I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that intrigued me and got my hackles up a bit. I can't remember the exact phrasing of the initial part but the end was the old tag line "No body owes you anything." It is one of those nice little cliches that are to a certain extent right but to a very big extent wrong. In this case the wrongness of this statement is indicative of what is wrong in our society today. There are things everyone IS owed by virtue of their being human and members of this society. We are owed fairness. We are owed honesty. We are owed respect. Yet in so many ways we are all treated unfairly. Think about the latest class action suit against Wal-Mart. And the fact that it is just the latest. Remember the last one only a few short years ago which saw them settle on the charges that they forced workers to work hours off the clock, through lunch breaks, and locked them in the stores? And honesty? Remember how food processing companies and restaurants fought tooth and nail not to tell us what fats, calories, salt and preservatives were in the foods they wanted us to buy? Salt is only the latest additive that has hit the news media. Respect? I don't think being treated like brainless, walking wallets is in any way respect. Without fairness, honesty, and respect the trust that makes social and economic relations possible dies. And we are witnessing the death of trust each and every day. The poll that showed that less than 1 in five Americans trust government indicates that.
Fumpzilla at Frump Gazette has a post that melds all three of the above points into one very sad and disturbing story. The story concerns treatment of veterans that borders on sadistic and demonstrates that the reforms promised after the scandal at Walter Reed were lies. No fairness, no honesty, no respect.