The problem with unfettered capitalism
August 27, 2007
MSNBC’s forum of Democratic candidates before members of labor unions included a touching plea from Steve Skvara, an audience member. After describing the loss of his job, benefits and pension, and therefore his ability to pay for his wife’s medical care. He asked, “What’s wrong with our country?” with desperation in his voice.
I probably haven’t heard everything in the media related to this subject, but I don’t think I have heard any of the candidates address the root cause for Mr. Skvara’s dilemma, shared by many. Though no one has asked me, here is my answer to the question:
My social studies teacher in high school quoted an anonymous source, perhaps brought up in Appalachia, saying “Them as has, gits.” In my opinion, this philosophy is built into unfettered capitalism. As long as we have individuals and corporations, whose driving ambition is to amass as much money as they can, by any means, and the power that goes with that money, disregarding the welfare of their fellow citizens, we will have many people suffering a multitude of intrusions on their health, safety, and general quality of life.
Those of you who have seen “Sicko” will remember Michael Moore’s interview with an ordinary Canadian, where universal health care exists. To this man, it was a no-brainer; “We take care of each other,” he said. If that suggests that scary word, “socialism,” later in the movie, Michael reminds us that we already have services administered by the government: libraries, public schools, Medicare and social security for instance. These don’t have to be considered the camel’s nose for all-out socialism, but rather a humanitarian way of relating to each other. That’s the kind of country I want to live in.
Unfortunately our government, while amassing only debt, operates from values that help “them as has” “git” more, without conscience, and indeed, at the expense of sustaining our constitution.
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Steve Skvara is justified in feeling hurt and humiliated by what has happened to our country. I hope everyone will consider these thoughts when they vote.