Rob Cheng's Blog
The United States of Money

It is Christmas time and undoubtedly we will hear about the War on Christmas. This makes me sad, because the reality is that the war on Christmas was lost a long time ago to money and capitalism. Rather than celebrate the birth of the Savior, the meaning of Christmas has become consumer consumption, Santa Claus, trees, reindeer and snowmen. The meaning of the holiday has been lost.

But the sad fact is that Christmas is just one of the many casualties of how money dominates and pollutes all sectors of American life. To be honest, it wasn’t always this bad, but as time goes on, each year gets worse and worse.

Sports in general and college sports in particular are polluted by money. It is indeed a sad fact that the dean of the university makes about 1/4th of what the coach of the football team makes. On the professional level, the dirty secret is that the most successful and hence highest paid athletes are doing drugs to ply their trade. Alex Rodriguez and Lance Armstrong are just the tip of the iceberg.

The American health care system exists to make money for the large pharmaceuticals and insurance companies. All other pieces of the health care system such as doctors, hospitals and so on, only exist to serve these masters. Lost in the entire equation is the health of the patient, and the only goal is for the doctor to sell more pharmaceuticals and to assuage any concerns about side effects of these bizarre drugs.

When we look at the Iraqi war, one must ask the question. Who has benefited? Certainly not the Iraqi people. Not the average American. And certainly not our soldiers that have come home dead, mangled or emotionally traumatized. There appears to be one and only one constituent that has won and that is the American military industry complex headed up by publicly traded companies such as Haliburton and Black Rock. These wars are not about terrorism or American security but padding the bottom line of these corporations. The military industry complex tries to hide behind the flag and patriotism to justify their activities but they are really nothing more than high priced mercenaries.

The incredible merger mania hitting corporate America is driven by money. The result of these mergers is to 1) increase consumer prices in a monopolistic way and 2) reduce jobs by laying off workers. None of these benefit the average American, but our SEC is so in the pocket of Wall Street that they turn a blind eye to the very people that are supposed to server and whose tax dollars pay their salaries.

Our government is now run by money and the companies and people that control the money. Both the Republican and Democratic parties are controlled by money. The president and all members of the Senate and the House of Representatives spend all their time raising money to get reelected in the next election cycle. Lost are the needs of the citizens that they supposedly are there to represent. Of course, once they are reelected they only serve their masters that donated to their campaign coffers. The entire election process is a charade to make us feel like we have a democracy when in reality we have an oligarchy that ignores the needs of the voters in favor of the rich moneyed interest.

Our entire food system is now contaminated by money. Have you ever wondered why you can only purchase drinks in almost any restaurant that contain high glucose corn syrup? Did you know that Monsanto now has a patent on soy bean seeds and suing farmers that violate its patent?

The problem with the United States is that it is no longer united. In fact, the money is so strong in both the Republican and Democrat party that we allow these artificial wedge issues to divide us. I believe that the fact that money runs the country and is ruining it will be the one ultimate issue that will unite us all against ALL the special interest that pollute our lives and our government.

Rio de Janeiro Beach Shots

The beach scene in Rio de Janeiro is awesome. Lots of activity. Never a dull moment. People playing sports, enjoying the surf, and lots of people selling things.