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View Diary: David Stockman's essay is a wake-up call (29 comments)

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  •  Very interesting.... (0+ / 0-)
    Germans have a saying...Roughly translated, it says that first people have to be fed, then they'll become civilized.
    Then there's the old English proverb:
    'You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink'
    Americanized by Dorothy Parker:
    'you can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think'
    Our culture, our low bar for what is "civilized" and our country's vast abundance seem to collide with the proverbs I don't know if Americans believe one can actually physically need to be fed here given our "safety net" mentality and the reality that resources themselves are not scarce.
    •  Resources have been made artificially scarce (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      through the magic of private property rights. Indeed, even our public properties are increasingly restricted from public use by the imposition of "hours of operation" and the levying of fees.
      If currency were as readily available as the inch or the ounce, there would be no difficulty. However, as it stands now, certificates of debt are only issued upon the completion of some service or evidence of incompetence.
      The culture of obedience demands evidence of compliance before it issues sustenance. Potable water used to be readily available from public fountains. Now it has to be paid for, in part because fresh water resources have been permitted to be polluted by industrial wastes and effluent. It used to be that such "externalities" were simply ignored. Now they are expected to be paid for by individual households. Monetization does not necessarily improve the individual or general welfare; it does make it easier to calculate the extent of the deprivation.
      It has been fairly well established that increases in average longevity and improved health in the twentieth century were largely the result of improved sanitation and investments in public infrastructure. Those trends have now been reversed. The data tell us that average longevity is trending down and many people are unhealthy. To a certain extent, we are paying now for careless industrial practices which degraded the environment and human beings along with it.

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 09:36:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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