Tag Archives: American

American Values?

The 'Almighty' Dollar
The ‘Almighty’ Dollar

One of the most prominent failures of United States society is that we try to measure how well we as a people are doing by reference to how much money we make in a year: GDP . When in reality, although the spending power of each individual does contribute to our standard of living, an economic reference reveals nothing of the relevant value of our spiritual or emotional well-being as a people. On top of that, the index does not include domestic labor, parenting and so on, in other words, positions and task traditionally fulfilled by women in this country because our patriarchal society discounts the labors of women.

Money has value, but only the value that we assign to it (there is not even a gold nugget backing up the “Federal Reserve Note” and don’t let me get onto the Fractional-Reserve Banking system and the Marginal Propensity to Consume, which make money out of thin air; this flimsy pieces of paper and digital ones and zeros only have the value we assign to them.

However, money is so low on our collective hierarchy of values; trust, love, friendship, acceptance, honor, honesty, parenting, the capability to care for loved ones when ill, a government that respects us and is answerable to us, promises, and happiness; that using a GDP or a salary to measure our well-being is utterly lacking, it is invalid and unreliable.

We have been bamboozled into believing that money will make everything okay, that it is all that we should be concerned with and that it will answer all of our problems, but that is a farce, a fallacy, and an utter and disrespectful lie.

But a GDP is not the only way to measure the well-being of a people, nation, state. For another model check this out:

Gross national happiness in Bhutan: the big idea from a tiny state that could change the world

The Thoughts of One Researching Immigration

The deeper I reach into the conditions confronting people who are immigrating, the greater my concern grows for these issues. And it is much, much more complex than what I initially imagined.

My heart is wrenched. 

It is, wrought with moral and empirical nightmares. It is a normative cluster ____! And it is driving me bonkers learning about it all. As a “privileged American” I have not had to consider the ramifications of many of these issues for my own life, so as I am becoming acquainted with the harsh reality that exists, it is both shocking and appalling. I can hear good arguments from both sides for why to and not to accept immigration because in either case people are harmed and benefited.

Hence the dilemma, that so many people have toggled with, where is it that the balance is drawn? In order for there to be a harm, then there must first be a baseline from which to measure the harm by. If this is true, as I think it is, then the problem becomes defining the point at which harm is measured from.

This I believe is the only way to make sense of the dilemma. Nonetheless, and notwithstanding the complications, thousands of people are dying while people are struggling to make up their minds about what should be done and how.