This country has always espoused the virtue of excess — in terms of wealth; of debt; of individuality; of exercise; of work; of different forms of diet; of opinions; of laws. The laws of logic and of life generally dictate that if there are no constraints to excess, then it will exponentially continue to go beyond — beyond excess.
Is there a definition for such a phenomena? Or, as the concept of excess is precisely that which is the “extra” beyond the normative constraints, already, is there any point in being redundant by placing the pretextual addendum of “beyond”? Of course, “excess” can only have any meaning within the context of some restrictive norm; otherwise, without a comparative contrast to X, how would we determined if Y “exceeds” X in any way?
Thus do we compare the present-day national debt against the GDP, what amount of debt the nation held previously (as in the total cost expended in the effort to defeat Nazism in WWII), the subsequent impact of the ratio, etc. Or, in terms of wealth, what it means to amass “billions”, own 20 different properties, purchase a yacht as large as a cargo ship, have 50 luxury cars in a garage the size of a football field, etc. — and then compare it to a person who works two jobs but is unable to afford enough food to get by.
Is the amassing of such wealth “beyond excess”? Or, does it perpetuate the myth of this country, that “anyone” can become wealthy, the President of the United States, or begin a “start up” company in one’s garage and make it into an internationally-dominating company? And what about the price which must be paid for going beyond excess? Does it impact the health of the individual?
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from any longer extending one’s career in the Federal Government, the concept of “beyond excess” takes on a new meaning: of the comparison between one’s health and the excess of a demanding job. And while the concept may not have much to do with wealth or the national debt, it does share a metaphorical synchronicity with the general concept: That there now exists an incompatibility between your deteriorating health and the excessive demands of a stressful job.
Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.