Fortune Favors the Brave

Author: Gary Hart

Many Americans are out of work. Many too many. Who’s fault is that? If you believe in so-called market economics, that’s just too damn bad. It’s the way things work. We shouldn’t mention that “things” in this case are decisions made by human beings, normally those with the money or who control the money, and those decisions are too often stupid. And by the way, others of this persuasion say or think, you can always find a job and if you don’t you are lazy.

Others, take Niccolo Machiavelli for example, thought Fortune to be a woman and a not very kind woman at that. Fortune favored some and disfavored others. Little you could do about it either way. We call it luck. Some are lucky. Some are not.

There is a third point of view. It says most people want to work. They are eager, if not desperate, to have a source of income, to feed and care for their families, to make their own way. Many of us in this group have known hard times. Either we ourselves or our parents or family have lost jobs, lost self-sufficiency, lost self-respect. It might help in political discussion if more people (everyone younger than me, and that is most people) had some memory of the Depression. Such memory would at least have the affect of shutting up those who casually say that the unemployed and poor are so by choice.

Beyond economic theory, however, is the deeper question: are we 300 million people who just happen to live in the same nation and are all on our own, or are we a national community, a place where we share common concerns, values, principles, and beliefs? The answer to this question will dictate your economics and your politics. It would be wonderful to believe that private charity alone, “a thousand points of light,” will take care of millions of desperate fellow Americans. But it can’t and it won’t.

Resources are available. A fraction of the money spent in Iraq and Afghanistan would put hundreds of thousands of Americans back to work rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure. If you can find money to fight a war, you can find money to create jobs.

The brave right now are those desperate neighbors who are struggling to hang on. If all of us, through our government, do not smile on them and help them, then we must pray that Fortune will.

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8 Responses to “Fortune Favors the Brave”

  1. Stephen Says:

    Our government has morphed into a body dedicated to ensuring the “haves” have more, and to hell with the “have nots”. We will not survive this environment; something the elites fail to recognize is that the game of greed requires that the game continue until some single entity, be it individual or corporate presense, holds all the marbles. So many out there, who continue to rally around the capitalist, self-regulating model that has brought us to this painful point in time, don’t grasp that they are not nearly high enough up the chain to emerge the victor. Part of me yearns to watch their collective ruin, to witness them squirming in the pain that their current doctrine is putting on so many others; but actually, what I really want is for our society to wake up to the fact that we’re all in this together, and that when some of us lose, we all lose. Must we revisit the French Revolution, with Wall Street bankers, as well as US Senators and Representatives standing in for the aristocracy? I certainly hope not.

  2. Publius Says:

    Arrows “impossibility theorem” found that social choice cannot be satisfied. Your inference to the Afghan and Iraq wars is an excellent example. Do the majority of our citizens truly support the squandering of this nation’s wealth for a poorly defined and questionable mission? I would argue no. Yet we persist in this imperialist quest when the suffering of millions of our citizens should take precedence. There is no such thing as a rational choice, because in reality there is no choice at all, our country is run by a shadow government of oil and military despots. They control our media and convince us to hate each other, they inflame our deepest passions and fears, when their role should be to unite and inform. The media oligarchs twist the message to insure their security and to create scapegoats who are convenient, and powerless… among them the poor and immigrants.

    Arrow wrote that “majority choice is regarded as itself a value judgment.” The messenger tells us what to think, who to trust, what is important. I suggest we all take the advice of Timothy Leary, “tune in, turn on, drop out.” Tuning in is to find the truth not what we are told, turn on is meant as the idea to become active not passive, and drop out is urging us to not belong to the herd – question authority. Until the citizens of this country take the responsibility of citizenship to heart we will continue to see the degradation of our collective and individual wealth, security, and morality.

  3. Tomas Agee Says:

    When, oh when, will we get the anti-government Reagan revolution off our backs?!

  4. Neal Taslitz, Esq. Says:

    Very good points.

    As I said in one of my former comments; Pasteur liked to say: “In the field of observation chance favors the prepared mind.”

    If our leaders had prepared more for the possibility of the type of oil spill we now have in the Gulf we might have had a bit more “luck” in stopping it from getting to our beaches.

    If we want to create a lot of jobs in the areas threatened by the oil, we ought to offer jobs to people who will help in the clean up, or help placing boom offshore, and use BP’s trust funds to pay the hotels or unemployed local workers in the respective areas to house and feed new workers. BP should pay the new workers or reimburse the local authorities for their wages.

    We need 10 times the amount of workers that we have now, and 10 times the amount of boats to stop the oil slick from ruining the Florida Keys and East Coast of Florida. Why not offer payments to private citizens who have the skills and the boats that can help in the effort. BP has already offered to give gas credits to some of the businesses that have lost business since tourism is 50% off in many beach resort areas as a result of the oil and tar balls coming ashore.

    One would think that a small percentage of funds taken from the 20 billion dollar trust fund to pay for more people to clean up and to prevent more damage and claims would be well worth it. Unfortunately the trust fund money is only allowed to be used for paying claims. Local communities do not have the funds to hire more workers or buy equipment necessary to protect their natural resources. Small communities and larger ones at risk as a result of the oil spill will be in a lot worse shape, if they do not get the help they need within the next week or two.

    Maybe our leaders need to think about the words of Woody Guthrie: “This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land . . . This land was meant for you and me.”
    Mr. Guthrie knew a lot about the Great Depression.

  5. Neal Taslitz, Esq. Says:

    P.S. The 20 billion dollar trust fund only pays for private claims, not for public ones, that include clean up and/or protection of public beaches.

  6. Robb Johnson Says:

    I remember years ago after Sen. Hart ended his presidential bid appeared on TV (PBS if think. You warned Americans that both the Democratic and Republican parties were becoming similar because they both tapping into the same piles of financial resources and thus beholden the same masters. Politics is about power and who welds that power and enjoys the favor of that power. The only power that average Americans have is in the power of ballot box. That is the only reason the politicians need us is so that they can retain power and earn favor with their masters who fund their elections. The old 60s radical expression, “Power to the People” needs to raised again as loudly as before. Having watched last night a Dateline NBC on feeding poor Americans in Ohio, Americans are not lazy, they just want a job so as to be able to care for their families. Our nation needs to do some industrial planning to determine to what direction to go to best utilize our most important resource, our people. Support the 99ers.

  7. Tom J. Flaherty Says:

    Sen. Hart,

    Nail it spot on but how do we rise above the media propaganda wave?

    The other day a saw a black lady on TV or Radio speak exactly the same way about the inner city black community and how it had so many attempts to change the negative situations. But in the end she said even though we had money in, better jobs, and so on they failed from within to pick up the young teenagers and hold their hand so to speak, to support personally with personal example and effort a better way/outcome for the kids that were forced in many cases into a life with the devils ilk.

    Our ability to help our neighbor is now in peril let’s hope we find our way.

  8. femtobeam Says:

    Thank you for caring.

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