Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wishing, Part Two

In my last post I discussed some wishes. My tongue was firmly planted in my cheek at the time, which is probably a poor technique if I want to see those wishes come true. One of my wishes was as follows:

"I wish excellence, kindness, honesty, courage would be rewarded and failure, dishonesty, meanness, sneakiness punished. Before you say "OH but dishonesty and crime ARE punished!" stop and think about this one. That may be true for poor crooks but not rich ones. Think Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and various politicians and CEO's and you'll see where I'm going with this wish."

I saw a Danziger cartoon that illustrates clearly why I doubt excellence and honesty will be rewarded with any regularity. The cartoon showed the CEO of Fannie Mae -- Daniel Mudd --
and the CEO of Freddie Mac -- Richard Syron -- pushing wheelbarrows loaded with their severance packages away from the wrecked businesses they helped ruin. Mudd's severance package was $9.3 million and Syron's $14.1 million. If this cartoon represented a true picture of the situation, there will be no punishment for these two failures. No shame at a botched job. No regret at a colossoal failure. They toddled off to their mansions with a severance package that should have been returned to the coffers they raided. They laughed all the way to a bank that is no doubt still solvent.

Here's a thought for our government. Pick a senior citizen fighting cancer, living on $600 a month and TEN dollars worth of food stamps a month, barely able to survive, and give that person a million dollars. Find NINE of them in similar circumstances and give each one a million dollars. Find fourteen low income families -- two working parents struggling to support and nourish and clothe their children and keep gas in the family car -- and give THEM a million bucks each. If you're gonna reward the failures of big business CEOs, why not branch out and give big bucks to people struggling with courage and succeeding against all the cards you've stacked against them? Start a trend that focuses on the overburdened among us instead of your privileged bigwigs pals who've failed so dismally.

If you do that, I might still believe that wishes come true.


Harvey said...

Rave on, Laurel.
We are more likely to see the greedy side of man's quest to die with more possessions than the other guy, than the desperate lives of real people.
I see a rainbow at the end of your pot-o-gold. As long as people feel a sense of outrage and disgust, I think the karma of the universe will bring the greedy their just reward. I’d worry if people didn’t feel antipathy toward the carnivores of wealth.
Here is something that popped into my head at a meeting where an author was extolling the virtue of writing for the market and not for pleasure. “When the clowns become head of the circus, the rest of us must make sure we feed the elephants.” Your blog makes for good food.

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I enjoy good writing by writers and poets who are not famous. My mother said I was born a hundred years too late. The older I get, the more I realize how right she was.

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