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Kenneth Kales Headshot

It's Not Capitalism, It's Cruelty

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As we move through our economic recovery process we must realize that many of those who have been restored to the ruling class seem to be resorting back to their old ways, only this time more strategically with planned discretion and public staging.

You've probably heard about the Wall Street banker who left a 1% tip for a waitress with a note scribbled on the check that read "Get a Job" in an obvious stab at the equitable distribution of wealth movement. Another example are the demagogues getting their swagger back attacking those they decry who need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps so that the "job creators" can redirect social spending to themselves instead.

Basically, when the suffering was spread throughout America, even the well-to-do were concerned about the Great Recession. For a time, they seemed to have lived in other people's shoes, and perhaps softened up some about concepts like community and brotherhood.

But whatever character growth the well-to-do may have experienced during hard times for almost all, now seems to be disappearing with their windfalls from the Dow topping 13,000 and surging. Any gains they had toward decency have begun to be inked over with renewed greed for gains in their portfolios.

The rising gas prices are another clear example. Big Oil is now adjusting up for the usual increase in seasonal demands. This is completely arbitrary on their part. They are simply raising the price on gas to make more money off of us. They don't have to. They are ruthless in their worshipping of supply and demand greed. Meanwhile, news across the nation tells of people having to choose between affording gasoline or food, or medicine. "Misery at the pump is just a way of life" Big Oil apparently must be saying to themselves.

While most of us are waiting for our invitations to the economic recovery party, it is noble that we continue to grow in the face of adversity. For many there's no choice but to fight on each day--adapt or die.

There's the saying that "those who do not learn from their mistakes are destined to repeat them." There were many mistakes that led to the Great Recession. Most of them have been aired out. Many of us have learned from that airing. One of those lessons is that cruel people are not likely to change.

For our own protection and that of our families, we must understand well that at this time the "haves" who burrowed underground when times were the roughest, are crawling out of their holes with their skins intact. Now they see profits from reinvesting in the economy. Now they are bullish with self-congratulatory praise as "job creators." So once again they are looking down their noses and using their money to judge, demean, control, and amass. The early signs are that they are not of better moral or ethical character, but rather returning to their old ways of bullying, disrespecting, and punishing the less fortunate. It is not capitalism they're practicing. It is cruelty.

This time around though, as the economy cycles up from the doldrums, we have an opportunity to stand up to these cruel people. Economic justice and the equitable distribution of wealth is the next great fight our nation faces. We are stronger now and can fight against those wedging themselves into our lives with their callousness. Fight against them stealing our tax dollars for their own self interests with no regard for the collective responsibility to spend our national treasury with fairness.

While we can show the proper self restraint to not take advantage of our power, cruel people will tear the faces off of civility and decency if given the chance. Please remember this. Because as the flood waters of the Great Recession recede, the cruel are wanting to nestle back in to their nests.