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The Election
I am very happy with the outcome of the election, and optimistic that our new president and congress will take a more reasoned look at what the role of our government should be, especially in health care and regulating the excesses which inevitably will arise from pursuit of profit. Since at least the Reagan years we have heard the same tired argument that private business can always do the job better than the government, and the idea of any socialized services seems anathema to many Americans. But Marx and others got it right. We have more in common with a fellow worker from (name any country or culture) than with the wealthy CEOs of our own country. The lessons of history show the rich are better off if they don't let the masses suffer too much, or rub their good fortune too obviously in the faces of the common folk. And of course poverty is now more than ever relative. Compared to the unfortunates of Ethiopia or Somalia even our poorest are well off, but that comparison gives little comfort to the single mother making minimum wage and trying to find dental care for her children.

Although I voted for Obama what I really wish for is a Thomas Paine for the new century. Someone to mobilize the working classes, and to force the wealthy by whatever means necessary to share in what is earned by the efforts of their employees. It's not as if the working/middle classes are even asking for much of a share of the pie. Decent health and dental care, a share in company profits when times are good, and some hope for a reasonably secure retirement. Not much to ask when we see how much of our nation's wealth is squandered on military adventures, or pissed away on private jets and multiple homes that the super wealthy don't even have time to utilize.

Just exactly what am I suggesting here? Not an exact division of resources among all citizens. Some disparity of wealth based on ability, focus, interest in the process of gaining wealth, inheritance, or just plain luck is inevitable and will always be part of the human condition; but periodically a society needs to take a a very close look at the disparity to see if it is within acceptable limits (however that is defined) and if that disparity is growing, (as it has been for many a year), to take steps to ensure a more equitable distribution of available wealth. Surely the government must be the agency to do this, as most for-profit companies will not willingly curb their excesses, as the recent history of oil company profits has shown. It is in the best interests of the wealthy in the long run for the government to regulate these excesses, as history has shown time and time again that the masses, if sufficiently provoked, will resort to far more destructive means, resulting in disruptions to businesses, or outright attacks on the upper class.

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I agree with your thoughts on the need for the wealthy
CEO's to be more benevolent and it does seem that some of them are getting
that message. I still think though that capitalism provides a better
social/economic system as opposed to say socialism or Marxism. And I
believe that a prosperous capitalist society does have the obligation to
provide a safety net for it's less fortunate members. Obama is a perfect
example of how our system rewards a smart, ambitious individual who comes
from relatively low income. (And he has talked the talk now I hope he can
walk the walk.) On the other hand, George W. is a perfect example of how
our political system rewards inherited wealth and an elitist power base.
The silver lining to George W. mucking things up, he paved the way for
somebody like Obama to be elected. This world wide economic melt down will
certainly put this system to the test. Even though I am one of millions who
have lost significantly on their retirement accounts, I still do not agree
with the Wall Street bailout. There has to be some accountability. The
only bailout I would like to see is in the form of some FDR type public
works projects so that every body that is willing and capable of working
could have a job. I am also getting a kick out of the oil price
fluctuations. Global demand shot the price sky high. Consumers reacted by
curbing their use. The price is plummeting. Capitalism at work. I hope
that we don't repeat our mistakes, return to oil gluttony and take cheap oil
for granted, cause you know it will go up again. We need to move on to
solar power and better batteries. Astrophysicists estimate we have about 5
billion more years before the sun burns out. So, let's tap in. Gary

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