Bird Droppings June 30, 2011
Ethics and Politics
I picked up a copy of the Atlanta Journal Constitution this morning. The front page had various articles but one caught my attention. Having been a student in psychology at Mercer University in Macon and required to go on a field trip to Central State Hospital at that time 1973 the largest residential mental facility in the nation and a few months later doing a six month internship at the same facility as well as having a direct link through patients now being served by Georgia Mental Health this article hit me hard. It was focused on an appointment to the directorship of Georgia State Mental Health. The person appointed by our Governor was not a psychologist or mental health employee of any sort but the former calendar keeper of the previous governor. Another tie is that she is the girl friend to the current governor’s spokesperson. The new head of mental health even makes twenty five thousand more than previous director. Interesting too in that Georgia is under investigation by federal authorities for the state of its mental health.
It was not too long ago the debate in Congress was about minimum wage and yet there was little if any debate about raising their own salaries and perks. I find it amazing how politics works and working people and those trying to work and lift themselves up get nothing and Senators and Congressmen can vote a raise. Democrats are trying to tie minimum wage to their own raises which is nice and many workers who are on minimum wage are below poverty level often for whatever reason limited or hindered in the types of jobs they can get.
“Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.” Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Funny why worry about money and success who needs it when gas is nearly four dollars a gallon we all are looking for bargains and stretching each dollar. It is true many folks have not the need to keep up with the trends and are content with what they have. But it is how we tend to overlook selfishly those with less. The raise for a congressmen per year would be more than the fulltime minimum wage paycheck for a year of a lesser worker. That is sort of like saying I am more than your equal so I deserve this money a slap in the face to many.
“Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.” Henry David Thoreau, Walden
At what point is a lot of money too much. I find it so hard to fathom what some people do with billions of dollars.
“I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, and he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” Henry David Thoreau
We have to be able to dream and often that is stripped away with attitudes and structures imposed by various sectors of society.
“What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates his fate.” Henry David Thoreau
Self esteem, self understanding and knowing thy self as the ancient Greek philosopher said so many years ago are crucial. We need to know who we are and why. I started arguing about the selfishness of so many people including our leaders in Washington who I am sure will justify their raises in some fashion and I am sure through lobbyists they will justify not granting a raise to minimum wage. It is amazing what a few fast food lobbyists can do and business owners. Maybe that is how you justify a raise for yourself savings from not raising minimum wage. A long day today discussing and reading so please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts.