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'Capitalism' and 'Law Abiding'

Movies point out corruption threatening our country

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Posted: Tuesday, November 3, 2009 12:00 am | Updated: 11:27 am, Thu Jul 22, 2010.

Over the last couple of years I have been seriously questioning the operation and actions of our government.

It feels as if no one in power is listening to reason anymore, and that their bubble is some fantasy world where they can do as they please without serious consequences down the road.

Money continues to be blown out of the empty treasury like we've just won the lottery. Despite a massive terrorist attack, our borders are still wide open for anyone to walk right across. And major companies that lobby hard enough get whatever they'd like, including a bailout, only to then stick it to the taxpayers who didn't authorize their bailout in the first place.

Our justice system is rotting from the inside. Judges that legislate from the bench and scratch the backs of lawmakers and big business rather than prosecuting them and calling their bluff alarm me.

But two movies I caught last month got me thinking I'm not the only person feeling this way. They were Michael Moore's, "Capitalism: A Love Story," (I don't knock it until I see it, giving it a fair shot) and Gerard Butler's "Law Abiding Citizen."

While Moore's flick had plenty of Bush-bashing, and inaccurately painted our current president as some type of savior he hasn't been, the documentary film wasn't terrible. Had the movie been renamed "Corruption: A Love Story," it may have resonated better among those who wrote Moore off as a nut years ago.

As the movie (inadvertently?) showed, the real culprit in America's breakdown isn't the free market and the ability to make money, but the greed and corruption from within that is causing all the problems. Moore's film was all about big business and government, showcasing this problem.

On to Butler's "Citizen."

While Butler's character is done wrong by the justice system after a domestic crime, he takes the law into his own hands and begins sending very gruesome, deadly messages to powerful people who lie, cheat and undermine what's right.

Butler's character does go to extremes I would never advocate or endorse, but the message behind the movie is clear. No matter who you are, no matter what you do, you are responsible for your actions, to which he ironically understands more than anyone in the end.

Corruption is killing the very country I love — and thank God that I am a part of this country. Corruption in the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, Congress, the Senate, corporations, banks, state, local, federal — it's boiling over!

So you can imagine my sincere disgust when I read a recent study that declared moral decay is on the rise, and kids, now more than ever, feel that it's not only OK, but that lying and cheating is needed to get ahead and be successful.

The study, conducted by the Josephson Institute of Ethics, revealed that younger generations are "significantly more likely to engage in dishonest conduct than those in older cohorts."

Another startling revelation from the study, based on 6,930 respondents, was that "teens 17 or under are five times more likely than those over 50 to hold the cynical belief that lying and cheating are necessary to succeed, nearly four times as likely to deceive their boss, more than three times as likely to keep change mistakenly given to them, and more than three times as likely to believe it's OK to lie to get a child into a better school."

And my age group?

"Young adults (18-24) are more than three times more likely to have inflated an insurance claim than those over 40 and more than twice as likely to lie to their spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner about something significant," the study reported.

The report goes on to talk about attitudes and how they play into the big picture of moral decay. The Institute also cited high school behavior, such as cheating on an exam "two or more times," as an indication that people may be considerably more dishonest later in life.

Lying to a customer, deceiving a boss or cheating on taxes are all examples, the study found.

Disheartening? To say the least.

But how can we blame the up-and-coming generations? After all, they've had such outstanding role models in the world's most powerful positions to show them that character doesn't matter, personal accountability isn't an issue when you control things, and it's not what you say but how it comes out in a sound byte that really matters.

America, we have a huge problem.

Columnist Wade Heath of Lodi is a college student studying in Southern California. He may be reached at: reachwade@lycos.com.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • posted at 3:07 pm on Fri, Nov 6, 2009.


    Wade one of the few times I have agreed with you on anything it’s SherriffJoe Arpaio…

  • posted at 7:22 am on Fri, Nov 6, 2009.


    Contd- Few realize (except for Realtors) that we are in the second phase of the same housing bubble. Yes, local prices have resumed climbing, but they will soon collapse.In about five years houses will retreat to 1987 prices adjusted for any inflation. Those families who walked from debt will be in a prime position to buy five years from now when prices bottom out. These families are financially wiser and have saved lots of cash they would have paid on interest or a money pit---which is really owned by the bank. EQUITY is always king.Those who start today will be in prime shape for five years in the future for a cash house purchase.Who needs credit if you have money?Federal government regulations already allow people who lost houses 2 years ago, to buy again. Don't be trapped by buying into another bubble. The new "first time home owner" rules allow incomes of up to $250k/year. Who makes that? Get a clue---its a transparent attempt to keep the housing bubble expanding to help the banksters.

  • posted at 7:10 am on Fri, Nov 6, 2009.


    WTF- I know a few families that believed the hype about YOU BETTER BUY a "HOME" today, or you will NEVER buy a house. That sounds like every day with Real estate people. But this was in 2005. These families were the first to get crunched by the housing crunch. They tried to refinance--banks said NO. So they walked from their CC debt to have the money to pay the mortgage. One late house payment accelerates all debt and INCREASES debt. So they decided to stop paying on ALL debt...it was all bank money anyway. A few of the families survived with 2 years or more of NO HOUSE PAYMENTS. They saved the money they would have used to pay all their debt in a Credit Union.Today, they are judgment proof since the unsecured debt is over 48 months old. They are renting and have saved enough to pay CASH for a house now that prices have dropped a little. But they won't buy now. Historically, house prices are based on average gross family income.

  • posted at 7:00 am on Fri, Nov 6, 2009.


    WTF- I have a solution to force our political parties to stop worshipping banksters. It's as simple as 1.... 2.... 3.....1) Withdraw ALL Savings account money immediately from ANY bank, cash in all CD's. ITS YOUR MONEY.2) Never believe the LIE about your "credit report", its importance is ONLY in your mind. Assess all your UNSECURED debt (not car loans or home mortgages). Immediately STOP payment on all unsecured debt. The Statute of limitations on collecting unsecured debt in California is 48 months. The timer starts on the day you first miss a payment. The courts could NEVER handle the TENS of MILLIONS of new cases. Do NOT file for bankruptcy. JUST SAY NO! Send them a change of address to Cuba...LOL3) Take the money you withdrew from your bank and the money you would have paid on your unsecured credit cards and deposit that in the Credit Union.Stop the credit card habit and save.Never apply for a loan again unless its through a Credit Union.Watch banks implode!VOTE NO against ALL incumbents any party.

  • posted at 3:43 am on Fri, Nov 6, 2009.


    edumacation: WELL SAID!!!!You know, more and more, I am becoming thoroughly disgusted....with BOTH sides of the aisle.We had the American RevolutionThere was the French RevolutionAnd, more recently, Ceaucescu was "ceacuesued" ;0Totally agree, edumacation, enough is ENOUGH....at ALL levels of government.

  • posted at 10:37 am on Thu, Nov 5, 2009.


    Rantraves- I read an article that said if we added up all the Gold bullion owned by the Federal Reserve, Treasury and other US Gold depositories and multiplied it by the current price of Gold, at $1,100 per ounce. The total value would only be 2 trillion dollars! That is peanuts when you look at the bank bailouts. The trend is that the value of the fiat dollar compared to the old Gold or Silver backed dollar would yield a REAL value in pennies. We work just as hard for the buck whether it was REAL money or todays Monopoly play money. Thats why Wall street bankers feel they need 50 million dollar/year incomes. They know that the real value would make it $100,000/ year instead.We need a leader OF ANY POLITICAL PARTY, who is not afraid of the banks. We need someone who will indict the banksters for fraud. We need to see BANSKTER PERP walks in our daily news.This is the Savings and Loan Scandal times 100. In that fraud, banskters went to PRISON. Today, they are political campaign managers. ENOUGH!

  • posted at 4:01 am on Thu, Nov 5, 2009.


    You're right about the money/power grab, jr; However this phenomenon is nothing new. It began when the fed ( with it's money creation capability )coupled with govt spending, started inflating the currency. What you are noticing now, is the escalation of that ill-concieved policy.

  • posted at 3:36 pm on Wed, Nov 4, 2009.


    We face a new problem with Progressive politicians that most of us fear to recognize. Our criminal justice system is now split into two separate systems. The system for politicians and the wealthy, and the system for everyone else. Example. Last year four adults stabbed a college student to death. We all heard the story. One of the alleged perpetrators agreed to talk with police. One of the murderers happened to be the son of our recently retired Progressive Democratic party Assembly Chair Fabian Nunez. His son Esteban was suposed to be tried for MURDER on October 5, 2009. What happened? Another news blackout? The murders occured in San Diego but big daddy Fabian pulled some strings to get the trial judged by one of his political cronies in Sacramento. Where is justice? Justice for the son of a reconquista advocate is different than for the rest of us. I forgot, Fabian's parents were illegal aliens who only came to the USA "looking for work". Isn't that special, and their grandson is being charged with murdering a fellow latino. Fabian calls it racism--against whom?

  • posted at 2:26 am on Wed, Nov 4, 2009.


    It all pretty much boils down to who's raising the kids. If you look at the generations -- 20, 40, 60, 80 -- you'll see a glaring difference. GENERALLY, 80 had both (married) parents in their lives, 60 had both (married) parents in their lives, 40 had less and 20 had even less. 50% of America's children are born out of wedlock today. This means most of those children end up with revolving-door significant others in their lives, on welfare, food stamps, free school lunch programs, etc. Result: the moral dilemma you discuss in your article. Well done.

  • posted at 1:58 am on Wed, Nov 4, 2009.


    All of the big media is in some political camp...and FOX (aka: FAUX) is no different. They are the Neocon network...no doubt about it. Personally, I find what seems to be the most unbiased news on BBC and other international sources.

  • posted at 12:54 am on Wed, Nov 4, 2009.


    The problem with this country right now is a lack of moral integrity and capitalism in name only practiced truly as pseudo-socialism/communism. Capitalism isn't failing right now, socialism is.

  • posted at 7:05 am on Tue, Nov 3, 2009.


    I enjoy all of your articles, Wade, and am glad that you continue to contribute to the LNS.

  • posted at 1:31 am on Tue, Nov 3, 2009.


    Wade- "...major companies that lobby hard enough get whatever they'd like, including a bailout, only to then stick it to the taxpayers who didn't authorize their bailout in the first place...."Haven't you heard? Watch CNN and all the major new media except the FOX network and you will learn this is no longer a problem. It no longer exists!Last Friday the OTS and FDIC closed nine more banks and we will NEVER find any criminality! We only have two crooks Madoff and Sanford. All the rest of the banksters are honest and loyal OBama supporters.Our President Obama has brough the people through HOPE and Change to stop this financial chicanery.

  • posted at 1:25 am on Tue, Nov 3, 2009.


    My take is that a whole lot of people smell that the Good Ship USA is rotten at its core and is sinking fast....and that they are all now rushing to grab as much as they can before it all goes under. "Do unto Others- then Split" is the new mantra. Everywhere you turn, you see it. ......Its like the Wild West...


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