The Grapes of Wrath: 2010 Government Edition

Last night, I was watching the Grapes of Wrath and there was a particular part that stuck with me because it’s so typical of the situation we see in modern America. In the scene, Muley’s farm is being taken from him and he and his family are questioning the man giving them the news:

MULEY: You mean get off my own land?

THE MAN: Now don’t go blaming me. It ain’t *my* fault.

SON: Whose fault is it?

THE MAN: You know who owns the land–the Shawnee Land and Cattle Company.

MULEY: Who’s the Shawnee Land and Cattle Comp’ny?

THE MAN: It ain’t nobody. It’s a company.

SON: They got a pres’dent, ain’t they? They got somebody that knows what a shotgun’s for, ain’t they?

THE MAN: But it ain’t *his* fault, because the *bank* tells him what to do.

SON (angrily): All right. Where’s the bank?

THE MAN (fretfully): Tulsa. But what’s the use of picking on him? He ain’t anything but the manager, and half crazy hisself, trying to keep up with his orders from the east!

MULEY (bewildered): Then who *do* we shoot?

THE MAN (stepping on the starter): Brother, I don’t know. If I did I’d tell you. But I just don’t know *who’s* to blame!

Welcome to America, 2010.

The government passes 2,000 page monstrosities full of questionable clauses that were written in secret and no one even bothers to read the bill before it’s signed into law. Then, when it inevitably turns into a mess, no one takes responsibility.

Then, when the government gets caught creating a wreck, which is something that happens on a regular basis, the public seldom gets a clear explanation of who’s right or wrong — they just hear from competing PR flacks, all pointing the finger elsewhere.

On top of that, when there is a really major disaster caused by the government, say the housing crash, the bailouts, or the Savings and Loan crisis, not only does the government refuse to take responsibility for the problem: they caused, they tell America the only solution is more government.

The truth of the matter is that the government of this country is a tangled, muddled, barely functional mess because the people who run it are career politicians and they like it that way. The more confused people are, the easier it is for them to keep their cushy jobs and peel off graft for their friends and political allies.

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