spiritual poverty


I am always astonished at the spiritual poverty that informs the ongoing debate about the official minimum wage. I thought the facts had been decided years ago when Henry Ford established the Five Dollar Day, which had resulted in a surge of prosperity that spread out in ever-widening rings. Yet it seems that the forces of greed believe, apparently sincerely, that if you give more to those who need it most for survival, there will be less for those who do not.

I have mentioned this before, but big grain companies purposely adulterate their products by mixing sand with the clean grain because it is economically profitable and the government says that a certain amount of sand content is legally okay. Sand is cheaper than grain, and it is marginally more profitable to do so—but is it right?

I received notification yesterday that my new generator has finally shipped, but the company (BrandNewEngines, Inc.) had been sitting on my order for a week (and refused to acknowledge its receipt) in order to artificially justify its “free shipping” offer. What kind of marketing genius builds into its offering inferior customer service, a dissatisfier, and expects repeat business or customer loyalty in return? No matter how acceptable the product turns out to be, I will always have a bad taste in my mouth from the transaction.

How costly could it be for a business owner to be a little more generous, to make a little more effort, to satisfy their customers and employees? Do they really think there would be no payback or appreciation from better meeting human needs?

A few days ago, I was talking with a friend about a man with whom we had both worked, who’s mentality was very much of the “if you win, I lose” persuasion. He was one of the smallest, most jealous persons I have ever known. If someone else had produced more or volunteered more than he had, he made it his business to block the progress or recognition of the other person—whom he regarded as a mortal threat. He suppressed more income to the organization than he ever created.

A few years ago he died, and I don’t think that anyone who truly knew him was sorry. “He had a lot of people fooled, but not me,” said my friend.

Today his wife, who survives him, has been abandoned by her family in a nursing home. Selfish children, schooled no doubt, in their father’s values.

Selfishness and greed are such powerful things. They seem “smart” in the short term, but in the end, they only result in the impoverishment of all.



Groove of the Day

Listen to World Party performing “Ship of Fools”

Weather Report

61° and Clear


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