We've been living for so long in the "dark house of greed', to even gaze out of the few remaining "windows" is a challenging task. Greed has been blessed by the religions of the world. Greed has been legitimized as the "only" viable economic system. And folks go crazy playing the lottery -- in the hopes of joining the rarified air of the super-wealthy... And those persons most "wedded" to the saving-grace of greed, are the followers of Yeshua, the Poet (and Poor Man) of Nazareth: how they reconcile his word with their hearts is a mystery:
"Blessed are you poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God... But woe to you rich... Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry..." "... Get away from me: for I was hungry and you didn't give me to eat; I was thirsty, and you didn't give me to drink... Insofar as you did not do it for one of the least, you didn't do it for me, either." (Luke 6:20 - 24; Matthew 25: 41 - 46)
A Further Contrast of Light and Dark:
+ 3 trillion dollars a year -- this is how much the wealthiest Americans avoid in taxes through subsidies, back-room deals, and assorted schemes. these subsidies are from special deductions, exemptions, exclusions, credit, capital gains, and loopholes worth about $1.1 trillion (including business subsidies raises the total to $1.25 trillion). Contrast with the cost of Social Security ($884 billion) and Medicare ($524 billion).
+ According to the IRS, 17% of taxes were not paid in 2006 (an underpayment of $450 billion). Most of this is due to underreporting of income.
+ It is estimated that between $21 and $32 trillion is hidden in offshore accounts -- untaxed. 40% of the world's richest individuals are Americans -- that's $8 - $12 trillion of the total. The historical annual stock market return is 6% -- that's a return of $480 - $720 billion... the tax loss is between $96 billion and $252 billion.
+ From 1987 - 2008, corporations paid an average of 22.5% in federal taxes. since the recession, this has dropped to 10% -- even though their profits have doubled in less than 10 years. The missing 12.5% on $2 trillion in profits amounts to $250 billion a year.
+ There is no financial transaction tax -- not a penny of sales tax is paid on financial transactions which have been estimated at about three quadrillion dollars annually -- or three thousand times the deficit. Just half a penny from every dollar of total US financial transactions would pay off the national debt -- not just the deficit, but the whole $15 trillion debt.
Continuing the contrast with a different philosophical perspective...
in the fluid state of Inter-Being --
a sexual / mystical weaving
of the Sacred Feminine with the Divine Breath
within the fabric of creation itself --
all flesh, every creature, every river, every ocean...
Earth, Planets, Sun, and Stars:
we are water
we are ancient starshine:
every piece and every particle,
but at all times: Only One!
"Behind / within every substance:
everything is in motion
everything is very loose
and very luscious -- endless curves
in every direction -- all at once;
this bend of the Infinite into the finite
and then back again
the awakened know as: One Love!
"Still -- and yet --
(all of this and more besides)
the entire Universe is contained
within one eyelash of your Beloved --
if you remember anything,
So how we treat one another, how we arrange the economics and the politics of our lives, is exactly how much or how little we love the Holy One. This "no difference" is our human hope for Justice, Equality, and Peace. This "no difference" is everything...
Robert Daniel Smith was privileged to serve the homeless and marginalized for 30 years in Salinas, California. Together with his wife, Michelle, they founded an intentional community called the 'Companions of the Way', also in Salinas. Robert and Michelle are community organizers, Catholic Worker renegades, sacred activists, writers, poets, artists, Divine Mother devotees, and practitioners of Kriya Yoga as taught by Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. Michelle is also a Montessori public school teacher. Robert is also an ordained Interfaith Minister.