The problem with the American society today is that we forgot that hard work and compassion and not over consumption is what made us a great country. We think that we have to have a bigger house, a better car, fancier clothes and more money than our neighbor that twisted our minds away from what truly makes us happy and that is compassion for others. His Holiness, the Dalai Lama once said, “I truly believe compassion provides the basis of human survival, the real value of life, without that there is a basic piece missing. We cannot be happy ourselves without thinking about the happiness of others.” Isn’t that the truth?
From my vantage point, this is why the Republican party is in a free fall. They seem to want to retain the greed mentality without offering anything in return to society. Consumption, consumption, consumption. Drill for more gas, the hell with reducing our consumption. Cut taxes for the wealthy so that in some mythical way it will trickle down to the poor (what a monumental con job that was).
Lest the Democrats and liberals rejoice, they have lacked the backbone to make it clear to the American people that the way we’ve been doing things just doesn’t work. They meekly push half baked projects to curtail consumption but in reality, they still like the ability to enrich themselves and their friend. Just ask the thousands of lobbyists that roam the hallways of Congress.
Compassion for others is the only way out of the morass we live in. We don’t need a million man march to do that, we need each and everyone of us to think about it, and do something compassionate whenever we can. It doesn’t need to be everyday, just whenever you can. The ripple effect from one small act, can change the world.
Just last weekend, I gave a presentation at a conference put on by the Klinghardt Academy of Neurobiology on petrochemical toxicity and its effect on human health. Here is the Powerpoint of my talk. Please use whatever you want out of the presentation, please make sure you site me if you do.
According to Forbes magazine, the average pay of a senior executive in 1980 was 40 times the average workers salary. In 2007 is was 433 times. Want to guess why things got so screwed up? Yeah, I didn’t think it was so difficult to figure out. Greed.
Instead of capping the salaries of the fat cats in the banking industry and on Wall Street, I have a better plan. Make them recite and follow the Rotary 4 way test of the things we think say or do.
Is it the truth. (boy this one should make as big a change as any to the corporate culture).
Is it fair to all concerned (a little bit of careing for all the people in the world would make our planet a nicer place to live in).
Will it build good will and better friendships (this might have slowed down Bernie Maddoff)
Is it beneficial to all concerned. (wouldn’t that be great).
I have run my businesses with these four principles in mind. I go to sleep each night knowing that I am running an ethical and honest company and that in the long run I will make a positive impact on the world. If maybe, just maybe our government and all business would apply this 77 year old ideal to what they do, we’d have no budget deficits, our economy would be far stronger and our environment would be a lot cleaner.
To read more about how the 4-way test was developed, click on the link and read about why Herbert J. Taylor wrote this brilliant manifesto.
Aside from former Senator Lindsey Graham’s opinion that we should stop whining and that things are OK, today’s economic environment is tough, no doubt about it. There are a lot of good things that hopefully will come out of it though. The first is that we, as a society get away from the greed driven mindset that drove us into this economic dilemma in the first place. Secondly, maybe, just maybe we won’t devour our world’s resources in order to one up our neighbors. Maybe this will turn out to be a reprieve for our planet.
The last one is the most important. No matter how bad you think you have it, there are literally millions (maybe billions) of people who have it worse. Also, things will get better if you work at it and change your perspective as to what is important in your life.
In 1981, when Ronald Reagan came to office I was concerned that his economic policies that he was proposing were insane. They made no sense to me as an economics major. Trickle down economics, his theory that giving tax breaks to the rich would trickle down to the middle class and make the economy boom was implausible. It was, in my opinion, one of the most bizarre and illogical ideas I ever heard and even George Bush Sr agreed. Heck he even called it voodoo economics. But heck, I was just a 23 year old and too young to understand things. Or was I?
This week we barely missed going into the Great Depression part two. It was inevitable. What bothers me is that all of the billionaires and millionaires who have made so much money got bailed out and now we, the taxpayers, the hard working individuals and families have to pay for all the losses. Do the rich people who basically stole my money and your money have to pay?Hell no. Now they put up a candidate who not only doesn’t want to pay more taxes, he wants more tax breaks for the wealthy. How much more do they want to steal from us now?
The rich have gotten richer in the past 30 years and the middle class has been squeezed and the poor have gotten nothing and been swelling over the years. On September 16th with the takeovers of AIG, trickle down and the nonsense of the past 30 years have come to an end.
Funny to hear John McCain talking about increasing regulation of the financial markets when his party spent the past three decades espousing deregulation and his chairmanship of commerce commitees were at the forefront of the deregulation movement. What a hypocritical position. While my blog is not intended to be a political blog, I am sitting here in my living room looking at my children wondering how the hell they are going to pay for this mess. I don’t know, do you?
I urge my readers to vote for Barack Obama and end the decades of the same bad economic policies that have put us on the brink of disaster. He may not be the perfect candidate, who is, but he does represent a change we really need badly or all of the sacrifices our ancestors made for this country go for naught.
One part of this law forces companies to prove the safety of chemicals before they come to market. More importantly, it forces previously grandfathered chemicals to be tested for safety which was vehemently opposed by not just the American Chemical Society but by our own government. It scared them so much that they sent in C. Boyden Gray, the heir to the RJ Reynolds tobacco fortune to lobby against it. This is the same Republican operative who worked to eviscerate the EPA under Reagan by applying cost-benefit analysis over risk-based decision making. In other words, make money first, care about peoples health second. According to the magazine the New Republic, “So many different money trails lead to, by and through Gray it is bewildering.”
In retrospect, I’m glad my government in their ultimate arrogance decided to lobby as hard as they did because in the end, this we’re better than you attitude is what pushed the EU parliament to pass the bill. According to one European diplomat quoted in Mr. Schapiro’s book “If their only message is why we should not do anything more than they’re doing in the United States, then why should we listen? The more the United States give the impression of mounting an attack against REACH, the less we listen….. We are not going to ask the United States for permission. If we were to listen to the United States, how would we explain to European citizens where the two hundred chemicals in their bodies came from? What are we doing to them? This is the same not just for Europeans, but for Americans and every country in the world.”
The Bush Administrations steadfast belief that it is more important to make a dollar today for their big buddies than protecting the citizens of the United States is causing us to lose the leadership role we had for decades. He has lost us the respect from the world, not just because of the ill-conceived war, but because the world sees us as only caring for profits, not for people under the guise of jobs. How many jobs could we create by leading the world in the research of safer products? Millions of them. Sad to say, we won’t see a change soon unless there is a change in the White House come this November. We need it to save our children and the billions of children unborn coming to this world in the next hundred years.
Before you become jubilant because you are about to get what the President and Congress claim is a rebate understand that it is nothing of the sort. What the money is really is an advance from the 2008 tax year (the return you file in 2009). Bottom line is that they are giving you your own money back! What a sham.
It is a smoke screen, a scam, a big fat lie. Give us $600 now and take it back next year. Imagine all the hardships that will occur next year when people who are expecting a refund on their taxes won’t get it. It is a shell game economically that will not help our country but hurt it in the long run. But then again, politicians don’t care about our future, they care about the election this year. Shame on Washington D.C. for scamming the American public yet again and shame on the media for not making this issue clearer.