For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. —1 Timothy 6:10 (NIV)
It is also the root of destruction for governments of all forms. When people can achieve unchecked incredible wealth as civil servants, as the song reminds “And you tell me over and over and over again my friend, you don’t believe were on the eve of destruction.”
I made a small clockwise twist and there was a muffled pop. Fluorescent light shrapnel rained down around me in a perimeter of several feet. It was a small twist in bulb rather than a tube, so my hand blocked what would have hit me in the face. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is concerned enough to put out instructions on cleaning up a broken compact fluorescent light (CFL). Our politicians decided to ban the faithful incandescent light bulb. The invention that lit the world. We were asked to believe It was an environmental decision. The incandescent bulb used too much energy, contributed to global warming, and was not good for the environment. We were forced to purchase CFL, LED or some other more expensive replacement. But they last longer, save energy and save the environment. Insert Bronx cheer here.
Saving energy and the environment had nothing to do with the incandescent light ban. Except for its propaganda value. Who would not cheerfully pitch in to save the planet? Led by our determined politicians, that’s just what we did. Large corporations, GE, Philips, and Sylvania dominated the US incandescent market. Because of the low cost of production, they could not raise prices to improve their profit margins, lest some other company move in and take the business away from them. The beauty of capitalism is that you and I through the principle of supply and demand determine the price of goods. Unless there is a government intervention, but then it’s no longer capitalism is it? To increase their profit margins and force consumers to buy more expensive lighting products, they needed government to ban incandescent light bulbs. Congress provided the legislation, President Bush signed it and they all celebrated heroically saving the planet and laughed all the way to the bank. Mercury laden CFL waste now litters the landscape, which of course is great for people and the environment. Another noteworthy achievement of Congress and its corporate cronies.
But, that’s an old story many of you know. It’s how the American political industry works. It’s how politicians on civil servant salaries become millionaires. It would be interesting to see how many of them and friends and family used their inside knowledge to buy stock in the companies now uninhibited from increasing their profits. Wink, snicker. This is the swamp at its finest. Self-serving at best, killing us bit by bit at worst. So, the next time you’re picking fluorescent light glass from your hair after inhaling whatever the exploding bulb vented into the air, think about that.
While doing my hazmat clean up, I thought about it. It angered me some. No, that’s a lie it angered me quite a bit. The thoughtless motives of politicians. Take that example and follow the money on most every must have piece of legislation or every scandal that comes to mind. You’ll come away disappointed in the politicians you supported. Disappointed in the bastardization of our great legislative process. Maybe a little exasperated with the whole 9 yards. Emotions I’m trying hard to avoid these days. But it’s a challenge.
From illegal immigration, to trade deals, to climate change and most everything in between, follow the cash flow. Look at the McConnell-Chao China connections for example then tell me how any China trade deal beneficial to the US is going to get through McConnell’s Senate. Ask yourself who is fighting hardest against needed immigration reform. Businesses large and small, especially those who practically enslave illegal immigrants working them for low often under the table wages. Facts are never part of the narrative. Helping poor and desperate people makes a much better emotionally driven story.
As long as we have career politicians not term limited getting wealthy via the political industry they’ve built, America will not get well. The greatest wealth will always belong to those with the means to entice politicians into crony capitalism arrangements. That’s who we’ve become. It’s what opens the doors to failed systems like socialism. But the politicians still get wealthy. Just ask millionaire Socialist Angry Bernie who, before politics, never held a job in his life.
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