Friday, February 27, 2009

On Economic Violence

When I was kicked out of private industry in 2001, and spent the next 7 years either unemployed or in civil service (which I didn't turn out to be suited for, being unable to understand appropriate/inappropriate behavior with public funds due to the autism- I know what I was fired for, but I still don't know WHY that was so wrong to build communities outside of the department on the internet to help me understand and do my job), it felt like a huge piece of my life had been taken away. As of two weeks from now, we'll be paying off the last of the credit card debt from that period (my parents last month purchased the last of our debt on a fee basis rather than an interest basis, and the difference will allow us to pay it off with the tax refund).

Arson would have been kinder- we could have gotten help if we were homeless.

So don't tell me that bankers aren't just as bad as hostile, invading soldiers when it comes to third world nations. The violence of a layoff or a foreclosure can be just as hard on a family as a death. Ok, in my private life it didn't help that same year of September 2001-September 2002 saw a couple of deaths on my wife's side of the family, and of course our national tragedy of 9-11. But September 2008 will be remembered by many people as being worse for them personally.

If you do violence, you must pay with violence being done to you. Sure, our religion tells us that an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth will leave everybody blind and toothless- but the lack of retribution and justice has become an evil in it's own right. When a man like Madoff can get by with a few years in a minimum security rich person's "jail resort", and his family can profit off of the huge ponzi scheme he created, there is some serious injustice in the system. When a man like David Li can come to our country and inject a new "investment product" that causes thousands of layoffs, millions of foreclosures, and increases our homeless rate; and then can just run back to China and get away with the crime, then justice has not been served.

It's said by the more liberal of us "If you want peace, work for justice". So let me tell all of you who think it's just fine to short sell stocks, to write credit contracts with usurious amounts of interest, who take advantage of third world poverty to increase their own bottom line or to undersell competitors, and whose "free and open market" siphons money away from the type of Research and Development that could REALLY make a difference in the world; you need to rethink the meaning of the word Violence. Profit is not the only value, and should not be the only value, that figures into your cost calculations. Subsidarity and solidarity should count for something, as should just plain old fashioned justice.

Remember, those who live by the sword, die by the sword. And sometimes, the poison pen of the the contract, is more deadly than the sword. Keep up the fraudulent economic system, and one day soon, perhaps sooner than we all think, the riots will start and at that point, it will be the bankers with their backs against the wall.


Eiko Onoda said...

>sometimes, the poison pen of the the contract, is more deadly than the sword

Indeed, indeed.
Be careful not to draw up a contract of instalment with the hope of our job keep on forever.
For both of us.

Ted Seeber said...

I've always found that interesting about the 30 year mortgage- especially being in an industry and specialty where I struggle to keep a job for more than 2 years on average (longest 5, shortest 2 months).

And America is addicted to such installment plans- as we're finding out they're the first to go when the bills come due.

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