What We Have Been Told To Do…

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I am doing something a little different today; I am leading off with the words that inspired this post.  I can’t say it better so why not just show it to you up front.

In the mid-1980s when the capitalist decided to change the rules of the game hardly any of us noticed it.  Up until that point, American capitalism was generally deemed a three-legged-stool. It was driven by the customer buying the product or service, those holding stock in the company, and finally the people creating the product or service. As long as the three legs were pretty much the same length our economy prospered.

Then came the MBA’s (Masters of Business Administration) which was a new degree in the business world.  When those new graduates started entering the business world the three-legged stool was discarded in favor of a total focus on the capitalists. Employees went from being an asset in the company to a liability.  Given our consumer-driven economy, they decided the customer would be there regardless of how they were treated. Corporate R&D organizations like Bell Labs were tossed aside as being unnecessary.

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As long as the capitalists could convince the rest of us (workers/customers) that when the stock markets went up everything was fine.  With this strategy, the stock market went from 800 to 26,000 over the resulting 38 years. That’s about a 33 times increase. The wage increase over the same period of time rose 3.5 times which was about the same as the cost of living increases.  In other words, the capitalists have taken home ALL the increase in prosperity!

I know the argument goes that more people own stocks now than in 1980 so that prosperity is shared by more of us.  In reality, now that pensions are pretty much a thing of the past, the percentage of families with stock ownership has barely budged in the same time period.

The fact is that the top 10% of American households hold about 85% of the total stocks and almost 50% of everyone else don’t own any stock at all.

How long will it take for us to understand that we have been fed a line by the capitalists? That is the question to end this post.

Looking At The World…

2018-09-21_15-30-06.pngI know there are very basic differences in how people look at the world.  I personally get much of my worldview from the words of Jesus and that certainly includes his very obvious stands on empathy and wealth.

One of the things I love about Jesus is that he led by example.  How many changes of clothes did Jesus have?  How many castles? How many servants? I don’t think there is anyone who can’t answer these questions. He led a life of poverty. He led by example. Did he hate the rich? Well, no not really but he did have some wise words for them.   He basically told them that they were expected to do good works in proportion to their wealth.

Now, finally getting to the crux of this story, I follow several of my high school classmates of 50+ years ago on Facebook.  It is frightful to me just how many of them are loyal Trumpsters.  The graphic in today’s post is from one of them.

I willingly pay income tax in order to keep our society/country running. Without taxes there would be no road, no law enforcement, no…. well you get the idea. Paying taxes is a privilege of wealth. Welfare, on the other hand, is giving your neighbor, and according to Jesus that is everyone else, a helping hand when they need it. That should be considered a joy to provide to those in need.

To at least this high school classmate paying income taxes is seen as a fine/punishment and giving a helping hand to those who have fallen on hard times is disgraceful.  What a worldview!

I may not always follow Jesus’ words but I certainly don’t twist his words to mean the opposite of his message. That is the ultimate in hypocrisy if you ask me.

Time Just Flies By

I don’t know how many times I have heard the expression in the title of this post. I don’t know how many times I have said it myself. I have always wondered why time seems to fly by now but in my youth a year seemed like an eternity.  It wasn’t until I got a glimpse of the short article below from the AARP Magazine that I came to maybe understand this time warp a little better.

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It’s interesting if I at least partially accept what the article says that the reason is stale experiences.  That is, as we get older, especially in our senior years, we pretty much do the same things over and over again. That lack of new experiences leads our brains to lock up.  Being a “Question Everything” skeptic that I am I’m not sure I totally accept this logic, but it does ring true at least at some level.

If you want time to slow down then you need to constantly experience new things or “fresh experiences” as the article describes them. Doing the same thing day after day is not only pretty boring but it causes the end to come sooner, so to speak.

So, I guess my “Embrace Change” life pillar is maybe making the days go by a little slower. But given the political atmosphere at the moment I kind of wish 2020 would come tomorrow. 🙂

Humanism And Jesus…

2018-03-05_15-42-33My conservative Evangelical friends would like me to believe that you can’t be a humanist and also be a follower of Jesus.  From what I have discovered in the last few months, that is categorically false. The two beliefs align very well with one another.

Yes, there are differences in beliefs for different versions of humanism, but since there are over 39,000 versions of Christianity that kind of seems a lame argument to me. I’m sure some humanists are more aesthetic in nature just as there are Christians who basically ignore the teaching of Jesus.

Jesus was about caring for “the least of these”. It was a core part of his nature and teachings.  Show me where the words in the graphic above are contrary to that? I have always been uncomfortable with the anti-science nature of many versions of Christianity. That, and the political one are the reasons I no longer call myself a Christian.  To me, those folks who reject science are simply too stuck to a few limited words in the Bible that they take far too literally.

It seems that in my old age I am just not much of a joiner so I no longer call myself a Christian and I probably won’t call myself a humanist either but I do agree with much of their philosophy. I definitely don’t call myself a Republican or a Democrat for that matter, both are now stained beyond recognition.

Proud Beta Male, MeToo…

I have to give you a quote from one of my most recent regular reads in the blogsphere. It is from John Pavlovitz.  He is a North Carolina pastor who speaks to my heart.  Here is the snippet for discussion in Today’s post. It is about a Trumpster who tried to insult him by calling him a beta-male (as opposed to an alpha-male I suppose):

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Source: Confessions of a Proud Beta Male

Evidentally #CO3 has been using this term in his rallies/self-adoration sessions. He intends it to be an insult/putdown but it seems that many are now proudly taking up that mantle.  I am one of them, I now call myself a Beta-Male.

I guess to him and his base it means that you are not an alpha-male:

  • You are not a take-charge guy who has to dominate every situation.
  • You are not a  guy who proudly boasts of his conquest over others, especially females, and proudly proclaim the things you can do to them with complete immunity.
  • You are not a guy who strikes back in anger when you feel even a slight bit challenged.
  • You are not a guy thumping your chest and proclaiming yourself superior and vastly more intelligent than others.
  • You are not a guy who berates and mocks those you have decided are your enemies.
  • You are not a guy who primarily makes decisions with gut feelings as opposed to studying the situation to make an informed choice.

I, like Pastor Pavlovitz, proudly proclaim that I am a beta-male. Thank you #CO3 for painting me as very different from you and so many of your base.  I will proudly wear the mantle you perceive as a smear.

I am a proud beta-male

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#CO3 = Current Oval Office Occupant

 

 

While I Cherish Change…

If you have been around RJsCorner I’m sure you know by now that I cherish change. Change allows us to do things better than before. It allows us a second or maybe third chance to get it right. But not all change is good, even for me. 🙂

Ust FitsAt least to some degree, I believe in the old adage “If it ain’t broken, why change it”. This post is targeted at bathroom products.  I know that sounds strange but it is a story I must tell.  I have come to cherish my morning shower, especially in my retirement years.  It is a time to say a few prayers of thanks for yesterday and to pray for a good day today. It is a time to think as a deeper level than I normally do.

I like my shower routine and have been doing the same things for more years than I care to remember. Part of that routine has always included Zest Soap and Prell Shampoo.  I have been using these two products for three or more decades now.  Until recently they have stayed pretty much the same.  Then came the inevitable cost reductions. Zest now resembles more of a dumbbell than a bar of soap. I guess someone in their omnipotent wisdom decided as long as they keep the perimeter the same no one will notice that they are getting less soap for an increased cost.  On the shampoo side, after decades of providing a good product, it was sold to another company who proceeded to turn it into a watery liquid.

It took a while but I have now replaced both of these products and things are getting back to normal.  🙂

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