Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Random musings from the navel

I miss America... or at least the America I thought I knew and admired. It used to be that our country used to offer hope to the regular individual to prove their own exceptionalism. Namely you had the promise of opportunity to make something of yourself or if you had an idea, a possibility of being able to develop it and create something from it. Those days appear to be gone. When did it all become such a caustic end game?

I don't want to simply blame conservatives, although there is plenty of blame to lay at their feet, because I do believe that the problems go deeper than simple idiology. I understand that certain people are hardwired to handle the concept of workers and management and that you belong in one class or the other. The problem is that there appears to be another class, the "ownership" class that used to be somewhat benevolent in past generations but appears to be in a "screw you" cycle these days. It's not to say that we haven't seen this cycle before. I believe that America from the 1850's thru the 1880's went through a similar stage when the wealthy did such a great job of accumulating wealth that they stopped seeing people that were not of their status as somehow not being people anymore. Granted, its all self delusion, if they were cut, they would bleed, they had bowel movements, they burped yet somehow they felt and conveyed this point of view to others that money matters and as such, it somehow made them better. They then sold this same concept to religious leaders who then started implying that others outside their faith were somehow less than human. Why? When did this need to be "better" or "exceptional" become such a carrot to drive our society?

I can understand the need for proficiency, attention to detail, or even taking a slice of life and turning it into an art form, yet how does that make us better as people? I get that hedge fund managers might not have the same skills than a plumber, but why is it that one has more value than another? If we talk about Teachers as being vitally important in the lives of our children, then why do we resent paying them a comprehensive salary? Do we no longer buy into the concept that education is the one mechanism that allows us to transition through our self imposed social strata? Does this mean that we're seeing a hardening in the social strata in that one now must stumble into extreme good fortune in order to move from one level to the next. The upward mobility appears to be restricted because the wealthy appear to be happy with the current size of their club and no others need apply.

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