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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Unintentionally Political

I did not and do not intend for this blog to be political.  There are, however, times when it becomes necessary to make a statement, to take a stand, to pick a side.

We are all individuals living within a society in the midst of many societies on a small planet spinning around a star in a vast universe.  Being cognizant of our place in all those levels of existence is a good exercise.  Mostly we're aware of our own needs and what's going on around us within a few feet.  Sometimes, our attention is drawn to events, situations, issues beyond our immediate realm.  We react.  This is such a reaction.


I believe that the excessive accumulation and hoarding of wealth and property of a few, often gained by the oppression and control and exploitation of others, reduces the ability of the others to gain and maintain a standard of living that is reasonable and disenfranchises the others from fully participating, contributing and benefiting in civil and social institutions that were created to benefit everyone.  The deck is stacked.

I have no problem with people wanting things; there are things I want.  I have o problem with people wanting to go places, to do things.  I do have a problem with excess.  The accumulation of wealth that cannot be spent in a lifetime, in a reasonable way, on reasonable things, is pathological - to me.

So, when I see or hear of the charitable works of excessively wealthy people, I take notice.  Do I believe they are doing so out of guilt?  Not at all.  I don't believe the excessively wealthy feel guilty about their wealth.  They have to give to charities for tax purposes.  These donations are non-engaging; they don't require personal involvement.

What I do believe is that much of these charitable works would be unnecessary if they had not gained their wealth at the expense of those they are donating to assist.  It's about control, about having a sense of self that is false and imagined.  When I work for someone, it is, in most cases, a mutually agreeable and beneficial arrangement.  I agree to perform various tasks for pay.  They have work to be done that they can't or don't want to do.  They pay me to do that work.  The work doesn't get done unless I or someone does it - for pay.  They haven't done me any more of a favor than I have done for them.  While I'm working, I do the best work I can; it's part of the agreement.  Once the arrangement becomes unbalanced in some way:  I'm not doing my job well enough or the pay and benefits become insufficient for what I'm expected to do, the relationship is usually severed.

I don't appreciate the attention that the wealthy and celebrities get for their donations to charity because of the excessive amounts they are able to donate.  There are individuals with almost nothing who faithfully contribute to charities small amounts that they feel are important.  There are many relatively poor individuals who donate their time and efforts to a variety of local organizations and personally help people.  These are the people who should be lauded.

If those same wealthy people personally reviewed the personnel policies of their various enterprises and asked their lowest rung employees what the impact of those policies are on their lives and made real adjustments in the business relationship they have with their employees, then I would be impressed.  If the companies owned by the wealthy had funds set up for assistance to employees in various situations, then I would be impressed.

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