The Winter of Our Discontent

John Steinbeck in The Winter of Our Discontent makes an interesting observation:

“It always interested me to hear how philanthropic the taking of a profit can be. Stripped of its forward-looking, good-of-the-community clothing, Mr. Baker’s place was just what it had to be. He and a few others, a very few, would support the town’s present administrations until they had bought or controlled all the future facilities. Then they would turn the council and the Town Manager out and let progress reign, and only then would it be discovered that they owned every avenue through which it could come.”

This novel was published in 1961 but the situation quoted is as applicable today as it was fifty years ago. In fact, one might say that the idea of anything “good-for-the-community” has been totally discarded in favor of anything good for the few, the very few.

With the ubiquitous Occupy Movement and the apparent resurgence of the 99 Percenters, will this be our Winter of Our Discontent and will the 2012 elections again cast all the clouds on our house into the depths of the ocean?