November 2, 2011 by falcon7204
I had an interesting conversation this morning with our administrative assistant (who, back in the day, would have been called a secretary) who was decrying the rising cost of everything and wondering why prices were going up and wages weren’t. She obviously had not taken economics classes in college (perhaps she should be thankful she didn’t) and gets most of her news from the mainstream media, so she can be forgiven a certain amount of ignorance. As I explained to her how free markets are supposed to work and how government intervention has made a mess of everything I realized what the true enemy is.
It’s not the creation of wealth. It’s not really even government ham-handedness and ideological desires for some sort of socialist Utopia. It’s not “evil” corporations or “evil” bureaucrats.
As Walt Kelly said through his character Pogo, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Or, more specifically, human nature.
As long as there is greed in the world, this situation will not change. Everyone wants something someone else has. “Thou shalt not covet” (Exodus 20:17) is a commandment, yet we ignore it like we do the other nine. And covetousness has brought us to where we are today. The Occupy movement wants what the “1%” have, namely their money. Corporations want what we have, namely our money. Stockholders want what companies have, namely their money. Government wants what we have, namely our money.
See a trend emerging here?
It’s obvious that humanity won’t conquer the greed issue in a collective fashion. What has to happen is for each of us, individually, to try and beat back that demon that lives in all of us and ask the question, “How much is enough?”
Then we might be able to look our children in the eye when they ask why prices are so high and tell them the truth, and know it in ourselves.
I didn’t want to get preachy with this, and I know there will be those who will attack this piece for bringing up an inconvenient truth. But the sooner we embrace the truth and begin to change ourselves, the sooner we can turn things around – and those who want to shackle us with socialism can be turned away because we can manage our own affairs quite well without their help, thank you very much.