Two passions combined:
So I posted a comment on the NY Times Ethics blog for the first time.
Here’s the connection to the article. I am post #194.
Click to go to article. It’s an interesting read.
I posted this on facebook, but thought I would add a little here as well. I heard Jim Harris on NPR and if you view the website, you get a little insight into his life and work – amazing. But you don’t get all the war facts he dropped during the interview. It was shocking, to say the least, to hear how many countries the US has left in a disastrous state of disarray. He also mentioned that as a nation that has never had to rebuild from modern warefare, we are oblivious to the long and often dangerous process of reconstructing a country. It was a great interview and I am glad to know more about them. Great Wisconsinites…
A piece of Walt Whitman on this historic day:
If I should need to name, O Western World, your powerfulest scene and show,
‘Twould not be you, Niagara – nor you, ye limitless prairies – nor your huge
rifts of canyons, Colorado,
Nor you, Yosemite – nor Yellowstone, with all its spasmic geyserloops
ascending to the skies, appearing and disappearing,
Nor Oregon’s white cones – nor Huron’s belt of mighty lakes – nor
This seething hemisphere’s humanity, as now, I’d name – the still small
voice vibrating – America’s choosing day…
I apologize for coming on too strong in advance. I previously said I donâ€™t like to tell people who to vote for, but this goes beyond voting. Despite how much this election represents to me.
Maybe I am adding flames to the fire, but the amount any of us writes to the federal government is going to get a whole lot bigger because of previous Republican leadership, instead of just getting a little bigger like it might have. The truth is social security worked and the only reason we questioned it is because people wanted to be taking cruises and living in huge mansions on Caribbean islands when they retired instead of living modestly. I reiterate my arguments from during the previous election against privatization. We are basically financing a war rooted in energy issues on money from China. What’s more immoral than that? We consume more than a Â¼ of the worldâ€™s oil.
I have been thinking a lot recently about the nature of wealth and what is fair taxation, etc.
I heard Bill O’Reilly talking the other night and accusing Obama of wanting to do wealth redistribution. This got me thinking: “this is something people think of as negative because it means taking something hard-earned from those who have toiled to earn it and giving it to those whose actions have done nothing to make it.”
Then, my thoughts drifted to a few events, one from Policy class and two more recently occurring at family reunions. First of all, the statistic that something like 97 percent of the wealth is controlled by three percent of the population. The others are a game of Risk with my cousins, and a conversation with Mandy about her family.
As we know the divide of the uber-wealthy and the lower classes is growing. The amount of wealth is continuing to be governed by a smaller percentage of the population. This is fact. This is inevitable if you have read much on behavioral economics. I recommend the “logic of Life” as a book to illustrate this point.
This became clear to me as I found myself on side of a losing campaign in Risk, a game I had not played since young. At one point I decided to hole up in Australia, after spreading too thin and being conquered elsewhere. I thought, ” at least I can defend the bottle neck here in the south pacific by putting all my new resources into the defense of the one country blocking my cousin’s way to world domination. The fallacy that I quickly discovered is that if you had captured continents you amassed more armies because you had more resources, same too for just having sheer numbers of already existing armies. In essence, if you already had wealth, you could make so much more. So there is a tipping point there where defeat is inevitable, no matter how great your geographical advantage. I realized that the percentages were about the same as those discussed previously in policy class, my cousin owned about 95 percent of the board and defeat began to unfold at an exponential rate.
I was listening to a speech by Michelle Obama yesterday afternoon and had a couple of thoughts. I hadn’t really thought much about this until yesterday, but I think Barrack is what this country needs in this era because of the fact that he probably has the best perspective of how economic policies affect the world as his grandmother still lives in Africa. Maybe, this isn’t “american” (maybe also read “isolationist”) enough for the average American who perhaps believes in something other than America, a part of the global system. I think this brings us to an interesting crossroads in history, a chance to go on without much regard to how our politics affect others in the world, an arrogance and ignorance, or a chance to choose a new, different path that would recognize that this big, spinning rock has moved forward into a new reality.
I’ll just let the title to this post say, and ask, it all.