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Letter: The problem with society is — us

Posted: June 12, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Updated: June 12, 2011 1:30 a.m.
 

In Letters to the Editor, I read about problems in government, finance, industry and elsewhere; how corporations are bad and government is lax, or corporations are good and government is blocking them from solving our financial and employment problems.

For those of you who believe corporations are only representing the “stockholders,” consider this. The majority stock of most of these corporations is held by relatively few people or companies, primarily their own board of directors. Ask yourself when you, the stockholder, were ever able to vote out a board member? When did the common stockholder control — or even have input on — the salary, benefits and bonus offered to the executive level employees?

Most corporations are not run for the benefit of the “common stockholder.” They are run for the benefit of the major stockholders.

When was the last time the corporate world provided security for the general public? Or repaired and maintained the public streets and thoroughfares?

Paid voluntarily for fire departments, offered to pay more into a public fund because their profits were exorbitant, did not try to buy political favor, accepted full responsibility, voluntarily, for the damage caused by their business activities or the creation of unsafe products or myriad other issues we deal with as consumers that many corporations work hard at avoiding responsibility for?

Running a country, state, city, etc., requires money and people. We the people pay taxes to allow our elected governments to have the tools to keep our country from becoming chaotic.

Yes, there are greed and corruption among politicians, and collusion between the political and corporate environments.
Consider Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. So why do we keep re-electing them?

On the other hand, we complain about the money government spends even though it is spent for our safety, roads, bridges, traffic signals, safe food, public transport, national defense and more. All of the things that comprise “infrastructure.”

The very people who are complaining loudest about our country’s debt are the politicians who vote to spend the money and will justify their votes at that time. But when the tide turns, they will try to blame it on anyone else. Still, we keep re-electing these generally self-serving persons.

Maybe we are looking in the wrong direction for an answer. Maybe the problem is us.

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