Am I My Brothers Keeper?

The other day I heard that a 93 year old veteran froze to death in his house in Cleveland after his utilities were cut off.

WHAT?!

Then, after ringing their hands a bit, the majority of the guys I talked to about it exonerated the utility company for any problems they may have caused the old guy. I mean, after all they are running a business. They need to make a profit. Right? Why hold them responsible? The laws on their side you know.

I mean what the hell, we can’t expect these companies to know all their clients can we? How did they know who lived there? It’s simple, he got a warning and when he failed to comply he got shut down. That’s just business. Good business by damn, by the way.

Well, I’m just dopey enough to ask a really stupid question.

Why couldn’t a company who has this sort of power over you at least be thoughtful enough to come pay you a visit and make sure you are not sick, or old and suffering from dementia, before they arbitrarily shut you down and kill you?

Ok, maybe by law they are not responsible. How about the law of decency? And the law of morality? So what if it’s not cost affective and they have to pay a costumer service guy to do the job?

This a perfect example why this country is broken and a perfect example as to why Obama is going to run dead on into a brick wall when it comes to fixing it. It is also a perfect example as to why you guys out there better quit with the arguing about politics and start thinking about and planning for your personal survival. You don’t want to find yourselves in that old man’s shoes do you?

The bottom line tells me there is no plan or thought in existence that will change this thing until the people and society themselves change by rethinking that old question plaguing humanity from the very beginning . . .

Am I my brothers keeper?

Now, don’t get scared, I’m not going religious on you just cause this phrasing happens to be in the bible. I’m sure it’s in all the others bibles also, perhaps in a different wording, but it’s there. Because this is a basic elementary 101 religious thought. One, by the way, that has been shoved into a corner and covered with a thick coating of more important stuff like dogma and self righteousness.

Am I my brothers keeper?

Now the U.S. has always, at least since the industrial revolution, been business oriented. Profit has always meant more than anything to the stock market and big business. But at the same time I remember in my youth a kinder, gentler nation.

Example . . . I got a job in 70 or so with the East Ohio Gas Company as a meter reader. I walked door to door and read the gas meters of a couple hundred people every day. Many of the meters were in basements, so I either had a key on a large ring stuck to my waist or they left the door open.

I was to enter, read the meter, take a quick look-see in each house as to the smell of gas etc. If I smelled gas around the water heater say, I called service and within the hour a repair guy was on his way. If the owner thought he smelled gas in the middle of the night and called, the repair guy was on the way for a, get this . . . courtesy call (meaning no charge) and a complete gas line check.

If an old person was sick, or alone, or had dementia and he failed to pay his bill, I guarantee his gas would remain on till it got warm or until arrangements could be made for him or others to pay it. The situation concerning this guy would have been checked out by customer service before even thinking about shutting him down.

Now on the other hand, if there were no problems at the home and the guy was just shirking his responsibility to pay for his gas, he may get shut down after a couple warnings, but these episodes were few and far between.

The company may have lost a few bucks for the extra service, but in the long run it was probably good for them as they had a stellar reputation. Working for a utility company was considered a boss job, even if you were only a meter reader.

Course in those days the factories were still in town and jobs paying good wages were plentiful.
Ok, that was a different world and a different time, granted. . . . BUT. . . If this same mind set were in affect these days I wonder if we would be in the mess we are in.

Companies would have stayed in-country if they had given less consideration to profit and more thought to their work force. Mom and Pop would still be owning the local grocery. There would still be a bakery and a shoe repair shop and a local thriving economy like in the fifties.

Industry could have taken the middle class along with it instead of dumping the vast majority over a cliff while they partook in a feeding frenzy of greed, portfolios, and bank accounts.

These same knuckle draggers who have taken over Wall Street and big business have even conned us into glorifying their brand of Capitalism as free market initiative.

Now these same arrogant bastards run in circles shamelessly begging for bail outs because their greed has run this huge well oiled, business machine into the ground. No bail! Go directly to jail and I hope, into Bubba Love Butts loving arms.

Bernie Madoff gets to live in his pent house after he gets caught in a billion dollar Ponzi scheme when he should be water boarded just for fun and thrown into a bamboo cage with a cobra for a cell mate. Why is he not at least in prison?

The guys who are buying private jets? And the dope with the million dollar office remodel? . . .What’s up with that? Even John Gotti had more class and was more honest than these bums.

Reality check: Nothing is going to change in this country regardless of how good the newest initiative package sounds and no matter which side of the isle is promoting it until both sides get real, sit down and think a bit about doing what’s right for the people . . . period.

Bush had no clue as to what was needed . . . Obama does, but he is going to be proved incapable of changing things until at least a vast majority of the movers and shakers, and us, the citizens of this country, can answer in the positive the question that lays before us all . . .

Am I my brothers keeper?

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