On the Turning Away

Thanks to my daughter’s next School of Rock show, I’m becoming more familiar with the music of Pink Floyd. For me, one of the songs she will be performing is very relevant to the upcoming election and the important choice we have as a nation.

The song is On the Turning Away. It talks about turning away from the “pale and downtrodden” and says that standing by and accepting the suffering of others makes one complicit in their suffering.  And so, if you believe that most people possess some measure of compassion and empathy, how can they durn a blind eye to those in need?  Labels.

This brings me to the latest labels, “makers and takers.” Apparently those struggling to escape poverty, misfortune, and illness are “takers.” It is much easier to cast aside an anonymous “taker” than it is your neighbors.  Dad works two jobs, Mom works one, both striving to create a better life for their kids.  Their kids qualify for free and reduced lunch at school, the family receives government assistance for after school childcare.  They take allowable tax deductions and pay no Federal income taxes, but do pay payroll taxes.  Are they “takers” as some would label them?  Absolutely not.  In fact, I think they are the true “makers.”

This election is about who counts for more in this country. This country should not focus on the real “takers;” millionaires and billionaires whose businesses take government subsidies and who shelter their personal income earned in the U.S. in offshore accounts to avoid paying their fair share. They take for no other reason than to make wealth for themselves.  They don’t create jobs and they add no value to the economy.

The United States survives and thrives because of the middle-class “makers.” Hard working people committed to making the world a better place for their children and dedicated to buidling their communities. People who know that “we all do better when we all do better.” Creative people that develop innovative products and add real value to the economy.

The last verse of the song goes like this:

“Is it only a dream, that there’ll be no more turning away?”

Make it reality. No more turning away.

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