Phil Harris

To tell you the truth, never once have I been tempted to boil a frog for any reason, but it would not surprise me if thousands delight in the practice. You know… those folks who like to bury cats up to the neck and then run them over with a lawn mower.

Don't get me wrong. It's not as if I have a spongy place in my heart for frogs, so if you love to kick back on Friday night with a beer and a plate of steaming frog legs … knock yourself out. Edna, my maternal grandmother fed me frog legs when I was about five years old; leading me to believe it was chicken until they were down the hatch. She was lucky, because she could have gotten them back in a big hurry.

In any case, perhaps you have heard the little factoid, that if you drop a frog into a pan of hot water, it will jump out like a bolt of lightning. However, if you put the frog in a pan of cool water, and then slowly increase the heat, it will stay there, dumb and happy, until it boils to death.

I hate to break it to you, but we are all frogs. America is a big pan of water, the heat has been steadily increasing, and just like our green friends, we are heading for a boil. Some of us are sitting in a cooler part of the pan, so the cooking has not become an issue worthy of concern; however, others have noticed that their skin has begun to slough off.

If we are the frogs and America is the pan of water, then exactly where is the heat coming from? The answer, of course, is something that every one of us must deal with to one degree or another. Those who no longer deal with it have already boiled beyond repair. I am speaking of our banking (finance) and insurance industries, two of the most powerful forces in our lives.

Perhaps it will seem odd for a conservative fellow to be harping about "the man." Nevertheless, this is something that has been gnawing on my common sense detector for a long time, because frankly, it just makes no sense at all when you step sideways and peek around the curtain. Yet we have all been taking it, some segments of our population more severely than others have, but it affects everyone in some manner.

Let us examine the banking (finance) business first. The lion's share of financial consumers are not suffering to the degree that others are, but everyone has the potential to walk in these shoes on any given day. There are simply no guarantees in life, that if your life happens to be dancing along, carefree, that it will continue that way.

Phil Harris

Phil Harris is a software engineer, author of Cry for the Shadows and blogs at Citizen Phil.

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