Monday, September 21, 2015

A Simple Fire and Business Ethics

Most arsons of commercial properties tend to be done by the owners. Often the reason is that a failing business needs the insurance money, other times it is done to make way for new developments. In Los Angeles a few years ago a developer was told that he would not be allowed to remove a historical building so he bulldozed it anyways and then paid the fine. In the end, he was allowed to develop the property anyways, the City Council just waited until the public forgot, it didn't take long.

A very long time ago I lived, for a short while, in Haverhill, Massachusetts. It was actually in the national papers being listed as the worst city in America. It was an old mill town that became a symbol of our lost industrial base long before the steal mills left. If you want to understand me, you have to understand what I have lived and seen. It was a desperate place that had no hope; but, somehow the hardworking old school people that lived there still had integrity and believed that they would somehow hold out, they believed in community and helped one another.

Well apparently one of the factory mills that had been there for about a hundred years (1884) and been abandoned for decades has mysteriously burned to the ground the day before the mayor of Haverhill was to meet with someone who "planned on redeveloping the property". According to CBS Boston, the fire appears to have been intentionally set. What a surprise. What lucky timing for the developer.

I am a socialist libertarian. I believe in America and I believe that people should have as much personal freedom as they can without working against American interests. If you are against this nation than I believe you should be given the choice between leaving this nation and taking nothing with you or being treated as a traitor to this nation under the Patriot Act. I don't believe you should get benefits or tax breaks from this nation for working against this nation's people.

My readers should read "The Scarlet Pimpernel". He was an aristocrat (I am not) who thought that the French went to far, were too extreme during the French revolution in killing the aristocrats who destroyed their lives. He believed in mercy and letting people leave the country rather than being guillotined. He risked his life to save bad people from suffering more than they needed to. I am with that philosophy. I am a pacifist at heart.

The problem with extremism is that it ceases to believe in compromise and seeks revenge instead. The people in charge of this country have become more and more extreme in believing that only they deserve to benefit from this country. The response, as history shows, is slow in coming; but, it always comes. The Magna Carta came about because the English monarchy was willing to compromise, the French monarchy was not. It openly told it's own citizens that they did not matter and the response was equally extreme. I don't want to see that play out in America; but, I fear it will.

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