At the height of the Reagan-Bush economic bubble, Wall-Street Jockeys and the young and the restless were championing the end of Social Security and the onset of an entrepreneurial new world of privatization, and everyone-for-himself under the ever-present, watchful eye, of the glorious no-one-can-lost stock market guided by Big Brother, I mean Big Biz.
Who needs the government? they asked!
Government is the problem.
Government is inefficient and Big Biz knows how to run the country.
Less government, and more unregulated free-market driven capitalism, driven by the needs and interests of the “ruling class.” After all, their position and power reveal the rightness of their ideas, if not the righteousness of their souls. They’re different than the rest of us. Smarter. Better. And we’d better do as they as they say, and there’s enough greed in all of us to spin our heads and make us think, hope, that maybe, just maybe, we, too, can be stinking rich.
And, then, the House of Cards comes crashing down.
The vaunted Wonder Kids of Wall Street prove to be just as dumb as the rest of us – dumb for ever believing the lies and illusions of the ruling class: that they know better than the rest of us how to govern life and run the world – that if we just listen to them, fancy their needs, and do as we’re told, we all get rich.
Any talk lately about privatizing Social Security?
I haven’t heard a whisper, have you?
The vulnerability of an unregulated free-market system reared its ugly head.
The curtain was pulled aside, and the wizard in the cloud proved to be an ordinary little man pulling levers and working smoke machines to frighten the peasants and manipulate the world into thinking that the rich and the powerful are different than everyone else, and the rest of us can just take a hike on their magnificent coattails.
What we’ve discovered, in the nick of time, is our need something better and brighter than Wall Street and the machinations of Board Rooms forty-stories removed from the real world.
We need something reliable in the best of times and the worst of times.
We need a real cushion, a safety net.
For millions who aren’t rich, who will never be rich, and millions more who are likely to spend most, if not all, of their life on the margin.
In other words, we need a mutual assurance of brother/sister-keeping responsibility.
We need a moral framework that’s real and dependable.
We need good government.
We need a federal conscience.
The rich and the powerful have always hated this.
And most will continue to hate it.
They, too, have bought their own fabrications.
A family like the Kennedys had a higher vision.
They proved the exception.
But there are plenty of people of wealth and power who buy into the bigger and better picture of the United States of America.
Yet in recent years, their faithful voices have been drowned out by the shouting of the right wing, accusing them of disloyalty to The Republic, being hare-brained, bleeding-heart, liberals and generally unfit to govern anything.
James Dobson and “The Family” and the likes of Beck and Dobbs won the day, but, thank God, they lost the battle.
Yet millions of dollars, our hard-earned dollars, are being poured into the smoke and mirrors of their house of horrors, and the peasants are responding, as they always have – even as the master of the manor takes the women and children, even as the lord of the realm impresses the peasant into service and hangs him from the highest tree, the peasant bows and curtsies, for the master knows better what’s right and what’s good.
There is a sickness in the land, a sickness created in the early days of American industrialization when millions were made in steel, coal and railroads, creating an entitled class of people who forgot their roots and the basic biblical truth:
The rich and the poor have this in common:
the LORD is the maker of them all.
We’re all in this together.
It’s terribly hard to remember.
It’s vital that we do!