Voice and Vision

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158: Money, Money, Money!

Yesterday I did a strange thing: I looked up billionaires. Pretty much anything can be researched online if one delves carefully and checks for truthful sources.  I was amazed to discover that there are more than 60 billionaires (a billion is 1,000 million) in the U.S. who gave (and continue to give) significant money to election-denier Republicans’ campaigns, from Trump’s on down the line.

I was further stunned to see how their billions were made. To mention a few of their most popular “businesses”: hedge funds, junk bonds, equity investments, holding companies, mining, natural gas companies, vehicle salvage, entertainment, football teams, and one man owns 50 companies and 70 mines!

No one apparently makes anything anymore. You know, like washers and driers or kitchen appliances. Things we really need. Things that you can see, feel, touch, use. It appears that these days money makes money.

Money matters. Those who don’t have it, know. Ask any young couple eager, but unable, to buy their first home. Ask the beggar on the street.  Ask the college student whose tuition–I heard on the news this week–has increased in some institutions to $90,000 a year! Ask people gratefully living on social security, or people with insane medical bills, or those whose taxes (due tomorrow) seem drastically unfair when some millionaires (there’s more of them than billionaires) pay next to nothing due to tax shelters or by “unorthodox” business methods (some might call it cheating).

Greed comes of desiring money and the stuff it can buy. We are a greedy nation. Look at our choices of entertainment, fashion, vehicles, sports. Ukrainian and Gaza children are lucky to have a pair of shoes while HGTV shows home after home with immense closets filled with shelves displaying endless shoes. Some folks collect so much matter that they become hoarders.  Others merely buy another storage unit to hold the clutter.

Look closely at America! What we seek is pathetic. If we are honest, we’ll see we are enslaved by money to such a degree that greed becomes our defining way of life. Oh, it is a fraught web we weave here in these United States!

How much good one billionaire’s excess could do for an entire third world country, or how many problems it could solve from poverty to animal cruelty to environmental problems.

Wealthy billionaires give a tiny token of what they acquire (note I did not say “earn”) to charities (it’s a tax write-off, you know) after they buy their numerous homes and mansions in expensive, luxurious locations, their several yachts and jets, and other material wants–and after they make political donations to powerful leaders to increase their own power via tax breaks or other advantages.

But ancient scripture sees wealth in a very different way.  No less than Jesus Christ himself warned:  “a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Matt. 19: 23, 24. Does a rich man ever think about this? Can we ever rearrange our priorities as a nation–away from money? I imagine how it might be if we did and worry how it will continue to be if we don’t.


After a fitful sleep of less than three hours, I woke this morning and read good old comforting Isaiah, 51:3:  For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody. In this wisdom, there’s not a word about money.

All That Glitters Is Not Gold by Gwendolyn Evans

All That Glitters Is Not Gold by Gwendolyn Evans

Artwork: All That Glitters Is Not Gold. I don’t know if I sold this oil or it is lost. Neither dimensions nor price is known. I’ve sometimes been so busy that keeping details about each work falls by the wayside. There’s a sparkle to this one and I’m sorry I can’t find it.

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