Wednesday, February 16, 2011

An I for an I is not Teamwork

Growing up I always heard the phrase, “There’s no “I” in teamwork.”
It was and still is a catchy phrase and at least for winning teams true.  And although there are exceptions such as the Cleveland Cavaliers who have completely lost their way after losing LeBron James generally all involved must pull together for a team to be successful.
We can also extrapolate the opening phrase into many other areas such as Congress which has no “I” or the corporate world, also devoid of an “I.”
And yet both Congress and the world of big business have forgotten about the members of the American team.  Both of those entities have left the average citizen out of any equation.
For the past decade or so the team comprised of large corporations and members of Congress have consistently acted in their own best interests.  Their ‘one hand washes the other’ attitude for self advancement works well for them in the short term but could eventually hurt all of us.
According to all teams our current fight is with an ever increasing deficit caused simply by the fact that we as a nation are spending more money than we are taking in.
The fix to that problem is also simple.  Either take in more money or dole out less.
Or better yet, dare I say it compromise.
It is that compromise I wish to discuss because it is something this country has lost sight of.  And coincidentally the time period during which we have closed our eyes to that word happens to be the same time period for which our economy has faltered and our unemployment numbers have spiked.
Unemployment is another interesting word.  And while there is no “I” in unemployment it is most certainly an individual problem.  And too many of the 'I's' have it!
People who are employed in the work force are all part of their particular team.  And while they each may grumble about their jobs to co-workers or to their family they nevertheless fight for their team and pull for their team and defend their team when attacked by competing companies.
And yet corporate greed working in a government induced and controlled environment of profit over people at any cost has created a dangerous mix of oligarchic mentality and well funded campaigns to keep the status quo for years to come.
We have billionaires who have more money than they could ever spend in many lifetimes quietly funding ad campaigns and special interest groups aimed at removing all taxes or regulations or any other perceived impediments to their continued wealth grab.
The result of their efforts has produced the widest gap ever known between the wealthiest 2% in this country and the workers who helped them realize their stratospheric status.
And these people did not stop at funding advertisements.  With the help of odd and unprecedented rulings by the Supreme Court of the United States they are also using some of their vast wealth to fund the political campaigns and careers of our supposedly unbiased congressmen and women.
It is hard to fault people for taking the easy way out especially when tremendous amounts of cash are waved in their faces.  That is usually how spies and double agents are created.
But when we as an indivisible nation of individuals take the time to believe in a group of people; take the time to campaign for those people; and in the end put our votes where our mouths are should we not have the right to expect something in return?
America is a nation founded in Democracy.  We were born from the ashes of a revolution against the unfair practice of taxation without representation.  We gladly, sort of, pay our taxes knowing that the money is going toward the greater good and that our best interests are being religiously guarded and defended by our team leaders, the members of the US  Congress.
And yet an incredibly large number of corporations including the largest one the world has ever known, Exxon pay no taxes in or to America.  But they seem to be represented in government far more than the millions upon millions of individual tax payers!
Billionaires were given huge tax breaks under President Bush and then were able to coerce President Obama and the Democrats into allowing them to continue.  These gifts were made in the hopes that a few bones in the way of jobs would be tossed down to the American public.
We the people are still waiting.
While there is no “I” in team I am a nevertheless a member of the American team and I am fed up with corporations getting away with financial murder.
Here’s a cute pneumonic I stole from our Constitution,
All Men Equal, Remember? I CAN!
Here’s hoping Congress remembers as well and starts working for the American team once again.

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