The Failure of Democratic Capitalism-Why You Should Vote

Democratic Capitalism is Destructive

“Make America Great Again”. No. That is not possible. America has never been great. In fact, America has never really even been that good. Initially, coming to America was a dangerous and deadly decision for many people. Check the facts, “Crossing the Atlantic meant two to three months of seasickness, overcrowding, limited food rations, and disease.”

“In some places, the meeting of Europeans and Native Americans was peaceful. In others, the cultures clashed, leading to violence and disease. Whole tribes were decimated by such newly introduced diseases as small pox, measles, and the plague.” Excerpted from; https://www.libertyellisfoundation.org/immigration-timeline

Rather auspicious beginnings. Despite the Liberty that is sought here daily by thousands of people; getting here is deadly and dangerous.

Consider this statistic from 2014: “In the past 14 years, more than 6,000 people have died trying to migrate through the U.S.’s southern border, a new report by the International Organization for Migration says. Just in the past year, as many as 445 people died trying to pass into the U.S., reports the Toronto Star; that number comes from the U.S. Border Control and may be a low estimate.”

Read more at and excerpted from: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/nearly-6000-migrants-have-died-along-mexico-us-border-2000-180952904

Many of us who live here in the United States are not living the dream. We may take for granted the fact that there is opportunity here to choose our own vocations and avocations; but most of the people in this country struggle and die in obscurity and poverty. Some people say as many as 98% of the people that live on earth have a daily struggle to raise their families, enjoy financial and personal security, set goals that may help them to better their lots in life and simply survive.

Some time back there was a movement to seek some sort of social and financial equity. Remember the 98% Movement? Although these types of groups recognize the problem, rarely do they really make any headway.

Why? Because of money. No matter how well organized and active these types of political activists are, they are always overshadowed by the wealthy and powerful 2 percent who seek to maintain the status quo.

We want to believe that we all have an equal chance in the world. But, we do not. Everyone is not on equal footing when it comes to opportunity. Everyone does not have the same environment to grow up in. Everyone does not have the same genetic makeup in terms of intellectual and physical capacity. Although there is diversity among peoples in terms of origins, creeds, nations and tongues; all people are not created equal.

Am I saying that not all people have value and potential? No, I am not saying this. I am saying that in this world, time and chance happens to all people. For every person who lives in the United States that has a dream left; there is a possibility for them to reach their potential. For every person created in the Image and Likeness of GOD, there is the possibility for them to receive Faith and reach their potential and live whatever dream God has given them.

But, time and chance happens to all of us. And in that fact lies the truth that America was not created to be great. It was created so that the Founding Fathers could preserve the Liberty THEY had. Not to create Liberty for all persons. Despite the belief the Founding Fathers held that all persons hold certain inalienable rights, they did not actually create a system that sustained this ideal. What they did was create a system that would sustain THEIR inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

We all want to think of these people as heroes. And to some extend they did some heroic things. They gathered up every able body they could and committed them to the War that was required to turn back England. But at what cost?

“Throughout the course of the war, an estimated 6,800 Americans were killed in action, 6,100 wounded, and upwards of 20,000 were taken prisoner. Historians believe that at least an additional 17,000 deaths were the result of disease, including about 8,000–12,000 who died while prisoners of war.

Unreliable imperial data places the total casualties for British regulars fighting in the Revolutionary War around 24,000 men. This total number includes battlefield deaths and injuries, deaths from disease, men taken prisoner, and those who remained missing.

Approximately 1,200 Hessian soldiers were killed, 6,354 died of disease, and another 5,500 deserted and settled in America afterwards.” Excerpted from: https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/american-revolution-faqs

Of those who fought nearly fifty percent were not voluntary. They were Slaves. They had not yet experienced what the Founding Fathers had found for themselves. In fact, they had been enslaved by the very people who had the high falluting ideas and enjoyed the Liberty that they themselves denied others. Consider this quote from the same source: “Great Britain had 8 million residents in 1775, and the 13 rebellious colonies about 2.5 million (of which half a million were slaves).”

Hmmm. Seems hypocritical from that perspective. But it certainly does not in my opinion, seem “great or even good” It seems like the beginning of a system that is as oppressive as the one that the Founding Fathers sought to escape.

Therein lies the failure of democratic capitalism. It is double minded. And hypocritical at its core. Need more proof? Let’s talk about how divided the United States became during the Civil War. A continuance of the double minded hypocrisy that characterizes the system today.

From the same source as above, The American Battlefield Trust, “Approximately 620,000 soldiers died from combat, accident, starvation, and disease during the Civil War. This number comes from an 1889 study of the war performed by William F. Fox and Thomas Leonard Livermore. Both men fought for the Union. Their estimate is derived from an exhaustive study of the combat and casualty records generated by the armies over five years of fighting. A recent study puts the number of dead as high as 850,000.”

What is the point here? America started out polarized. We have spent countless lives and dollars to remain polarized. Both in terms of actual Wars and the Cultural Wars that continue to this day. We call this county the United States of America. But it is not united. We still to this day are witnessing the divisiveness and destruction that comes from people who seek to either maintain the status quo because it serves their personal interests or destroy the status quo because it is oppressive and destructive to their personal interests.

Democratic Capitalism is failing right before our eyes and no one seems to want to admit it. At least not very many people with a platform to be heard from. The people with a platform generally fall into one of two categories: either they want things to get better within a system that has granted them personally opportunity and prosperity OR they want to change some of the things within a system that has granted them personally an opportunity to prosper. But very few people are willing to stand up and say, this is not working for everyone the way it is supposed to.

And it is not working out as well as other systems of government do and have in the past. Want more facts? Or at least an informed opinion. This is one way of measuring “quality of life”

The “Social Progress Index” collates the scores of three main indexes:

  • Basic Human Needs, which includes medical care, sanitation, and shelter.
  • Foundations of Well-being, which covers education, access to technology, and life expectancy.
  • Opportunity, which looks at personal rights, freedom of choice, and general tolerance.

In Canada, New Zealand and other Countries people have access to education, health care and opportunity. People enjoy a higher standard of living overall then here in the Divided States of America. Why? Because the systems of government in these places actually work for all the citizens. Not just the wealthy and powerful. Sadly, the Divided States of America in not even in the Top Ten. To me, that denotes failure. Systemic failure.

Is there any form of human government that is perfect? No. Every system of human government is only as good as the people who are running it. If you have wise rulers, you have equity to some degree. But if your rulers are ruled themselves by selfishness or deceit, you can’t realistically expect much from them in terms of equanimity.

Why You Should Still Vote

Because you live here. If you are reading this in America. You have only one opportunity to really affect any change. Vote. Am I going to presuppose to tell you who to vote for? No. I am not. But you have two options as I see it. As do I. Either vote or move away from this Country. Move to another place where people are more reasonably governed.

If you know me, then you know I am not going to plan to move. I don’t even like going to the store. Let alone the tremendous burden of having to move somewhere. That would mean I have to drive for at least 12 hours or so. And rent a trailer. And find more clients. And find a house. And so forth and so on. I am not going to all that trouble. When I can vote instead. And by voting maintain my right to speak out about what is going on here in this country.

That is reason one why you must vote. So you are not like so many of the people that are in office right now. So that you are not someone who talks a bunch of crap and then sits in their government paid housing with a nice fat salary and incredible government paid health care plan and retirement plan and talks about how people should not get any help from the government if they are sick or old or somehow unable to care for themselves.

I am not saying that everyone in public office is like this. But some people who have managed to get themselves elected are the worst kind of hypocrites. The kind that will tell you anything they think you want to hear to get elected and then will NEVER EVER listen to you once you put them in office. You don’t want to be like that.

So rather than try to tell you who or what to vote for; I will simply say this. It is possible to find out more about the Issues and Candidates that are on your Ballot this Election Cycle. It is possible. But you may have to do some work. You may have to meet some of these candidates in person if possible. Or research their record in terms of what they have already done in their lives. Either in office or prior to taking office.

Research the Issues. Find out about the Candidates. If you are not sure what to look for, here is an idea. Find issues that make sense to you and then follow the money. Find out who is funding the Issue on both sides and it should become clear as to how you should vote to help this broken system to work maybe a little better.

Another idea is to see who is slinging mud. If a Candidate is throwing shade at his or her opponent; most likely it is because they themselves have some hidden agenda. Hidden Agendas are what gets Public Servants in trouble eventually. Because a person’s Agenda cannot remain hidden forever. And once it becomes evident that a person has an Agenda that may not serve the Public Interest; generally that person gets voted out.

That would be my last piece of advice on the matter. Sometimes, it is not about voting someone in. It is all about voting someone out. Even if you don’t know that much about the Incumbents opposition, it is easy enough to see that ANYONE would be better than the person who has been doing the job.

I don’t want to seem completely anti-American; but I don’t think anyone would blame you if you decided that it may be best for you and your family to live in another country. So, if you don’t want to vote, consider New Zealand. They actually do have it pretty well there according to the above quoted Social Progress Index. In fact, this article has nine other possibilities too. Maybe I will revisit the idea of moving but this election, I will be voting. I hope you do to.

Do you agree with me? If so, let me know. Or even better send me some money for publishing this.

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The Altitude of Gratitude

Cover Image courtesy of https://unsplash.com/@petekp

Have you ever heard someone say, “Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude?” It is one of those platitudes that bring understanding to the hearer. Because it makes sense. According to author Lewis Howes, “An attitude of gratitude means making it a habit to express thankfulness and appreciation in all parts of your life, on a regular basis, for both the big and small things alike.” As Howes puts it, “If you concentrate on what you have, you’ll always have more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you’ll never have enough.”

brian-tracy-attitude-of-gratitude

Naturally, at this time of the year; we start to look at our lives and ourselves and wonder to ourselves how we may improve our lot. Or at least our outlook on our lot in life. Because many people believe that it is not about what we have or what happens to us that defines us as people, it is about how we respond to what happens to us or what we have. What our response is to the world around us and the events that occur in our lives does create us as people. How we respond determines what we do next.

enough_introspectionWB

—-Image Courtesy of https://psychlopedia.wikispaces.com/Introspection

And what we do next determines if we gain any positive change or if we make things worse. I have seen this effect in my own life. I have had setbacks and disappointments. Failures and fallings. I have seen some troubles. And caused some trouble. In retrospect, I see that when I responded with gratitude even though I failed to understand my circumstances or the reasons for them; that I was given some clarity on what to do next. And peace over what I am experiencing. And understanding of how to avoid the same thing happening again.

That may be the most valuable thing that comes from being thankful. Sufficient understanding to avoid making the same mistakes over and over again. As George Santayana wrote so eloquently in “The Life of Reason”; Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Although I am not certain that anyone has ever said this, I am fairly certain that those who do not understand their past mistakes are going to make them again. And again. And again.

santayana quote

Where does gratitude place us then? Does it bring supernatural humanity to our difficult and challenging lives? Does it somehow bring Aunt Martha back to life? Or get you your job back? Or bring your spouse back? No. It really will not. Most times the tragedies and problems that we all face on this earth will not be reversed miraculously by being thankful for them. In fact, being thankful when your child takes ill or flunks out of school, or when you wife cheats on you or when you write a completely off the wall report that gets you fired seems counterintuitive doesn’t it?

Is it even possible to give thanks when you get the news you have cancer? Or when you find out that your best friend is moving away? Or your mom was just killed in an auto accident? Or if you find someone stole your identity and all the work you have done to bring prosperity into your life has been dashed causing you to become behind in all your bills and on the verge of foreclosure?

The answer is yes. It is possible to give thanks in tragedy and loss. When you disappoint yourself and those around you. When things start going badly and you have no control over it. It is possible.

Give-Thanks-to-the-Lord-1

Image courtesy of https://www.sunshinewhispers.com/about-me/

If you take comfort in the Holy Scriptures, and take the time to read them; you will see that people did give thanks. Even when God told them to do unthinkable things. Consider Abraham. He was commanded to sacrifice his own son whom he loved deeply. And he fully intended to obey God. He took his precious child to the place God commanded. He started the fire. He had the knife to his son’s throat. And God interrupted Abraham’s plan to obey. A burnt offering was provided and Isaac was spared.

If you look closely at this story in the Holy Scripture, you see that Abraham worshiped God despite what he was told to do. Within worship there is gratitude. Deep heartfelt and genuine gratitude. And although in this story, a miracle did occur; it was Abraham’s attitude that got him through this incredible test. His attitude was that God would provide. And God did.

So it may be that having an attitude of gratitude actually lifts a person above their circumstances. Creates an altitude of gratitude. Above the pain and disappointment. Above the grief and fear. Above the temporal things that sometimes seem so out of whack and confusing. Above the world and its schemes and petty concerns. Above it all.

Today, when you are giving thanks consider Him who has given us all things to enjoy. And who constantly seeks to bring us into fellowship and worship. Give thanks to Him who is Worthy. And rise above it all where there is order and love and peace. Give thanks to God Most High, for He is good. For His Mercy endures forever.