2007-09 Recession, Blogging, Blogs, Democrats, Ethics, GOP, Illegal Immigrants, Political Parties, Recession, Republicans, Sharron Angle, Tea Party
by Paul Kiser
USA PDT [Twitter: ] [Facebook] [LinkedIn] [Skype:kiserrotary or 775.624.5679]
Article first published as The Quality of Mercy on Technorati.
William Shakespeare’s play, The Merchant of Venice, tells the tale of Antonio, a wealthy merchant who can’t lend money to a friend in need because his money is leveraged until his ships return to Venice. To help his friend, and having no other options, he goes to a moneylender named Shylock who despises Antonio, but surprisingly he agrees to lend the money without interest. The only condition is that if the money is not paid back in full by a certain date, Shylock will be allowed to take a pound of Antonio’s flesh.
In Act V, Antonio’s ships have apparently been lost as sea and he is arrested and brought before the Duke of Venice and Shylock. The moneylender is adamant that the contract is valid and he should be allowed to collect on his debt by taking the pound of flesh ‘nearest Antonio’s heart’. The root of the issue is not about the loan contract, it is about the long-standing conflict between Antonio and Shylock.
The Tea Party is playing the role of Shylock in American politics. Feigning some fictitious abuse in order to convince others that something horrible has happened to them, when in fact the Tea Party doth protest too much. Next Tuesday they seek their pound of flesh from the rest of our country and unfortunately they will likely get it. Sadly, the village idiots have told their lies enough that many people are starting to believe them.
It strikes me that our political uproar caused by the alleged ‘anger’ of the Tea Party and other extreme conservatives has nothing to do with the state of the economy, healthcare reform, higher taxes, immigration, nor government regulation. Like Shylock, it is the desire to destroy that drives the Tea Party, not rational thought. No rational person would accept:
- That our economy is worse today because of a Democratic majority.
- We were on the brink of complete economic disaster 18 months ago. Through brilliant use of tax money and government intervention disaster was averted. Ironically, we are making interest from some of the money invested.
- That the 2007-09 Recession was caused by government regulation.
- The 2007-09 Recession was caused by unethical business men and their practices, NOT because of a lack of government regulation.
- That healthcare reform is bankrupting businesses.
- Most of the reforms passed will not even take effect until 2014 and no one can offer a rational argument to support the doomsday prediction.
- That the Democratic majority has increased taxes.
- Wow. Taxes have been lower for 95% of Americans in 2009 and will be again in 2010, if the Republicans stopped holding the rest of us hostage unless the richest Americans are allowed to only pay tax equal to the poorest Americans.
- That illegal immigrants are destroying our country.
- Where’s the proof? I have heard the same ‘incidents’ used over and over. Undocumented workers lead a quiet, low profile life in this country… they have to. Yes, there are a few incidents that involve undocumented workers, but when a 21-year old, white, male attacks a woman in Denver because he ‘thinks’ she’s a Lesbian it is obvious we have bigger problems with stupid white men.
Business: Public Relations, Management, and Social Media Related
- HR/Security Hot Topic: Should you watch your employee’s personal Internet activities? (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc.)
- Relationship Typing: 3 factors that affect the quality and depth of friendship (Part I)
- Starbucks Re-Imagines the business … again
- Your Privacy Rights on the Internet: Read before you write
- Social Media 3Q Update: Who uses Facebook, Twitter,LinkedIn, and MySpace?
- Richmond Embassy Suites: The best at true Hospitality
- Dear Business Person: It’s 2010, please update your brain.
- Selling watered-down beer: The best spin campaign in advertising
- Communication: Repetition of message does not increase awareness
- Is it time to fire yourself?
- Millennium Hotel: Go away, spend your money elsewhere
- Rogue Flight Attendant shows his arrogance, Airlines dislike for the customer
- 2Q 2010 Social Media Tools: Facebook/Twitter sail on, LinkedIn/MySpace don’t
- War Declared on Social Media: Desperate Acts of Traditional Media
- Pay It Middle: The Balance between Too Much and Too Little Compensation
- Mega Executive Pay Leads to Poor Performance
- Relationships and Thin-Slicing: Why the other person knows what you’re really thinking
- Browser Wars: Internet Explorer losing, Google Chrome gaining ground
- WiFi on Southwest Airlines: Is it ‘Shovel Ready’?
- Starbucks makes a smart move: Free WiFi
- Foul Play: FIFA shows what less regulation offers to business
- The Shock of the McChrystal Story: The story is over before the article is published
- Tony Hayward: The very model of a modern Major General
- Epic Fail: PR ‘Experts’ don’t get Twitter
- King of Anything: Social Media vs Traditional Media
- Twitter is the Thunderstorm of World Thought
- Signs of the Times
- How Social Interactive Media Could Transform Higher Education
- How to Become a Zen Master of Social Media
- Death of All Salesmen!
- Aristotle’s General Rules on Social Media
- Social Media: What is it and Why Should You Care?
- Social Media 2020: Keep it Personal
- Social Media 2020: Who Shouldn’t Be Teaching Social Media
- Social Media 2020: Public Relations 2001 vs Social Media Relations 2010
- Social Media 2020: Who Moved My Public Relations?
- Publishing Industry to End 2012
- Who uses Facebook, Twitter, MySpace & LinkedIn?
- Fear of Public Relations
- Dissatisfiers: Why John Quit
- Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn…Oh My!
- Does Anybody Really Understand PR?
- Rotary@105: 7 Relationship types that affect membership retention (Part II)
- What most non-Rotarians don’t know about Rotary
- Rotary@105: Making Rotary Sexy
- Rotary@105: Grieving change
- How Rotary can..must..will plug into Social Media
- Rotary PR: Disrespecting the Club President is a PR/Membership issue
- Rotary Membership/Public Image Challenge
- Rotary New Year: Retread or Renaissance?
- Rotary@105: A young professionals networking club?
- One Rotary Center: A home for 1.2 million members
- Rotary@105: What BP Could Learn from the 1914 Rotary Code of Ethics
- Rotary Magazine Dilemma Reveals the Impact of Social Media
- Rotary@105: April 24th – Donald M. Carter Day
- Rotary@105: What kind of animal is Rotary International?
- Rotary: The Man in the Yellow Hat as the Ideal Club President?
- Rotary@105: Our 1st Rotary Club Dropout
- Rotary Public Relations and Membership: Eight Steps to a Team Win
- Rotary: All Public Relations is Local
- Best Practices: Become a Target!
Personal Experience Related
- Knowing when it’s over or beyond over
- Dear Teresa Laraba, SVP of Southwest Airlines Customer Service
- Things I didn’t know about being a Father to a four-year-old boy
- Riding Reno: The Ladies of Reno
- Up in the air down in Texas
- I mow my lawn because…
- Nevada I-580: An Interstate by any other name
- Nevada’s oldest brewery opens a Reno location
- Two Barbecues and a Wedding
- Car Dealership Re-Imagines Customer Service
Our Country and History Related
The ‘pound of flesh’ Shylock metaphor couldn’t be more apppropriate. Speaking of Nazi Germany, as the Tea Party crowd are wont to do, scapegoating was the centerpiece of the Nazi value proposition (‘the reason you Germans are suffering is because the Jews, Communists and other bad people have been stealing from you’).
Living standards are going down in America (and most of Western world) and people are mad and confused about it (‘where’s my cheese’).
1. Increasing global competition.
2. Declining world resources (peak oil).
3. American spoiled generation (too many guitar players and not enough engineers).
4. Increasing automation (if you can’t do something better than a computer, then good luck finding a job).
Of course, people don’t want to accept the new reality and work harder, make better use of resources, get off their butt, and deepen their skills. It is so much easier to pull out the old lap dog of demogogues – scapegoats.
Paul Kiser said:
This is an excellent assessment and I whole-heartily agree. I’m reading Wikinomics right now (I have somehow overlooked it until last week) and it strikes me how much things are changing and how many people feel completely lost in a world they no longer understand.
The ‘Who Moved My Cheese’ reference is a great one.
Thanks and take care!
Excellent post. Love the Shakespeare reference.
And after November 2, we won’t be much better off if the elections go the way we’re being warned they will. It’s difficult to understand why these states want to elect buffoons (Angle for one) and be saddled with ineffective, divisive people for the duration of their terms. But Tea Party folks don’t care because their platform is to destroy and disrupt. Politics should be better than that but it has been given a might swirly.
Paul Kiser said:
Thanks for reading and commenting. It is frustrating to observe what is happening but I do believe that for a majority of Americans this is ‘temporary’ insanity and we will recover.
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