Archive for the ‘Morality’ Category

Service of Everyone Has a Price

Monday, March 5th, 2018

Photo: pinterest

I recently heard someone say “Everyone has a price.” He was speaking about an acquaintance of his who was making a chunk of change as one of the masterminds behind the campaign of the current president.

“Desperate times call for desperate measures” could be one reason for some to ride roughshod over common sense and decency [though I doubt this was the excuse for the person just mentioned]. I took a job in an industry that appealed to me even though it had warning signs flashing all over it. The business owner was not my cup of tea but I needed to pay the rent and didn’t have the luxury to wait for the right job in the perfect place. There was nothing dishonest about what I was doing: The culture didn’t jive. I stayed the obligatory year. 


Mind you, I don’t begrudge wealthy people whose bank accounts burst with cash as a result of sweat and smarts, choosing a lucrative industry, willing to take risks, folks who may also have benefitted from good timing and a dollop of luck.

Yet countless books and movies describe what happens to those who arrive by selling out. Once they get over the thrill of being rich no matter what I wonder if some regret what it took, especially if  their life falls apart as a result.

I posit that with crucial basics taken care of—enough to feed, clothe and shelter themselves and their families—no amount of money would twist the arms of the people I admire to take a job involving dodgy business. Do you have a price? Do you know folks who turned their backs on their principles, made a bundle and have no regrets?



Service of Inconsistent Morality

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

ups and downs

A society that on the one hand reflects straight-laced puritan roots regarding marriage and at the same time barely shrugs at the likes of a hedge funder’s shenanigans—I’m thinking of Steve Cohen–baffles. Cohen agreed to pay a multi-million dollar fine for insider trading while at the same time refusing to admit guilt, an approach that the Security and Exchange Commission approved. Did someone knock out this watchdog? Does the public play possum again?

hand in cookie jarGood for federal Judge Victor Marrero who, as Kaja Whitehouse wrote in The New York Post, “balked at the agreement between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Cohen’s SAC Capital that allows the firm to pay a $602 million fine without admitting or denying guilt.” Meanwhile, Mr. Cohen has recently bought $215 million worth of goodies: a Picasso painting and East Hampton ocean-front home. Any ideas of what investors without the inside scoop bought—maybe a sandwich at Subway?

Of a different nature, a major publisher paid half a $million for what The New York Post reported as the memoir of a “drug-addicted beauty writer.” In addition, the author told reporters “she’d rather ‘smoke angel dust with her friends’ than hold down a full-time job.” The Post continues, “Aside from four abortions, she recalls getting ‘choked out by a Park Avenue millionaire kid in a pine grove by the reservoir at 4 a.m.’ and ‘sex in vacant lots in Bushwick with white rappers.’” Who can believe what someone consistently under the influence remembers about her 29 years and frankly, who cares? The publisher thinks many will. I hope they don’t.

Here’s a society strung out on the politically correct with dollops of conservative values that concurrently lies motionless when someone picks their pockets and regulators wink. In this environment a publisher thinks people are hungry for the sad story of a lost soul with less than three decades and little perspective to write a worthy memoir. Sure it’s democracy at its best but can you explain such extremes and contradictions?

hot and cold

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