Sunday, February 10, 2013

How much Justice can you afford?



There is nothing so infuriating than witnessing the blatant injustice done to another or even worse, to yourself. The incidents of being wrongly accused, mistaken identity, being in the wrong place at the wrong time are increasing as is the level of frustration to those caught in the web of these unsolvable issues.  We all understand the inequity of life and how it flaps its wings creating a pleasant breeze for some and a hurricane for others.  Life is not fair, it’s not equitable and it seems as though that disparity is growing stronger, creating more unfairness each and every day.

From the recent killing of a young high school girl in Chicago to the violent reprisals by a fired Los Angeles Policeman the unfairness of life is getting closer to each of us.  We used to think that if we only reported what happened, lived our lives like good citizens, paid our taxes and worked hard everything would eventually work out and justice would be served. 

The waiters of justice have apparently gone on strike leaving the service of justice to those who can afford to pay its increasing fees.  Politicians who continue to skate through aberrant behaviors to criminals who go unpunished for obvious crimes the word justice has taken on a new meaning of 
Just – Us, referring to those privileged few who make up the rules of the game as they play with the rest of our lives like pawn on a chessboard.

We look at the millions upon millions of poor in the world and then look at the waste of billions of dollars for bridges to nowhere or other substantial pork projects that serve only a few forcing  the rest of us to pay the bill.  A great example is the proposed bullet train in California where they (whoever they is) will be building a multi-billion train line, like the Shinkansen (Japans bullet train) in the central valley, a mostly unpopulated area of farming and agriculture, leaving many to wonder initially, who will be using this train and where are they going to go?  It’s supposed to go from Los Angeles to San Francisco, so why start it in the middle of nowhere?

Most of the injustice in this world is due to the misappropriation of resources and the blatant misuse of resources for the personal gain of those in power.  I may sound like a socialist here but keep in mind that the proper use of assets determines the profitability of any concern and the subsequent misuse of those assets including resources determines the long term viability of that same concern with the understanding that short term profits can be realized from overuse, misuse or even abuse of those assets and resources. 

A socialist would argue that the state has more influence in determining the proper use of resources, including human assets; while capitalists believe that the individual (including the legal definition of a corporation) is better suited to utilizing and managing the assets at their disposal. The reality is that there is very little difference between the capitalistic view and the socialist views, both want to maximize profits for those in power, leaving sever gaps of justice to those who do nothing but serve the entities with power.

Many look upon our system of government with awe and others with disdain.  The misunderstanding of our system is mostly due to the level of injustice interpreted by the eyes of those that see, very similar to the notion of “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” the eyes of injustice are clouded or colored by the experiences of those individuals leaving some with a view of veneration and others with disdain.  The constitution was written and organized to minimize these perceptions and for 200 years did a very good job of balancing the needs of the individual and the societal concerns for justice, letting most believe that justice was indeed blind and no respecter of race, creed, political standing or income.  

There have always been exception of course, powerful people who simply pay their way out of trouble or manipulate the structure toward specific ends but generally the original system worked well, but now it seems broken and dysfunctional with more and more examples of injustice surfacing and exposing the slimy underbelly of corruption and abject dishonesty.  We no longer have faith the our legal system works for the benefit of the least of our citizens and we no longer relish the idea that “justice will be served”  

The only people really getting served are those with privilege, those with connection and those with money.  The rest of us get the left overs, the scraps of justice that fall from their gilded plates allowing us to lick whatever fairness we can as they trample underfoot what is left of our inalienable rights, our collective resources and our freedoms.  How do we get them back?