Juan Ayala photograph

The Money Game

August 15, 2002

This article of issues will focus on something I like to call "The Money Game". Basically the money game is the way in our society in which all the money rises to the top, to the people in control. It gives up on things that will help our economy, and our nation and basically produces waste because the rich get richer and richer while the poor stay the same. We trust these people to control different areas of our lives and all we get back is bad results and lies. In this article I will focus on 3 different areas including corporations and the economy, the government and lastly on charitable and non-profit organizations. This is all written in a long spew of information without much research and should be interpreted simply as one man's opinion. If you agree with it great and if not write one of your own contradicting it and send it on in.

The first area I'd like to discuss is something that has been in the news a ton recently and that is corporate America. There is much pain for investors and workers alike recently because of all the problems coming out of corporate America. I am talking of course about the recent bankruptcies of enormous companies such as Enron, and Worldcom among others, and the many more that are soon to follow. Although the pain now is fierce, it will turn out to be very good for our economy and our nation in the coming years because it is bringing out a common theme in this article, accountability. CEO's for years have been becoming enormously rich over night simply by running a company. Whether they make money or not, in some cases hundreds of millions of dollars are paid to these high executives instead of going where they should go, to the investors. From this point on, the leaders of these companies will only make this ridiculous money if they make ridiculous profits for their company and that's the way it should be. Options will be reported in income statements and reported against profits, and more importantly is that the microscope will be on these individuals. It will be increasingly difficult to inflate earnings to in turn inflate bonuses. I'm not saying CEO's and the like should not make much money, I'm just saying that the types of salaries these individuals have been making can be better used to invest in new technology or sent down to the bottom line and on to investors. The markets will no longer dictate having to pay $100 a year for a top notch CEO when you can find a veritable breadline of them willing to work for food after all this is done. President Bush is trying to get a bill through that will regulate corporate accountability and I personally agree with the people who say Washington should be held to these standards as well.

You see government possibly more than any other organization in the world is simply swimming in waste. It all stems from the demands of the two party system and the fact that neither side wants to give anything up, or push the other side to because the other side will push back. It's time for the people to start pushing because it is our money and our programs. If we would mandate government auditing as strict as we would like in corporate America Republicans and Democrats would be able to come together because it will enable the people of American to keep a substantial amount of their money and still be able to fund all the programs to properly run the nation and keep our people safe and healthy. The government needs to be run like a corporation in the sense that everyone should be held accountable. An example at the smallest level is the personal use of everything in the government. Politicians flying wherever they want on the gov't dime using gov't credit cards to buy their people whatever they need. This happens all the time and it must stop, because it is our money they are using. Campaign finance reform is also a huge step in the right direction because it will cut down on the "favors" that our politicians owe businesses and people in the private sector. We need our politicians to be real people but unfortunately the only people who run for office are from rich families who have only thought about the office as a will to power, and not to help the people. Where are all the brilliant poor people anyway? Remember that political figures are supposed to be representatives of the people, but they only currently represent the richest most powerful people. That must change in order for our world to move forward.

The last area I want to touch on is in charitable organizations. Some of them do a lot of good and the world would be a worse place without them, note that I said some. There are also some whose sole goal is to not pay taxes and fatten their own pockets. We must implement stricter accountability with these organizations. I and all my friends and family pay taxes to support our government while these fat cats get tax exempt status and don't help a single person. I commend the O'Reilly Factor with getting on the 9/11 charities that were dragging their feet in getting the money to the victims. We all need to do this with all the charities we deal with. Only something like 40% of the money put into charities actually goes through to help the people it is intended. That is on average, and I know there are many good ones who are better than that, so that also means that there are a lot of very bad ones as well. We need to expose the bad ones and weed out the bad seeds, so the good seeds can continue to grow and help people. Specific example of this first off is the charities helping terrorists. They simple exploit our system to help destroy our system and once we have better control over all charitable organizations, these rotten apples will fall from the tree. Another good example, and yes I think that Jesse Jackson was probably a good man at one time, but recently he has done nothing but for his own gain. He pays himself an exorbant amount of money, pays his mistress a $100,000 a year salary, fly's all over the world all expenses paid, and it's all paid for by his charitable organization. Forget if it's legal, is it moral and is it right? Hell no. Then he turns around and uses this power to blackmail corporations into giving him money, or he will bring his power in the black community to bring lawsuits and discredit any company that will not pay him. Bill Gates recently gave into this by donating money and even loaning employees to Jesse's PUSH organization and he does it to countless other companies everyday. I know your all thinking this is just a right wing conspiracy, which is every liberal's excuse to hide the truth. You know what would solve this though is if Jesse would just open the books and let the world see how much good his organization has done with all the money it's making. You know what though he won't, because then we would all see the truth.

This is just a very poorly written, poorly researched article, but I know this one principal is true. We need to open all the books in all 3 of these very important areas of our society and then we will see who the bad people are. Then we will see who should control our money because these three areas of our life control our money more than we do and that needs to stop. Go and give that homeless guy on the street a ham sandwich yourself, because if you give it to someone like Jesse, the homeless guy will just get the bread because the organization always keeps the meat. Empower yourself and your money and demand results from those people who have to control at least some of your money like the government. We need to spread the wealth down to all the people and get more bang for the buck. Because like the old saying goes, a rising wave should lift all ships, and not just the chosen few. That is what our society has the potential of becoming, a rising wave that lifts all. This is only something that has slowly grown to an uncontrollable monster, and like all uncontrollable monsters we must find a way to control it or it will eat us all.

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