Sunday, March 29, 2009

Must Capitalism be Predatory?

I thought this was a brilliant analysis and exchange by Dr. Zibignew Brezinski on MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' the other morning.

Brezinski contextualized the anger on the part of many regarding executive compensation, bonuses and excessive wealth in our country.

It has been wealth not obtained by production and manufacturing, but built on a fiscal house of cards propped up just enough for you and I to be able to participate as consumers, with flat wages, more accessable credit and relatively low interest rates.

The most insidious part of the the culture has been perpetrated by representatives of the 5% of Americans in control of 85% of the country's wealth. They became highly skilled at getting themselves defended by those whom they deluded into believing that when 'their ship came in' they could be just like them! And that those who weren't benefiting were either lazy, incompetent, unlucky or unmotivated.

The fact is, as the game was played it wasn't designed for the 'average' American to become 'one of them'. It was designed to allow the sleight of hand to be played one more round, until finally one round too many had been played.

Is there such a thing as 'social responsibility' for those who have benefited excessively from the game? Is it really true, as Kramer pointed out, that 'anybody can do it'?

Or is Dr. Brezinski right: it shouldn't be the government that should call the uber rich into account, but a sense that winning big, should mean that giving big is an 'social obligation'?

Is it merely a Biblical suggestion that "...to whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required; and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask more." Luke 12:48?

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