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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Vanity Side of Capitalism and Other Addictions


I have raised two painful aspects of our nation that deserve priority status and at which we must stop winking.  The deleterious effects of alcohol are known firsthand by everyone.  We seem to have cycles of trendy concern over this or that drug abuse.  But as an emergency room doctor at Saint Anthony’s Hospital told me the other day, the sexy drug problem of the day does not begin to reach in breadth and depth the pain resulting from alcohol use.  The doctor said: Just ask those who must deal with it such as first responders and waitresses.  (As a matter of fact, a few months ago a waitress at Steak ‘N Shake shared a concern over this matter with me. I had in no way suggested or invited the subject of alcohol.)   The now available technology for imaging the brain and tracking the profoundly destructive effects of alcohol upon brain tissue recall to mind our great ability to discount scientific evidence regarding climate change.  Surely the “free choice” doctrine is going to destroy us unless we learn with humility to face facts.

The other hurt I address and refuse to wink at is our misconstruing the essential nuclear reactor of capitalism for generating creative productivity…… and instead devise a fantastic romantic capitalism of pirate adventure intent on movie mayhem (conveniently, without inflicting real personal pain).   It is undeniable that competition and diversity are huge contributors to sustained abundance.  However, at no time should focus on capital lead us to toss human rights into a shredder.  In fact, from a non-mercantile perspective, humanity is itself a capital asset and is in no sense readily disposable. As we honor capital and employers, we EQUALLY  must honor employees.  I foresee a growing branch of civil law that builds understandings and precedents regarding employer-employee relations.  Employees ineluctably constitute a major part of Capitalism.  It is employee creativity and labor that make any organization marketable over time.  Thus, even small business employees must have access to justice only possible by third party review.  Again, this is not a “sexy issue of the day.”  There is not one of us who has not heard of a loyal and productive employee being royally screwed by a self-centered executive for entirely self-serving ends.


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