October 17, 2014
Comments Off on I Started With Nothing
“I STARTED WITH NOTHING”
A bumper sticker. Seen along with a few others that quite admirably extol the virtues of public service and domestic purchase… and could not be more out of place.
If you were born in America, you have not started with nothing … period.
The least, most oppressed among us start with something much of the rest of the world does not have … the presence of opportunity. Granted, not all are equally and fairly provided access to said opportunity, but it exists.
In many places of the world, the greatest and purest ambition, is constrained by a simple lack of opportunity. Only those who rise in such circumstances can rightfully claim that they started with nothing; yet even they rest upon the successes of their predecessors.
America is crisscrossed with public infrastructure. All manner of vehicles are available to take us and our products anywhere we want, as well as the requisite structures to facilitate high-speed, comfortable, even environmentally conditioned transport. Educational institutions, while lacking in quality direction these days, are generally ubiquitous; and barring that, internet access is ever expanding; and where there isn’t internet, there’s usually something resembling a library.
Food is everywhere, healthy or otherwise. The only real long-term threat to 24/7 electricity and every single luxury built upon that service is whether or not you pay your bill. Even our neglected roads are superior to the nothing existent in some places. Life-sustaining water is made readily available here, while elsewhere people are literally warring over it. All this and a world-class military to protect it all too.
From the moment you are born in this country, you inherit a globally dominant public advantage; even today when that very advantage, built upon the tireless labor of generations before, is being rapidly eroded by careless, selfish, and abusive utility followed by the disgusting refusal to return the favor by investing in the naturally required repair of systems put to heavy use.
Should the wealthy be more heavily taxed than everybody else? Anyone who truly understands economy in a closed system need not even ask this question. It’s basic math. The only honest road to wealth is in production and service. Gambling, in any form, is not an honest means of claiming for oneself a significant portion of the national bloodstream; for this is the only true worth of money, not its possession, but its movement.
The scale at which these activities amass wealth carries a somewhat proportionally greater use of the public infrastructure, of the public advantage. So yes, maybe you made a bigger organization, but you also used more resources and placed a much larger burden on the general public works than I did; and you also polluted a hell of a lot more you dirty bastard… creating further ripples of impact in otherwise unrelated sectors of public activity such as health care and sanitation services. Your difficulty in understanding second and third order affects, at least publicly if not strategically, has no bearing on the actual extent of your responsibility.
And no, you do not have a right to keep what you have acquired dishonestly.
The continued weaponization of rights in the country serves no real purpose other than to destroy the very foundation of community that built it in the first place. Public works are done by public citizens, a people who understand service for balanced mutual gain, not service for personal profit… which is not truly service at all but a form of economic subversion; pressuring in imbalanced exchange under threat of complete denial. The American Constitution is meant to support the building of a social fabric, not to provide an arsenal of social weaponry with which to cut it up; especially while that very fabric is what underwrote your personal success in the first place.
No sir. You did not start with nothing. You started with everything. All you did was take advantage of the work of your peers and predecessors, and drink from the delusional fountain of self-worth sold to you by others of similar one-sided ambition. You may have amassed some significance of wealth, but unless your ambition involves returning the favor, your net worth is actually less than nothing; in fact you are naught but a blood clot imminently threatening the national health in a very real manner.
The absence you feel in your beginnings in not of resource, but of humanity.