Reblogged from The Secular Jurist:
By Robert A. Vella
First Lady Michelle Obama sent out an email asking people what they are thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday. Here is the response I sent her:
Dear Mr. President and First Lady,
I am thankful for getting healthcare coverage, under the Medicaid expansion provision of Obamacare, for the first time in six years. Now, I won’t be one illness or injury away from financial ruin or perhaps something even worse.
On a sadder note, I am also thankful I’m old enough that I may not have to witness the final destruction of American democracy which is inevitable – in my opinion – if current trends continue. Our nation cannot survive under the current circumstances. When money rules at the exclusion of everything else, a republic becomes a plutocracy. When amoral and self-serving business interests subordinate the larger interests of the people, corporatism replaces democracy. When growing economic inequality stratifies society to a critical point, it collapses under its own weight. The failure of America’s leadership to address this imminent crisis is not just the result of political obstructionism. It is also due to a lack of courage within the socioeconomic establishment to speak directly to the nation about this incredibly serious problem. Yesterday, Pope Francis wrote of the “tyranny” of unfettered capitalism and the “idolatry of money.” His sentiments were profoundly accurate, bravely delivered, and long overdue to an increasingly desperate world.
I am not a religious person, but the Pope’s apostolic exhortation really grabbed my attention. In it, he also wrote:
“In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world,” Pope Francis stated in reference to the supply-side economic theory promoted by conservative ideology and popularized as “Reaganomics” in the 1980′s. “This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system,” he emphatically added.