One of my favorite books is a little classic called The Human Comedy by William Saroyan. It’s the story about a boy, Homer Macauley, who owns a second-hand bike and works as a telegraph messenger in the San Joaquin Valley during World War II. His is a coming of age story much like my novel, Heart Land. I’ve always loved Saroyan’s title because it stands for comedy in its broadest sense, which includes not only happiness but the laughter born of despair – those occasions when facts or events are so absurd our only recourse is to laugh.
Life, of course, gives us a greater sense of the ridiculous than literature can. To make my point, I’ll share a few facts about corporate welfare that I’ve discovered in the 10/19/12 edition of The Week. (pg. 18). If you are part of the 99% or even the 47% so rudely disparaged during the recent political campaign, I leave you to cry of snigger.
a. Fact: Energy companies lease 80 million acres of public land and keep the lion’s share of the profits from oil and gas.
b. Fact: In the 1990s, the telecom industry gobbled up the public’s digital spectrum for a song and grew more wealthy.
c. Fact: Mining companies still lease public land for $5 an acre under an 1872 law and pay no royalties for all the gold and silver and uranium them find.
When I discover information like this, I reach for my hanky. Gordon Gekko from the film Wall Street would be laughing all the way to the bank, of course.
(Courtesy of familyvideo.com)