I haven’t published for a while. We’ve been busy working on the Klippel-Trenaunay Projects and meeting new friends who share a special challenge in life with me. Catching up this morning on national news, I couldn’t help it – I had to get these thoughts out. Who knows why some things impact you, compel you to react. In any case, here we go!
The problem with unfettered, crony capitalism is that a national economy designed around a fairly fixed amount of cash gets corrupted by greedy politicians and wealth mongers who think obscene mega-personal profits and lives of extreme privilege are the natural and obligatory reward for positions of fortune. And please save the “I earned it all on my own speech”, it lacks the humility and sincerity expected of gracious and great people.
When Kings and Lords are replaced by the ultra-rich and the ultra-powerful, we have only exchanged the tyrant of one stripe for another. Historical perspective recalls that the sin of monopolies was not the aggregation of product in a singularly powerful entity, but rather the insane and improper concentration of power and wealth which froze out equally hard-working citizens from opportunities properly accorded and made available to and by the community in the whole.
The fact that men today have devised more devious ways to acquire power and/or wealth is not a testament to American genius or Democracy, but a clear reminder that humans, individually and collectively, need to guard against human tendencies for selfish endeavor and egomaniacal, narcissistic aristocracy. Democracy and Capitalism have no inherent systemic protections from people driven to own their neighbor, or at the least a majority of the World’s God-given resources which the neighbors reasonably rely on to live a productive life. Both of these constructs of human social order, which I admire greatly, require both public diligence and personal restraint.
No, I’m no left-wing socialist. Nor am I the bench-sitting hobo aimlessly wandering the streets looking for dropped coins. I’m the hard-working citizen who got a college degree, continuously worked from 10 years of age on, coached kids in community-based sports, volunteered at non-profits, shared my home with kids and adults needing a lift, regularly looked at the time clock punching-up 50 hours or more a week, periodically missed church to catch up at the office, and regularly paid income, property and sales taxes. Granted my days are tougher now. But ya, I’m not the 99%er, and clearly not a 1%er. I am the poor schlep who wasn’t elected to Office or corrupt enough to sell insurance on poorly, and arguably known to be weak, constructed financial instruments.
Seriously, pissed off better describes me! On the one hand, the audacity of crass wealth sickens me. While on the other hand, this growing culture of defeatism and dependency depresses me. Even more troubling is the wholesale acceptance of this crass shell game called “Party” – Democratic or Republican. The world of constructive ideas is not a forced choice between Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dumb.
It’s not socialism when asking the mega-wealthy to give a little more to get our economy back on track. The alternative, bleeding those who have little or no blood left is hardly the answer? And no, it’s not callous to ask those needing assistance to get off their butts and work in civil projects until the private sector recovers. There is no free lunch! Sitting at home waiting for the next government check is not a God-given right. And no, living in a City doesn’t grant you immunity from Nature’s basic principle – we humans were built to work for our food and shelter. The Garden of Eden is a biblical story and, even for those who believe, a reality long gone.
Ok, rant over!