Dear Dirty America

DDA

Transparent Obscurantism

November 11
18:45 2012
DAN RUDY

Minot ND
There’s a double standard that has become apparent in this modern socioeconomic situation of ours.  Like many nations, America is a land of dual, dueling spheres:  a public and a private.  Functionally-speaking, this is good.  It is a noncontroversial thing to suggest that the business of government best lies in the maintenance and administration of our dear dirty American society; the business of business is to make money, to be the petrol-soaked engine barreling our civilization along into a prosperous future sort-of-like.
Between the functioning of these two sectors, ours is one of the most productive, progressive, and ideologically exceptional societies the world has ever experienced.  If one were to disregard the fourth dimensional implications, America is and always has been a leader in the wholesale pursuit of individual liberty and equal opportunity.
The Energy & Commerce Committee
But there are some shortcomings in this arrangement, if not self-evident then surely observable in the media.  Some eighty-one US corporations have lobbied for the repeal of part of the JOBS Act, which requires companies to disclose the pay of their top executives alongside median wage.  The House committee responsible for considering this voted in favor of repeal, thirty-three to twenty-one.  Apparently the motion was largely along partisan lines, with four Democrats siding with Republicans.
The requirement had originally been added to the aptly-acronymed JOBS Act to address (or at least, ‘bring up’) rising concerns over income disparity.  Since 1970, the average ratio between executive and median pay  has gone from around 28:1 to 158:1, an enormous jump considering the average salary for the bottom 90% of Americans (137,200,000 workers) has actually staggered back by a percentage point over the same time frame.  When the Act was formally passed, it was in a slightly emasculated form with loosened requirements for public disclosure.
Whereas transparency has become generally accepted to be good and necessary in the public sector, there is a double standard made for its private counterpart.  The same rationales given for opening up the records and receipts of government – to increase public awareness, bolster confidence, ensure accountability, and reduce corruption – are deemed anathematic when applied to the private sector.  When considered critically, this blatant obscurantism is indicative of something amiss in the moral fabric.  A major facet of our society – the private sector, where the majority of us work and transact – is kept shrouded from view.
The same private sector, I may add, that a major political persuasion wants to shift public services and social benefits toward.  The same private sector that has been shown to persistently (even still) pay employees discriminatory to race and gender.  The same sector that has fought to free itself from the bounds of regulation and oversight (accountability), only to proceed in widening an already sizeable gulf in income disparity.  One able to obfuscate doings beneath a patchwork of uneven reporting and hidden assets, whose actors are incentivized to make foolhardy investments for the sake of profit maximization.
Not to say the private sector is wholly rotten, or that it’s not obviously the economic linchpin of our civilization.  For its faults though, it can certainly be improved upon.  And implementing principles in keeping with American notions of freedom (from tyranny, from oppression, from treachery) that have been shown to work in the public sector can only contribute towards that end.  Painful as it may at least superficially seem to the super-wealthy, if we are not moving towards a more free and open society synonymous with the idealized rhetoric we hold dear, then we’re living a national lie.
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Dan Rudy has been fairly stressed out of late, what with another Black Friday approaching and all.  Another can of worms, completely – actually, a large association of Walmart employees are planning a Black Friday strike this year.  If you are interested in sponsoring a striker or learning more, help is always appreciated.  Otherwise, say no to ‘commercialism gone mad’ and don’t shop on Black Friday.  Essentially, shoppers undermine the ability for working class folk to have one of their two or three annually guaranteed days off: Thanksgiving.  
Compulsorily, I ought also to mention that Dan Rudy posts stories on his site, sluffabout.com 

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