It really is just about the Money: A teachable Moment from “The Jerk”

It really is just about the Money


I don’t admit to being a newshound. But as I write, if there isn’t music on in the background, the news is rattling away.

I am reminded about a classic scene from “The Jerk” with Steve Martin.

He has taken a job as a Weight Guesser in a traveling Carnival. For a buck, he will guess your weight. For a buck fifty, he will guess your height as well. He is not being too successful at this venture and when his boss arrives, Steve opines “I don’t think I am very good at this…I have only made $37 and I gave away all of this stuff.” His boss responds with a shake of his head. “You have made $37 and you have given away $5.96 worth of crap!”

Steve rolls his eyes and head back and says as if a bright light just went on over his head

“I get it! It’s a PROFIT THING!”

With the pressure off, he proceeds to provide his service with a new found vigor.


I am reminded of so many things that take place in our lives, where this same enlightening moment is so relevant!

Some years ago, Television Networks discovered that News Programs were costly. It was expensive to maintain reporters around the World, flying them around globally was an expense…and for what.
News had to become a Profit Center. Corporations had to be courted to purchase advertising time.

It became difficult to do news stories on Corporations that poisoned our air, our water, our lakes or streams. Pharmaceutical Companies unless incredibly grossly negligent, were left untouched by a thousand reports, issued by a thousand of research facilities that we, the viewer, never learned about on the evening news. And we kept popping our pills.

Even today, while recognizing that we could easily limit the number of civilian overdose deaths, we could dramatically reduce prescription addictions just by limiting the opiate prescriptions like Oxycotin by doctors to a maximum seven day dosage for extreme pain. The CDC thought it was an excellent proposal. The proposal was made it to the FDC and they suggested that all doctors could be retrained to issue ONLY a 7 day prescription and reduce death and addiction tenfold.

Everything was just rolling along until the Pharmaceutical Companies that produce the opiates said WHOOOOAAAA! Too Fast. We can’t reduce production of these dangerous and addictive drugs by 90%!
That is unacceptable and we, the public,  will able to score our opioids, without skipping a beat…


Pharmaceutical Companies working not to cure our diseases, but to make our living with the discomfort and pain the disease causes, less disruptive, less…painful.


Recently in a relatively anti-democratic move, a group surfaced as a result of a populist candidate winning hands down Primary after Primary and he look poised to secure the representation of his Party. The Anti-Trump movement was born and began life with millions and millions of dollars of donations from the scared corporations and wealthy individuals to fund advertisements, robo-calls,  Anti-Trump offices around the country. And the harder they pushed, the more the undesirable candidate gather votes. When he was finally declared the victor, having no opposition to fight against, you would imagine the Anti-People would fade away as a failed political anti-democratic experiment.

But wait! They still had millions of dollars to spend on salaries and grants and funding of various other organizations. They could not just leave millions of dollars on the table…They just swore that they would continue  to defeat a candidate that had already been elected by the American people casting the votes.


And even more…The party that this candidate was about to represent in the White House, had promised that there would be a curtailing of freebies from Corporations; Lobbyists would be restricted in “donating” to various campaign.

The Gravy Train was ending. Life as usual was about to end.

And the Party was angry. And the Party was threatened. The $$$$$$’s stuffed into their pockets by everyone who wanted to pollute our oceans, poison our foods, etc. etc. etc. was about to drop if he won the Great Election.
Enemies of the his party with their noses pinched, even considered supporting the opposition rather than crashing the gravy train…


Cars that could run forever that did not need to fail on schedule so that Auto Manufacturers could make more money on replacement parts and service than they ever made selling the car. Cars running on something other than fossil fuels. Energy that is provided free by the Sun’s rays. Jobs for the Americans who have watched their finances dwindle.  Banks that should have failed for practicing dangerous and deregulated business putting millions of people in jeopardy of losing everything were saved from collapse and have come back stronger and more dangerous than ever.

And you wonder why…


Even the Church found it more profitable to move pedophiles from Rectory to Rectory to avoid detection and avoid facing millions of dollars in law suits.


Where do I stop? Have you heard of an Oil Exploration Organization who failed to secure their practices and they began spewing oil willy-nilly, ever find an Executive incarcerated? Even hear of a Banking Organization send their Executives to appear in Court or face imprisonment. No, we heard about their lavish bonuses.

Finally, is a Company who knowingly put dangerous deadly drugs on the market, shipped food that poisoned our children, who contaminated our lands, who faces anything but a meager penalty fines and no one faces jail time.

You would think that having a prison population greater that all other nations in the world…that some people living as guests of the State or the Federal Government would have been some of the same people I have described above.

Even reducing our prison population is battle because SO MUCH MONEY IS MADE IN THE PRIVATISATION OF PRISONS!

With only 5% of the world’s population, the U.S. has more than 20% of        the world’s prison population – that makes us the world’s largest jailer.

But our citizen’s stay in jails because…


How much longer can I continue?

Don’t even get me started on all of the Money made in useless wars.

We have become so motivated by pursuit of the accumulation of wealth that we have stormed right past any acknowledgement of our Humanity.

Jesus would head back to Heaven. Buddha would gag. All of our great and true spiritual leaders would be overwhelmed by a great sense of failure.
A great sense would destroy their spirit that they had somehow failed Humanity by not recognizing or anticipating the immense power of Mammon, the Dollar, Gold, wealth wealth wealth.

Maybe in the end Wealth is Lucifer. Maybe Greed is just part of our DNA. Maybe we can set all aside, set our humanity hidden away in a dark corner, not be distracted, just blinded by the overwhelming reality that





2 thoughts on “It really is just about the Money: A teachable Moment from “The Jerk”

  1. It really is a terrible time to watch the world, where we clutch for instances of true Humanity in a sea of bad news. I get my news from The Young Turks… they’re volatile, but they admit their bias, and don’t take money from corps. But yesterday every piece of news was heartbreaking, so heartbreaking that one of the hosts had to apologize for ending the news on such a horrible note (assisted suicide for a toddler-rape victim in Norway).

    There are whispers now, that it may be Ryan vs. Biden…. the establishment simply chucking both options out rather than listen to the people that voted them in. For me, it just sounds like one last, gasping breath. So maybe Humanity will win.


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