Lobsters generally don’t know the water around them is getting hotter until it is too late.
Look, I admire entrepreneurship. I think that the marketplace of ideas and products is a wonderful thing. I am a firm believer in the idea that if you work hard, make sacrifices, and tread carefully – you should be able to enjoy life more than those who don’t do those things.
But, but, but ….
This American capitalism thing is way out of hand. There used to be this American golden story about how we take care of each other, lend a helping hand to others, and are all willing to work hard so that the world can be a better place for ALL the future generations. Somewhere along the line, this got buried under the idea that YOU deserve to have the opportunity to be the next Oprah, Bezos, Gates, or Trump.
There are literally miles of homeless encampments under freeways in Seattle, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area. There are even more people like me who can’t afford a dental insurance plan (or other insurance or medical treatment) and go through each day dealing with excruciating pain because they are putting every penny into keeping a roof over their head, paying back student loans, or some other expense deemed more important. And make no mistake – not becoming homeless is worth the pain – that’s a spiral that is incredibly hard to escape.
Somewhere along the line it became more acceptable to be greedy than to be altruistic. And at the same time it became less acceptable to be needy than to be dead.
Hey, I’d love to be a billionaire and if the opportunity came, I would take it – and then I would use the wealth and power that came with that to fight against the existence of a billionaire class at all. There should be a limit. I’m willing to give up the opportunity to become a billionaire but only if we can collectively agree that no one ‘deserves’ this opportunity in the first place.
You know what people do deserve? All people deserve to know that they will not starve or die from the elements. All people deserve to know that they can get medical treatment, dental treatment, a meal, a bed, school for their children, the ability to get to and from a job, a job interview, the grocery store, or a sick relatives.
When did what I just listed become something bad? When did treating every human being with decency become ‘socialism’ or ‘communism’ – I can pretty well pinpoint it to the election of Ronald Reagan and the rise of the ‘compassionate conservatives’, the ‘free market republicans’ and the greedy sons of bitches who deregulated Wall Street, gutted the unions, created a culture of shame around being in need, and in general led the way to what seems to be the ugly conclusion of the United States of America.
What is that ugly conclusion? Look around. A lying and greedy sociopath manipulating markets, discounting injured servicemen and women, insulting honored veterans, and running a sham trial in a bought and controlled senate where the outcome is already known before the evidence is presented.
We should call the current system Sociopathism.