Bird Droppings April 22, 2019
Ethics and Politics
There are so many things happening in our world that are often at the whim of a politician who we voted for or against. The auto industry is being remade, wars are being fought, jobs are appearing and disappearing, and health care reform is possibly off and on the table. I find it is amusing that our elected officials have given themselves an unbelievable health care and retirement package along with other perks and yet only offer to restrict and or eliminate our own. Our officials have literally unlimited health care and a retirement package second to none for serving in the senate or congress and literally a decent retirement for life.
With jobs on the rise in some areas and in others in slow motion, maybe it is a good time to ponder about minimum wage and our officials who raise their own salary and perks just about every year. Amazing how politics works, working people and those trying to work and lift themselves up get nothing and Senators and Congressmen can vote a raise for themselves. In another session a few years back Democrats were at one time trying to tie minimum wage to their own salary raises. I definitely like that idea, however it dint fly. Sadly even with a minimum wage many workers are below the national poverty level. Many that are working and for whatever reason extremely limited or hindered in the types of jobs they can get.
Now in a world of budget cutting and austerity some politicians are even offering to reduce minimum wage and increase hours children can work almost as if we are taking steps backwards. Other legislation is calling for eliminating OSHA and EPA and yet deaths in industry under OSHA have significantly been reduced. Pollution across our nation has been reduced. It is about profitability of corporations that find many politicians offering plans to help industry improve profit. Dumping coal ash into rivers in coal regions as an example. Asbestos is coming back some are saying.
“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 should we worry about money and success, who needs it? I recall only a few years back when gas was 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 recently proposed for congressmen per year would be more than a fulltime minimum wage paycheck for a year for a family. It is sort of like saying I am more than your equal so I deserve this money actually a slap in the face to the working man or woman.
“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 and what do you do with billions of dollars? I watch the president rant and rave and yet few are as selfish as is he in terms of his human dealings. I am not sure a speculator in land is a good choice for a president. It was not too long ago he was bankrupt. We idolize the rich and wealthy and as Steven Colbert pointed out in his humor last night we like rich people. Thinking back to a good friends comment about where sociopaths end up, many are politicians.
“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 the 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 or the knowing of thy self as the ancient Greek philosopher said so many years ago. 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 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, be it through savings from not raising minimum wage. I am looking forward to a day of testing high school kids. I would much rather be writing and reading and taking a garden break. I forgot to visit the local nursery and garden shop this weekend. As you ponder your own place in this world please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts namste.
My family and friends I do not say this lightly,
(We are all related)