Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Charity is Most Harsh

While I lay in my labors as a young salesman not too many years ago, I delighted in fast money and freedom to choose if I should work one day to another without worry of financial obliteration. If I was in need of a day without the drudgery of conferring with people about their probable demise or impending probability of disfigurement or a day at the pub devouring my favorite spirits and a precision crafted imported Cigar, I choose. If I was in need of a good romp in the delectable world of selling, I sold. Those times were and are some of the most meaningless and stressful times I have ever encountered in my short existence on this infested rock hurling through the emptiness of space.

These times are also the period that I spent watching the modern man at his best and worst, mostly the worst. I watched as men lied to other men and then lied about the lie itself. More than one time did I see my collaborator twinkle at the prospect of squeezing one last dime out of a poor pauper that is in greater need of insurance against a calamity than even the most heroic of soldiers. When asked about this gross voracity of money and wealth all that came to me was the answer “I gotta make a living”.

I detested my colleague at that moment with the resolution of a lioness after her prey. I looked into his blue eyes and discovered that the only thing inside his heart is selfishness. Even though he made grandiose claims of being diligent to the lord and the cause of humanity he still only served himself. His lone aspiration was to provide fodder for his increasingly extended habits of spending on frivolous trappings such as gambling and other distasteful excesses.

The same is true of another man who has become to me as a brother. He is a good man. He is a smart man. However, his mind plays hoaxes on him, hoaxes that could fool any man. Seeing through the miasma that has surrounded him is his only unconquered obstacle in his long line of accomplishments. This miasma, or fog, that socks in his soul is of his own creation. Brought from the depths of his soul with the intention of an honest and worthy man only to cloud the oncoming sight of the one thing that he believes his painstaking accomplishments will bring him. In his travels for the divine judgment of the almighty he has mistaken his selfishness for unmitigated selflessness. I would gather this is also an infliction that cursed the earlier generations of humanity. It seems that this is an oddity of the human race, an ugly, distasteful and grossly malevolent peculiarity at that.

Back to my brotherly man; He attends church and does his civic duties according to his stated beliefs. His deeds do deserve merit and to his praise I lean to say that his deeds do affect others positively and even though his reasoning for performing might be at question, his actions are not. Yet, as I mentioned, his reasoning is of questionable content. With my long conversations with him I have discovered that he does not do things for the glory of Jesus. He does them because he believes his interpretation of the truth is the final and obligatory statement of morality. My brotherly friend believes his translations of the Holy text are so pure and good that it causes his nose gets a little water in it now and again. Not that he might notice in any case.
It is the disease of our time; this disease of selfishness masquerading as selflessness. It is a subterfuge to perform deeds that help people in order to make ones self feel superior about doing the good deed. For helping someone to make us feel superior is still selfishness, is it not? If in answering this question you say that reaping a little reward for oneself by helping another achieve happiness or giving assist to those of lesser means is tolerable I say, Hypocrisy! Helping someone in order to receive a reward for your own happiness is not charity it is egotism!

Now I am not one to say that egotism is not a sin, it is in all probability a minor sin at least or even at most! I am also the first to admit that Egotism is something that challenges me to strive for higher status at work and in almost all social obligations. It definitely has usefulness for advancement of mine and most everyone else’s lives. The difference between someone of my level of egotism and a person that possesses the often invisible egotism that haunts the majority of persons I have met is in the admission of the thing itself. It is a fault in ones self that allows for such things to come to pass. To do a charitable thing for pure egotistical and selfish returns is pure and unadulterated immorality. An affront to all our generations of astute and great leaders is this affliction.

As I return to this subject from a short hiatus I find that my indignation has twisted itself into vast despair. I find that my writings will inevitably and unavoidably fall onto no ears at all. For there is no such forum to vent this outrage in this time we live in and proclaim “Modern Civility”. And so, my expectation of this finding someone and changing their existence because of these words is low. For it seems that none of our fellow man can be bothered with such things. They cannot be troubled with such visions of truth for it would impede their grossly and repulsive addiction they have of self indulgence. The very thing that I speak of is indeed the obstacle that impedes my definite intention of this essay. I dare say that I am disheartened in the function of man as the reflection of the supreme image he was fashioned to emulate.

I do not have a promise of fulfillment that will cause all mankind to correct his actions. I do not even begin to comprehend why a people of so much unfathomable intelligence have determined to hide in dishonesty their uncaring and selfish goals when it would be much more modern to humble oneself to the task of helping another, forsaking ones accumulated wealth or power.

This is my calculation behind the conveyance of this essay to a few people that may actually desire to propel this thrashing of our fellow man to those who may need it most. And to those who do, I admire and hope to emulate your sense of humanity and compassion for those who may not even realize that they themselves suffer from this affliction of their essence and morality.

This is an essay I wrote in the late 90's. At the time, I literally had no place to publish it. I did have a web site of my own (and still do) but I never put forth the effort to advertise its existence. Now, with this Forum, I feel that it might actually get an audience of likeminded peoples.

This essay, I believe, is even more relevant today than ever before. Shelby Steele a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institute recently stated in an interview with Peter Robinson that Obama was elected because of an overwhelming feeling of white guilt. He pointed out in the interview that whites voted for Obama in order to make themselves feel like they have proven, by voting and electing him, that they are not racist. The elitists in the Democrat party and in the media concede that they don’t know what Obama stands for but voted for him any way. Mr. Steele asserts that the votes were cast because we needed to show that we Americans are not racists, which in fact did just the opposite. By voting for a man because he is "black" we have confirmed that we are still a racist country. This fact also brings forth the reality that we are even more entrenched in the focus of the essay. We are more now than ever letting selfishness masquerade as selflessness.

What are we Really Stimulating with the Economic Stimulus Package?

On January 28 2009, the House of Representatives passed an $819 billion economic stimulus package. The bill is titled “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.” It passed straight down party lines with a vote of 244-188 and is now headed to the Senate. Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama have pledged to jump start this shaken economy with a stimulus package. Naturally, this is a package that had to be passed immediately, or America would face grave dangers. Failure to act now will lead to unprecedented dangers.

President Obama said after the House vote, “This recovery plan will save or create more than three million new jobs over the next few years.” He also said “We don’t have a moment to spare.” (1) Of course we don’t have a moment to spare. Who would want to waste a few minutes to take a look at this bill to see what it is really in it? Every minute we wait, someone could lose their job. If we take too long, someone else might come up with a better idea, or things may turn around on their own. If that is the case, then this ridiculous spending bill would never get passed unless the public is scared or desperate. If we examine this bill, then we may find out what it really stimulates, or what it doesn’t stimulate. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) the following is included in the bill: (2)

• $20 billion to the food stamp program
• $2.8 billion to expand broadband internet service in rural areas
• $8.7 billion to promote energy efficiency and conservation at federal facilities
• $8.4 billion to the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds
• $20.4 billion to the Department of Health and Human Services
• $4.6 billion to employment and training programs by the Department of Labor
• $30 billion to highway construction
• $5.2 billion in grants to states and cities for community development
• $11.1 billion to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
• $46 billion to unemployment insurance and other provisions
• Refundable tax credits up to $500 for single and $1,000 for joint filers

One is left to wonder exactly how the provisions in this bill will invoke job creation in the private sector where most jobs are created. What incentive is there to invest in America and start up a new business? Not once will you hear Obama or Pelosi stress how the free market can assist with recovery. Credit should be given to President Obama for at least asking Pelosi to remove the hundreds of millions of dollars that would have gone to contraceptives for low income people. I do not understand how contraceptives can be bundled with an economics stimulus bill (no pun intended). The truth is this bill is not about stimulating the economy; it is about expanding the federal government and increasing those who depend on their programs at the taxpayers’ expense.

The House Republicans stood against this bill and offered an alternative bill called “The Economic Recovery and Middle-Class Tax Relief Act of 2009.” The Republican version of the bill called for a 5 percent income tax cut across the board, increasing the child tax credit to $5,000, freezing the capital gains and dividends tax rates at 15 percent, and relief for businesses. (3) In my humble opinion, the alternative bill is missing an overdue reduction in the corporate tax rate and much needed spending cuts. Taxing corporations only leads to higher prices for consumers since those costs are added to the price of the products they sell. How about giving the consumers a break by cutting the costs of goods sold for our corporations? I am not so sure we can afford to expand the child tax credit by 500 percent either.

The best news for conservatives is the fact that EVERY Republican opposed this bill along with eleven Democrats. This is a very good sign that conservatives appear to have some say in their government. Is it possible that the Republicans have learned from their mistakes of the past? These mistakes have cost them majorities in the House, Senate as well as the White House. I would have loved to have seen this opposition to spending back when the Republicans had the majority in Congress. Unfortunately, the Republicans ran out of man power to block this legislation due to the seats they lost in the previous election. Perhaps if they didn’t abandon their principles, we could be fine tuning their version of the bill instead. Sometimes the best lessons in life are the hardest lessons we learn. The Republican Party has just been taken to school by the party who really knows how to spend money. Welcome to the school of Pelosi, Reid, and Obama.

(1) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090128/ap_on_go_co/obama_economy
(2) http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/99xx/doc9968/hr1.pdf
(3) http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100days/2009/01/28/house-republicans-push-counter-proposal-stimulus/