In recent years, many politicians and pundits have pushed us to put our trust in big business, and not in government. Blaming government, not seeing it as a solution, is most common. Many tell us to get out of the way and let it business do business and everything will be okay.
The recent financial meltdown has made many people re-think that view. Oh, yeah, and there's the little matter of that oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, the same politicians and pundits, demand to know what the government is doing to solve the problems; how government could let such a thing happen.
For myself, I've been wary of big business for years for several reasons. First, there's airplane glue. Years ago, kids used to get high by sniffing airplane glue. Then, government regulations forced the manufacturers to change the formula of the glue, and it no longer got people high. Sales dropped, in America. That's because, in other countries, they didn't pass such laws and companies didn't change the formula. To this day, there are countries where kids sniff glue as a means of getting high or as a way of ignoring the gnawing hunger in their bellies due to being poor. The companies just give the standard excuse: we're doing what the law allows.
Next, there are cigarettes. Same deal there. In the US, we require warning labels and don't allow cigarettes commercials on TV. That's not the case in other countries, and so the companies don't follow those requirements. Why should they? After all, it's not the law.
Another issue is leaded gasoline. Lead is an additive added to gasoline for years. I always used to wonder why leaded gas was cheaper than unleaded. After all, there was no additive to unleaded gas as there was to leaded gas.
How do you add something to a product and end up with the price being lower? It never made sense. We finally got rid of lead gasoline, for the most part.
What's the reason? The lead was going into the air and settling on buildings, homes and countless other places across the country. If kids ate anything coated in lead, it would cause brain damage.
So, why is leaded gas still available in some countries? The gas companies made sure those countries didn't pass the same laws as we did. Thus, lead pervades the ecology and atmosphere of those nations.
In the movie "Wall Street," the Michael Douglas character, Gordon Gekko, says greed is good. He's wrong. Greed is anything but good. When greed is your motivation, your only goal in life, then all else is secondary: morals, ethics, friends, family, loyalty, the environment; all of which we render unimportant.
The pursuit of profit is noble and decent, yet, another facet of human effort, but we must balance it against other aspects of being human. Having all the money in the world is pointless, if you poison the air and land, cripple your children and leave the environment so toxic it's virtually unlivable.
Let's try to find more balance and less imbalance.
Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.
Click above to tell a friend about this article.