[300 word Letter to the Net]
Our society has become more unequal. As citizens, we need to address fairness and justice. This requires addressing the ‘success to the successful’ feedback loop (also know as the ‘rich get richer’). Instead of politicians leveling the playing field, many have increased the advantage of the strongest. Friends say that action to mitigate the ‘success to the successful’ loop can degenerate into socialism, and this is true. It is also true that the failure to address inequality produces corruption and traps some citizens in less productive pursuits. Inequality in life should be expected and we should not whine about it; however, excessive inequality is destructive to a society.
A hardworking person should receive a livable wage. People should expect and receive equal treatment from their government. Contributing to a politician’s campaign should help the candidate, not the donor. Lobbying should result in better laws, rather than laws that favor the well to do. Today these things are not always true. I’m looking for political leaders that understand these issues and that can work to recreate reasonable, balanced adjustments in our policies.
What of justice? Our country’s ideals includes treating all people the same. Robert Pirsig, in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, said, “When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kinds of dogmas or goals, it’s always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt”. Interesting that Pirsig observed that fanaticism was the result of reservations of the zealot. Today’s examples may include political extremism that has repackaged the flawed trickle-down economic theory and the zealous protection of those that need no help. One wonders about government inaction on fraudulent Wall Street activities. And on the recognition of same-sex marriage, one wonders what the zealous opponents are insecure about.