Hopelessness and Disgust

Whenever I chance to check out a YouTube video, listen to some music, or read an article on some website, there is usually a comment section. And if the subject is even remotely political, it won't take more than three comments before someone starts talking about the Bush-Cheney cabal, Bushco, oilmen in the White House, TriLaterals, blah, blah, blah. They will rattle off a littany of ills: Iraq, housing crisis, Guantanamo, illegal wiretaps, loss of privacy, Abu Ghraib, failing stock market, high oil prices, Osama Bin Laden still on the loose, blah, blah, blah.

My God! Has anybody actually taken personal inventory lately? How many people have had their privacy invaded (except for stolen credit card numbers and putting their life story on Facebook)? How many people have succumbed to torture (unless they have a family member in an Iranian prison)? How many have lost their home to forclosure (unless they over extended themselves when they bought that $450,000 home on a $50,000 annual income)?

People! This stuff happens ALL THE TIME. There is your Asterisk! People just do this sort of thing. No, not all people, but no matter what, someone will do it. And the harder the government clamps down on people by having oppressive rules and by pulling responsibility for things into the regulatory body, the more these jerks will insinuate themselves into the government. Just look at the corruption in any of the totalitarian states of the present or the past. They were all about The People (see Hitler, Chavez, Stalin, China, etc., etc., etc.)

Greed is virtually universal. I have an example I give about greed and fairness. Here it is:

Your grandfather gave you a bag of coins when you were a little kid that he had collected throughout the years. You put it in the back of a drawer and you forgot about it. Fifty years later, you are cleaning out your parent's house and you re-discover this gift from Gramps. You dump out the coins and amongst the wheat pennies, Liberty dimes and Indian head nickels you find a few coins that are worth several thousand dollars each. What do you do? Do you sell them at face value (after all, that is all they are worth as legal tender)? Do you give them away (after all, you paid nothing for them, so is it fair that you sell them)? Do you just mark them up 8% (that is the profit margin for gasoline, after all)? Do you double the price (is that really fair, either)? Remember, Barack Obama wants to raise taxes on rich people's income just because it is the FAIR thing to do. Don't we all want to do what is FAIR?

I would bet my eyes that 98.7% of the American public would sell the coins for the absolute highest price that they can get for them. AND as a byproduct, I can guarantee that NO ONE would list their gains on their tax return, even if it added up to be $50,000. Is this fair? Is this right? Awww, shucks. No one gets hurt. So it is OK to maximize your profit if you are an individual, but not OK if you are a corporation? What if you are an individual who owns property and you sell that property for 200 times what you paid for it because demand is so high? Is that fair? Why not just mark it up 5% per year to cover inflation? I think that would be fair!

OK, one more: What if you got $10,000 for a rare Morgan silver dollar on eBay. Your buyer is happy (he thinks it is worth $15k) and you are extremely happy (you paid nothing for the coin.) A year passes. Someone discovers a bag of coins in the basement at the USMint in Denver. Guess what? It is a bag of uncirculated Morgan silver dollars, just like the one you sold last year. Suddenly, that coin is worth $120. Do you refund the money to the eBay buyer? If not, why not? Wouldn't it be the fair thing to do?

So, if someone buys high and the price drops, who is responsible for the gap? The Government? The crook (you) that sold it? The company that financed the purchase? Yeah, that would be good... the guy that bought the coin from you on Visa decides to quit paying for it. Who loses? Sure, Visa can handle it since they make gobs of money, right? Is that fair?

Do you see where this moral relativism can take you? Who gets to decide what is FAIR? You? Me? Your God (if you have one)? Congress? The Supreme Court? Barack Obama and the DNC?

I started this rant about the people that bemoan government and societal ills when they are not even remotely affected by what they are complaining about. Then I see the loons outside the Convention Center in Denver marching about all of the above. They look well fed and coiffed. I guess if you are going to have protestors, it is better that they are content protestors. That way, they are less likely to be anarchistic because the ensuing riots might cause their big screen TV and their XBox to get destroyed.

We are always going to have greedy bastards and we are always going to have malcontents. I guess I just need to get over it...


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