When working to complete a minor in History at the undergraduate level, I took classes from a professor who was a professor with a PhD from Binghamton University. This professor had us reading several books in her classes and included these additional books as textbooks for the class. I ate it all up. Likely it is those texts which I still own today, outside of what I kept from my major.
One book we read was The Americans: The Democratic Experience. It was authored by a University of Chicago History professor named Dr. Daniel J. Boorstin. I have retained a copy of that book and added several other Boorstin books in his “Americans” series. The Americans: The National Experience.The Americans: The Colonial Experience. Several others in that series.
When I completed my Masters of Library Science degree at Syracuse University, I worked in database management and library research instruction. It was a wonderful career. In the early years of my career, President Ronald Reagan had appointed Dr. Boorstin as Librarian of Congress. Having read Dr. Boorstin’s books, I was thrilled. I was more thrilled at Boorstin than I was about Reagan with his adversity to unions which shut down the Air Traffic Controllers organization and his favoring IBM and opposition to unions when he destroyed AT&T, the Unix operating system, and the CWA, in the name of “deregulation” and supply-side economics.” Same thing in the electric utility industry with its IBEW. Deregulation in the name of “supply-side economics” and “trickle-down theories of economics.” I was thrilled by Boorstin and still am with the knowledge I learned from him that supersedes the limited historical stuff we have all been taught in schools.
According to Boorstin, one of the first “regulated” examples of the “democratic experience,” was the establishment of insurance commissioners in America. The example given by Boorstin was that of a 19th-century Massachusetts insurance commissioner named Erastus Wright. At the point in time that Wright was regulating insurance, there were no actuarial tables for determining premiums, the long-term investments made, and the results of the benefits regarding life insurance. People were putting their money into life insurance, but the management of the companies were chaotic about it and figured the money was there for them to spend. Then, when someone with a policy died, they were told there was no money. Like imposing something for the collective freedom of all (masks and vaccines, not personal injury lawsuits), Wright came up with the table which was expected to be used when figuring premiums and benefits. It worked. All that regulation of insurance has been curtailed and, instead, we have lawyers pursuing personal injury lawsuits against big insurance, spending tax dollars beyond belief, and there is no safety net for the consumer on the demand side of the capitalist market. Sad.
Thus, we see the same thing happening to Social Security and Medicare. We put the money in and then, as exited with Erasmus Wright’s time, when the benefit is to be drawn, based on dividends earned over time, we are listening to lousy folks saying, ‘there won’t be any money in such a such a year.” As with the life insurance of the the 19th-century “democratic experience” of Erasmus Wright regarding the insurance in which people had dumped their money, we are observing our money, over time, being squandered in other ways.
This example dealt with private enterprise, but it took a government to regulate private enterprise, not the other way around when we have private enterprise controlling the government. Unless we do something, there may be no hope for the future, as our hopes and desires for future generations lies in the hands of greedy, selfish aristocratic brats who really don’t understand the ideas of capitalism and the “democratic experience.” So what do they do? They throw out BS about it all being socialism or communism. The actual communists are the fat pigs who control a government and destroy ideas for regulation by vandalizing and sabotaging regulation, whether in a PSC or elsewhere, with bribes by means of martini lunches with the “lunch crowd.” Corruption, just as with the situation Erasmus Wright identified.
Furthermore, we accept this corruption so much that we look the other way when it occurs. We look the other way when there is a corrupt government in Afghanistan and people don’t want to affiliate with such corruption, so they lay down their arms, for the sake of the Taliban. Rather than look at the details of what is happening, the ones who did nothing to work for justice and peace, push to wrongly blame President Joe Biden for a pullout which was created by those who support the money (Saudi Arabia and other sources) behind the Taliban (and the Saudi royal family member, Osama Bin Laden). They work for peace and then set a timetable for withdrawal, but never work for peace AND justice. What a shame. Just like the money from the oil contingent of the world, we sadly got involved in Vietnam, too, and then had to pull out and betray the South Vietnamese with their corrupt government, too. The difference? It was LBJ who started it all in Vietnam and there is proof that John F. Kennedy was NOT gung ho about doing it. Today, we don’t blame the Texan who got us involved in Afghanistan, but look to blame a person who took office in Jan. 2021 and had been left with a timetable for withdrawal created by Donald Trump.
Inconsistency in America. How sad.
Even worse is that Americans have short memories and don’t learn from history. If there was learning from history, more folks would be more brilliant and not listen to the BS of moneyed people who want to attack the Democrats. That, too, is sad, for sure. But it keeps me involved in writing. This gives me a sense of success, knowing I lay out principals and ideas for consideration and hope that America can coexist by learning regarding the true history of capitalism, democracy, and seeking peace and justice. We don’t want to be wimps who look the other way at corruption, whether in America or Afghanistan, and make for justice which does not simply give in for the sake of peace. Justice. Consistency. Destroy corruption. Lift up ideas for good and true regulated capitalism and democracy. And then we can achieve peace.
Professor Douglas Willet Cornwell (Retired)
Newark Valley, NY
———————————“Love your neighbor as yourself.” “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” “The problems of the world are not that some people love in a different way. The problems are that so many people don’t know how to love at all (CGA, 1970).” A Puritan is someone in fear that someone, somewhere, is having a good time. “Liberty and justice for all [not priorities on individual and selfish rights].” “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” “We the people, in order to form a more perfect union [and overall wealth of American society]…”
Benjamin Franklin: “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are affected.” Stacey Abrams: “Compromise about actions, but not about values.” Oscar Wilde: “I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.” Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Benjamin Franklin: “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Whoopi Goldberg: “To handle this COVID-19 pandemic effectively, we all need to get on the same page.” Note: To be clear, I do not like being patronized. I do not express my disdain over what happens to my fellow humans just for my own sake and to pursue favors and handouts. I do it in order to gain R – E – S – P – E – C – T for me and for millions of other Americans of any race, ethnicity, religious belief, or sex and sexual identity who try to walk in integrity as they attempt to achieve, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. PERIOD. One nation under God [our Creator] with liberty and justice for all.