the excessive pay for many in law enforcement if they were held to a higher standard of behavior (and training) rather than covering for each others’ mistakes as happens too often.

The <$10/hr. average wage in this country sounds about 50% too low. I have to wonder what the source for that is and how it was calculated. (Figures don't lie but liars figure.) Still, $15/hr. makes life difficult if you are trying to support a family or live in an area with high housing costs (or worse, both.)

I agree generally with most of the other comments but so much of the problems are so deeply ingrained in our economic and political systems that I hold little hope that they will be solved — and no hope that they will be solved quickly. There are enough people profiting enormously from these systems and willing to reinvest a portion of their profits into maintaining the corruption that keeps on feeding them. From Wall St. and multi-national corporations to the media and ad industries to government employee unions and organized special interest groups like farmers with subsidized crops, no one is willing to sacrifice their slice of the pie for the common good even if it would likely benefit them in the long run.

One thing we can do is support honest and ethical political candidates — without insisting that they follow a rigid agenda — and then monitor them after election. It is easier to do on a local level. The other is to conduct our personal affairs with honesty, wisdom and a reasonable amount of compassion and charity.

I totally agree with you Chss. If that’s your house behind you with the ocean view, it looks like you figured it out, by the way, when was the last time you had any homeless over for dinner?

Let’s be honest here vs. politically correct.

It’s political correctness that has gotten the US into this disaster.

Schools and politicians trying to pretend that all people are the same causes a huge number of people left without the skills to do meaningful work. Some people are not good at reading and math and they don’t like it either.

The shipping overseas of so many jobs has eliminated much of that meaningful work anyway.

1. Bring back the jobs.

2. Bring vocational education tracks back to schools so those people will have the skills needed.

3. Close the borders and limit immigration until the US can employ their citizens.

4. Unionize all work and pay livable wages.


In Holland, what is the percentage of illegal immigrants? How many people are in your home country illegally, benefitting from healthcare, housing, food, free education, free services, but are not taxed for those services? I am just curious about this, because I think the statistics for Holland might be a bit lower than for here in the United States. I might be wrong, but geographically, the US seems like an “easier” place to sneak in to. We may have a husband who comes from a 3rd world country, bringing with him a wife. They make it to the US illegally, where they both get migrant jobs. She gets pregnant then stops working. Then it begins. After about 10 years, you could have an illegal family with 4++ kids all receiving US benefits, and yet not paying taxes to help pay for those “free” services. The illegals here often send up to 50% of their pay “home” to their country of origin, and thus, NOT stimulating our economy with “their” money.

The other issues you address are private vs. public. Public pays “so much” because of unions. Thank GOODNESS for unions. If not for unions, there would not be much of an incentive right now for corporations to pay even the well educated the value of their education. Engineers for Disney were laid off, and replaced with foreign workers with H1-B Visas.


Unions keep private industries from allowing unsafe working conditions, having reasonable labor laws preventing dangerous shifts, and child labor laws, and keep a non poverty wage in the US.

I will agree with you about lobbyists. I saw an Internet meme once that said Congress people should have to wear their donor’s names on their clothing like a NASCAR driver does so we know who owns their soul. I would agree.

It is not just “government” workers backing their favorite political party. Oh no, it is our boomers on Medicare. They want to keep those nice benefits and annual COLAS. It is everyone on welfare, who likes to sit on their butt.

Let’s not forget the Republican right. Corporate welfare for the “job creators”.


GE, one of the infamous corporations known for not paying taxes, also loves to show its love for job creation by shipping jobs overseas:


Since Congress won’t call Corporations out, at least the Unions will:


I could go on and on, but the debate here isn’t a simple one. This has been generations in the making, and it all boils down to math, life choices, compassion, and personal accountability. I am not opposed to helping a family out in a time of need; but they also need to help themselves. Every able bodied person had better be up working or hustling for LEGAL work; and unless someone has CANCER requiring chemo or radiation, they can work!!! My back and I struggle with depression sometimes, but I drag my moody behind to work every day I am supposed to be there!! Anyone can be a greeter at Walmart of stock the yogurt at Trader Joe’s. COME ON. And FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, if you have 4 kids and can’t feed them, DON’T HAVE 4 MORE!!!! Old people, if you are on a fixed income and cannot afford your medications and need oxygen, quit eating bad foods, quit smoking, quit getting hairy dogs that make your COPD worse, and quit going to Chumash!!!

Ok. I think I have made some valid points.

What I DO want to know is why on EARTH does someone leave Holland to come here and live?

I have a good friend in Holland and he would tell you that Holland is an EASIER place for illegal immigrants to locate — as is most of Europe. Their migrants are primarily from the Middle East and Africa and are likely comparable to the ones we have and are probably subsidized as much as or more than we subsidize ours — but that is because their societies as a whole subsidize more than we do.

I agree with most of the rest of your comments except that I think many government employee unions have a bit too much power because our elected politicians aren’t willing to stand up to them as much as management from a private company would. I would like to see them slightly less powerful (especially re. retirement benefits) and other unions regain some of the power they had 50 years ago.

Chas, your answer is simple: Common Sense does not make people feel good about themselves.

That’s it. Many people are so narcissistic (in love with themselves) that how they perceive themselves and how others perceive them is the most fundamental thing in their lives. We’re a check-writing society: there’s some homeless? Well, I pay my taxes *someone* (else) should do something about that. I’ve done my part, I’ve paid my taxes – or so the logic goes.

This is also why there are so many “non-profits” around here: biggest tax scam since the progressive income tax fiasco. “Hey, I wrote a check to , so that shows that *I* care (and thus, better than you).”

Heck, drive a Prius, save the planet. Global cooling / warming / change / anything; Save this, save that… when the reality is: “Just know I believe I am better than you” is what is often the motive.

Why be surprised when the election comes down between an incompetent, albeit corrupt liar and a pompous businessman who is used to lying to the corrupt?

I highly recommend you watch the movie IDIOCRACY, if you have not done so already.

I am giving this “opinion” a huge thumbs-up.

Watching government on our local level, it is having a front-row seat to the most dysfunctional, flabbergasting and depressing activity I may have ever witnessed.

What is really telling, some are questioning the voters having such a command of the outcome. The media can’t stand the fact that Trump may win because of a voting majority. It is almost hilarious that a for real A-hole may beat the sneaky a-holes at their own game.

True, but a vote cast in anger or protest is often a wasted vote in the end.

Only when better options are available. Otherwise it is sending a message that the mainstream politicians need to change their ways if they want our support.

Logic has no place in our confused and psychopathic society–why, it is probably not even recognized for what it is. People in the US are forever trapped in a cycle of idealizing and then demeaning public figures. Put them on a pedestal–then knock them off–and then, point your finger at them and blame them. A sick, ridiculous game of passive aggression.

common sense. isn’t that asking too much?

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