So, we have now taken one day off, or perhaps a four-day weekend, to express our thankfulness as a country for possessing our lion-share of the world economy. We've experienced the bright glow of being off-the-job, relaxing with loved ones, and sharing with our community.
Maybe we even gave extra for the poor at church, or contributed to a free turkey at the supermarket. But on Monday morning we'll back in survival gear, probably caught up in the same self-serving mental attitudes as last week.
Sure we care about the homeless, the elderly, the unemployed, the sick and the impoverished. But still, our primary survival instincts drive us to try and accumulate as much surplus as we can -- our animal nature pushes us to grab and to horde millions, even billions of dollars that otherwise would be in other less-grabby people's pocketbooks.
A Deeper Sense of Taxation Fairness
Two years ago we felt great as we elected a new president in the name of positive change for our nation... but somehow, we continued to elect politicians who behaved as if they're totally bought-out and dedicated to resisting fair change at all cost -- even the cost of their personal integrity.
The core issue at hand right for our government and our economy is whether our political leaders in Washington are going to do the right thing and increase the tax on the wealthiest 2% of our population -- or whether financial pressure from above, and greed in the hearts of our leaders in politics and business, will continue to rule the land?
Exposing The Inherent Flaw
The psychological flaw in our economy is quite obvious to a dispassionate observer. As a psychologist and therapist, often working with wealthy clients, I've observed the following fact:
Chronic material lust for more and more economic power undermines and erodes the deeper human qualities of compassion, community, fair play and even common horse sense.
The impulse to horde -- call it greed or whatever -- is the psychological flaw in our makeup that is driving us to communal ruin. As historians have regularly pointed out, greed in the hearts of rulers has brought down one civilization after another. Is it soon going to bring down our own?
Are democracy and capitalism actually sinking our American ship?
Concerning the current tax decision facing our congress, the large majority of American citizens indicate in polls that they know the right thing for us to do -- realistically and humanely, the top 2% super-rich need to be forced to contribute a bit more to the welfare of our economy and country as a whole.
These are desperate times in America only because 2% of the population hordes 50% of the money -- and truth is, we simply can't survive more class disparity and economic imbalance between the super-wealthy and the common middle-class poor.
Democracy or Oligarchy?
If the majority of the population wants to raise the tax on the top 2%, but that tax is not raised -- then we will know that democracy in America is simply not working. We will know that we're living in reality in an economic oligarchy, and that democracy in America is a sham.
Yes, our country was founded upon fairness, balance, trust, compassion, and faith. But our economy is being driven by greed, and a blind unfair imbalance of power that lacks both wisdom and fairness. We know that we need to generously take care of our elderly and sick and impoverished and unemployed. But will we?
Perceiving Fairness Clearly
As a marriage counselor over the years, I've done my best to see both sides of situations -- and as far as I can see, right now the 2% of our population that has grabbed up 50% of the wealth is not playing fair. Therefore our communal will, represent3d by our government, needs to act to establish financial fairness, so that we can enter a new era of lower greed and higher compassion.
That's the deep-down American spirit -- and we must preserve and advance it.
A Practical Suggestion
In order to help transcend the prevailing psychological flaw of selfish greed over compassion and community fairness, most of us perhaps need to shift away from emulating those who grab the most, to praising those who are balanced in their lives between personal need and community sharing.
As a daily impetus to encourage this humane shift in attitude, I would recommend the following inner-balance creed as a new American pledge.
"I am here to serve, to love, to prosper, and enjoy myself!"