Archive for the ‘Psychology’ Category

From 20th Century Robber Barons to 21st Century Robber Capitalist

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

This video says it all: https: income inequality. The 21st Century Robber Capitalist are as bad or worse that the 20th Century Robber Barons. Anti-trust like Legislation is needed to breakup the Board of Directors oligarchy and to tax unearned inheritances that are perpetuating this income inequality.

So, how did the Robber Capitalist steal from the middle class? First, they instituted 401k pensions and confiscated historical company pension fund contributions. Second, in the 1980’s they stop paying workers for increased productivity and took their productivity revenue gains for themselves. Finally, they stopped paying living wages and benefits. Not providing these leads to increased wealth for the robber capitalist.

The Robber Capitalist miss one central concept of Capitalism, i.e., workers are consumers. Thus as workers make less they consume less. Robber Capitalist threaten capitalism by monopolizing capital. There miss the irony of these circumstances.

$1000 Does NOT Create Jobs But It Does Improve the National Deficit

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Republicans are against an extra $1,000 a year tax on those who make over $250,000 per year. They believe it will prevent “Job Creators” from creating jobs. Yet, the Republicans have yet to explain how a Job Creator will create any jobs with an extra $1,000 per year. On the other hand, the extra $1,000 per year in taxes will very significantly decrease the national deficit. It seems like a no brainer but then no one ever claimed the Repbulicans had brains.

Instead of Job Creators, these 1%ers are “Revenue Hoarders.” Hoarding revenue and ludicrously excessive wealth while not paying for the infrastructure that help create their hoards has proven nationally unsustainable. Renouncing US citizenship to avoid paying taxes is treasonous. This also applies to corporations (that are ‘people’) who keep massive revenues off shore in order to avoid paying taxes. Taxes paid for the INFRASTRUCTURE that lead to the 1%ers’ and corporation’s income. Now they don’t want to pay for its upkeep and renewal. It is not only unpatriotic but also selfish!

TAXES is what paid for what the US is today. It is every citizen’s duty and moral obligation to pay their fair share of taxes–no matter the final amount paid. Taxphobia is no excuse for not fulfilling ones moral obligation as a US Citizen.

Republicans are Tax-phobic, Revenue Hoarding, Disconnected and Uncompassionate Cowards

Monday, July 9th, 2012

First, it takes courage to understand others and compromise. The Republican “my way or the highway” way of working with others takes no courage. Thus, the Republicans are cowards since they have been unable to compromise. Their repeal “Obamacare” efforts are prime examples of their persistent cowardly behavior.

Second, they are disconnected in that they only understand themselves and unwilling to connect to others which is required for compromise. This disconnection makes them uncompassionate and wanting to cut others benefits at others costs.

Third, they have hoarded all the increased revenues of the last decade and refuse to pay their fair (progressive) tax rate. In fact, they are tax phobic as if taxes is a religious rather than a political practice.

They would be ludicrous and pitiful if it weren’t for their political status. Instead they are scary. They are scary like a four year child pointing a load gun at you. One cannot know what will happen but it will not be good.

Republicans need to stop being disconnected, uncompassionate, revenue hoarding and tax-phobic cowards and join those of us in our courageous struggle to live life in the now and not in the past.

Marriage is Unconstitutional and Illegal

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

If marriage is ordained by God or its clergy to be between only a man and a woman, then it is unconstitutional. This unconstitutionality is based on the doctrine of the separation of Church and State. No State should codify religious or “sacred” practices.

Marriage between only men and women is illegal because it is the systematic discrimination against gay and lesbian couples. Civil unions are illegal because they are based on the separate but equal doctrines previously deemed unconstitutional.

The solution is to copy many countries throughout the world. These States only licenses and allow Civil Unions no matter the genders of the couples seeking union and only Churches perform marriages. In these countries couples go through two ceremonies–one civil and one religious. In the USA, we could probably agree that a religious Marriage ceremony could fulfill the requirements for a Civil Union. Thus, according to the State all Civil Unions have the same rights. The bases of “sacred” unions is then left to religions. These practices maintain the separation of Church and State.

Finally, the “majority” does not have the right to impose their values on a “minority” by virtue majority vote. The courts have supported the rights of the individual in spite of the majority vote. This was and still is the whole basis of the civil rights movement.

Our Yearning for Consciousness Stated Lyrically & Beautifully By Billy Joel

Monday, March 12th, 2012

In his lyrics of the song “The River of Dreams” from his album “The River of Dreams” Billy Joel beautifully states the human’s desire, fervor, quest, yearning to understand one’s Self consciously and to achieve Oneness with Self, i.e., consciousness and subconscious. Actually the whole album relates to this yearning. The lyrics are below. What follows are some insightful questions I see asked by them.

“In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
From the mountains of faith
To a river so deep

I must be looking for something
Something sacred I lost
But the river is wide
And it’s too hard to cross

And even though I know the river is wide
I walk down every evening and I stand on the shore
And try to cross to the opposite side
So I can finally find out what I’ve been looking for

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the valley of fear
To a river so deep

And I’ve been searching for something
Taken out of my soul
Something I would never lose
Something somebody stole

I don’t know why I go walking at night
But now I’m tired and I don’t want to walk anymore
I hope it doesn’t take the rest of my life
Until I find what it is that I’ve been looking for

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the jungle of doubt
To a river so deep

I know I’m searching for something
Something so undefined
That it can only be seen
By the eyes of the blind

In the middle of the night

I’m not sure about a life after this
God knows I’ve never been a spiritual man
Baptized by the fire, I wade into the river
That runs to the promised land

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the desert of truth
To the river so deep

We all end in the ocean
We all start in the streams
We’re all carried along
By the river of dreams

In the middle of the night”

Here are but a few questions that these lyrics bring us for meditation, contemplation, pondering.

1)
“I must be looking for something.
Something sacred I lost”

What sacred something do we feel we have lost?

2)
“I try to cross to the opposite side
So I can finally find out what I’ve been looking for”

What are we continually looking for? What drives this search?

3)
“I’ve been searching for something taken out of my soul
Something I would never lose, something somebody stole”

What was taken out of our soul? Who stole it?

4)
“I know I’m searching for something, something so undefined
That it can only be seen by the eyes of the blind
In the middle of the night ”

What are we searching for that can only be seen by the the eyes of the blind, i.e., while we are asleep?
Hint: an alternative to sleep is “vivid dreaming” google it and see what it is

5) (My truth included…now give me your truth)
“I go walking in my sleep
Through the desert of truth to the river so deep”

Truth is barren, desolate, nothing. The opposite of a truth is ANOTHER truth!
The river so deep is our own subconscious that goes on forever.
I you look out into space you can see/imagine that it goes on forever and ever.
The same is true for our own subconscious. You can look/visualize into it as far as you see/imagine space.
Both the outer world AND our inner world are infinite!!! THAT IS GOD and then much more. 🙂

6) (My truth again. What is your truth?)
“We all end in the ocean, we all start in the streams
We’re all carried along by the river of dreams”

We begin life with minimal (“streams”) of consciousness, awareness of our inner and outer worlds.
As our consciousness grows it joins the much greater (“ocean”) consciousness that is the nirvana, heaven on earth, etc. This ocean is shared consciousness with everyone that has made it that far. Everyone has the capacity to go from their streams to the ocean but few do.

God Is Not God and You Are Not You

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Understandings regarding God are thousands of years old and are essentially unchanged. Though these understandings were appropriate for a world of hunters and gathers and subsequently agriculture-based primeval tribes, they are anachronistic and unsatisfying for modern tribes. This leaves many current believers in God unchurched because they cannot believe teachings based on outmoded understandings of God. Many want understandings of God to evolved just like our understanding of the physical universe has evolved. Paradoxically, an evolved understanding of God leaves us at a juncture in our human evolution that is both dismaying and awe inspiring.
Our understandings of our physical universe now includes DNA, genetics, space/time, molecules, atoms, quarks, bosons, Higgs particles and beyond. These understandings are based on science, i.e., provable premises. Innumerable proofs, i.e., “laws of science,” are already at hand or being researched. Nevertheless, due to physical limitations it is unclear whether scientific methods will ever be able to investigate all scientific theories, i.e, premises to prove or disprove them. String theories may be one of theories.
Our understandings of God are based on philosophies, i.e., unproveable premises, handed down through the ages in constantly changing contexts and texts. This is exemplified by the fact that there were many kinds of Christianity’s based on differing premises before one Christianity, i.e., one premise, destroyed them all. Ironically, this one Christianity has since split into countless variations, a.k.a, Denominations, based on differing premises.  The fact that there are more variations of the Bible then there are words in the Bible is emblematic of these problems. 
Judaism and Islam are no better shape. There are many sects in Judaism and Islam, each with their variation on central or peripheral doctrines. Like Christianity, they are based on a prophet or prophets whose understanding of God is the basis of the religion or sect. Yet these prophets live in ancient times. Thus, our understandings of God are anachronistic.
So, how are we going to modernize our understanding of God. A scientific method called “a thought experiment” can be used to this end. This would go as follows: 
Think/Imagine God. He/She/It is much more than that thought/vision. And then he/she/it is infinitely more than that. And then infinitely more than that. And goes it goes on infinitum after infinitum without end.
It is obvious that God is incomprehensible by humans and that humans will never know God in their lifetimes. That is why “God is dead.” It is hard to call anything “alive” that goes beyond infinitum and beyond our understanding. What “God is dead” is really declaring is that the anachronistic and anthropomorphic understanding of God is dead. 
Now, how about the fact that God made humans in his “own image.” Let’s do the same thought experiment again:
Think/Imagine You. You are much more than that thought/vision. And, then you are infinitely more than that. And then infinitely more than that. And goes it goes on infinitum after infinitum without end.
So, what is the proof for this “You are not You.” Science can helps us to this end. We know that we are all unique. Due to epigenetics even twins are never identical. So, like snowflakes, not two humans are or ever will be identical. 
Next, science tells us about invariable cell death and growth that is constantly changing our bodies. Our bodies consisting of approximately 1×1016 cells is not made of the same body of 1×1016 cells from moment to moment. So, physically You are not You from moment to moment.
How about mentally?  Aren’t You constantly You mentally? Actually, we now know that most of thoughts and action are controlled by unconscious processes. These thoughts are constantly changing to deal with our constantly changing environment. New memories are examples of our constantly changing.  Thus, mentally You are not You because of constantly changing interactions with our physical environment moment to moment.
Finally, how about socially? Are You constantly You? Marriage is the prime example of You not being You moment to moment. No matter how long two people are married, they will never know their spouse completely because that are constantly changing physically and mentally. That is why divorces happen decades into relationships. The same is true with every social relationship. Just look at your children. In their first two decades, their constant growth physically, mentally and socially changes moment to moment are incredible.
So, we do not and can not know God and we do not and can not know ourselves. Both dismaying. Yet, religions have two aspects: Mysticism and Ethics. Their current understandings of God in their mystical religious thought are what are anachronistic. The above thought experiments tells us that “God is” and no more. Nothing more is knowable and saying anything more is hubris. 
What the prophets told us and humans can abide by is their ethics, i.e., moral philosophies. Ethics are how a person should act. For example, the “Jefferson Bible” or “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth” extracts from the Bible the moral teaching of Jesus as a man tat can be emulated by humans. Jesus as the miracle worker is “Christ”/God and therefore unknowable as noted. Similar ethics teaching can be obtained from the Koran and Old Testament. Sadly, these ethics are either overlooked in favor of mystical worship of God or interpreted for one’s own religious benefits; thus the innumerable denominations and sects.
So, what is awe inspiring? The fact that we have been shown or told how we should act is awe inspiring. We can stop worrying about God and start worrying worrying about how we act. Behaviors based on religious ethics inspires many God-like acts. Imagine a world where this was the rule rather than the exception.
Humans are universally spiritual. Many are religious but an increasing number have shunned religions and become spiritually unchurched. This is because of religionsÂ’ anachronistic understanding of God and/or modifications of their prophetsÂ’ ethics are so different from the prophetÂ’s teaching that they cannot abide by their religious doctrines. For example, it makes no sense that Protestants canÂ’t date Catholics. TheyÂ’re both Christians, for GodÂ’s sake!
So, contemplating God is as much a waste of time as contemplating any one else including your ownÂ’s Self. Yet, behaving in the ethical ways described in your prophetÂ’s scripture (and not how it has changed by its interpretations) is doable and would lead the the better world and societies envisioned by them.

Lies, Liars and Framers: How Republicans Recurrently Win Through Deception

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

For historical reasons, the Republicans have anachronistic values that generally lead to minority positions on most current issues. Paradoxically, the Republicans must still convince enough other Americans to support their minority positions to gain a majority and have them enacted as public law or policy. Framing is the RepublicanÂ’s most commonly used tool for deceiving the general public into supporting their otherwise minority positions. Understanding framing and successfully developing counter-framing terminology is key to overcoming this currently successful and frequent way of lying to the American public.
To frame an issue is to shape or adapt an issue to a particular purpose. For Republicans the purpose of framing is to garner enough support and votes to advance and hopefully enact their otherwise unpopular minority values. Shaping or adapting issues for deceiving and getting their solutions implemented has proven very successful for Republicans.
An recent example of using framing to deceive is the Republican labeling of Obama’s mandate for insurance coverage of contraception as a “violation of Freedom of Religion.” Republican basic values are well known to be against contraception and that is why it is not currently covered by insurance companies. Rather than allowing Obama’s mandate to stand, they framed it as a violation of Freedom of Religion issue in an attempt to garner a majority to oppose it. They did this in spite of the fact that several Republican Governors had signed similar contraceptive coverage mandates in their States.
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) went as far as proposing a vaguely worded morals amendment based on Freedom of Religion to an unrelated bill. This amendment would have allowed employers who are predominately Republican not cover anything they believed to be morally objectionable. This would not included only contraception which was not noted in the amendment but any other Republican minority health care value. The Republicans tried to use deception on one issue, i.e., contraception, to advance their minority values on many of their  issues. 
The Republican framing of this Spring’s perennial rise of gasoline prices as a failure of Obama Administration policies is an attempt to frame (pun intended) Obama for something even Republican Presidents can’t control. The same goes for blaming Obama for decreasing but still high unemployment that resulted from the Bush’s Regime economic catastrophes. 
The Republicans have successfully framed the 1% of top income earners in the US as “job creators” even though they have not shown that they are.  A savvy opposition could also frame them as “money hoarders,” “tax freeloaders,” “fair tax evaders” or even, “unAmerican tax dodgers.” For reasons of good media control, i.e., FOX, Republican framing quickly rises to top of news reporting and rapidly becomes the frame of choice leading to mass deceptions necessary to advance their issues.
Historically, the Republicans framed the inheritance tax as a “Death Tax” early in G. W. Bush’s Regime and successfully won. This led to a law gradual decreasing inheritance tax rates to zero in 2010. This meant George Steinbrenner’s inheritors received the billion dollar plus New York Yankee’s in 2010 without having to pay a cent of tax. 
In contrast, the inheritance tax could been counter-framed as a “left behind tax,” “you didn’t take it with you tax”, “time to pay back America tax” or even an “excessive inheritance tax” since it actually applied to very large inheritances only. Small inheritances were exempt from the previous inheritance law.
A series of deceptions through framing have advanced the Republican opposition to abortion. What started as a plain “anti-abortion” stance rapidly became a “Pro-Life” stance. Paradoxically, Pro-Lifers are major supporters of capital punishment! Next, Pro-lifers framed the fetus as a “baby.” When this was not successful they framed the fetus as a “child.” Biologically, pregnant woman have a fetus until it become viable after 22 weeks and pregnancy and then it is a neonate or baby. Being “with child” is a euphemism for being pregnant and not meant to rename a fetus.
Ironically, a Pro-Lifer caller to a recent NPR radio show attacked an opponent of Virginia’s law mandating pre-abortion vaginal ultrasounds as “rape.” She could not understand how she could call, i.e., frame, the ultrasound as “rape” when it was necessary to try “to save the life of a “child.” Obviously, framers for deception cannot tolerate opponents using framing to advance their cause(s). 
More recently, the deceitful and probably illegal framing of the Iraq War to successfully started it has been well documented. Many would have never supported the war if it had not been deceitfully framed as a “preemptive strike against weapons of mass destruction including nuclear and biological weapons.” Not only were there no such weapons, this framing was shown to be based on non-existing or purposely misinterpreted data.
Framing for deception has become a Republican norm since only a minority support any of their minority values. Framing has successfully deceived many majorities of the public into supporting Republican stances they would never otherwise support. Thus, framing is lying.
It is time to call Republican framing what it really is, i.e., lying and call Republican framers what they really are, i.e., liars. Only when framing is specifically pointed out as deceitful will the lying and liars be revealed and the public can truly make informed decisions. Counter-framing is probably a quick way to expose the Republican lying and liars.

Winning through ad hominem Diversions: A Too Common Republican Tactic

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Republican Conservatives are repeatedly having to defend their unjustifiable positions. These positions are usually politically damaging especially in election years. Since their positions are unjustifiable and damaging, they recurrently resort to their most successful diverting tactic, i.e., attacking the person rather than addressing the issue(s). In successfully diverting attention from their unjustifiable positions to the person they attack, they limit political damage and are able to maintain their positions. Opponents on the issue must avoid falling for these diverting tactics and stay on issue if they are to press their points.
The most recent example of this tactic involves Rush Limbaugh’s attack on a young women for testifying in front of Congress by calling her “a slut” on his nationally syndicated radio show. She was testifying in support of mandated insurance coverage of contraceptives as an important Women’s Health Issue. Her testimony was inspired by Republican Conservative public and vigorous opposition to Obama’s Administration mandate of coverage. The Republican Conservative vigorous opposition was based on Freedom of Religion arguments even though several Republican Governors had signed similar mandates into law in their States. They hoped to gain politically by their opposition.
The Republican Conservative continued attacks on Obama’s insurance company mandate for contraceptive coverage resulted in unexpected and rapidly growing women’s backlash based on Women’s Health Issues. The Republican Conservatives all of a sudden were losing ground politically with women and Independents. 
Subsequently, Rush Limbaugh called this young woman “a slut.” Now, the issue is about Rush Limbaugh’s attack and no longer about Women’s Health. Rush laughs off criticism about his comments because he knows he has diverted a bullet for Republican Conservatives. He can only revel in his successful diversion knowing full well that they will rescue him from any dire consequences.
The attack tactic is called argumentum ad hominem or ad hominem ,for short. This attack is an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic or belief of the person supporting it.
Variations of  ad hominem or personal attacks are:
1) Abusive ad hominem usually involves insulting or belittling one’s opponent in order to attack his claim or invalidate his argument, but can also involve pointing out true character flaws or actions that are irrelevant to the opponent’s argument. Thus, the young woman testifying is “a slut.”
2) Ad hominem circumstantial constitutes an attack on the bias of a source.
3) An ad feminam is a attack used in attempt to defeat a woman’s argument.
4) Ad hominem tu quoque refers to a claim that the source making the argument has spoken or acted in a way inconsistent with the argument.
As long as opponents let them get away with this diverting tactic, Republican Conservatives will continue use all of these ad hominem tactics to continue to divert attention from their unjustifiable issues. 
The only way to stop them is for opponents on issues to not allow ad hominem attacks divert attention from their initial issue and let the personal attack become the diverting issue. Instead, the ad hominem attack should generate another issue in addition to the initial issue. Only when their unjustifiable issues mount along with being taken to task for ad hominem attacks will the Republican Conservatives address issues successfully or lose any sense of legitimacy on the issue with the American people.

Our American Affliction: Idolatry of Money

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Tears ran down my cheeks as I read Aldous HuxleyÂ’s diagnosis of our worldÂ’s societal maladies. I cried because he wrote what I knew in my heart to be true and have not been able to put into words. Included in his book–The Perennial Philosophy, HuxleyÂ’s diagnosis is as accurate now as it was when first published in 1944. He basically wrote that the worldÂ’s people are beset with idolatry.

ItÂ’s easy to identify AmericaÂ’s idolatry—Money, the modern equivalent of the Golden Calf. Curiously, it is the obscene accumulation of money that is revered and not promiscuous spending since many without money spend shamelessly into untenable debt. ItÂ’s as if we cannot accumulate enough money and those who accumulate a lot are idolized but only if they continue to accumulate more. Intriguingly, wealth is not the goal or enough. Many of these accumulators of obscene amounts of money are wealthy many times over by any definition. The accumulation of money–not wealth–is the goal. This goal is pervasive in every aspect of American life including but not limited to governments, businesses, churches, sports and entertainment.

Yet, since greed is a commonly held as sin how does anyone acquire massive amounts of money and stay overtly sinless? Bizarrely, itÂ’s under the triple mantras of freedom, capitalism and moral values. The unholy trinity of freedom, capitalism and moral values is advanced by a very small minority of Americans for their great personal gain and in spite of repeated disastrous consequences. Each arm of the political-industrial-preacher alliance frames their idolatry for money with the support of the other two and for mutual financial benefits. Importantly, it is only a very small minority of each arena that are in this de facto alliance and many in this alliance intersect through jobs, political ties, groups, family, acquaintances, etc. Nonetheless, these few ruthlessly control a vast majority of power and wealth for their own personal gain.

American politicians promote freedom as it was always the American way. Yet, American women and minorities did not know freedom until the 1960Â’s. Even today, many Americans still donÂ’t know the freedom from the vicissitudes of daily living much less political freedom. ItÂ’s as if there is a freedom to be poor and the poor selected it. Instead, the cause of poverty is buried in the overall political will to keep the poor poor as a part of the freedom mantra.

Paradoxically, in the “war against terrorism” to defend American freedoms, our freedoms have been further limited. So, why is freedom championed when it limits freedom? Politicians championing freedom use this mantra to get elected. Thus, as in most political endeavors, power is the bottom line and championing freedom is their current way of gaining power. Why would we otherwise sanction war and its accompanying deaths—the ultimate lack of freedom—in the name of freedom?

Forced or imposed freedom is an oxymoron. Yet, the current American presidential regime is trying to impose freedom on a people who have never known freedom. If it took Americans 200 years to become somewhat free, why should we expect overnight freedom in other societies? Obviously, itÂ’s not about freedom; itÂ’s about power. But, power to what end? Not unexpectedly, power and personal gain, i.e., money go hand-in-hand. Thus, politicians worship freedom as a means to their ends to gain power and for their personal accumulation of money. We will see how this modus operundi fits well with capitalism.

Capitalism is the businessmanÂ’s mantra for the massive accumulation of personal money. Historically, uncontrolled capitalism easily leads to monopolies and massive personal money accumulation; so, capitalismÂ’s power is managed and its profits taxed by governments. Taxing capitalistsÂ’ profits mitigates its inequities and allows for providing for those that capitalists misuse and abuse for profit. Since the government came late to controlling capitalism, trade unions developed to counterbalance capitalismÂ’s restriction on personal freedoms and wealth distributions. Through political means, capitalists have essentially nullified labor unions and their mitigating effect on capitalistsÂ’ power.

Those who champion capitalism claim it benefits all in a society. Yet, how do they explain that 40% of Americans make less than a living wage, i.e., less than $18,000 per year? Capitalists champion capitalism because they can personally accumulate vast amounts of money. The politicianÂ’s alliance with capitalists involves decreasing capitalistsÂ’ taxes and government control in order for them to accumulate even more money. These capitalists then support the political campaigns of these politicians. Politicians and capitalists use money as reciprocal bonds for great mutual benefits.

Yet, less control for capitalism and less taxes for the very wealthy did not accumulate sufficient amounts of money for capitalists. The amounts werenÂ’t obscene and they wanted more! Wars greatly benefit capitalists and it would appear that the ill-conceived Iraq war was not about oil but instead about hideous capitalist profits. Most of the hundreds of billions of dollars for the war to preserve our freedom have gone into the personal pockets of American capitalists. And, as is their ways, capitalists let others do their bidding (i.e., dying) while they reap their fortunes. It appears that capitalists are fast becoming the modern day aristocracy.

“Globalization”, i.e., developing world markets according to American capitalism, is only the latest mantra to extend the hegemony of American capitalist abroad. Its success would greatly benefit American capitalists to the detriment of the local populous just like it has in the US. In contrast open markets when appropriate benefits corporations but not necessarily capitalists since profits are not obscene.

It is important to note that businessmen champion capitalism for personal gain and not necessarily for corporate success or gain. These personal goals explain all the recent criminal corporate mismanagements for personal gain scandals and the scandalous CEO salaries regardless of corporate success. Ironically, for capitalists corporations are only a means for personal gain. This personal gain phenomenon also explains the vast amounts of money made managing money. Capitalists provide for capitalists to the detriment of everyone and everything else. ItÂ’s as if a MBA is a degree in only personal money accumulation.

So, how do moral values fit into the unholy trinity fueling AmericaÂ’s idolatry of money? Preaching and claiming moral values hegemony is how obscene personal money accumulation is justified and declared not a sin. These preacher champions claim what they and their members (i.e., allied politicians and capitalists) do is morally good. Duplicity is the basis of these values. How would you otherwise explain that these morals that value all life readily supports wars that kill many and advocate for capital punishment. Not surprisingly, those preaching these moral values hegemony have accumulated or control vast amounts of money for their personal use.

So, what is the answer? Obviously, worshiping something besides money is a start. Study after study has shown that people are not much happier with more money once they reach a certain level of income. This level is less that $100,000 per year! So, massive accumulation of money is only a way to keep score since happiness is pegged to less than this amount. ItÂ’s true. Money canÂ’t buy happiness after a certain level of income.

If not money, what? Charity is a start. Even though they will remain fabulously wealthy, Bill & Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet are giving away vast majorities of their money. Maybe being wealthy is enough and obscene amounts of money are not a praiseworthy goal. Everyone should be able to live with less than $100 million in their lifetime. Thus, they should give the rest away. Better yet, they should lobby Congress to tax it away like Warren Buffet has. I donÂ’t think he went out to accumulate his money; it just was a byproduct of his very good business judgment. However, charity is more that just alms giving according to Huxley. It is the highest form of divine love and involves self-disinterests, peacefulness and humility. Yes, real charity would be a laudable goal.

Finally, what is in for those whose have the goal but have not yet accumulated obscene amounts of money. Charity love is sure a start since it does not necessarily involve alms giving. Certainly, self-love, a very common missing element in many, is a worthy goal.

Work and Job: Synergy Whenever Possible but Do Not Ignore Work

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

Most people do not understand or know their work. They know their job but their job is entirely different from their work. Understanding ones work is key to a happy, fulfilling life.

A job is what one does to earn income to meet the basic needs of daily living. It is well known that happiness rises with increased earnings up to about $50,000 per year and that more than $100,000 per year does NOT increase happiness. Yet, 40% of American earn less than $18,000 per year. In a country that prides itself in the “pursuit of happiness”, it is paradoxical that many full time and hard working Americans cannot earn enough to meet basic their needs and be happy. The cannot devote time to their work even if they wanted to.

Ones work is what one was put on this earth to do. One knows it is their work because it makes them happy. Many times ones job is what ones work is believed to be. If true, there is synergy between job and work and the person is happy. Yet, even when there is synergy the job frequently becomes more important than work. In this circumstances, work loses out and happiness decreases.

For many, their job and work are not synergistic. Women who feel their work is their family or home are force to leave them for jobs. Conversely, many women whose job is their family or home are not able to leave to do their work. Many men do not spend time at their work because they get focused on earning more income from their job. Not attending to work is tantamount to ignoring an important part of ones psyche.

One’s success should be measured against ones potential. Work is what we were born to do and not having our basic needs meets cripples our work. “Starving Artists” and callings to ministries and charities are examples of persons picking work over jobs. But the vast majority do not have the wherewithal to pick work over jobs. It is a societal obligation to provide everyone a job that earns enough to allow work.

Yet, enough income does not guarantee that work will be done. Many wealthy and money hoarding people never do their work and believing their incomes measure their success. Philanthropy is a way some of them do their work. But, many never address their work and they are unhappy since their money cannot buy happiness.

Not knowing or addressing ones work has led to pervasive angst. This makes jobs unsatisfying. Enlightened employers know that happy employees lead to better job performance and allow their employees to incorporate work into their jobs. Synergy is key and whatever it takes to do ones work should be a focus.