BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
Are you inclined to be compassionate to someone who you know is cruel, or at least lacks compassion for others?
I’m guessing most people will answer “no” to my question, even though many will often still be kind and compassionate to those who are “undeserving” of such treatment just because it’s the right thing to do.
On Monday, at Burbank’s Memorial Day gathering, Cong. Adam Schiff cited a truly sad statistic. Currently, more American military personnel are dying AFTER their tours of duty through suicide than on the battlefield. This is occurring, at least in part, because the medical facilities available for veterans are underfunded by Congress.
So what would you think of those who are forcing such underfunding? They are the same people who are serving up to us bad economic policy in general, and tax policy in particular (see my previous piece “Taxes and Trends”).
What’s worse is this underfunding is avoidable. Most of those who advocate using a cleaver on government budgets seem genuinely convinced that “we have no money,” therefore they advocate that the government should “live within its means,” and obviously, miss the point of having a government. They think taxes are too high (again see “Taxes and Trends”). But if this is the case, how is it that as of June 2010, according to the Wall Street Journal, large corporations had $1.84 trillion in cash parked mostly overseas. How did they accumulate such a wad if, indeed, taxes are too high? This money would be much better used hiring people, investing in their businesses, or being paid out to their investors who might better utilize it.
The people running these corporations seem to number among those who have no heart. Instead of using the money wisely, they’re keeping it “out of the government’s reach” (while of course benefiting from the perks of being a U.S. corporation). If some of this money had been collected in taxes, fewer suicides might occur and better investment in infrastructure might be in place.
We have such heartless people in our community, too. They seem to have no compassion. They are the ones who are critical of my writings on economic issues. Usually, they are quick to argue that these topics are not “Armenian issues” and shouldn’t appear in Armenian publications.
I ask those people, if they are bereft of compassion for those around us who are in bad shape, how do they expect others to take our Genocide, reparations, and lands related efforts seriously? Are we not asking, in addition to the implementation of the law, for compassion? Is not compassion the starting point for engaging non-Armenians?
Please, I ask all my compatriots to heed their hearts. No suicide that’s preventable should occur because of a lack of compassion and its attendant miserliness in budget policy. If nothing else, look upon it as enlightened self interest.