Monday, October 3, 2016

Over the Top Greed ~ #MondayBlogs

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs,
but not every man's greed.” - Mahatma Gandhi

When someone hears tales of greed such as a pharmaceutical company CEO earning $18-million while raising the price of a lifesaving drug nearly 500-percent its original cost; or how about the CEO of a banking institution who earned more than $19-million while “encouraging” employees to artificially show an increase in customer accounts (and when the scam was uncovered, it was the low-level staff that took the fall); or a business that made more than $19-million in profits and yet it’s average full-time employee needs government assistance in order to feed their families… Too, too many examples of greed to list in just one blog post.

Greed is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. “Greed is the desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. It is also called Avarice or Covetousness.” The other six Sins are: Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, and Sloth. It seems to me that Greed is accompanied by the inability to be satisfied with what one has and always wanting more. There are those that substitute the term Greed with Ambition, but they are very different; unlike Greed’s wanting more without regard for others, Ambition is the desire to do well, achieve success, appreciate what one has and contributing to the world or community.

The American Dream is the promise that every American has the right to work hard and to enjoy prosperity. The American Declaration of Independence proclaims that "all men are created equal" with the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," yet we are a land filled with Haves and Have-nots. Please don’t misunderstand, the immorality of sin happens all over the word, it isn’t unique to any one country, but as an American citizen I understand our ideals.

Imagine, one man (or woman) has so much money and still wants more even to the extent of cheating someone else; another man (or woman) works hard, can barely make ends meet and is still willing to share what he/she has with those less fortunate. Declaration of Independence, which proclaims that "all men are created equal" with the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." These examples are two extremes, there has got to be some kind of equalizer though.

What an ideal world this could be if those who can afford to would shoulder more of the responsibility for everyone’s well-being. Could you imagine a world where no child went hungry, where anyone could get the medical care they needed, where the elderly didn’t have to worry about affording to pay their rent, and where education was affordable and provided everyone with opportunities and the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?”

In a country where income tax, or the equivalent, is collected perhaps it would be sensible for the wealthier to pay a larger percentage than the less fortunate. For example we have three workers, one earns $100 and pays 10% tax ($10); the second earns earns $1,000 dollars and pays 15% tax ($150); and the third earns $5000 and pays 20% tax ($1,000). You would have net earnings of $90, $850, and $4,000 of spendable income — certainly enough to retain the social status and financial class differences so many seem to care about.

Let’s go another step and take just HALF of the extra and put it right into a program that is meant to assist its citizens such as (in America) Social Security, this would be in addition to the normal allotment from all taxes. This would mean the person earning $1000 would be contributing an extra $25 and the $5,000 earner would be adding another $250. Everyone would still be enjoying the lifestyle they’ve worked hard for and those less fortunate would get help.

When I see cases of excessive greed like the true cases I described in the first paragraph it really angers me… but then again, what do I know? I’m only one of those dramatic starving writers trying to make a living selling books.

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