The Real Enemy

Arthur Hargate
2 min readMar 14, 2023
Original art by J.E. Hargate

Gee whiz, do we see a pattern here?

Banks failing. Trains derailing, creating environmental crisis and threatening people’s health. Record oil company profits and rampant corporate price gouging fueling inflation. More gouging and market manipulation creating an affordable housing crisis. Man-made climate crisis driving severe weather that wreaks havoc on the most vulnerable people in our society. A TV “news” organization pathologically telling gargantuan lies to keep its viewership watching. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid under attack.

Is there a common thread here? You betcha’ there’s a common thread here.

This is what you get after 40 years of deregulatory hysteria at all levels of government. This is what you get without stringent and consistent national regulatory oversight on corporations. This is what you get when “states rights” advocates have their way and states compete to see which can have the least stringent rules and be the most accommodating to business.

This is what you get when unrestrained free markets pervert and destroy hard-won protections for workers and average citizens.

You probably remember Gordon Gecko’s maniacal exclamation in the movie “Wall Street” that “Greed is good!”

Forty years of “trickle-down” economic development fantasy, cutting taxes on the wealthy and rolling back regulatory authority that levels the playing field for average citizens have delivered misery for many and a raw deal for most, but a pretty sweet deal for the posh, the powerful and the privileged.

What’s the pattern here? In a word: GREED.

Greed that buys politicians, elections and legislation. Greed that stymies livable wages. Greed that destroys our ecosystem. Greed that plunders natural resources and exploits people. Greed that encourages or tolerates racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-Semitism and xenophobia. Greed that puts profits before people.

Greed is the secret sauce that spices our uniquely brutal form of capitalism here in the U.S. Greed is the driver behind the culture war to make compassion, empathy and human kindness something to be ridiculed as “woke.”

We’re now living with the debilitating effects of 40 years of unrestrained greed, witnessing every day a cascading panoply of hideous abuses by the greedy. And miraculously, the greedy puppet masters have successfully pitted average people against each other to keep them from getting together to put a stop to this madness.

It’s time to call out the real enemy here: GREED.

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Arthur Hargate

Arthur Hargate is retired after a 40-year management career in the environmental services business. He now writes, plays guitar and is a social activist.