Tuesday, March 24, 2009


My dad used to say "everything is interconnected." It's a fun way of going about your day, trying to figure out, say, how the dog playing with the squeaky toy is related to something that's no fun at all like, oh, health care legislation that everybody is screaming about.

The Dog and the Squeaky Toy: Blanche, my dog, pounces ferociously on a stuffed ball with a squeaker inside, then chomps it repeatedly while shaking her head furiously. After a minute or two of shaking and squeaking, she tosses it aside and pounces again. For all that it's cute (or annoying if you are sensitive to noise), the squeak represents what would be in the wild some bunny or mouse she was killing. Ah! the joys of being a predator, even if it's pretend.

Now some prey is helpless, like a mouse. And some, like your wildebeast in Africa, is not helpless so long as it is in a herd. If your lion attacked the whole herd, the alpha male members along with a mother or two protecting her child will kill the lion.

Okay. Now, say the predator is Management and the herd is The Workers and if they can keep things in ecological balance, both of sides thrive. But a little drought or economic downturn, and the imbalance might not stop until there's mass starvation on one side or the other - worldwide depression or massive walkouts and strikes.

So when you got Wall Street and bailouts and bankruptcies everywhere, even I can see it means something is out of whack in the ecological balance of management and worker. The employers are all saying they can't afford the rising cost of health insurance which they, not the workers negotiate, and that workers will have to shoulder a bigger share of the financial burden. But I say look at the balance sheets.

The wealthy in America are getting richer every day, even with all the financial fiascos of the last few years. The wealth of the wealthy is rising and the herd of workers is getting irked that the lions want to come right in the middle and devour the heart of the herd instead of culling the weak. This is not going down so good with the workers, and hence strikes all over the place. All the talk about rising health costs is a blind for the real battle of predator and prey.