Fairness? Does It Exist?
November 8, 2008
After a lifetime of thinking about this and that, one acquires a viewpoint. The individual\'s vantage point consists of a high priority. Most Americans never possess a world view or a sense of priorities, beyond what is imposed by school, media, government and culture. There is an intense desire to be accepted (popular) by the group, according to social psychologists. Educators refer to such indoctrination as socialization.
At this point in America\'s history, there is no encouragement of independent thought. Those who commit independent thought are punished and certainly not accepted by the group. Independent thinkers are referred to as radicals and/or terrorists. Media is there to repeat our cultures main myths. Those who do not wish to be independent thinkers are urged to accept American mythology. It is much easier to allow large institutions to do our thinking for us.
Those who seek out independent ideas, will find themselves prioritizing in trying to determine what is most important. Many will say Family, God & Country are most important. Family is largely an illusion and for many it does not exist. God and religion do not address what\'s happening now. The concept of country has to many facets to be helpful. Although there are the 30% of haters who say: "My country right or wrong," whatever that may mean.
In any case, my high priority is not Family, God or Country. Rather, my highest priority is fairness - Fair families, Fair religions and Fair countries. Among the propaganda forced on children in schools is the idea that America is a Fair country. Those who believe America is Fair have been living in a web of illusion. Some may live in denial having been sheltered from unfairness by wealth and privilege.
There are the hard core of American haters whose eagerness to be accepted requires them to repeat any stupidity offered up by any member of the Bush family. When the First Bush said "there is no such thing as class," the haters cheered. After Katrina the Second Bush offered his solution to poverty. George the Cruel said folks need to do better in school to avoid poverty. Also after Katrina, Barbara the Bitch toured a homeless shelter in Houston housing refugees from Katrina and said they are living better then they did in New Orleans. The steady 30% of Americans who continue to support Bush take their cues from the ugly Bush family and repeat the hatred they hear from America\'s first family.
While the Bush family are ugly in the extreme, they are a valuable insight into the thinking of America\'s Ruling Class. Basically, nothing has changed since the 18th Century. The American and French Revolutions did nothing to change the attitudes of aristocrats. America\'s aristocrats are referred to as the Power Elite by sociologist C. Wright Mills. What is this aristocratic attitude?
While sharing a coach with French nobility fleeing Paris at the start of the revolution, America\'s finest son, Thomas Paine, asked an aristocrat what it was all about? The aristocrat turned to Paine and said the people need some charity. The Bush family believes in what Bush senior referred to as a "thousand points of light" or individuals contributing to charities as a way to solve poverty. The Bush family has an aristocratic 17th century view of fairness.
Tom Paine had a different view. He turned to the aristocrats in the coach and told them, rather then charity, the people wanted their Rights. That is, whatever fairness may mean, the people have right to it. Certainly, this is what President Franklin Delano Roosevelt meant when he included Freedom From Want as one of his Four Freedoms. Yet, Roosevelt did not step up to his rhetoric. He was an American aristocrat, after all.
While the real incomes of ordinary working men and women have not changed in at least 30 years, the income and wealth of America\'s aristocrats has increased dramatically - making America increasingly more unfair. Yet, in the face of increasing unfairness, Americans cling to their main myths: Meritocracy, the Protestant Work Ethic and Social Darwinism. The 50% of Americans who wind up in poverty are being told they were without merit, not predestined for heaven and/or without good genes. The 30% of haters endlessly repeat the main myths while often living in poverty themselves.
So, there it is. My main criteria in judging a society is fairness. Are the people fair? If not, why not? America\'s cultural myths prevent fairness by justifying the unfairness. Who pays to have these false myths endlessly reinforced? The Power Elite - our American aristocrats. The Power Elite control media, education and religion. What else is there? There is no countervailing force in society. The modern Robber Barons do as they please.
While dormant, there is an analysis of society that is critical of the Power Elite. A century ago and more, Socialists castigated capitalists and capitalism. Unfortunately, none were rigorously trained economists. Those Socialists who studied economics, studied Marxist economics. Whatever Marxist economics is, it is not economics. While Karl Marx was one of the three fathers of sociology (along with Emile Durkheim and Max Weber), the man did not build an understandable system of economics.
Pure unadulterated capitalism is the most efficient way to allocate resources in a society and worldwide. While libertarians may long for pure capitalism, it is a dream rather then a reality. Impurities are introduced into the capitalist system making it less efficient or inefficient. Folks called capitalists make capitalism impure and inefficient. While there are many inefficiencies in capitalism, none is greater then monopolies and oligopolies that destroy the heart and soul of capitalism - Competition. Without competition there can\'t be fairness in society. Monopolistic systems include Monopoly Capitalists who eat high on the hog, while the majority of Americans wait for crumbs to fall from the table. Those who can\'t find a crumb are told to get charity. Freedom from want is not guaranteed. There is no safety net in America. On my first trip to Holland (1988) an airport worker told me America is destroying it\'s middle class.
Now, Harvard Law School Professor Elizabeth Warren has written books about the collapse of the middle class. Professor Warren is a bankruptcy lawyer who has analyzed the bankruptcy of hundreds, if not thousands, of bankrupt families. Those who suddenly become poor will find no safety net in America.
How did the middle class voter allow elected representatives to create a totally unfair country? We really can\'t blame the voter in a two party system where both parties are dedicated to unfairness. Republican and Democratic politicians spend their time with lobbyists who have $100 haircuts. These lobbyists don\'t represent the people. Lobbyists represent the monopolists who are constantly getting the governments assistance in setting up new monopolies or reinforcing old ones.
When is the last time anyone has heard a Republican or Democratic politician demanding fairness in American life? I don\'t remember a single politician in my lifetime who had the temerity to demand fairness for the American people. I can only conclude the Republican and Democratic parties are not interested in fairness.
In fact, it is unfairness that Republicans and Democrats seek. Their rhetoric justifying unfairness is a deep insult and injury to the American people and folks worldwide. Our monsters of unfairness leave us out of the process. Mass propaganda leaves us with two parties - each devoted to our destruction.
There is only one party in countries around the world that demands fairness for all. Socialists have a 250 year history of being concerned with fairness as a first priority. While Republicans and Democrats are dedicated to redistributing wealth and income from the poor and middle class to the already super rich, it is only the Socialists who wish to reverse the ongoing redistribution of income. Socialists would redistribute wealth and income from rich to the poor and middle class. How so, you say?
The regressive tax system is used by the Power Elite to redistribute wealth and income from the poor and middle class to themselves. Socialists demanded a progressive income tax in the 1930\'s when Norman Thomas was running as the Socialist candidate for president. Although the progressive income tax was passed in the 1930\'s it was eliminated in the 1980\'s during the Reagan Reign.
Socialists are against running Imperial wars to make American companies more profitable. Therefore, the $2 trillion spent on Iraq so far would end with a Socialist American government. A progressive income tax and an end to Imperial war would make America solvent once again.
Such solvency would allow us to eliminate the insurance and health care monopolists from medical treatment of Americans. Medicare could be expanded to cover all Americans with no cost, no deductibles, no copays, etc for Americans. The medical monopolists (AMA) would need to be sued under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. This would allow far more doctors to be produced with concomitantly lower fees derived from the increased competition.
Any Socialists would have the courage to implement conservative Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman\'s plan for a negative income tax so that all Americans would be guaranteed a sufficient income for food, clothing and shelter. A Socialist government would encourage the building of a million affordable housing units per year.
Socialists could advocate free pre school and higher education for all.
America could also use a first class affordable mass transit system comparable to any European country.
If all this were done it would level the playing field for all. At that point, we might talk about a meritocracy.