What Would the Millionaires Have Said?

If the fathers and grandfathers of the Industrial Revolution were told they were going to improve the availability of goods all over the world at the expense of their sons’ and grandsons’ health (in mines, factories, quarries), what would they have said?

“Not my sons; not my gransons. I’ve made us rich above all that.”

If the fathers and grandfathers of the early 1900s would have been told that ‘to plow the land raw so that people nationwide could avoid shortage would sacrifice their sons’ and grandsons’ loss of a future in farming, what would they say?

“The current benefits outweigh that chance.”

If the fathers and grandfathers of the cold war era were told that the improvement in their lifestyle brought by chemistry and plastics and factory farming and ranching would have doomed their children and grandchildren to lives of slow poising and increased cancer and early death what would they say?

“You have no proof of that.”

If you had told the bankers and captains of finance of the 1980s that the speculation, the lending of money to those who really needed a start in life would cause worldwide crash and loss of the American Dream at last for their sons and granddaughters, what would they have said?

“You just don’t understand the facts.”

And they would all have said what they always say:

“After I make my millions, we’ll start to think about changing methods.”

It is human nature to deny the probable consequences of our behaviors, if those consequences are not immediate, are not happening to us, or take away what we hope to gain. If only the hypocrisy of the goal “improve the quality of life for everyone” changed and was told honestly. “We don’t care about our children and grandchildren enough to be uncomfortable ourselves.”


-kerry e mckenna


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