A Thanksgiving Meditation for 2017

The old argument for having a government is called the “public goods theory”.

This reasoning goes like this. Everyone uses some kinds of goods or services, so everyone should help pay for them.

For example, everyone needs roads so they can get to other places.

In the beginning, wealthy people in America would get together and buy bonds in order to finance projects such as roads and bridges.

Then after a while came taxation. Taxation came about because of the great expense of wars against European colonial powers and the native peoples who already occupied what is now the United States.

However, as taxation grew bigger and more widespread over time, a lot of Americans became unhappy with the results,

It’s been said that human beings do not vote their pocketbooks; they vote their values. I don’t agree. I think we vote our unhappiness.

For example, we are all unhappy with our tax system, but for different reasons.

The see-sawing among two major parties in the US reflects the futility of trying to vote our unhappiness.

The Real Problem

The public goods theory is simply leading us into a thicket of brambles—because neither party can satisfy all our needs.

We all know our infrastructure is falling apart. Puerto Rico is just the canary in the mine. There will be more and more crises like theirs.

While one Presidential candidate proposed having big businesses pay for renewing infrastructure, the other proposed using taxes to pay for it. Neither solution makes everyone happy.

Instead, each group of people are automatically pitted against the others in every elections we have.

Furthermore, none of their proposals address the real problem.

The real problem is that the “free market” (which is anything but free) offers no better solution than government with its powers of taxation for satisfying our basic needs.

The truth is that human beings are destroying the very things we need to continue to survive. It isn’t the creation of public goods that we need; it is the sustainability of our planet that is imperative.

Under Soviet Communism, Russian government bureaucrats destroyed massive areas of the earth in Central Asia by using non-sustainable agricultural methods to irrigate large scale farming of crops that are not native to the area.

In Communist China there is massive industrial pollution that is destroying the air people breathe in its cities and elsewhere.

Russia and Japan and the US have all poisoned the oceans and air from nuclear testing and disasters, and fomented numerous wars in the Middle East over oil, the burning of which is threatening our entire planet.

In Africa, foreign aid from the US and Asia has destroyed collective farming and replaced it with massive plantation-style crops that do not suffice to feed the people who live there. Genocidal wars have been the result.

In South America there is also the massive destruction of the rainforests who provide our whole planet with the very oxygen we all need to survive, and the plants that can heal us.

Those who favor Capitalism or Socialism alike want us all to ignore these things.

But the fact is that whether we have public goods provided by the state or private goods provided by big businesses we’re all headed for disaster.

Too Big to Succeed

Humans have created gigantic socio-economic systems with conflicting intentions that cannot satisfy our needs. Neither the accumulation of wealth nor the universal mandate to take care of all people is working for us.

As a result, we’ve reached the point where the battle lines are drawn and no one is going to become the winner.

Capitalism offers solutions which are priced too high to ever work. For example, our ‘health system’ costs far too much for everyone to be covered by it.

Likewise our private property insurance system has promised results it can’t possibly pay in the face of natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and massive fires in urban areas.

Socialism (or “liberalism”) offers to provide everyone with solutions that capitalism has priced out of the ‘free’ market for all.

Likewise, the progressive form of socialism is promising things like health care and universal education for “free”.

But progressives don’t dream of providing a basic guarantee of cost-of-living for all people, i.e. food and lodging and clean air and water, the essential elements of all life on earth.

Politicians are cowards and liars. No one wants to take responsibility for saying we can all be happy even if we can’t have everything each of us wants. Instead, they all parrot the myth of the “American dream”.

No one wants to acknowledge that on earth Nature is the ruler, and when we ignore her ways of governing life, we are only going to destroy ourselves.

A government that understands Nature is the only solution.

What I see now is that we have typical of Western ‘either/or’ thinking. That’s ’s a trap, one that the whole world seems to be caught up in.

Capitalism can only stand wringing its hands at the destruction it creates while it blames its victims.

Bureaucracy can only cover up its own mistakes and talk, talk, talk, while pretending it doesn’t see people’s miseries or hear their cries.

The worst kind of government is one that combines capitalism with bureaucracy. both for the benefit of the few. That kind of government is  ‘kleptocracy’.

The opposite is government that aims to serve the needs of all in harmony with the Earth that gave birth to us all and everything we have.


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