#atozchallenge: The American Kleptocracy

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The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed — for lack of a better word — is good.

Gordon Gecko is running for president. You see him every hour on television; his speeches become breaking news, as the media breathlessly waits for his plane to arrive. He is the gilt paint over the rotting wood of our infrastructure. We are allowing him to run, because we believe that politicians are corrupt and that we need new blood, obviously.

But is he not corrupt himself? He has used every avenue to his advantage: tax breaks, imminent domain and lackadaisical  reforms meant to improve our ability to trade and destroy.

We point to kleptocratic states like Pakistan and Russia, as if we don’t have clans of hoarding multi-national companies and military contractors siphoning money from the public¬†coffers. We know who they are: the Koch brothers, the Walton family, Lockheed Martin and Blackwater (now called ACADEMI).

So greed, for America, is good for those who are greedy. We have a dire choice this November: who will be greedy in good ways? Is greed ever good? How will American society get past this greed?

Sometimes greed works. Georgia’s state house and senate recently tried to pass a ‘Freedom from Religious Prosecution’ act, similar to some other states, and businesses pressured Governor Deal to veto it; however, the fact that businesses hold so much sway over our politicians is just the exception that proves the rule.

I have no answers, because I am a pessimist. We are reaping what we have sown, and I believe we deserve this disaster, if only to start anew. There are too many working parts that must fail, but fail we must, so that we learn. We should have learned in 2008, but we did not. And now, eight years later, we shall learn a hard lesson again. – SDM

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If you’d like to read my other posts in this year’s A to Z challenge, check them out here.

Photo by Matej Tomazin

#weekendcoffeeshare: Escape,

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Mum and I have just returned from a trip to the capital of Georgia, Atlanta. It was a lovely trip. We visited the Capitol building, which I truly enjoyed. We also used the public transportation system, which was, if not always timely, pretty damn convenient. If we were having coffee, we’d be talking about our latest travels and any future travel plans.

And if we’d be having coffee, I have to admit we’d be talking a lot about the so-called Freedom of Religion acts that have been going  around, especially around the South. My state’s governor recently vetoed the Freedom of Religion act, but that was after many businesses (including entertainment — The Walking Dead is filmed here in Georgia) threatened to take their wares elsewhere. It is a sad state of affairs that states care more about businesses than the actual lives of people.

Today is the Wisconsin caucus. Even though I am an enthusiastic campaign watcher, I am anxious about the outcome. It is so contentious already, and I am worried about where the chips may fall. If we were having coffee, we’d be talking about the future of American politics and how we got here in the first place. A heavy Saturday, to be sure. But there is tea and coffee and some delicious treats, so it  wouldn’t be too bad all told.

Until next week, then! – SDM

NB: Check out the other weekend coffee share posts here!