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Life, liberty and the pursuit of luxury
Posted Feb. 13, 2009

Life. We never asked for it but we got it, and we have to figure out what to do with it.

Liberty. All of us are blessed to claim our unalienable rights in this country and depending on the choices we make, our lives are affected for better or for worse.

But what is the one thing that can take away both life and liberty? I will give you a hint: It is not money.

I cannot help but wonder if we would be experiencing a recession of such magnitude, if it were not for the pursuit of money by filthy rich CEOs, oil tycoons and of course mortgage investors.

Interestingly enough, most of them probably started out just like me. They must have been told at a young age to study hard in school so that they could get good grades.

They must have gotten good grades to get into good colleges in order to eventually get good-paying jobs.

In short, they were always in pursuit of making a buck. But we can all relate to them, right?

I know I can.

Who does not want to live a comfortable, financially secure life? This idea of success is the driving force of not only Americans but all of man-kind. Success brings happiness.

If I were to reach one of my career goals, I would become the CEO of a hospital, marry and make a couple of kids, drive a simple BMW 645 series and live in a modest four-bedroom house in Claremont surrounded by a few orange trees.

This would be my success story and I am content with that.

I do not need billions of dollars or corporate jets to feel like I have accomplished something.

Unfortunately, some individuals feel they do and because of them, the world is in an economic catastrophe with no end in sight.

There is definitely something morally wrong when executives of Wells Fargo plan lavish vacation trips after receiving $25 billion of pure taxpayer money.

Sure they are successful and they worked hard to get where they are, and I will be the first to admit that we need entrepreneurs and visionaries to lead in the world of business.

I am simply concerned with the effects that greed can have on the rest of the world.

There is one organization that is hiring despite tens of thousands of layoffs every week, the unemployment office.

This is what reality has come to be for the father struggling to provide for his family and to future college graduates preparing to enter the workforce, or lack thereof.

Money can be used for many great things, such as paying for tuition, but it is a shame when greedy people use it on themselves and let others suffer for it.

I have heard that “the love of money is the route of all evil” and it makes more and more sense every day.

Perhaps corporate giants never anticipated their pursuit of money to cause great harm, but maybe now they will put matters into perspective.

While the future may look ominous, all hope does not have to be lost. There is always room for reform.

If we as a nation and we as a people are going to coexist, we have to halt this fortune-driven ideology because it is proving to have deplorable repercussions.

Mark Vidal, a junior communications major, is arts editor of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at mark.vidal@laverne.edu.