Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thomas Frank on American Obsession with Wealth: A Society Geared to Protecting the Super-Rich

Thomas Frank on how obsession with wealth has corrupted our entire society in the U.S, throughout all professions: 

And as we serve money, we find that money wants the same thing from us: to push everyone it beguiles in the same direction. Money never seems to be interested in strengthening regulatory agencies, for example, but always in subverting them, in making them miss the danger signs in coal mines and in derivatives trading and in deep-sea oil wells. You can have a shot at being part of the 1 percent, money tells us, only if you are first committed to making the 1 percent stronger, to defending their piles in some new and imaginative way, to rationalizing and burnishing their glory, to exempting them from regulation or taxation, to bowing down as they pass, and to believing in your heart that their touch will heal scrofula.

The 1 percent as those who have the healing touch to cure scrofula: the significant question we need to ask ourselves is, if Frank is correct that we all believe this at some deep level, how on earth did we arrive at such a belief?  When it's so abundantly evident that with the accumulation of great wealth does not also go the accumulation of spiritual and moral power?  But rather the opposite . . . .

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