Archive for July, 2013

July 31, 2013

Dear Mr. President, I entreat you to first consider those who are struggling

Dear President Obama, Please don’t try to out Republican a Republican. It never works, you can’t beat them at their own game, they are true believers and they play for immortal stakes. So why, Mr. President do you believe it will help if you make a deal with tax avoiding corporations? I have no idea. If I were in the womb of democracy known as D.C. I know there would be a few hundred lobbyists with a thousand reasons selling me on why tax cuts for corporations are not only good for the economy, but also only fair.  Yes they can safely say all this from their throne of $1.7 Trillion cash money. (Think Progress)

But Mr. President, what is fair about the fact that 80 percent of U.S. adults will face joblessness and near poverty and 18.2 percent are in food hardship right now? (AP and FRAC) Wow, not fair totally not fair, especially when so much of the money is made off of financialization of the economy that has not abated since the 2008 crash.  The rentiers have made life for regular working people nearly intolerable and depressing with their usury and awful labor practices. Nobody feels the future will be better, most of us believe that progress is over.

Once again I have to disagree vehemently with you Mr. President.  I am deeply concerned and disheartened by the serious decline in the standard of living for the majority of citizens in the U.S. since I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s. If that was our height, why do we entrust those who have turned our country into a quagmire of inequality and stagnation with our greatness, with our commonweal?  Why do those who broke our greatness get to decide our futures, our common fate?  You and I grew up in the same time, we are nearly the same age – and in those times our country birthed some of our most economically an individually beneficial laws and rights.

In that vein, I say we need a renewal, a re-imagining of democracy, turning away from the shadow of the capitalist impulse that has commodified and defined our lives. There is more than to life than being good at making lots of money, ask every living soul that never achieves greatness, who lives day to day without expectation of material success. They live for something, for families, faith, our planet, for friends and pets, for the love that reminds them that they are here. I entreat you to please consider first those who are struggling and have no other means by which to protect themselves from the continuing consequences of events emanating from the financial crisis. Tax cuts can wait.

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July 30, 2013

On David Johnson: Revolutionizing Ethics

This is one of the best discussions I have read on how our internal belief systems are pervasively decaying our ability to change. Most of the folks that post here are certainly of some higher social class, and have taken instruction in comforting themselves with their rational self interest and ability to follow social norms that support their continued prosperity. There are two fallacies of choice pointed out here and I see our culture swinging between them with no middle ground. The first is one he clearly points out, that a poor worker living under a civil regime such as Bangaladesh has limited choices defined by the conditions that are in their immediate realms, they must eat to live and any job will do. The second is the fallacy of choice we have here in the States. We are constantly bombarded with images and words indicating there is an infinte number competiting choices that can make one better, happier and prosperous. Here people also need to eat, but part of the system here is to make sure each regular person has internalized the belief that they are a failure when poverty and calamity strike them. How can the system be wrong when it offers so many choices? Don’t question the system, because you certainly did something wrong to deserve your fate. Can’t get back on your feet after a layoff? Retrain yourself, color your hair, work out, lose weight, be better than before. You can choose to be a lazy slug who doesn’t want to get off your can and work, or rise to the occasion. And there is no middle ground, no accounting for true failures of legal and moral systems that are making life for most people difficult and ugly. There is no metaphysical answer because capitalism is an inherently material system, making many ethical assumptions that are not supported by any physical incarnation of its premises. And any attempt to answer this question without calling into question the validity of its assumptions is not allowed. Capitalism is the new religion, it is it’s own answer, and it looks with disfavor upon those who are unbelievers, as it were. Every choice in the current US culture is fertilized in the petri dish of transactional biology and unavoidable. Fortunately the arc of history tells us all systems end, some more quickly than others and we will have another era of human experience in the near future. Being able to see the larger arc is the teacher, but most of us will not learn.