The story line revolved around a small group of honest citizens who come to the aid of a dying crook, played brilliantly by Jimmy Durante, just after he drives his vehicle off a cliff while attempting to evade the police. Durante wants to bequeath his buried loot totaling $350,000, or “350 G’s” as Durante put it, to the good Samaritans who stopped to offer aid. The sum of $350,000 may seem somewhat modest by today’s inflationary standards, but at the time it was fortune sufficient to motivate a race that eclipsed our imaginations. Kramer took the audience on a wild ride to the fictitious Santa Rosita State Park, where a satchel containing the money was buried under four palm trees planted at angles forming a “Big W”. Rumor has it that In & Out Burger copied that style when designing their franchise image. But these fortune hunters were not after fast food. They wanted the money, and in the process demonstrated some of the best and worst human traits and emotions – hope, greed, competitiveness, ingenuity, envy, determination, rationalization, resourcefulness, stealing, deal making, and in particular, fixation on a singular goal at the expense of common sense judgment. Yes, the Big W came to represent some deep-seated timeless human behavior. The story indeed left a lasting impression on me as a boy.It was an impulsive diversion after traveling from Texas to see my eldest son, who was being sworn into the California State Bar in Pasadena as a newly-minted intellectual property attorney. After the ceremony, I practiced a little “discovery” of my own, facilitated by my Android phone. It gave me the actual address of the fictitious Santa Rosita State Park, which is really a private, unimproved parcel overlooking the Pacific Ocean on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. After an hour or so of driving, I arrived at Kramer’s shooting It’s called Portuguese Point and has a large gated entrance protecting the acreage from tourists, such as me. Private property signs were also prominently displayed in order to discourage other pilgrims destined for the Big W. But as you might have guessed, the palm trees no longer stand. Only echoes of the Big W can now be found at In & Out. It was disappointing to say the least.
So what does any of this have to do with politics, other than disappointment and illusion? Well, the BIG W that started this nation down the road to fiscal ruin was not George W Bush, regardless of what our Community-Organizer-in-Chief says. It was started by Congress years ago. A Congress that has consistently demonstrated contempt for fiscal responsibility. During that time, the other Big W mismanaged his office so poorly that it set the stage for Barrack Obama, the poster child of European Socialism. So today it is fair to say that the Federal Government exhibits the worst attributes and human failings represented by the original Big W. Consider the following…
Chicago-style greed masquerading as hope got Obama elected.
Envy became the mantra of this administration. It gave us Occupy Wall Street and class warfare.
Strategically sound conservative principles of competitiveness, resourcefulness and ingenuity were replaced with liberal tactics of forceful determination, deal making, and in particular, fixation on a singular goal at the expense of common-sense judgment. This has giving us a $15 trillion debt.
Rationalization while stealing, the signature of liberal ideology, has fostered a hostile business environment where productivity, competitiveness and work ethic are punished. Income is redistributed regardless of talent, skill, merit or sacrifice. Handouts and bailouts are doled out in return for votes. And Liberals seem to believe in a fantasy tax revenue system where the 1 percent pays almost 100% of the financial burden, regardless of the math involved. All this is preached under the banner of “fairness” and “economic justice”.
These human failings resulted in money literally being thrown away. That’s how Kramer’s film ended in 1963 and that’s how our tax money is ending up today. Does Fannie Mae or Solyndra come to mind? The Big W may no longer grace the Pacific Ocean, but it is alive and well in Washington DC. The worst of its spirit have been represented by the comedy cast of Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Harry Reid, Charles Shummer, Joe Biden, Charles Rangel , Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama, not to mention the hundreds of supporting actors. And they have driven this nation off a fiscal cliff and killed American small business. All while fighting amongst themselves, grabbing more and more your hard-earned money and blaming the other Big W.
To quote Spencer Tracy at the end of the film
“I’d like to think that sometime, maybe ten or twenty years from now, they’ll be something I can laugh at. Anything”.