From March Madness to April Soberness
Occasional Picture April 2009 


© 2009 Marina Rundell

See NCAA Tournament Bracket



APRIL 15th


There’s a select group

that shows up

on this very special day,

you can count them all

on one hand.


The first member, the thumb,

uses its opposable skills

and claims it needs a break

from pushing tacks.


The second member, the point finger,

can’t find the right pen

and claims calluses

kept it from signing over thousands.


The third member, the middle finger,

takes a stand

and claims it owes no one anything

and so it simply raises itself up.


The fourth member, the ring finger,

likes joint returns

and claims that shiny things blinded it

from paying hundreds.


The fifth member, the pinky,

makes the most of its size

and claims that lack of strength

weakened it to write zero checks.


These digits curl into a fist,

to exhibit their slogan,

Ire Are Us.



© 2009 Marina Rundell



I remember seeing a documentary made by Jamie Johnson, the heir of the founder of Johnson & Johnson.  The title related to the lives of “rich kids,” the fortunate ones who live on the work of their forefathers. 

While he had all the money in the world, where he didn’t have to work to make a living, he had the dilemma of what to do with himself, so he consulted his father who was painting and his father suggested collecting old maps, so this son goes to the library to look up maps and found that this was not his calling.

As the documentary continued, he was out and about with another “rich kid” friend who ended up suing Johnson who was making the documentary.  This friend who sued talked about how he, his family’s wealth, was such a big fortune that he had the power to make and destroy a person’s life.  That is, bankrupt a person’s living, company, whatever, with the blink of an eye.

As I watched this, I glimpsed the mind of the rich (some of them).  Yes, they have a lot of power.  They own proven, profitable companies, have so many assets, and can make or break anyone they choose to exert their will upon.  As said by Chris Rock, “They own the color blue.”  So if you find yourself standing on the color blue, watch out.

But then I started to wonder.  Don’t they also realize that it’s the worker, the one working in their companies or whatever assets they have, who is making them money?  That is, they got to be rich because of the contribution of the worker. 

Name one rich person who got there all by himself.

Also, they enjoy their tax breaks and let the majority of taxpayers pay the taxes.  Yes, the rich pay a lot in taxes as the masses have been told, but put together the tax money paid by the masses and that, too, is significant.  Let’s not forget the cumulative money paid by the masses.

But then the rich will turn around and say, but they wouldn’t be able to pay taxes if they didn’t work for my company.  Again, power is speaking here.  But then the rich wouldn’t have gotten to the point of managing so much money and so many assets if the worker didn’t clock in.  This argument can go in circles forever.  Why?  Because we’re all connected. 

And if the rich (or institutions) end up hogging all the currency, such as the recent bailout wealth from the worker (since they haven’t enjoyed as many tax breaks), and choose not to let currency flow and be shared (as some campaigns have spoken out loud), we will have many more views of mountain slopes of shacks while the rich “czar” themselves up in the warmer lowlands with extra gates.

The rich will stay rich.  When you already own the color blue, you want to make sure you still own it. 

That’s all right that you’re rich and you should enjoy it.  But if you force us out of our shacks just so you can also own the colors red and white, make sure to keep an eye out on those balmy gates.  Those shacks on the mountain slopes may be taxiing down.

- Marina Rundell



Talking Money with Jamie Johnson—heir to Johnson & Johnson fortune.  Also, What the Richest Kids Tell Him—In this video interview he talks about his film, “The One Percent.”  He shares his opinion of how the rich should “take more of the tax burden” and how he sees firsthand, the gap between the rich and poor and how the middle class is shrinking and how this isn’t good for this country and one way to alleviate this is by providing services to the middle class such as better education and healthcare.  Unlike his father who was born into a rich family, his mother was born into a middle class family and so he gives credit to his mother for giving him another perspective beyond the more prevalent “entitled” attitude.



Protesters visit AIG officials' lavish Conn. homes

Published - Mar 22 2009 05:29AM CST By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN - Associated Press Writer

See The Daily Show with Jon Stewart video on AIG:

Bill Maher Show on March 20, 2009 mentions AIG in new rules:

You may have heard from someone you know or met that their business is insured by AIG and because of the atmosphere of million-dollar-bonuses to those who ran the company to the ground at AIG, business owners who are insured by AIG are waiting for their policies to end and after that will not renew their insurance with AIG.  Also, you may have had firsthand experience of being offered AIG insurance and how you quickly turned that down.  Something to think about for the people in other companies where their spirit is becoming AIG-like.

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