Warning: If I seem a little perturbed in this blog, its because I am.
This documentary is available on Netflix instant streaming, and is worth the time to watch. It was created in 2006 by Jamie Johnson, the grandson and heir of the wealthy Johnson and Johnson company. I am appalled with the greed and love for money in this country. The idea that a man not being satisfied with $40 million dollars is outrageous to me.
One is the percent of Americans who control half of all the wealth within the United States. In fact, the net worth of this one percent is more than the combined net worth of ninety percent of Americans. (This information comes from the documentary and based off of 2001) These are the families who own companies including, but not limited to Johnson and Johnson, Florida Crystals Corporation and even Microsoft. These companies have the capitol it takes to get themselves into the pockets of politicians. Take for instance Alfie and Pepe Fanjul who own Florida Crystals Corporation. In the 1996 presidential election, Alfie was the biggest contributor to President Clinton’s campaign and his brother Pepe, well he was the biggest contributor to Bob Dole’s campaign. They figured that no matter which way the election went they were going to be in the president’s pocket. As you can see by this example, and there are many more like it, ‘he who has the gold, makes the rules!’
The idea of these people living in their big fancy homes, while others like myself struggle to pay utilities and even scrape money for toilet paper deeply saddens me. How did we get here as a society? To hire “family advisors” to make sure the wealth stays in the family. When did we stop looking at other humans as family, when did the need to protect one’s riches become more valuable than fellow man?
From a political perspective, I do not know where I stand about the government regulating these extremely wealthy families. But I do believe we need to stop monopolies and allow regular citizens to actually have a chance. Also from a religious perspective I think about where the Church is!? Do you know that there are over 2000 references of poverty and injustice in the Bible? Too many times do I see large church facilities with their coffee shops and luxuries inside, listen to sermons about materialism- and yet we seem to care about the lost and poor? James 1:27 says, “Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us.” I would say that a way the world is corrupting us as the Church is to willingly turn our eyes from others troubles, to focus on our own gain.
The hardest part of the documentary was watching Roy Martin, President of the Martin Lumber Co. Now I do believe that the Bible is a guideline that you run your life by, but in no means does it help you “succeed” in this world. God is not our blueprint for getting rich. I do not have a problem with rich people. I think that riches are not inherently evil, it is the love of it that can lead to trouble. I grew up surrounded by money, and in no way am I the judge of these people. What Roy Martin said in the documentary is very true, “God will sit and watch what you do with it.” Even in my family, the ways we spend money I ask the Lord if this would bring Him pleasure.
I am guilty of this way of thinking: What can I do to make lots of money? Instead of what can I do to help my brothers and sisters? Or like earlier today when I went on a Pity Party with myself. Ultimately with the idea of thinking of “Me, Myself, and I,” it will lead us down a path of destruction and a deficit of love.