All in to throw the first stone, none caring to heal anything.
“Hell is paved with good intentions!” we are taught. Yet, so many amongst us, some intelligent, keep on believing that they have the key to the Paradise and it’s made of… you guessed: good intentions! After all, is common sense, isn’t it?! But then again, the old saying “common sense is not so common” is always true in the case of others. Ahhh, the arrogance of thinking that good intentions amount to the worst of plans.
In the hardest of times as well as in the best of times, good intentions trump reasoning. Politicians do it wrong, corporations are to blame, welfare and health care are off the hook or they are not enough. What a blessing it must be to have a simple mind which sees everything as very simple and the choices that we have as being between good and bad! How simple must be everything when Jews or evil corporations or lazy bums are to be blamed for everything! People can straighten all the evils of the world in just 2 hours, over a pint of beer of glass of wine.
Now we are going through a deep economic crisis and people who went happily for the ride when this crisis was being cooked in the oven, are screaming and calling for heads to roll and throwing generous ideas as plans for recovery. Who is to be blamed for this crisis? THE OTHERS as poor Sartre was saying. Who are THE OTHERS? Bankers, corporations, politicians. Right?! WRONG!
(I am not really sure who am I writing this for because those who understand the situation, know it already, those who scream in the street, don’t care much and are too blinded by passion to give my words a second thought. Yet, here it comes.)
Bankers/Corporations – CEO and upper management are making money. Sure. With disregard to the deep social implications which most probably they didn’t give too much thought. Indeed. But, people – THIS IS THEIR JOB. They need to make money, to create profit and to reward the stockholders. If they don’t, they are kicked out on the spot. Check out what happens now on the market (not that you screamers ever bother to check the S&P, understand economy etc.) – if a company misses their PROFIT target, the share price goes down, most of the times ending with the company having to do massive layoffs. I repeat – even if they ARE making profit, just not as much as last year. Are these people making good money?! Of course they are but they argue that they did what they were supposed to do: profit, and deserve to be compensated. Did you ever refuse a pay raise?! They are greedy – of course they are. Would you stay 12h/day at work, travel extensively far from your family and dear ones, if you were paid 20-50% more than if you were to have a comfy 9-to-5 job?!
Smaller ranks, clerks need then to be at fault. After all it wasn’t the CEO of Bank of America who was forcing them to give the loans to UNQUALIFIED people, bad payers, poor people. What sane and good person would give 500,000$ mortgage loan to a family who earns 50,000$ (BEFORE taxes)?! They must be evil! But do you think they were giving it a second thought?! Upper management decided that the price of housing can only go up, so mortgage loans will always be paid, gave bonuses/commissions to those who could bring in people interested in buying a home. As long as your 50-60,000$/year salary becomes 80-90,000$ salary and what they were doing was not only legal but encouraged by their bosses, who would have said NO?! After all, one could argue – I am giving their house, their very own place to live to poor people, I am doing them a favor.
(This pertains to another discussion – what is the real good, is being gentle and permissive momentarily the same one with being good and doing good?)
Stockholders – so stockholders with their lack of patience and desire for quick profit are the ones pushing for more profits. To hell with stockholders! After all, who are they?! Business people wanting to speculate the pain of the working people, living a lavish life with their proceeds, people like Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet… Right?! WRONG. We are ALL – ALL who know and (most important and more) ALL who don’t have a clue. In N America, people can’t rely on government pensions so they invest, save for that future in which they are too old to work. Mom and pop, after working a lifetime, they are happy when their 100,000$ saved over 20 years becomes a 4-500,000$, allowing them a peaceful old age. If their 100,000$ becomes 2000$, we hate the ones we hate now anyway: they entrusted their money to people who were supposed to make them a profit, grow their initial investment. Would you accept a banking account which “gives” you a negative interest?! Let’s say it takes 10% of your savings for whatever reason: to feed the hungry, to keep jobs in your country, to save the whales, or pure and simply to squander it in bad investments? Would you open a “Big-Heart Account” or “Incompetence Account”?
In Europe and other places, people rely pretty much on the government to care for them in their old age. But how is government able to do that?! Print money?! Yes, they are doing it and that is why we’re in such a shitty place now. But is it feasible and logical to think that 1-200 EU/month you contribute to pension will generate in 20 years 1000EU/mo which will last another 20 years? How could this happen unless that money is INVESTED and, more so, it brings PROFIT? Government pension funds need to obtain profit, lots of it, to be able to sustain Social Services, so generous in Europe, to be able to pay for pensions. That or print money. So either you know/accept you are a shareholder or you have no clue, it’s a very good chance you or your loved ones depend on PROFIT to get by.
Politicians – Why haven’t the politicians done anything?! They are surely to be blamed. But a politician – I am not talking about the scumbags from poor countries – react (like all of us) when bad things are happening. What was bad before the crisis broke, before 2008, to require their reaction?! Corporations and banks were making sh*tloads of money, government was raising wonderful taxes on these piles of cash, people were happy either because now, magically they could afford a house to call their own (instead of, more appropriately, “the bank’s until the mortgage is paid”), or maybe because their house doubled in value in 3-4 short years. Workers had jobs sustained by construction, equity loans based on the house equity were flowing and eternal sunshine was glaring over the country, over all countries to an extent. This wealth, as rotten as it was, was fueling discretionary spending – more TVs, stainless steel fridges for everyone, 2-3-4 cars and vacation houses. “WE DESERVE IT ALL” – I hear this line from people “lost in shopping”, all the time. We do deserve it all – everything that happens to us is only OUR fault.
And when the crisis hit, what you would have done?! It would have been a sensible thing to let GM and Chrysler go bankrupt, let the banks go bankrupt because they deserve it. But it is estimated that auto-industry sustained 800,000 jobs and millions of people who depended on these jobs. If you are not living in a state where 20% of the jobs depend on automotive industry, you can say “let them die for the crappy job they did”; but if your constituents livelihood depends on these jobs how can you say “Go to hell!” ?! Come on, do-gooders, how can you tell some guy who tightens the same screw for 20 years (and does it badly) that he will have to get new skills and look for a new job and still expect to have him vote for you?! So, you save the few million NOW , hoping that someone else, not YOU will give tens of millions to the dogs when the seeds you planted NOW will reap the huge crisis. You print money and you pretend that happy times will be back in a jiffy… when in fact they are not coming back soon.
Government should have had control over the banks and companies and regulations. Indeed – but if you ever worked in the government, you know what a waste there is – people paid with 80-120$/h (160-240,000$/year), doing jobs for which they would have been paid 50K/year in a private company. 5 persons barely taking care of the workload of a single person – why?! Because of the damn regulations and damn comfort of the job they are in. Government is a black-hole and EU is a good example how regulations can stifle economy, growth, profit and thus jobs, pensions, stability.
I could go round and round and round but the fact is SIMPLE, if only the simple minds would accept this assessment: no one can cast the first stone, because we are ALL to blame. The arrogance, the gull of some idiots who take it to the market armed with good intentions but otherwise without a plan where everyone can win will not convince me. Do I want to live in a world where profit is balanced with the needs of the people? Do I want to live in a clean, eco-friendly world? Do I want to enjoy the benefits of modern healthcare and technology and what have you? OF COURSE I DO. I simply know that revolution is NOT the answer. Good intentions are NOT the answer. Big-heart is NOT the answer. We need BRAINS and careful information, we need an action plan which mediates between the interests of ALL segments, we need balance, not hippies shouting Mao’s lines, who – invariably – will end up being upper management in large companies. If we use our hearts and not our brains, we simply end up pave the hell.
There is a lot of GOOD to do. How can we do that?! Think and identify the LEAST of EVILS – because that is what GOOD in this world is.