Friday, October 30, 2015

Good-for-Nothing John

King John of England ran headlong into a brick wall.  Like his predecessors, he had ruled rather heavy-handedly on the basis of divine right, believing the king was the law and above whatever tradition there might be.  His decisions were arbitrary, often unjust, and folks finally got tired of the abuse.  They rebelled.

In 1215, King John signed the Great Charter, a precursor to the Magna Carta, as an attempt at peace.  The charter established the rights of freemen along with a host of constraints on rule.  King John reneged three months later, and war broke out with London and half of England being occupied by the rebels.  John died of dysentery the following year.

Such abuse of power has long been the root of unrest among common folk and continues so today.

      • We acknowledge the rule of law.  However ...  
        • The rightness of our laws must be continually proven.   
Deregulation of the financial industry has made an extraordinary mega-fortune for the top 1% at the expense of everyone else, and more than a million died as a result of the Great Recession that ensued.

The laws governing the financial industry have failed the intent of having laws in the first place.  The industry, still unrestrained, has added many to the list of the world's greediest, those who extract wealth from others, who gamble with the resources of others, and who indenture nations.

One year after the recent financial collapse, the top 25 hedge fund managers earned approximately $25 billion, an average of $1 billion each.  ~Business Insider, Zero Hedge  More than enough for a thousand lifetimes each, pocketed in a single year and every year.
This is money extracted from the economy by individuals who provide no benefit to the citizenry.  Their 'work' brings no benefit to the marketplace, no opportunity for employment, no improvements in productivity, no food or water.  They serve themselves, pumping wealth out of the efforts and out of the pockets of others.  Why would government allow such activity?

Why, indeed.  In the absence of other evidence, it would appear that governments are managed by the rich.  Not all of it, of course.  Governments are necessary, and in many venues, they're helpful for all.  The rightness of laws, however, must be continually be proven.

"Why is it that corporations give millions of dollars to elected officials? Do you think it's simply public-spirited behavior?"  ~Walter E. Williams