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Class gap continues to get wider

Corporate debt is at a jaw-dropping $100 trillion dollars! Eighty-Five, yes, eighty-five people hold the wealth of 3.5 billion people (one-half of the world’s population!) Sources: Minneapolis Star Tribune Business Section, Bloomberg, BBC and CNBC business channels.

House Speaker John Boehner commented that Tea Party members and others have been “spoon fed” (excessive pandering.) How would this religious and economic extremism develop? Right wing shock jocks and certain tabloid “news” channels (Fox and Blaze) hold the keys.

If those of you reading this are in agreement with Pope Francis on economic issues, listen to the noise from the Paul Ryans, Santorums, Becks and others. It will be shrill and constant. Ayn Rand’s bogus philosophy has metastasized into a cancer of bigotry and mammon, i.e. the worship of riches and greedy pursuit! Why else would the Koch brothers, Adelson, Wall Street and the Walmart family spend hundreds of millions of dollars to purchase elections? These people care squat about the middle class and have proven it year after year for three decades.

For some time now we have been hearing mournful cries from some among us proclaiming themselves as “victims.” Not victims of violent crimes such as spousal abuse, sexual assault and abuse, child neglect and abuse (these are the victims we should be hearing about and acting upon.) No, these others are victims of lost freedoms and infringements. These other victims have had their feelings hurt and egos bruised, as if their rights are exclusive property. Loss of respect has been bandied about — “How dare anyone infringe on my exclusive rights!” I guess in some sheltered worlds voter suppression, women’s health care, public education and income inequality are never considered being infringed upon.

Carolyn Hax, advice columnist for the Washington Post published a wonderful article titled “Seek contentment; keep regrets in check.” Excerpts from this intellectually honest explanation of dealing with our life’s life: “To seek contentment with oneself — not because only defective people do otherwise, but because doing otherwise is self-defeating… No life goes exactly as planned and so our happiness will depend largely on how productively we respond when it takes an unwanted turn… Eventually, all advice flows here: Do the hard work to be content with yourself. Or, as Buddhism advises: Learn to want what you have. It’s not theory; it’s peace.”

Yes, I am a progressive, well-traveled, with an abundance of life experiences coupled with wonderful people; self-taught with some formal education and very proud of it. All of this has been earned and constitutes my true wealth!

For those of you claiming to be victims and in danger of losing your “exclusive” rights, perhaps recognizing contentment by dealing with the reality of unanswered prayers conjoined with exaggerated fear would alleviate your concerns. Or if you are really uptight, mix up a batch of brownies with the key ingredient of some Iowa Ditch. Speaker John Boehner said it best — spoon-fed! — Leland Jenson, Detroit Lakes