William D. Waltz

from Guns or Butter, and Villanelles

Of course, money is no more evil than a bowling ball is greedy. Our mad pursuit of wealth is really only in the service of what appears to be our new religion, consumerism. It is consumerism that drives us to acquire more and more stuff, and the only way we can afford such an appetite is if we buy cheap products. Those items, generally from overseas, are inexpensive because the people who make them aren't fairly compensated. The factories that once made better versions of those things and employed our neighbors and paid them fair salaries are now shuttered. It's a vicious cycle that our lawmakers and business leaders seem unwilling or incapable of breaking. They appear prepared to sacrifice a just and prosperous nation for short-term profits and personal gain. As a nation, we need to change. We need to be held together by more than an economy and a love of money. We need shared values that recognize good deeds, hard work, creativity, fairness, and justice. Let's build a country where poetry is a kind of money, and there's enough for us all.