Dreams of Riches for Everybody

Trying to read and blog Thomas Frank's One Market Under God reminds me why I'm much more apt to turn, instead, to citing songs like Bruce Cockburn's:

CANDY MAN'S GONE

Sun climbs toward high noon,
Glints metallic off the bowl of the spoon
Sliding through the air toward parted lips
Watch the expression when the straight taste hits
Face crumples, tongue's quickly withdrawn
I hate to tell you but the candy man's gone

Oh sweet fantasia of the safe home
Where nobody has to scrape for honey at the bottom of the comb
Where every actor understands the scene
And nobody ever means to be mean
Catch it in a dream, catch it in a song
Seek it on the street, you find the candy man's gone
I hate to tell you but the candy man's gone

In the bar, in the senate, in the alley, in the study
Pimping dreams of riches for everybody
"Something for nothing, new lamps for old
And the streets will be platinum, never mind gold"
Well, hey, pass it on
Misplaced your faith and the candy man's gone
I hate to tell you but the candy man's gone

Although Cockburn doesn't try to present a logical argument to support his argument, it's hard to miss the point of lines like "Oh sweet fantasia of the safe home/ Where nobody has to scrape for honey at the bottom of the comb."

Everyone likes a taste of success, but the reality is that most people spend their lives struggling to just get by, and that's unlikely to change soon. Of course, it's one thing to spend your own life trying to get rich, but something quite different to try to run a country based on that idea.

Individuals have the right to make their own choices and to live with the consequences of those choices, for better or worse, but society still has an obligation to look out for all its citizens, particularly those exploited or preyed on by businesses, not just those who've managed to roll their talents and assets into personal wealth.

Does anyone really believe that if we keep electing politicians who are "Pimping dreams of riches for everybody" that all of our people will somehow magically become richer? Does ensuring that the rich get richer, really ensure that the poor won't get poorer?

One thought on “Dreams of Riches for Everybody

  1. Your last several posts have been excellent and fun, too, including the poems. I wish my brain was working well enough, I’d tell you about it.

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