It’s Christmastime, and most of us are celebrating what Mr. Scrooge learned the hard way: the most important things in life are NON-MONETARY. It’s a good thing ordinary Americans (the poor, the working and middle classes) have always known this spiritual Truth (see “It’s A Wonderful Life”) because “family values” are pretty much all that’s left us after the Republican tax bill passes. It’s the “cake” that the Republicans (those merry Marie Antoinette’s) are telling us to eat while they and their patrons (corporations and the very rich) keep raking in all the cash. What does a productive work force need money for, anyway? We’re not investors. We’re not job-makers. We don’t seem to understand “family values.”
Apparently to rich people, family values mean living luxuriously and then passing on unearned wealth to your leisure-class, privileged children, tax-free. To gain perspective, pretend you’re a semi-retired college professor, and your children will be paying off educational debt for decades with no ability to renegotiate those loans. Talk about economically crippling the next generation. Anyway, pretend you’ve worked hard for your meager legacy (a little house with some property in the Rust Belt, say). Well, excuse you if you don’t get a boner over the stock market’s record highs this year, or the thirteen-hundred-or-so dollars some families of four will “save” from their tax bill under the new tax code. Meanwhile, bridges are failing, trains are derailing, and too many Americans don’t want to pay for “civic” or “public” anything, including those pesky “entitlements” that most ordinary folk benefit from–Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security. The best way to fool the masses, it seems, is to get them to fool themselves.
But what about the rich? What about the shareholders? Don’t they deserve something for their money? Doesn’t their faith in business deserve a reward? Yes! And they’re getting it thanks to the Republicans: more, more, and ever more MONEY. Generously, they are leaving the best “free” stuff to us sentimental Bob Cratchets.
Humbug! As for the rest of us, don’t be mad, but don’t be meek, either. It’s Christmas, Jesus’s birthday. The best things in life are free, but we still have to work for them, maybe harder than we work for money. Let’s start with Justice.