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FROM MY CORNER: A Possible Lesson of the Virus

Howell Hurst Corporate Avarice, Defining Trump, Humans

Now, I don’t want to seem unjustifiably optimistic about the final outcome of our current battle with nature. However, with the exception of the world’s multinational corporate officers, I sincerely anticipate that the people of the planet’s human race may learn something from all this.

Very likely, the corporate officers won’t. They remain largely mesmerized by their obsession with profits, motivated primarily, if not solely, by personal greed. Ditto for our present political leader who clearly holds profit near to his heart.

I know what I think corporate officers and Mr. Trump should learn, although I hold little expectation they will. They need to encourage the world’s economy to slow down for a while, to produce far fewer unnecessary “luxuries,” and concentrate on the virus and other existential necessities.

By stretching out as long as necessary terms of payments of various sorts of financial obligations by corporations and persons, we should all focus on surviving and dismantling this virus – not worrying about who owes whom what right now. Or what our investment portfolios add up to.

We have all so decreed that human life and modern civilization depend on endless consumption just for its own sake; and we are hard pressed to set it temporarily aside and minimize human death.

This should and could be a wake up call for us all. Our over-consumptive waste of our earthly physical and human resources in pursuit of luxury is exposed by the virus.

Our mutually-shared lockdown worldwide should show us how much of our relentless, consumptive buying of things is not only utterly unnecessary, but dangerous to our existence in a universe that frequently shows us its hostile side.

The corporate and political world has so long preached consumption to us, and love of luxury, that we have lost the mental ability to comprehend and do what simply makes sense to protect human life.

Rather than our taking stock of our slowdown in consumption, and recognizing it is reasonable behavior, many corporate and political leaders are still pressing for more immediate economic activity when scientific activity is our need.

Stumblingly, government and corporations are trying to collaborate. But not all their hearts are profoundly involved. For many, it is more a public relations move. Down deep inside, they are just itching to get back to business.

If Mr. Trump is able to ramp up consumption, he will do so. And his moneyed friends will help him. I’d like to see us all maintain a buying slowdown rather than return to our frantic “I’ve-got-to-buy-my-next-newest-thing” obsession.

That’s my optimistic side, hoping for a dramatic change, a profound lesson to be learned. My pessimistic side also still exists, however. I rather trust the money people will too soon go right back to where we were before the virus began, and before it ends.

Skinning us, I suspect, may remain more important to them than saving our skins.

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