As the story goes, if you put a frog in water at room temperature and slowly turn up the heat, it will stay there until it boils to death. Conversely, if you throw it into boiling water, it will immediately jump out to save its life.
Our pot just hit the boiling point, and some of the frogs are just now beginning to think of jumping out. There's still a few who think the heat is just an illusion created by some devious mastermind who has their interests at heart. Can't fool them. Anyway, warm water is more comfortable than changing their minds.
Of course, some frogs will boil and die happy basking in their special brand of arrogance that comes from never, ever, ever changing their minds. These frogs are also the easiest to fool into thinking the increasing temperature is a kindness from some benefactor who loves them.
Well, that's partially true. He loves them the same way he loves an expensive caviar, a fine vodka, and a good steak.
Boiling frogs, politicians, global climate change, deregulation, tax cuts for the wealthy, all have an intriguing connection. Here's what I mean.
We didn't notice the tiny temperature changes while corporations where destroying the employee's ability to earn a fair day's pay, bargain collectively, have the security of longevity on the job. We didn't notice how an employee's loyalty to an employer wasn't being returned in like kind. How the employee's rights were slowly being eroded with the help of government concessions to the moneyed interests and their need to keep sweeping wealth upwards.
The temperature took a big jump, and we finally noticed when the finance sector freed from regulations, became over 40 percent of our economy and took trillions of dollars of the public's wealth in meltdowns created by greed, fraud, and mismanagement. We then told ourselves the temperature wasn't too bad even when we had to bail them out because they were too big to fail.
We ignored the heat and acclimated when the cooks told us the water was going to be just fine. All we needed to do was elect the worst bunch of scoundrels in the history of American politicians (and there have some bad ones). They were going to ease our pain. Make America great again.
Now, these scoundrels are telling us that making fundamental human needs more difficult to get is in our best interests. Why? Because they can, that's why. We're too overheated to think clearly any longer. They've convinced us to fight amongst ourselves as a way of thinning the herd and saving the fittest. Somehow if we try to deny our neighbor frog what he needs, the water will feel more comfortable.
And yes, some frogs are finally shouting a warning, "this is just about allowing the cooks to protect their vast fortunes from taxation." Yes, that's true. But if we get lost in that argument, we lose sight of the fact that the flame that brought us to this point was lit a long time ago. These vast fortunes being protected from taxation didn't just emerge from nothing. They emerged from politicians shifting the playing field, stacking the deck in favor of those who now own the wealth.
Here's a little history to ponder: " In 1971, Lewis Powell, then a corporate lawyer and member of the boards of 11 corporations, wrote a memo to his friend Eugene Sydnor, Jr., the Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The memorandum was dated August 23, 1971, two months prior to Powell's nomination by President Nixon to the U.S. Supreme Court.
T he Powell Memo did not become available to the public until long after his confirmation to the Court. Though Powell's memo was not the sole influence, the Chamber and corporate activists took his advice to heart and began building a powerful array of institutions designed to shift public attitudes and beliefs over the course of years and decades. The memo influenced or inspired the creation of the Heritage Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, the Cato Institute, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Accuracy in Academe, and other powerful organizations. Their long-term focus began paying off handsomely in the 1980s, in coordination with the Reagan Administration's "hands-off business" philosophy."
Remember him? President Reagan of "the government's the problem" and "we'll fix things with trickle-down economics" fame?
You see, the water's now at a boiling point, and we're being distracted into believing we're fanning the flames. Well, in some perverse way, we are. We've made choices from dishes served to us by the cooks. We just didn't know our friends and neighbors were on the menu.