I have received several good recommendations of information to read or see in recent weeks. I have not digested the books but I have digested one video clip and one article. I recommend both.
Listen to Everyone. I got to practice what I preach this week. I preach dialog: listening, even if is someone with whom you have major disagreements. Reading or listening to information and judging the information with little regard for the source is difficult. I make many of my judgments about truth or acceptability based on the writer or speaker and how much trust I put in them. Listening is more difficult if I read or hear from a source of whom I am not fond.
I am not a big fan of TV commentators. Whether it be MSNBS, Fox, or ESPN, most make their money by pandering or the spectacular. Most fall in the category— often wrong never uncertain.
Thus, when a dear friend sent a link to a Tucker Carlson interview. I went to it with trepidation. The clip from the interview was great. Tucker did not say much and the guest, Vivek Ramaswamy, made a point with which I wholeheartedly agree. The three-minute clip is worth a look. Here is the link to the clip.
My take of his point was that if capitalism is to survive, corporations need to be more sensitive to their roles in our society. Profit is a good goal but it should not be the only goal. We need corporations to consider their employees, the environment and our culture as well as profit. They need to exist for more than the benefit of management and shareholders.
Compassionate Capitalism. I like to think of what he is saying as compassionate capitalism. Profit is good. Growth is good. But I believe we also need corporations who think about increasing jobs in America rather than reducing them or moving them for increased profits. We need corporations to think of how they can effectively grow the middle class and reduce the top-heavy nature of wealth distribution. We need corporations to seek ways to positively impact our climate. We need corporations to aide employees as well as management in financial planning and retirement.
Wealthy men from diverse backgrounds are encouraging compassionate capitalism. In a 60 Minutes interview, Ray Dalio made me aware of this approach. He is a hedge fund billionaire. I was impressed with what he had to say and is trying to do about the serious issue of the disproportionate distribution of wealth.
Personal Testimony. In my recent reading I was also interested to see Rich DeVos is a proponent of compassionate capitalism. He has written a book with that title. I can speak first-hand about him. He is putting his money where his writing is.
Our grandson is a chef at a restaurant owned by the DeVos corporation. He is very happy. After weeks of long irregular hours, much stress and many problems at his previous restaurant, he is very happy to be in his new situation. He works very hard but the pay and benefits are better. He works a regular schedule allowing his team to build camaraderie. If a COVID lay-off occurs, he will receive a percentage of his salary. The restaurant makes money, but at the same time is taking good care of employees. Compassionate Capitalism in action.
Chicago Fire. Another good friend made an excellent recommendation for a brief article to read.
In the article, documentary filmmaker Eli Steele interviewed Pastor Corey Brooks. Pastor Brooks is on the front lines of the streets of Chicago. He is not in some ivory tower writing about how things should be. He is not writing about the sins of the past. He is living the reality of the present and it is tough. In Eli’s words—
“Every day he deals with gang members, senseless deaths, graduation ceremonies, the vengeful, the aspirational, new births, illiterate adults, newly released convicts, the hungry, overburdened single parents, wayward children, and every imaginable human condition. The pastor wakes up each morning not knowing if the day will bring joy or tragedy or both, and yet he wakes up each morning.”
Pastor Brooks suggests the problem is in large part a struggle between good faith and bad faith. Bad faith tells Blacks they have no chance. Bad faith is more about white guilt than Black development. Pastor Brooks actually remembers a better culture within his community pre the 1960’s than recent dependency has created. There is a lot more good information in the article. Again, I believe the read is worth your time.
Sawdust and Planks. My own recommendation for the week is to read a brief article on Al.com written by Cameron Smith
He is a conservative writer. He makes the point that too many conservative readers write him wanting him to attack the other side. Rather than spending time developing their own positions and working in positive directions, they waste time worrying about the left. In my words, he hears too much diatribe and not enough dialog. They are worrying about the sawdust in others’ eyes and not enough about the planks in their own eyes.
Last Thoughts. I am still trying to wrap my head around the idea that one person in 1926 referring to a rock with the N word makes the rock racist and therefore needing to be moved from the University of Wisconsin campus. Historians can find no evidence of other uses of that word for that particular rock, although unfortunately there is evidence the word was used in other places for large rocks.
Jeny got her platelet count up and received her third treatment. Three down and three to go. Thanks again for surrounding her with love.