So we're watching the Christmas classic, "It's A Wonderful Life" at my brother's place right now. I'm typing on the computer because my two-year old nephew is not interested in the movie and neither are his parents. It's too loud to concentrate and enjoy the movie so my thoughts are wandering.
My brother is a pretty hard-core conservative and I'm not. He, like other conservatives, seem to think that closing our borders, ignoring the world, making money for yourself and no one else, and being selfish is the way to operate a successful world economy. Like many others in this country, the conservatives feel that you should be able to make as much money as you want and fuck everyone else if they can't be as successful as you. It seems as though people that think that way feel that if you aren't successful and rich it's because you didn't try hard enough. It has nothing to do with anything else. That's it. You didn't try hard enough and you deserve what you get.
I don't think that the "1%" should be required to give back to the public. A lot of them do, though. They may give to charities because they get a tax break, not because the think it's right, but at least they give. The reason the 99% is so pissed off though is because there is such a disparity between the rich and the poor. We shouldn't take away the ability to be rewarded for hard work, of course. What would be the point in trying if we were all slated to fit into a certain slot. It would just be nice if we could be good to each other and give back when appropriate without legislation. The conservatives that want smaller government wouldn't give a damn about anyone else without someone to tell them to do so.
However, do we want a society of Mr. Potters? Do we want a society where the people at the top tell the rest of us that we aren't working hard enough? Do we all want to live in Potter's field? I certainly don't.
We watch "It's A Wonderful Life" every Christmas eve. I, along with most people that watch this movie, want to identify with Georgy Bailey. We want to think that we are good people and have lots of friends that would help us in need. In the movie George makes risky loans, is in danger of losing everything, and is saved by a public bail-out. Sound familier? The truth of our society today is that a lot of us are Mr. Potters. Not George Baileys. It's not a world I want to live in. I don't know how to change it but I certainly don't want to be a part of it. I don't think we're going to fix this anytime soon either. We're too entrenched in this lifestyle and way of thinking. Nothing short of a catastrophic disaster that would reset the world would be needed to make some real change.
This is an incredibly depressing thought. I'm not sure what to do about it. I guess I can just continue to work hard, help people when I can, and encourage others to do the right thing. How ever am I going to do that without the government, some rich white guy, or a god telling me how to do it? I think I'll manage.
Merry Christmas, Newtonmass, festivus, or whatever.