I don’t think that I have ever wanted to be rich. I have wanted to be wealthy, I have envied fame and I have envied comfort, but I have never wanted to be rich. I saw my parents as the happy poor. At least that is what I remember. My mom could stretch any meal to add another plate for a guest or a friend. “Hey, Ma, can Roger eat supper here?” “Did he ask his mother,” she would reply.
Those were the early years. Before she became ill. I am not sure that i could date her illness. It came on very slowly and at first I was only aware that “things” were not the same. She had lost her desire to smile and everything became an effort. But before everything became an effort, life was smooth, we were poor, we knew it and it did not matter.
I think I must have been married with children the first time that I became aware of envy. I had never once in my youth felt deprived. My mother would remove the torn and frayed collar from my shirt. She turned it over, put the torn part inside and sewed the collar back on, and the shirt was as good as new. I only needed a shirt when I out grew the one I was wearing. After school I would change into my play clothes, that way the good things lasted longer.
Later in life, I learned to hate the rich people. I hated them for what they refused to share. I could have told you the moment I first heard the phrase, “trickle-down” economics that it was doomed to miserable failure. By then I knew greed and I had seen the human condition eating away at the flesh of the poor the way a rat would nibble its way through wood if it hat to. Do you know why I was so sure that capitalism would not work? Because the top was so disconnected from the bottom that the suffering could be imposed upon a whole class of people and the scream of anguish would never be heard. One man death is a tragedy, but 1000 men dead is a statistic. It is nothing but a cold, hard fact. Society is arranged in such a way that each community has its deserving privileged higher class, followed by a hard working, value full middle class which sits on a bunch of self imposed losers who deserve what they have for not being able to pick themselves up by their own boot-straps and make something of themselves.
We are not a welfare society, we are a western style democracy made up of self created individuals who never need help, and god-love them if they ever need help, because no one else will bat an eye lash. No bailouts for the poor who deserve it. Save our trillions of dollar bailouts for the deserving bankers and hedge fund dealers and stock brokers and health insurance executives, these are the exemplar men & women of our society who contribute so much that they indeed have become too big to let fail…
Capitalism was conceived as a system of marketing based on suppliers of goods receiving a fair share for providing goods and services to the betterment of civilization. Our capitalism was hijacked by paper pushers who skimmed the cream off of every bottle of milk that went by them. They grew into a governance or workers whose job it was to simply make money.
We need to turn our attention to slow economics, to investing in local businesses that will generate a product. Wall Street will never trickle down what Main Street needs to survive on. We need a revolution in thinking. Think Local