PONDERING INCOME INEQUALITY AND BOB DYLAN

Greetings from the mountain top…

The Guru teaches with a sprinkling of humor and irony combined with absurdity and hyperbole. Every now and then, however, a fact comes to his attention and he is unable to find any humor with which to teach.

Before this current troubling fact is shared, a disclosure: The Guru believes in capitalism. The Guru believes in profiting from one’s skills, knowledge, and abilities. The Guru believes that socialism is not the answer, forced equality is no equality at all, and that taking from some (even the wealthy) at the expense of others isn’t a solution. He isn’t a card-carrying member of any political party, he doesn’t believe in dogma (except the dogma of nudity is good), he doesn’t hug trees (unless a 20-something is in front of it), and the words ‘progressive’ and ‘conservative’ have never been used to describe him.

All of that said, the following fact was shared in The Huffington Post (owned by a woman who changes political affiliations and direction as often as the 20-something, wanna-be hippie chicks who worship at my feet swap majors in college):

The six heirs to the Walmart fortune were worth $89.5 billion in 2010, the same as the bottom 41.5% of U.S. families combined, according to Josh Bivens of the Economic Policy Institute. That’s 48.8 million American households in total. Sylvia Allegreto of the University of California at Berkeley found last year that the six children of Walmart founders Sam and James “Bud” Walton had the same net worth in 2007 as the bottom 30% of American households. But between 2007 and 2010, that net worth rose, while the incomes of most Americans declined, explaining the three-year shift.”

When six people hold more than 48.8 million something is dreadfully wrong. And when things are dreadfully wrong, dreadful things begin happening.

The Guru is an optimist. The Guru is a positive being of light. The Guru loves making love, enjoys the inhaled produce of Mother Earth, has sat on a mountain top longer than most countries have existed, understands that love is the ultimate answer and that sex and pizza are pretty damn close–there is no such thing as bad in either; Some is just better than others.

But The Guru doesn’t know what to do with this troubling fact. Six people = 48.8 million in terms of wealth. He wonders if Bastille had similar facts in the days prior to the French Revolution, if the British ever noticed those pesky Americans slowly starving, or if any of them conceived that times can and do change.

The Guru knows all except what he doesn’t know…and this time, children, he simply doesn’t know.

Uncle Bob (Dylan) was a pretty smart cookie after all when he wrote:

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

Peace out ya non-wealthy freaks

2 Comments

Filed under Current Events, Philosophy

2 responses to “PONDERING INCOME INEQUALITY AND BOB DYLAN

  1. judy

    W. H. Auden

    Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
    Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
    Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
    Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

    Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
    Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
    Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
    Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

    He was my North, my South, my East and West,
    My working week and my Sunday rest,
    My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
    I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

    The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
    Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
    Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
    For nothing now can ever come to any good.

    *****************************************************
    The above I can interpret as not an ode to a fallen love but a swan song for America, for WalMart and corporate greed killed America. We, with our collective monetary clout (as that is the only language spoken now) can make a difference by not supporting these institutions. WalMart sells cheap goods from China which only supports the Chinese economy and the ever-growing Walton empire. We can boycott places like this. We can, if we are one of the walking conscious, bring down the continuing lunacy by closing our wallets and getting up off our lazy-ass butts and join in protest for change. But we are also collectively afraid and that is a situation rife for being controlled. Everyone needs to stop shopping at WalMart NOW.

    Guru Guy, I don’t know how you stay so funny and optimistic about life, but, to paraphrase a famous line from When Harry Met Sally, I want to smoke what you’re smoking. That was not meant to be insulting. Sometime self-medication is necessary to stop the bad thoughts.

    I do so enjoy reading you. You are very wise, indeed.

    • The Guru remains optimistic because this isn’t his first rodeo. Every time period believes theirs to be the most difficult and that the end is near. And every time period is wrong. It is genetic to see, and focus, on the negative–prevents us from being surprised by danger. But this too shall pass…tomorrow shall come…and our grandchildren’s grandchildren will share the same fears we have today. After countless lifetimes The Guru now sits…and laughs.

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