Just A Few Thoughts …

I frequently write about the income disparity in this nation.  I’m not a fan of great wealth, see it as unnecessary hoarding while others do without, and I do support government-funded programs that help people in need.  One person often comments on these posts with his opposing view, saying the wealthy earned it, let them keep it … all of it.  Of course, there is a fallacy in that the majority of very wealthy people actually inherited most of their wealth and have not done much to earn it at all, apart from hiring wise people to advise them in their investment strategies to increase their wealth.  Recently this person, whose comments I largely ignore, said that if people simply learned to “invest more wisely”, there wouldn’t be poverty.

Wisely, I did not respond to his comment, for at that moment my answer would not have been calm and reasoned.  Obviously, this person has zero understanding of poverty.  WHAT is there to invest, if you cannot even afford to pay the rent, utilities, and have some left over to buy food???  Even for the average mid-range earner, investment opportunities are largely limited to an employer’s 401(k) plan, for at the end of the month there is little left over.

It is the ignorance born of wealth and entitlement that bothers me the most.  The wealthy don’t even attempt to understand the other 99% of the world … they live in ivory towers, sheltered and shielded from poverty, from the homeless, and even from the very people who are, by their labours, helping the rich get richer.  They oppose a substantial increase in the minimum wage rate, for that might cut into their own profits just a bit.  They oppose helping the poor, falsely claiming that they are poor because they are too lazy to work.  They oppose such healthcare programs as Medicare for All because they have access to the finest medical care available and don’t understand what it’s like for the family who cannot afford to take their sick child to a doctor this week.

Yesterday, I read that President Biden will soon unveil his promised infrastructure plan, the first part based on repairing roads, bridges and railways, and the second part focused on families and children.  Already, however, Republicans are calling it useless and a waste of money.  Why?  Because they don’t live in Flint, Michigan where the water is still not safe to drink.  Because they don’t, as a rule, drive over the unsafe bridges and on the highways filled with potholes … instead they travel by private jet or helicopter.  There can be no mistake … the Republican Party, once called the “Party of Lincoln”, is a party that exists solely for the wealthy and that is largely funded by the wealthy.  Lincoln would be appalled by what the party has become today … a bigoted, corrupt organization that is doing everything in its power to keep the poor “in their place” and to return Blacks to the days of Jim Crow.

The Republican Party claims to be in favour of ‘smaller government’, but this is a nation of 330 million people … just how small do they think the government can be, and yet serve those people?  Given that most every Republican in Congress is either well on their way to being a millionaire, or is already one, is it really any surprise that they have no comprehension how the rest of us live?  What does it take?  We pay their salaries out of our meager incomes, and in return we get … NOTHING.  They do not represent us, they represent the heads of corporations like Exxon-Mobil, Kraft Foods, AT&T, and so many others.  They represent people who have more money than you or I can even imagine, who have never struggled to pay the bills, buy food, or seek medical attention a single day in their lives.  And now, as they see their ship may soon run aground, they are doing everything in their power to take away our voice, our right to vote them out of office.  Rather than consider altering the party’s platform, becoming more humanitarian, supporting policies that help people and the environment, they cling to their old ways, cling to the plutocracy, and rob us of our right to participate in the government that we fund.

Rather than pay taxes that could fund such things as infrastructure, feeding the poor, building renewable energy facilities and more, the wealthy spend their money to buy politicians who will do their best to ensure none of these things that would help people can happen.  “Whatever it takes” to keep the poor from rising out of the ashes, to keep the working people from seeing a brighter future, the wealthy and the Republican Party will support it.  There are notable exceptions such as those who have signed on to the Giving Pledge, but they are the exception, not the rule.  Those born into wealth cannot understand what they have never known and it is easier to turn a blind eye than to see how the rest of us struggle.

I am against great wealth … it is the hoarding of money that could ultimately make so many lives so much better.  I make no apologies for my views, for I have experienced that which almost no wealthy person ever has … I have been without a home, I have had my electricity turned off because I couldn’t pay the bill, and I have been denied medical care when I hadn’t the money to pay.  Perhaps the Republican Party should have to live that way for a while and perhaps they would find a bit of humanity within their shriveled little hearts.  Until something changes, this nation cannot realistically be called the “United” States because we are not.

50 thoughts on “Just A Few Thoughts …

  1. I can vividly recall the previous Democratic president, Barack Obama, capitulating—like so many other neo-liberal presidents before him and likely after him—to big money politics in the worst way, with the Flint, Michigan lead-laden drinking-water atrocity. I call it an atrocity due to safe drinking water being the second most-immediate necessity of life (the first, of course, being clean air).

    As a then-admirer of Obama, I muttered ‘Please say it isn’t so’ as he drank (at least what supposedly was) a glass of the Flint water; this signified that the health-hazardously lead-laden water is actually safe to drink, which he must have known is not. I henceforth saw U.S. presidents, and Canadian prime ministers, mostly as large corporate and power interest puppets.

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        • Most of my life, I’ve had very little left over at the end of the week/month, and it was only during the last few years before my retirement that I was able to save a small amount. Now, I once again live month-to-month, and if I have any left over, I donate it to those in need rather than invest for a future that is, at best, uncertain.

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          • When I was younger I had very little cash. Jobs were very hard to come by and I was living on eggs, bread, beans for months. Those hard times made me appreciate the value of money and when I see politicians or people in authority saying someone can live on a very low wage it makes me sick. Here in UK we have zero hour contracts. So the boss can have you work one day but not the next two so the majority live week to week.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I remember during the early years of my marriage when he earned only $2.50 an hour and we truly struggled. Still, I tried to find ways to make tasty, nutritious meals. One night, I had made a meat loaf and he came home, looked at it, said “Meatloaf again?”, and promptly picked it up and threw it outside where it hit a rock and the plate shattered! Being poor is not easy! What bothers me is that the people who are saying that someone can live on a very low wage, were likely born with a silver spoon in their mouth and have never ever had to struggle financially. It would be like me telling a starving child that a bowl of rice every three days should be plenty!

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Well since we are in what I see as Holy Week and should you encounter another Republican with views and by definition a Republican is likely to be a Christian. Here’s one quote (there are a lot of them by the way):
    “And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in; it chokes the Word, which becomes unfruitful” – Mark 4:19.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. let me give you an example of why those evil rich republicans oppose a $15.00 minimum wage, for surely democrats being rich is okay. bill Gates and George soros have more money than you, every visitor who doesn’t subscribe and every reader of your blog combined but it’s okay for them, if, in fact, it’s about what you give and not what you have but that’s not the crux of your complaint is it?
    If it only has to do with what you have and what you’ve obtained, surely complaining about mr. gates would be acceptable writing for your blog and this entry.
    Anyway, now for my example.
    Say someone, really down on his luck, desperately wants a job and he’s willing to work for $8.00 an hour, after all, last time I checked, $8.00 an hour is better than $0.00, but then I’m old school.
    The employer says “I’m sorry, I’d like to be able to give you $8.00 but the government says I have to pay $15.00 and if I get caught paying less, I’ll be fined.
    See the problem? That person can’t get that job that he desperately needs because some stupid out-of-touch elitist politicians randomly pulled a number out of their stupid asses and said, like magic, this is the figure.
    That person has to go on welfare now because he can’t get a job that would pay him something. It’s not about equality at all, it’s about the government telling people how much they can pay, it’s just another way that these pathetic, psychopathic parasites exert more and more control over people.

    Go ahead and emit a frustrated sigh at my irrational ramblings, it’s okay, I don’t really expect much more than that, at least on this issue.

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  4. If the rich had really justly acquired their wealth, they would rightly deserve their wealth. Unfortunately, however, it is different. Why can’t – or won’t – stop hunger in the world? Currently also in Zimbabwe. Here the UN is struggling to get food for 2.4 million starving people. But the states of the world represented in the UN only give a little over 300,000 people. ;-( Really to be ashamed of. How much does a single laser-based rocket on one of these modern hunting machines cost?

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    • Maybe so, but I think it is the responsibility of all of us to try to help others. If the wealthy have more means, that to me means that they should help more! The reality is that I probably give more to charities that help the homeless and the poor than many a rich person do, and I am far far far from being rich. All around the globe, people are starving, are dying because they cannot get medical care … who wouldn’t want to help? And yes … we can spend billions to send rockets and spacecraft to outer space, but people complain if their tax dollars help the poor to feed their families. I just think the Western world has its priorities all wrong! Sigh.

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      • Thats true. Lets hope the wealthier of us will think the same. At least they want to have a peaceful environment. This a state only can provide with more equality as given today. What will help you all your money, if you cant live in normality and freedom? 😉 Hope will never die!

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            • Yes, that too. I must do some research, for I thought that things were fairly stable in your country under Angela Merkel? You have a grand weekend too, my friend! I’m hoping for warmer temps and a brighter mood!

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              • If you remember we had this reunion after all. Money was pumped into the east, into the new federal states. Here in the west everything was left standing and lying. Some state-owned companies partially privatized. But for example the sewage systems, sewage treatment plants and power lines only renewed in the vicinity of the metropolises. It has to be done now. I only know so well because we have another property nearby that has electrical storage heating. For this we needed a connection permit for more than 30 kW / h. This means that any further expansion of electricity withdrawals or electricity feed-in via PV systems is no longer possible for the rest of the street.

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                • It sounds like you guys need the government to spend money on new infrastructure even worse than we do! I’m sorry … we did talk about it before, but my old mind had forgotten. I see why you’re thinking of moving to the UK now, but remember that they are post Brexit and still in a state of lockdown, so I’m not sure that would be much improvement.

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  5. […]this person, whose comments I largely ignore, said that if people simply learned to “invest more wisely”, there wouldn’t be poverty.

    The saddest thing is that there are those who actually believe that this is reality. “Delusion” isn’t the right word to describe such belief. “Insanity” is closer.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. All the people who vote for a party because that’s the party their family has always supported want a good shake-up until they learn to vote for policies and not people. That will force the parties to adopt more pleasing platforms to appeal to the voter. Maybe then the Republicans will see that their alliance with the wealthy corporations isn’t to their best advantage and that the voters know what they want and how to find a politician to get it.
    Cwtch

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    • You’re right, and there are many who do vote just because it’s how their parents and grandparents voted. That may be the only way the republicans can win an election! The wealthy seem to own this nation, as they can now — ever since Citizens United was ruled on by the Supreme Court in 2010 — buy politicians. Until this ruling is overturned, the rich will own this country … unless people open their eyes and tell the politicos they are sick and damn tired of being ruled by those who don’t understand them. Sigh.
      Cwtch

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  7. Jill, on one hand, we should not begrudge someone who went out and earned his wealth. With that said, many did not. Many wealthy people were born on third base and think they hit a triple. A certain former president uses a convenient story saying his father loaned him $1 million to get started. That is simply untrue. It is reported his father transferred $432 million before he died, tax free to his son, through various means.

    I do like the Warren Buffett pledge wear wealthy people give half of their wealth away. Bill and Melinda Gates are not perfect, but they have both been studious philanthropists. I am all for people at the bottom getting more opportunity and certain social insurances. We have a fettered capitalist model with socialist underpinnings in our country today. The question is what is the proper balance? Affordable Health insurance access, living wages, etc. are keys.

    Keith

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    • I wouldn’t begrudge a reasonable amount to the person who earns his own, but to hoard billions while people are starving is simply unconscionable in my book. Nobody needs or can even use billions. I like your expression that “Many wealthy people were born on third base and think they hit a triple.” So very apt!

      I like the Warren Buffet pledge and applaud those who have signed on, but to any who haven’t, who aren’t sharing their wealth, I say “Shame on you!” When I hear CEOs who have millions in the bank decry that they cannot afford to pay their employees $15 per hour … it rattles me, makes me think we should boycott their product. But frankly, if we boycott the product of every unconscionable corporation, we’ll have to start growing our own food and making our own clothing/furniture/household goods/etc. Sigh.

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    • For some, I’m guessing that’s probably true. For others, I think they just like seeing the number of zeros at the end of their investment portfolios notch up each year. Those are the ones I’d love to see lose everything.

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          • That’s free enterprise for you. What would it be if you bought it in three USA. No, don’t answer that, I do not want to know. With public health, I pay $25CD every three months. I am not about to move to the States.

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                  • I’ve been feeling that way too of late, but I cannot let it bring me down. I don’t know that I call it hope for a better tomorrow, but there is a need to improve on yesterday. We can only do that by living our best while there is still a today.

                    On a lighter note, did you try the butterscotch pudding with granulated gingerbread topping yet. I have added granulated lemon cookies to lemon pudding to my new taste sensations. Not as good as the former, but not bad either, in my mind.
                    Besides, crushing cookies is fun! Like beating a punching bag, which I am not into.

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                    • If I saw improvement on yesterday, I might have hope for a better future, but I only see this nation, the human species, sliding backward in their acceptance of ‘other’, in their prioritization of what’s important. Electronic gadgets matter more than human lives. Hatred is more prevalent than love.

                      No, I haven’t yet … I make a dessert maybe once or twice a month … but I did buy the ingredients I’d need to make it! Hmmmm … Oreo cookies on chocolate pudding?

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                    • Hmmmmm … I could do that! But I’ve crushed Oreos before for recipes … just toss them in a zipper bag and pound it with a meat tenderizing hammer! Good way to take out frustrations, too!

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    • I’ll never understand the allure of having more money than one needs. I mean … a billion dollars? I could have every single thing I want or have ever wanted for less than a half million! Why not use the rest to help others? I just don’t get it … sigh. Hugs, dear Soul Sis! ❤

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  8. I am totally on your side in this one. The party that “represents” my state is a group of multi-millionaires who give a rat’s ass about the poor. There are a bunch of us who are NOT happy with our status quo and constantly annoy our “leaders” with our complaints, our suggestions and our demands. I figure I only have a few years left so I am going out swinging for all I am worth and hopefully we’ll find and ELECT better people in my future.

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    • Thanks Suze! I’m with you … I’m 70 and won’t see 80, but I will fight with every breath as long as I have breath! After that, we have to have faith that the younger generation is ready to take up the battle, for I don’t think it will ever just go away.

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