One of the last lines in the editorial perhaps strikes to the heart of what the
real problem is, which is that we are no longer who we once were. Freedom -
otherwise known as capitalism - doesn't work if we all have become liars,
cheaters, and thieves. The middle class prospered when America was predominantly
Christian in both name and in our hearts. It is unreasonable to expect that same
prosperity to continue as we abandon that ship. A free society requires both
trust and trustworthiness, both of which arise from common Christian ideals.
Excellent editorial. Most Americans, particularly those who lean to the right,
have a simplistic view of capitalism and have drunk too much of the free-market
Kool-Aid for too long. A totally free market is one of the most disastrous
creations that man has ever concocted. And an ideology that mistakes license for
freedom is simply begging for abuse. The Right, which has elevated a simplistic
view of freedom above every other civic good, has helped create a society that
is everything but free. Our lives are controlled by a mass of authoritarian
economic institutions that rule behind the scenes. We now have a government of
the corporation, by the corporation, and for the corporation. And that small
class of people who control these behemoths have used their money to make sure
they gain an ever-increasing influence over government. The tail is certainly
wagging the dog in America. Time to wake up, folks. Then again, resistance may
be futile at this point.
Pops,If what you are saying is true, why have the Europeans become
better at everything when they also have become the least religious? Are the
irreligious the most moral? Or have their governments placed laws that curtail
lying, cheating and thievery? What has made them successful when we
are falling behind? It can't be religion. What do you really think it is?
Excellent piece, thanks for printing it.
Before I get totally alarmed about the gap... I need to know if it's
widening because some people are being uber-successful... or if MY standard of
living is going DOWN...MY personal standard of living isn't
going down (and I'm the very middle of the middle-class).If
I'm earning more each year (which I am). And I'm able to provide for
my family (which I am)... I don't really care what somebody ELSE is
making... even IF there's a gap!The gap only bothers ME if my
income is down (it's not).===I don't
understand the concern with what somebody ELSE makes.... That has nothing to
do with me!Whether somebody else's salary is "fair"...
really not up to me.Why would I try or expect to be able to control
somebody ELSE'S salary...?Why would I try or expect to be able
to control my Bosses salary...?That just isn't my job... or
within my ability to control!I see why people who think it is... get
One thing I know for sure, unless the United States manages to moderate its
brand of capitalism, we will go socialist. Too many people are desperate, and
their numbers are growing. We socialists offer alternatives. More later.
Lane Myer"... why have the Europeans become better at everything
when they also have become the least religious?"------Fair question. To answer it, we first must define
"religious." Perhaps the Europeans truly have internalized certain
Judeo-Christian values as part of their basic culture, despite outward
appearances of non-religiosity based on certain popular notions of what
"religious" means. To illustrate, there are many in the
state of Utah for example who generally would be regarded as being
"religious" because they go to church on Sunday, pay their tithing,
don't drink tea or coffee, and are "morally clean," but who treat
their fellow man like garbage, in the form of such things as, "lie a little,
take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor,"
"oppress the hireling in his wages," and despise and misjudge the
poor.With Capitalism and Free Market come responsibility. This
point is lost on many. The moral disease of Greed rages in their hearts."And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through
the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."
Re: "why have the Europeans become better at everything when they also have
become the least religious"?I don't know how even this
topic became about religion but whatever... Let's go there...I
think that's a false premise (that Europeans are better at everything).I don't know what I would go to Europe for that I can't get as
good or better here.I wouldn't go there to have a surgical
procedure done.When was the last time you bought a European
computer, or software...?If Europeans are better at EVERYTHING...Would you rather have THEIR military?Their Government?Their
Businesses?Their standard of living?I've been to most
countries in Europe... and the rich live very well there... but everybody's
not rich in Europe. That's just all you see on TV.I would
rather be middle-class in America... than in Europe.If I preferred
EVERYTHING in Europe... why would I live here???Obviously
there's a reason... If everything's better in Europe...
why do YOU live here?And why do thousands of people each year try to
immigrate here (many from European countries).
"Or have their governments placed laws that curtail lying, cheating and
thievery?"Yes.In Europe, the rules of conduct are
much more tightly regulated than we would like here in America. They have much
tighter work place rules, rules about truth in advertising, and libel laws. In
many ways religion and certain moral boundaries are lower in Europe, but in
other areas, they have much higher standards than do we. The
employee in EMEA has far more rights than they do in the states. In the US we
have a bias toward the business over the individual. It will be interesting as
we see emerging economies come on line where that bias lies as they grow and
develop.As a culture, it always amazes me that we are far more
concerned by how well the corporate entity is doing, and far less so then the
individual lives of those associated with that entity are. The definition of
Success is totally and completely being driven by wealth accumulation. Family,
personal integrity, trust and community all collateral victims of the quest for
Excellent article, excellent comments. Props to Deseret News for
publishing a well-written, thoughtful piece.
Re: 2bits "I don't understand the concern with what somebody ELSE
makes.... That has nothing to do with me!"It has a great deal to
do with you, because the super-wealthy have much more POWER than you do.
I have a suggestion for those on this blog. Go to R. D.
Wolff's website, and take (for free) his online classes on Advanced Marxian
economics. It will open your eyes.
@marxist,Wait a minute.. what? Somebody else has way more "POWER"
than me.... now I really am ticked off!No really... I've been
around for awhile. I'm used to this. It doesn't bug me. I can't change it... so why stress over it. And I for sure don't
want Marxism as a reaction to this revelation (which I already knew)...That kind of stuff mainly bugs leftist revolutionaries and anarchists.
I'm not into the class-warfare rhetoric...====@UtahBlueDevil,Re: "In Europe, the rules of conduct are much more
tightly regulated than we would like here in America"...Oh
really? They have WAY more political scandals in Europe than we have here.If you need to see a list of European political scandals... let me know
before I use all my posts.You seem to have such a cloistered,
"hate America" culture you live in...Europe is not super
peachy for everybody... as leftists believe.The Royals have it
pretty good... the rest of the people wish they had what the middle-class has in
America.Even BMW isn't European anymore you know... Some models
are only made in America (Spartanburg, South Carolina).
The notion that we have "free market capitalism" in America is
laughable. You can't even buy a house with cash without a federal
bureaucrat's stamp of approval. How do we have a "free market" when
approx 42% of GDP is government spending? How do we have a "free market"
when 87% of the land in Nevada is government owned? 5 of the 7 wealthiest
counties in America are in the Washington DC area and they voted overwhelmingly
for Barack Obama. The big Wall Street money went overwhelmingly to Obama in the
last 2 presidential elections. I'm tired of this ludicrous notion that
Republicans are for big business and Democrats are for the little guy.
I'll be the first to admit that Americans love big government as much as
any euro we (ya'll) just say you don't and certainly don't want
to pay for it- hence the deficit and national debt.
I think BUILDING UP the middle-class... is a good thing.But just
tearing down OTHER classes... not a good thing. And that seems to be all the
Left in America is about today. Class warfare rhetoric... jealousy... and
knocking others down so they can feel good about themselvs.We
shouldn't need to knock somebody else down to feel good about ourselves.
That's just jealousy and envy (which are bad things BTW)...Now
building others up... THAT... is a "GOOD" thing. I'm all for that!
@ 2 bits "I think BUILDING UP the middle-class... is a good
thing.But just tearing down OTHER classes... not a good thing."
Then you must really hate Reagan's "trickle-down"
economics. The rich have been tearing down the other classes over the past 30
years. Crushing unions, deregulation, transferring from pensions to 401ks,
preventing min wage to increase, corporate welfare, etc the rich have lead the
charge in redistribution of wealth.The middle and lower classes
don't necessarily want what the rich have. They just want back what used to
be theirs but which the rich have stolen from them over the past 30 years.Now building others up... THAT... is a "GOOD" thing. I'm
all for that!
re: 2 bits @ 10:52a yesterday..."That just isn't my job...
or within my ability to control!"Its par for the course in 21st
century America to do things at less than 100% (the phrase wanted to use is not
postable) and then whine and play the victim when things go south. I'd like
to know why? I'd also like to know why people think its more
important to be friendly & have good people skills rather than be competent,
knowledgeable, & efficient (The joys of a call center economy... ROFL!?)...
This is a rant for another day.re: 2 bits @ 12:09p yesterday.For the most part, European products do not scream quality. Other than
VW eclipsing GM as preferred car maker in China, I am hard pressed to come up
with an example.That said, China is who we should 'fear'
now. But, I recall the 80's when Japan was the economic behemoth and now...
Wow! What's going on here?This piece is far to reasonable to be
in the Deseret News.Of course it's time for a change in how
capitalism is implemented in the United States.The last truly major
reform occurred during the Progressive era when Theodore Roosevelt took on the
big oligarchic capitalists and humbled them by dismantling their
monopolistic/oligopolistic control that had prevented small innovators from
attaining a foothold.After TR did his trust busters leveled the
playing field, smart and capable entrepreneurs and innovators competed to
create new high quality products and services at affordable prices; and that
healthy competition resulted in win/win/win/win situations for consumers,
businesses, government, and citizens.We NEED another tweak to the
current capitalistic socioeconomic structure. A mixed economy, with the
appropriate mix of Capitalism and effective government intervention is crucial
to make this nation competitive.For a start, taxes for the highest
earners should be raised to at least pre-Reagan levels.