Our Budget –The Personal Disconnect, What Has Happened, And What Could Happen
Every family and individual knows that if you live outside of your means through whatever means are available there will usually come a day of reckoning, and fairly soon. Yes, you can have difficult times, get a loan, get back on your feet and pay it off. But the picture is fairly clear and understandable.
In a truly healthy community all of the services have value and all of the people that provide them need a healthy and sustainable way to live. Schools need decent teachers, your teeth need to be cleaned, the garbage needs to be collected, fires need to be put out, etc.
But what happens when that process becomes so large, so complicated and so convoluted that it becomes a giant shell game? Those who are skilled take advantage of those who are not. Simple. That is what seems to have happened with our government budget and why it is becoming so difficult for us to relate. The larger it gets those with skill harvest the low hanging fruit and give the bill to not only those not so skilled but to the future generations as well. It becomes a giant ponzi scheme in which those who are charged with changing it benefit by it being large. How does this all work out…?
There is a recent film out, Across The Line, in which the fugitive( Aiden Quinn) has gotten away with over a billion dollars in money swindled from clients in an elaborate ponzi scheme. A Mexican Godfather like character( Andy Garcia) has become indebted to other gangsters. The Godfather briefly captures the fugitive and feels that God has answered his problems only to loose his captive. In a tender moment our fugitive is told he is a good man to which he replies that he is anything but a good man. He has stolen huge amounts of money ruined lives and “What for?” The small human connections and kindness our fugitive makes in his last days are shown to have far more value than this game that has been played at the expense of others. The Godfather realizes that he too must answering to a higher calling and gives up his life to pay off his transgressions.
The larger issue looming for Americans is are we a community looking after one another, or is it “ every man for himself? That seems to be at the core of the American debate. ” Where is the kindness and what kind of example will be set for the young?
In the latest Rollingstone magazine there is an article called the-real-housewives It is a scathing review of wealth, power and government failure in the banking crisis. A few days ago in the Huffington Post there is an post on the head of Goldman Sachs being called in to account. In the May issue of Vanity Fair Joesph Stiglitz discusses in an article entitled “Of The 1%, By The 1%, For The One % how even the wealthy will come to regret this trend.
Years ago the followers of the “Greatful Dead” rock band were required to practice only one thing-kindness. The Dalai Lama once said he practices kindness to all sentient beings because it distorts reality the least.
Maybe what we have seen in the Middle East with the welling up of an unhappy youth now connected by cell phones, social networks and the computers demanding more transparency and positive changes is issuing in a new awakening. Could it be that the collective unconscious is wanting to experience a world with more kindness. Could this be the beginning of a change in heart in America of the ” in it for me only” idea. I hope so. What do you think?