Posted by Leonard Steinberg on July 23rd, 2011
Are we all too quick to pass judgement without taking a long hard look in the mirror?
This week saw two amazing instances of mass judgement: Firstly, everyone everywhere, especially in the press, voiced their OUTRAGE at Rupert Murdoch and his organization’s hacking misdeeds….of course, NONE of these organizations passing judgement have participated in any form of ‘questionable practices’ to obtain their stories, and of course NONE of the people who read (and often believe the trash) these newspapers are in any way complicit by having supported these papers for so long by buying and reading them….hmmmm…..
Last night fair and balanced FOX’s Bill O’ Reilly highlighted what most people were thinking: that the Norwegian extremist who killed dozens yesterday in Oslo was a Muslim or Muslim sympathizer. Bill automatically assumed something as heinous as this crime against society could only be perpetrated by a Muslim. Well, he was wrong, and so were many (most?)of us who assumed the same thing. We had all forgotten the Oklahoma bombing. We had all forgotten just how violent all religious fanatics are, or have been, throughout history. Hopefully this horrible incident reminds us all that we as a society need to fight off all extremists, on the left and on the right: Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Aetheist, whatever. Extremists are the cancer of our planet.
Here are some other ironic, often stupid, examples I have been pondering of our natural leaning towards passing judgement on others:
The LEFT is keen on raising taxes on the rich. They have classified the rich as those earning above $ 250,000.00 without any regard of where they live and the cost of living in that city. Wait till these same judges see the effects of these “rich people” losing their mortgage tax deduction which looks like it will either be removed or sharply reduced.
The RIGHT runs on fiscal conservatism, yet operates like the most disfunctional corporation on the planet: Would a good CEO only focus on cutting costs without raising income? Would any smart CEO continue to allow some corporations to benefit by huge tax breaks that don’t need them? If the right was so outraged about the ‘bailing out of Wall Street’, why are they not as concerned about the add-huge-profits-to-the-bottom-line for the most profitable companies on the planet such as EXXON and GE?
On GOOD MORNING AMERICA on Wednesday, a segment showcased twins wearing very similar outfits, one inexpensive, and the other the ‘designer’, expenisve version….we had to guess which was which…..everyone cheered loudly for the inexpensive version: why would anyone not want those $ 30 jeans? …..the ones made in China…..the ones that took a job away from an American….the profit from those jeans will stay outside of the US so they will not get taxed….the tax dollars that may have helped pay down our debt….
New York liberals complain bitterly about the rising costs of renting in the City. These are often the same people that demand more benefits from the City and State, earlier retirement ages, etc. So real estate taxes are raised to pay for these benefits on those who own the real estate…. who are then compelled to raise the rents. How DARE they?
Christian Conservatives are outraged by abortion (and often any form of birth control)…..yet they seem quite comfortable with wars. Who chooses what life is precious and what life is not? These same Christian conservatives know well that once you ban abortions, the least educated, poorest will produce even more welfare recipients……the benefits the Christian conservatives want to cut the most…..
Many Sellers who earn millions of dollars each year are outraged by brokers fees. Why can’t brokers work for free?
Condominiums pride themselves at being the ‘un-co-op’, the sane alternative to revelaing your life to your neighbors, yet now demand disclosure from buyers on a very similar level to that of the craziest co-op boards.
New York City cyclists DEMANDED respect from the awful car-driving masses, so they were given miles of biker lanes…..have you noticed how many of them (the vast majority?) disobey any form of the law? Running lights, going up streets the wrong way…..and avoiding the bike lanes?
Last week all applauded (myself included)the new computer-system to control mid-town traffic in New York. That computer will replace the need for several low skilled workers with a few high-skilled workers, thus eliminating more jobs. Yes, technology is wonderful, but it does eliminate jobs. And if we do not educate the unemployed to thrive in the new high-tech world, they will remain unemployed…..and cost the States and Federal governement lots….and they won’t produce any tax revenues….and they won’t be in a position to consume in the same manner as if they were employed. Thankfully Mayor Bloomberg announced in the same week plans for bidding on a new high-tech college campus: We need more Bloomberg’s in government. Smart. (not perfect either, who is?)
And lasty, the poor consumer. For the last two years everyone has been deriding them for their irresposible, evil and wreckless spending habits, charging up those credit cards (that benefit the bankers and all their shareholders most with those crazy interest rates), getting mortgages they could not afford on homes they did not need, spending out of control, landing us in the GREAT RECESSION. Now those same fiscal conservatives are stunned by the slow growth in GDP, realizing (what a shock!) that the USA’s economy is driven by the consumer….who is being so much more responsible now…..but it is their fault the economy is not growing, because they are not spending as extravegantly.
My verdict: we are all guilty. There is only one way to clean up the mess, and that is to start in our own back yards.