The Collusion of Integrity with Money | Eroding the Quality of Life for All | Distributism

A fuse was recently re-ignited in my mind, regarding the dramatic unequal distribution of wealth in so many arenas within the United States. And this capitalistic encroachment, will inevitably ripple throughout the world. I’d written about the solid values that Joe Paterno proposed; discipline, loyalty, honesty and the pursuit of excellence. http://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/joe-paternos-old-school-values-not-bought-out-by-big-money/ These are an ‘old school’ morality, which he and leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. represented, before the collusion of money with ethics.

We have watched as various real estate bubbles have risen, in the late ‘90s in San Francisco with the ‘.com’, in New York City in the last decade as properties doubled and in the recent housing crisis. Geographical territories no longer define teams, but whoever has the most money to purchase and trade the best players. Instead of values or beliefs which speak for a politician, there are a bunch of Hollywood cookie cutter images and rhetoric. It’s not those with the most credibility, but financial assets, to beguile the public with their self-promotion.

My sister has worked for years with marginalized youths who have behavioral, addiction problems; either due to chemical imbalances or damaging or non-existent family structures. Her non-profit group helps to build teamwork, communication skills, self-esteem and responsibility. The youths come on an outpatient basis to create and build a show, which they all participate in and take pride in. She mentioned recently that the kids involved in the program are more difficult, due to the fact that the kids she typically would work with are now cut out of these programs and mainstreamed, and those that typically would have been institutionalized, are now in these outpatient, less strict programs. She maintains that this is due to the trickle down effect and squeeze on available funds, resulting in a re-distribution of money that affects all programs. Those challenged youths who were typically in her program, are now without any program or guidance at all, whereas those who had required much stricter supervision, who actually benefited by being institutionalized, are now in outpatient, rather than inpatient programs. Another result of this down-sizing, is that many professionals who still have jobs, have much heavier work loads and burn-out.

There is allegedly ‘no money available’ to pay for education, health care, health and social infrastructure, housing … and yet our government has a $ Trillion plus debt, due to our involvement in serial wars all over the world.
No money, yet a baseball player signs a contract to receive $ 10 Million a year, the average NFL player has a salary of $ 1.9 million and the cost for a 30 second commercial in the Super Bowl is $ 3.5 M. Yet there’s still no affordable health care in the U.S.

There’s a bit of a discrepancy here. Instead of investing in long-term savings through health prevention and education, there’s this greed induced financial crisis because of the interest of a few to make profits on the short term. Our plutocracy and corpocrisy dictates a consensus of what is admissible. Many statistics which reveal what is unjust, don’t even appear to turn peoples heads. Corruption has become the norm. It’s a collusion of merit with money.

A politician or an athlete no longer is a representative of his or her own hard work and skill, but a commodity infused with money or steroids. We are a culture of misrepresentation and illusion, an economy that must drive forward. Honesty is no longer a player, instead illusion and stealth. Welcome to the new American values. No wonder there’s such a huge demand for pharmaceuticals and a pandemic of addictions: over-eating, porn, alcohol, shopping. It’s a nation misinformed that material wealth will somehow provide security and gain, which has nothing to do with personal excellence and the process of striving and generating something through work.

What can we do about it? What organizations or people could influence a re-distribution of wealth? What could influence people’s attitudes to value merit and honor through hard work and joy and pride through the process of development? Sigh! Are there organizations who will encourage this or that pro athlete or Hollywood star who is making multi-millions per year, to redistribute their wealth to ensure that all people have proper health care, access to education and jobs? Obama’s plan to invest in creative new technologies, renewable energy, education & health and compatible programs that ensure raising the quality of everyone’s life sounds great. Yet at the same time, divesting from dirty energy and toxic industries sounds even better.

“According to the Distributism economic ideology of Catholic social teaching, property ownership is a fundamental right, and the means of production should be spread as widely as possible, rather than being centralized under the control of the state (state socialism), a few individuals (plutocracy), or corporations (corporatocracy). Distributism, therefore, advocates a society marked by widespread property ownership. Co-operative economist Race Mathews argues that such a system is key to bringing about a just social order…Distributism has often been described in opposition to both socialism and capitalism, which distributists see as equally flawed and exploitive.”

There’s a fear-factor which is perpetuated, as long as there’s a huge disparity in wealth and opportunities between the haves and the have-nots. This would dissipate, as this gulf shrinks, and all people would genuinely be happier. We need to cure a society that has become lopsided and sick, in its denial and greed. I know we can do it!

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About carolkeiter
Aspiring writer, artist, musician and composer who was born and raised in the United States and has resided in several European countries. Communication is my forte; both through using various tools and in approaching people of divers backgrounds to gather information. Speak conversational - advanced intermediate - French, German and Spanish. Love interacting with people in cultural centers as much as going to remote places to learn more about the different creatures that share our planet. Love of the outdoors and of a variety of outdoor sports. Driven to learn and expand my own consciousness and understanding through curiosity and love of life. Creative skills merge with analytical ones, leading to an interest in a myriad of topics; ranging from politics, economics, science to environmental. Motivated to use my art, music and writing to support and educate people towards humane practices that support and respect all of life, including practices supporting a healthy planet.

2 Responses to The Collusion of Integrity with Money | Eroding the Quality of Life for All | Distributism

  1. Pingback: Joe Paterno’s ‘old school’ values | not bought-out by BIG Money | « Carolkeiter's Blog

  2. Pingback: Milton S. Hershey Philanthropist | Franklin D. Roosevelt warning of the Tyranny of ‘Economic Royalists’ i.e. Republican Party « digesthis

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