Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness … and the WE vs ME

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

There are some things, we just shouldn’t “Leave to the Markets” to decide what’s best

For Example:


Public Schools

the Unemployed and the Uninsured

Left to their own devices, Private Interests will UNDERCUT the Public Interest, most every time!

That’s what the Profit Motive is all about — it cares more about the interests of ME, instead of the well-being of the WE, from which Societies are built.

Here are a few more Public Goods that lead to a Healthier Society as a Whole, even though “No One made a Million” providing these Social Contexts:

the Protection of Public Lands

the Protection of the Environment

the assumption of Truth in Labeling

Some things should just be Foundational to our democracy — and NOT subject to the Profit Motive, and Private Corporate Interest to dream up, and perhaps one day, provide. And that’s assuming that they find that angle, that makes it “worth their while”, to “help out” society.

If We rely on Wall Street, to one day wake up and realize that other Economic Metrics matter too, besides only their Bottom Line — Well, we will have one very looooong wait!

Measures of Economic Performance

   * Economic Measures:

         — Inflation

         — Unemployment

         — Growth (GDP)

         — Balance of Payments

         — Exchange Rate

   * Non-Economic Measures:

         —  Quality of Life

         —  Environment

         —  Health

         —  Education

It seems to me that, “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” is more about guaranteeing the “Quality of Life” metrics, for the Least of us, than it is about scoring the success, for the Elites of us.

A booming GDP that doesn’t not take into account the state of the nation without adequate Health Care for its citizens, is a very poor Economic Metric, indeed. In some arenas, especially the social ones, it’s the Quality-based Metrics that should really trump the Quantity-based Metrics, if you want a true gauge of Progress for that society.

If We the People, are REALLY entitled to “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”

If that is the foundation of our “national social contract”

Shouldn’t it provide for things like:

— Safe Bridges and efficient Transportation systems,

— The right to a “Public” Education, no matter your lot in life,

— The freedom from Fear that lack of Health Insurance,

will turn your life into a Living Hell

— The legacy of Natural Parks

— A healthy and sustainable Environment

— An expectation of Honesty from our Media

Shouldn’t it???

And if NOT — WHY Not???

If “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” does NOT Include such social “floors” as these — What DOES it include?

Only Quality of Life FOR ME, Liberty to Choose FOR ME, pursuit of Money for ME?

I think not,

the Founders were ALL about Community;

and weaving together a strong Social Fabric, that would last. The same fabric that we take for granted today.

And a Social Fabric is made of MANY interlocking Threads,

NOT thousands of individual, separate strands.

(Where’s the strength in that?)

Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. […] it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.…

Funny, the Word: WE

appears NINE times in this important Historic Document.

and the Word: ME

ZERO times.

Definitely something to think about, in this time of renewal for our “National Social Contract” …

Are we going to become a Nation of WE,

or just continue to be a scattered nation of ME’s.

‘Dog-eat-Dog’ is a truly a bankrupt way, to achieve Quality of Life, over the long run for ALL Americans.

Perhaps there really IS enough room in this Lifeboat Earth for everyone? Doesn’t the Constitution guarantee US — the People, NOT the Corporations — some Measure of Quality, and Well-being, and maybe even a smidgen of Happiness?

I guess, We shall see …

It seems the Washington Elite Jury is still out on that decision.

What Are We Supposed To Do? (WarmUp09 — Jackson Michigan)…

also posted on on dkos


Skip to comment form

    • jamess on August 22, 2009 at 18:06

    maybe “social fabric” is NOT an Outdated Metaphor?

    • banger on August 22, 2009 at 21:20

    Is a profound cultural issue. Really, they are not mutually exclusive. Being truly ourselves enables us to serve others and serving others also allows us to be truly ourselves.  

    • Joy B. on August 23, 2009 at 01:56

    I’ve forwarded this. Hope you don’t mind!

Comments have been disabled.