Friday, October 7, 2011

Choking

Yes, I'm gagging about a photo that appeared in today's Washington Post. I honestly cannot say whether its more in outrage or sadness. Both feelings keep hitting me in the gut each time I look at the pic. John Moore of Getty Images captured a scene that every damn banker in this country should have to take a good long look at. A one year old, standing in his frilly little playpen watched as a sheriff's deputy shoved some of his toys as well as other household items into a giant plastic bag during an eviction. The little guy had a smile across his face because he clearly had no idea what was going on. I would hate to have been that deputy, standing inches away from the baby, hauling away his toys, knowing he would not have a home at the end of the day. We've all read about "sweat shops" where people sign thousands of foreclosure notices as quickly as they can, falsely claiming to be a bank vice president or someone else in authority. Perhaps they bury their shame about doing it because they are among the long term unemployed and need to feed and shelter themselves. We've also read that the majority of these foreclosures are unnecessary at best and illegal at worst. However, people who are living on the edge have very little recourse. What has happened to American Society that this sort of thing is happening? Innocent people trying to hold themselves and their families together during very hard times are being attacked by voracious gluttons who seem to have insatiable appetites for wealth. Several times in the past few days, I've heard a statement, backed by research, that 25% of America's wealth is controlled by 1% of it's citizens. Seems obvious that they're sitting on it rather than spending some to give people jobs. Noblesse oblige is an archaic mindset, but seems to be something the wealthiest among us should consider. There is nothing noble about watching one's neighbors struggle and then lose everything when one has so much more than necessary. Socialist? Perhaps. Humane? Definitely.

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