Art of Politics

As an artist, I have always avoided politics.  The daily yammering of it on new stations like Fox News, bores the living death out of me.  It’s not that I don’t want to stay informed; I just don’t want to know all the details of everything going on.  It feels like politics and arts rarely mix and it seems the people who are quite interested in politics are not the slightest bit interested in the creation of art, unless it becomes public, and contains something they deem immoral.  Our economy still does not seem to be rebounding at all, everyone around seems to have been hit very hard by this recession as the impact still lingers in the standard working class, yet the people working for the government rarely are impacted by what happens in the economy.  I find this rather disturbing, as I am a tax payer, whose taxes keep increasing at a consistent rate, the values of property in my neighborhood has dropped considerably, meaning the fair market value has still bottomed out, yet the property taxes only increase.  In Montana we don’t have a sales tax and the bulk of the taxes that fund the state are put on the property owners creating a hefty property tax on top of a state income tax.  Yes, America seems to go deeper and deeper into debt, yet the government seems to continually grow.  It feels like it’s becoming very disproportionate and does not reflect what’s actually happening in our economy.  It scares the heck out of me because it feels like I am living on the edge and what I once produced and made a good living on photographically seems to have lost all is value when the economy tanked a few years back.  I see more and more people giving up and going on welfare, young kids in their twenties, completely capable of working, but giving up because the struggle has become meaningless and it’s an easier way out.  You can work all day for a living and have nothing, or you can go on welfare, do nothing and still have something, though it’s very little you have to live on.

I have been watching the decline of the US Postal Service for some time now.  It keeps losing billions of dollars every year.  Recently we have been informed that some of our offices here in Missoula will be shut down. This is the only area where I see a possible pull back in government. Will people actually lose their jobs?  Yet, I work for UPS one of the most solvent self-sustained companies in the world.   I watch how UPS adapts to the economy and makes adjustments.  As far as I can tell it’s one of the smartest companies because it is run with a highly efficient business model.  When the economy tanked we too felt that as a company, but we made adjustments company wide, some of them quite uncomfortable, like turning the heat down, to what I felt was an unbearable work level.  We all dressed warmer and got through it, everyone in the company became conscientious of what needed to be done and became a part of savings.  But for one winter, we cut cost enough company-wide that we did not have to cut jobs or sacrifice production.  We constantly know what the bottom line is as it changes day to day.  UPS through adaptation, has found what works, by employing people for what it specifically needs and creating an efficient part time position for about forty percent of its employees who specialize in certain areas of production, like myself.  By cutting out all the excess, they are able to afford their employees, even the part time ones,  great benefits and some of the best healthcare in the country.  We have recently begun a new process of contracting a lot of our smaller packages to the US Postal Service to deliver thousands of packages each day.

It’s too bad our government can’t seem to take example from what works and has worked for 106 years.  UPS is a company about the people for the people.  We are its greatest assets.  It’s that the way this country started and was founded.  How is it that the land of the free and the brave, no longer seems to be about the people it’s designed to serve?  Things have got to change.  We are headed toward a collision course for disaster if this trajectory remains constant.  No wonder we are in a state of collapse and people now live in fear day to day.