Our Masters' Pain
My three year stint as president of my home owner association was an eye opener. The association was pretty much broke, the neighborhood was run down and things looked glum. I was elected the first year after a bloodless lightening coup (it took about six months of constant pressure on my part using the whole box of tricks) to remove the old corrupt board and implement "change." That I did. I fired everybody except the garbage company that had been giving the association a good deal for the money. I fired the landscaping company, bought a tractor and a few volunteers and I cut the 10 acres. I organized the kids in the neighborhood, paid them cash around one quarter of what I would have paid "professionals" then spruced up the neighborhood. I painted and constructed and willed the neighborhood into shape. With all the money I saved we were able to fix the roads and the new street lights actually paid for themselves because they were much more efficient.
Needless to say the following two years President Tomas Estrada-Palma was reelected two times...unanimously. My hope was to give the homeowners the tools and direction to show how we could save a bundle by organizing our own efforts to run the neighborhood. In the forty or so year history of the association there was only three years that the association dues did not go up. It was during my terms. I blocked every effort even when other board members wanted me to raise it and blame it on the old board members. Sound like a familiar tactic?
Sadly, what I discovered was the "people" didn't want to take charge of their neighborhood. They wanted someone to do it for them. Plus they didn't want to pay much for the service. With prices escalating from fiat monetary inflation that meant that to stop taxing higher like everybody else I and several volunteers did just about everything while the good citizens sat on their butts. They were mostly just like children. They did not want to know any details beyond that everything was being handled, they were not paying more, the neighborhood was improving and they didn't have to do anything. They wanted to play because they already had to work for a living. Sure the hour or so per week each of them could have volunteered to care just for their little area would have cut into their play time. They would much rather let me and a couple other volunteers do it ALL while they played.
After three years I said I would not run again. So they elected my wife for a couple more years. Then she refuse to be president again. So they got her to agree to be vice president. The association members would have been crazy not to have reelected one of us REAL public servants. So my wife and I have moved on. Today, they are surely paying hundreds to have done for them, what an hour per week from each might have meant paying fifty bucks a month for. So they have to devote perhaps a day or two worth of pay after taxes to get the same service as they were content to receive free for three years from me and my volunteers. But we were not crazy. We thought we could show people a way to do it ourselves and save a bundle of money. But children do want to know about these details. Children don't care if a bit of work now saves them from doing a lot more work later. They want to play NOW! They can't wait to have more candy later if they can have just a bit of it this very instant.
So I understand a thing or two of the dilemma our banker masters face trying to be your shepherds. It ain't easy. They treat you like the children that most of you are and try to keep the system running. But children are so very unpredictable and these masters in the banker cartel are not so kindly as Tomas and his volunteers. I honestly wanted to help. They are helping themselves. Soon you kids will discover that you are orphans abandoned by your banker parents to fend for yourselves. You will have to grow up. But people would rather die than grow up - in actuality most do.