You get what you reward. America has been rewarding vicious behavior in business for several decades. So in 2010, CEO pay in top corporations rose 36.5% as executives helped themselves to even more money. Meanwhile HALF of Americans -- that is 1 in 2 -- are in low-income or poverty levels. The deliriously rich aren't earning all that money; mostly they are simply taking it from other people who don't have the power to hold onto it. I am not okay with that. I think it's evil to hog so much of the resources when there are millions of people right here in America who can't afford food, shelter, or health care.
Remember, 50% is a failing grade in school. If half your country is poor, you're failing as a society. No matter how much you adore your core idealogy, if it doesn't meet most people's basic needs, sooner or later they will kill it with pitchforks and try something else they think will give them a better chance of survival and a decent life. That's history. I would rather NOT see it repeat itself yet again.
I think that much of this is true, although America has had other times of vicious outbursts against fellow humanity. It comes from teaching that it's okay to hurt other people, or ignore their suffering, if they're different from you or you think you can gain something from it. You lose more than you gain by doing that; but people are trained to ignore those consequences too.
The one thing that brings redemptive hope is the amount of disgust and outrage freely expressed by the Irish people - a race that usually bends down and shows its backside to its oppressors. I think we might have just finally had enough!
Yeah, the drift of history is that, when there starts to be a power imbalance, the people with the power will use the power to consolidate their hold on power more and more, leaving less and less for everyone else.
And then, like you said, eventually, "everyone else" gets together and kills the existing system with pitchforks and torches.
We are fortunate in this country that we have a way forward which involves killing the system WITHOUT killing the people currently benefiting from the system.
The people, yes, the people, Until the people are taken care of one way or another, Until the people are solved somehow for the day and hour, Until then one hears "Yes but the people what about the people?" Sometimes as though the people is a child to be pleased or fed Or again a hoodlum you have to be tough with And seldom as though the people is a caldron and a reservoir Of the human reserves that shape history. . . .
Fire, chaos, shadows, Events trickling from a thin line of flame On into cries and combustions never expected. The people have the element of surprise. . . .
I remember a few years back reading about a huge company- possibly Panasonic (which, BTW, pays less in taxes than our little 2-person corporation)- where they laid off something like 500-1000+ people... and the CEO then took MORE THAN THE COSTS OF THEIR SALARIES etc, as a reward for being so frugal. So laying off all those people was actually more expensive than keeping them... but it sure made the CEO richer.
It was a while ago and I'm fuzzy on the details, but I've read about similar lay-off/bonus structures often enough that I think it happens.
Often it isn't about what's good for the company, but about one person's greed. The CEO simply took the salary money from those other people and pocketed it. That's redistribution of wealth -- in the wrong direction.
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