I believe that most business owners are honest people. Most corporate workers and executives are great people. They are working hard for their families, employees, and community. Providing goods and services the rest of us use, make life better, and sometimes propel the species forward. That is honorable and noble.
But if you or the corporation you represent are using money and success to buy off a politician or influence over public policy, gain unfair advantage, steal from or are exploiting your fellow man, then you are a disease and a cancer. You’re influence needs to be removed before your contagion spreads! If you are a politician who is accepting this dirty corporate money, you are a whore, selling yourself to the highest bidder. Scratch that, you’re an untreated STD, making life unbearable. You don’t represent the people at all. You’re a greedy pig with a smiling face and an uncomfortable itchy crotch, getting fatter and fatter. Better be careful there piggy, there are a lot of people who still enjoy bacon.
“But wait”, I can hear you say, “What does it all mean, Mr. Natural? The protesters don’t stand for anything. What are they protesting? What do they hope to accomplish?“ C’mon. Deep down, we all know what has inspired these protests. The protesters are pointing out and raising awareness of widespread corruption, theft, lack of representation and injustice. We’ve all seen it. We’re paying for it. Corruption in our politics, banking, finance and business. Whether or not you’re comfortable with the status quo is something else entirely, but you’ve seen the corruption. It’s an important thing the protesters are doing because if we are able recognize, accept, and face a problem, we’re able to change it. It is also important to remember if you are not corrupt, the protester’s are not calling you out. Or, at least, I never would.
You can read the Declaration of the Occupation of New York City by clicking here. Are there any points listed that you haven’t seen or can’t recognize?
“But they don’t offer any kind of solutions, only a list of complaints.“ To some extent, I agree. But at the same time, I think you’re expecting too much right now. Many people are just waking up to how bad things really are. Do you think Thomas Jefferson just woke up one morning and thought to himself, “I think I’ll write the Declaration of Independence today at lunch”. No. I am sure it took him years of observing suffering, corruption, injustice, not to mention conversations with friends and the public before he was ever even moved to the point of writing. And then, it was another good ten+ years before the U.S. Constitution was finalized and put into place.
“That Obama sure has messed things up for us hasn’t he, he’s a real sun-o-bitch.“ Maybe. But our problems didn’t start with him. The ball got rolling with Richard Nixon and (bank sponsored) Fiat Money, and probably even earlier. Our financial problems became obvious when George W. Bush & Co. were allowed to let free market policy go unchecked. Or at least, it was deregulated way too much. Big business and banks had a big damn party, a party we are still paying for. I’m sure it was profitable for George and his friends, and they are still partyin’ down. If people are as selfish the free market suggest, then selfish people are going to take you for everything they can… and they sure have taken us, haven’t they.
The system is broken. Our government has sold out to the highest bidder. Accept it. They’ve pretended to fix the marketplace with trillion dollar band aides, but we are still hemorrhaging money, jobs, public services and homes.
Adam Smith (1723 – 1790, Scottish social philosopher and political economist), whose ideas are cornerstone for our current free market system, basically believed a successful economy needs to serve an individual’s greed, self interest, and selfish desires. If the economy serves those selfish desires, he says, an “invisible hand” will come on down and balance out the marketplace, cast aside ideas that don’t work, and embrace those ideas that do. Okay, great. But doesn’t it make sense that this invisible hand would serve and be easily manipulated by selfish people? Greed and selfishness are not admirable human qualities. I’m not a religious person, but isn’t greed one of the seven deadly sins? If we pursue and indulge it, greed will lead to our downfall. We are not just greedy monkeys. Sure, we might all have that side embedded into our nature and we need to recognize that, but most of us also have so much more than that one character trait.
Looking out for yourself and trying to control as much of the world’s resources as possible doesn’t work. Making sure that every time you give, you get more back than you need just doesn’t work. It might seem to work for a few people for a little while, but not for long. Because we live on a finite planet, it’s impossible for greedy behavior to go on forever. Consider this: when people share what they have (a skill, talent, time, food, money or whatever), they make friends and build community. When people exploit and take from others, they make enemies.
Money is just a symbol. It’s an abstract concept. We give money it’s power and meaning. The meaning of the symbol resides only in our heads, and we can change our mind. Why base our economy on greed and self interest? Wouldn’t it be better to base our economic system upon satisfying more admirable human qualities? There are so many noble human traits to choose from. We can change the paradigm of what money means if we want to. If we are able to change, the whole world will be better for it. If we don’t change, we are in serious trouble.