HUNGREED - A compound word (hungry and greed)
seen on the sidewalk at 57th St. and Park Ave. in NYC
In an Op-Ed article titled Hiding From Reality published in the New York Times on November 19, 2010, Bob Herbert writes:
The wreckage from the recession and the nation's mindlessly destructive policies in the years leading up to the recession is all around us. We still don't have the money to pay for the wars that we insist on fighting year after year. We have neither the will nor the common sense to either raise taxes to pay for the wars, or stop fighting them.
State and local governments, faced with fiscal nightmares, are reducing services, cutting their work forces, hacking away at health and pension benefits, and raising taxes and fees. So far it hasn't been enough, so there is more carnage to come. In many cases, the austerity measures are punishing some of the most vulnerable people, including children, the sick and the disabled.
Further in the article, Mr Herbert writes:
All we are good at is bulldozing money to the very wealthy. No wonder the country is in such a deep slide.
. . . . . . . .
I noticed with much interest the following powerful response in the Readers' Comments written by dad, nj.
Thank you, Mr. Herbert, for caring. I care, too. But I think these issues are less about denial and more about deception. "Highly developed" human societies tend to grow in favorable ways only in the event of certain circumstances, usually following a deteriorating spiral which begins with greed and manifests in war. When enough blood has been spilled, and given fortuitous leadership, a new society might be born, better than the one that preceded it.
The golden age of the American middle class, now coming to an end, was born of the crucible of World War Two. A national mobilization here in the U.S., complete with shared sacrifice, rationing, progressive taxation, and universal conscription set the stage for a comparatively unified culture and societal bonds which cut against issues of class, race, and educational inequalities. It did not, however, cure these issues, it merely eased them for a considerable time.
We are in dire straights (straits) again, but without the shared sacrifice and common sense of purpose. As a people, we are being viewed more and more as simply another accumulation of wealth being aggressively plundered by a new world order of privileged criminals, running under the flags of multinational corporations. We have little value as human beings, with little dignity granted. We are digits, being exploited for our value as consumers, or our value as "the insured," or our value as a nest egg which can be tapped through market forces, or better yet, end of life care.
I'm not saying that the great majority of people are without caring. I'm saying that our leaders are without nobility and that we are becoming buried in their convenient deceptions, all designed to part people from their resources, both potential and accumulated.
People cannot bond to things they don't believe in, not in a healthy way. Lies, deceptions, manipulations, and abuse of trust do not make for cohesive societies, and so ours is not.
But somewhere up there, in the rare air of the power-mad, people have plans for us, and it isn't going to be pretty.
You lament, on many occasions, the conditions of those of us who are left behind, as though we would want to be included in this spectacle, when many of the disenfranchised want nothing to do with "the man's" ideas of success because it is so corrupt. Sadly, the laws that exiles impose on themselves, their neighborhoods, and the families can be equally cruel and misguided, or more so.
I think people need to begin to recognize the real slave masters before they can embark on a real discussion of what ails us. Even so, the masters will never give up power willingly. They need to be confronted by forces greater than themselves and their egos. The rest of us are caught in their play. Some of us will endure, many will perish. When enough blood has been spilled, and with the good fortune of true leadership, we might emerge again, as an improved society. But those times are rare in the course of human history.
For my daughters' sake I am hopeful, but the depth of the lies we are being fed is almost unfathomable.