I’m feeling un-American today because I don’t believe in unlimited and unchecked capitalism.
I fully expect the government will break down my door at any moment and deport me to Mexico, Canada or Australia, the latter being warmer and my first choice. Australia has a beautiful ocean to swim in, though it’s filled with American-eating sharks and Californian-hating jellyfish.
But every location has something that will kill you. We have gangs, wildfires, bad drivers and earthquakes here in L.A.
I don’t believe when banks and other financial institutions gamble their customers’ money on risky schemes – so complicated that their top executives can’t explain them – the government should bail them out – an action some might call temporary (and convenient) socialism.
I also don’t believe these executives should avoid jail time for shady investment and loan practices and for robbing us of our tax dollars.
Hold it, now I’m confused. Does that make me a capitalist and true American because I’ll let the free market play out? Businesses that go broke, like Bank of America, would fail?
Can I stay in the USA now?
Hold on, Unknown Idiot, here’s an even more confusing thought: How can anyone hate the government and love capitalism when they’re almost the same these days?
Democrats and Republicans continue to strip mine regulations to encourage capitalism at any cost – don’t forget what allowed banks to go to Vegas with your money. But the icing on the money cake is that many of the banking and Wall St. scoundrels are working in the Obama administration right now or are still in congress.
I feel like a man alone rowing his boat in the middle of an ocean full of dollar-worshipping hogs.
I don’t believe companies will do the right thing with zero regulation. Most of them will always choose profit at any cost over the welfare of their human capital and health of U.S citizens (fracking anyone?). And I understand that’s blasphemy to point out. (Fox says not to mention my respect for unions right now.)
But here’s the real reason I’ll be deported to a shark-infested beach in the South Pacific Ocean: I suck at getting rich.
Despite our income being in the top 5 percent of earners, I have failed at every attempt to get rich.
You see, anyone can become a millionaire in this country, they say, especially millionaires who started with a million dollars.
And though I feel like I’ve worked hard and invested, and my wife and I have been frugal by not buying many new clothes, or living in a large house beyond our means, or freeing our kitchen of its shabby Home Depot cabinets and crumbling grout, I am a failure at getting rich.
And that’s not to be tolerated in this country where anyone can be part of the elite one percent of earners if they work hard. It bothers me every day of my life and I feel like a loser.
I should tattoo a big “$” and “L” on my forehead.
Or I could paint “I sold my Apple stock at $40” on my chest and ask Congress if they’d let me have a do-over. Something tells me that’s not going to happen.
Immigration Department, I’m ready. Come get me. Take me away. Feed me to the jellyfish down under. At least, they’re transparent.
[Here’s a great movie on the subject discussed: Inside Job, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inside_Job_(film)%5D
[A great essay on one percenters in NYC. Long but great. http://www.truth-out.org/reign-one-percenters/1317665855]