This philosophy inspired congressional leaders
supporting CAFTA to use tax revenues to buy sufficient support
to earn passage for the measure by a two-vote margin. CAFTA,
claimed its industrial supporters, will allow Central American
workers to become an essential part of global economy.
The apparent heartfelt concern Americaís
business and political leaders have for the plights of the
peoples of the world is inspiring. Their generosity is amplified
by their willingness to include the American taxpayer and wage
earner and their families in the effort to make the world a
better place for everyone everywhere. There is something
uniquely American over the willingness of the public to allow
their lives, tax contributions, and living wages to be
sacrificed for such a noble cause.
The philanthropy of Americaís power structure
with my taxes and income has brought me to ponder my role in the
great global economy. As I ruminated my role in the great quest
I happened to pass by a little restaurant near my house, The
Italian Pie and Pasta House at 1400 S. Crystal Lake Dr. in
Orlando, Fla., where my wife and I have enjoyed several meals.
It occurred to me that the owner of the
restaurant, who seems genuinely pleased to see us come to his
business, is a part of the global economy. He even hires servers
who speak the same language as do I, thereby preserving the
parochial influence on multiculturalism, and the food there is
easily comparable to the fare of more famous restaurants that
even have locations in other countries. It seems that I can do
more for the global economy by patronizing the one Italian Pie
and Pasta House in Orlando than if I gave more money to one of
the many corporately owned restaurants with locations throughout
the nation and the world.
The thought also occurred to me that my
mechanic, Manny at Auto Lab on 6921 Partridge Lane, also in
Orlando, is allowing me to enhance the global economy and treats
me with the same courtesy and enthusiasm as the people at the
Italian Pie and Pasta House. Best of all Manny gives me the
service with a smile that I wasnít receiving from the auto
maintenance center attached to a world famous tire dealership.
He doesnít even recommend that I have lots of
expensive, unnecessary work done to my car as did the other
service center. His concern of my budgetary limits, in spite of
the fact that both of us are being coerced, through our taxes,
to support policies that give competitive advantages to his
corporate competitors, makes me grateful that my neighbor
recommended him when my frustration reached its limits with the
management at the store owned by that internationally renowned
When I devoted my mind to the cause I
discovered a considerable number of local businesses that impact
my neighborhood economy that are ignored by the political and
economic leaders of this country. Furthermore I have found that
when I deal with businesses that are owned by one of my
neighbors I donít have to go through some bureaucratic complaint
process when I come to the opinion that my patronage has been
accepted with something less than enthusiasm.
Perhaps the most comforting notion of
investing my consumer dollars with local businesses that donít
have the luxury of a corporate mechanism to bribe politicians is
that I am actually supporting a conservative, free-market
business system based on private property ownership.
Furthermore, my patronage is contributing to their business
success in spite of the advantages bought by competitors with
friends in high places.
I wonder if the great business leaders of this
country would be able to fare as well if bribery, also known as
lobbying, were to become stigmatized as an unethical business
practice or if conservatives began to realize that corporate
coziness with government power is akin to a form of government
that was known during the 20th century as fascism.