Tuesday, April 17, 2012

America Corporation

I can not ethically speak in detail about my IRS gig and my eyes are almost blind from looking at 2011 and 1040a and 1040ez but I do want to pass on the meditations that I had while bundling 26 tax returns in a pile that is supposed to be 25.

America is a corporation that you are born into as a mail clerk. Where you go after that is sort of up to you and your predilections for doing business within the framework of America's traditional efforts. Some people become middle managers and some stay mail clerks. Only 5-10% of employees at America Corp can become managers so it's good that 90% are content with shuffling mail. It's a business that is run off your life blood and we all have a funeral parlor coffin waiting for us at the end of the run. Everyone contributes to the growth of the business and malingerers are supported with monopoly money that actually doesn't exist. But that's ok because land value is also a manufactured commodity...like stocks and social networks. We're all mail clerks to start out with and the sooner you accept that the mail you are delivering is empty except for the imaginary value assigned by someone in an upper floor, the sooner you will advance in the corporation, unless there is no room to advance and then you have to wait.

As part of the army of mail clerks who sort the 300 million tax returns every year*, I have a unique perspective. I don't see free people, I see old recruits trying to stay erect on the treadmill. I swear there's a "Cha-ching" cash register sound every time a baby is born in America. Somewhere, I promise you, there is that sound. In another culture you might call yourself free or a contributor and be telling the truth. In America corp. the marketing dept. puts "Free" on all the stationary but you are actually a number either in the loss or profit column. That's the only conclusion I can make after seeing the hidden realities of Tax Day from the other side of the table.

This is a corporation that eradicated a 8000 year old native population in 100 years. The Indians had Shamans, they respected nature foremost, the great spirit was a real force. Because their population was held in check by the death rate and their medicine man beliefs dissuaded them from investigating the secrets to longevity, their culture remained static and sustainable. Did you know that science failed to develop in the Middle East because Allah was the determining force in all things. That seriously hindered the inquisitive. In America the motto was, "God helps those who get the polio vaccine." So, the population exploded...life expectancy grew and the Indians were outmatched. The corporation had completed its first hostile takeover and proved that a deliberate and man made culture could stand up to a default and devout one. It remains to be seen how long such a paradigm can continue but I should point on that a secular humanist/science-based culture has but one concern: longevity. There is no pie in the sky when you die for the employees of America Corp. In fact, we've rewritten the bible to support our short term goals. God guides the scientist now. The Native Americans projected their decisions for 7 generations. America Corp. concentrates on the next twenty minutes. It has worked so far.

The frontier days are over and now we are in the middle of post industrial flux. The premonitions of the Kickapoo in 1870 are coming true, namely that a man who lives for the pursuit of money and land will eventually stand bereft of both...but the population is 313,000,000 and there isn't an inch of land that isn't claimed by some cattleman or timberman or parkland or blah blah blah. Not one inch. It's all taken. It's all for sale, of course, but none of it can just be claimed. Think about that. In a little over 200 years we've gone from the Lewis and Clark pulling canoes upstream through unmapped wilderness, to a Six Flags fighting with Disney world for who is going to get the Lewis and Clark water slide. The buffalo is gone. The wolf is gone. The Indian is contained. The Panther is gone. The Grizzly Bear is gone. The edge in America Corp goes to the person with no sympathy for the lesser animal. That's why I can't ethically teach grade school because I would be handicapping the student for what I know to be right but can't bring myself to explain. I know what the rules of this game are and if my values don't follow the rules then I'm not going to fit in. Why would I inflict that future on another kid? You can't expect to survive in America Corp by cleaning up after yourself and recognizing the sovereign rights of animals and tribal man. Those are not traditional America Corp. values. And since we have 313,000,000 people trying to get the edge to climb out of the mail room, I promise you that the ladder does not start with appreciation of butterflies and bees. Nope. The war has been fought for 200 years and alliances have been made. It really is self-deception to spend time recycling or planting flowers. I'm telling you that there is a clear separation between mail clerks and management and among managers there is absolutely no margin for bicycling to work or reusing grocery bags. Just imagine 100 starving people trying to get one apple. How do you think the polite person will do? That's the paradigm America Corp has managed to propagate up 'til now. 313,000,000 America Corp. employees and hundreds of millions of people trying to get hired. I feel that one of the questions on the application is: You see a dog dying in the middle of the street and you see $5. Which do you pick up first? And the answer determines your placement in the mail room.

*I recently read that 56% of America filed a tax return so the number I'm processing is more like 155 million.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.