The uproar over the so-called Panama Papers is certainly appropriate – it’s yet another example of the degree to which PTSD of the Soul is afflicting corporate, investment and cultural “elites” in the U.S. For those who haven’t seen the news, these documents confirm that thousands and thousands of politicians, business executives and Wall Streeters are waging war on their fellow citizens by avoiding taxes.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Who doesn’t want to pay lower taxes? Finding ways to send less to Uncle Sam is a national obsession. And apparently, what these individuals are doing is legal. It is not, however, ethical. Not on the enormous scale they’re doing it. And not with the collateral damage they’re inflicting.
You see tax avoidance by the wealthy isn’t a victimless assault. Hiding away their millions (or billions) is an IED that maims everyone but the perpetrators. They enjoy the rights, stability and creature comforts of the U.S., but they don’t want to help cover the costs. So, they use law firms and loopholes to force the rest of us to foot the bill, in effect ripping apart our way of life so they can enjoy a better one.
Worse, the wealth of many of these 1 percenters was ill gotten. As the protagonists do in my book A Prescription for the Soul, they gas the stock market with insider information to pad their investment returns, they strangle the wage growth of their employees to pad their own paychecks and they drop defective products into cars and grocery stores to pad their bottom line. And all of their donations to charities and hospitals, universities and veterans groups don’t change that.
These people are sick. Their condition lays waste to our quality of life and eviscerates the American Dream for our kids and grandkids. It’s time we forced them to take their medicine.
Peter Weddle April 7th, 2016