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Moral Bankruptcy


Society & Culture  (tags: Economic Crisis, morality, Mother Jones, economic models )

Sheryl
- 2837 days ago - motherjones.com
The financial crisis exposed flaws in the prevailing economic model, but it also exposed flaws in our society. Much has been written about the risks that the financial sector undertook. Too little about the underlying moral deficit that has been exposed.



   

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Comments

. (0)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 8:39 am
Noted and thanks Dandelion for what should be a real eye-opener to those who still don't get the real truth!

Be Blessed! Stay Blessed!
Peace, Love and Light ;-)
 

Tom C Sullivan (98)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 8:47 am
Thanks for the link, sad world we live in. Who do you trust, we are a corrupt country and our goverment is the #1 guilty party for letting this happen
 

patricia lasek (317)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 8:50 am
I still think all who benefitted from others losses should be prosecuted. They used very devious means to obtain their profits.
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 8:54 am
Americans have been morally bankrupt for some time now, and we have lost our way. Only with the economic collapse have people seen how empty and dangerous living a materialistic lifestyle can be. Cars, and new "things/stuff" that people hoard can cause them to live beyond their means and become financially bankrupt. Only when these same people have to cut back on their spending do they see the folly of consumerism.
 

Sheryl G (360)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 8:57 am
A couple quotes to "wet" your appetite, taken from the Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz is the coauthor of The Three Trillion Dollar War..

We have created a society in which materialism overwhelms moral commitment, in which the rapid growth that we have achieved is not sustainable environmentally or socially, in which we do not act together to address our common needs. Market fundamentalism has eroded any sense of community and has led to rampant exploitation of unwary and unprotected individuals. There has been an erosion of trust—and not just in our financial institutions. It is not too late to close these fissures.

Exaggerating the virtues of one's wares or claiming greater competency than the evidence warrants is something that one might have expected from many businesses. Far harder to forgive is the moral depravity—the financial sector's exploitation of poor and middle-class Americans. Our financial system discovered that there was money at the bottom of the pyramid and did everything possible to move it toward the top. We are still debating why the regulators didn't stop this. But shouldn't the question also have been: Didn't those engaging in these practices have any moral compunction?

But the politics of this will not be easy. The financial sector is reluctant to own up to its failings. Part of moral behavior and individual responsibility is to accept blame when it is due. Yet bankers have repeatedly worked hard to shift blame to others, including to those they victimized. In today's financial markets, almost everyone claims innocence. They were all just doing their jobs. There was individualism, but no individual responsibility.
 

Veronica G (108)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 8:57 am
Greed is the God of Bankers; same old story, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Here in UK the government bailed out the bankers with OUR money; and even now we are paying by increases in Value Added Tax and benefit changes to the detriment of those most in need.
 

Ramona Thompson (210)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 8:58 am
Noted with thanks Dandelion.

So according to the article, financial institutions want to call their own shots, but want government to be faintly obscuer on the sidelines( and hands off voiceless) until they need bailouts, or is it bailouts and a scapegoat?

I guess it's like the old fast food addage "have it your way" when it comes to financial corporatism. They want it ALL their way.

Kudos to the author and to you Dandelion for sharing.

Oh, and all those CEO's working nefariously on their obscene bonuses at the expense of the world economy? They deserve the same jail times and penalties as Madoff. Where are the judges when you need one?
 

Ramona Thompson (210)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 8:58 am
*obscure
 

Sheryl G (360)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 9:01 am
Joseph Stiglitz has for years been trying to get others to listen to him, but of coarse his economic model brought into the equation morality, fairness, balance, and so he as some others who are economists have been speaking out for some time now, well before the crash, have been ignored or pushed aside.

Joseph Stiglitz also offers in his book ways to more rapidly bring this Country and hence the Worlds economy more on track quicker, but as he said of it's printing this is not being done, so therefore more will suffer longer and greater for not having done so. Needless suffering is the most sad part of it all, that people around the world suffer so and it really does not need to be that way at all.
 

Sheryl G (360)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 9:05 am
I agree Ramona, they also deserve to be with Madoff. Thank you for taking the time to actually read this article as I said, I do not put on many news items, and this one looked at the situation from the perspective of morality but the man is a noble prize winner in Economy, so he brings his knowledge of economics to the table along with a good heart. Rare these days. I share this as I want others to know we are not doomed in this system, that there are ways to do things that will benefit more people and that includes the environment. This is a brilliant man. We need to know these people exist and understand what they speak. This article will wet the appetite but I highly suggest reading the book in full, he writes in such a way that one doesn't have to have a degree in economics to understand what is being said, I found that also to be refreshing.
 

Kathy Javens (104)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 9:20 am
Noted. Thank you, Dandelion. Excellent article.
 

Monique Pouchet (236)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 9:38 am
since many years and according readings of great thinkers, philosophers, theologist and my own thought I know the system is ESSENTIALLY wrong, is against humanity and it doesn't work (this the system men know it, but the go on because meanwhile they may have more and more profits. But as it doen't work, its days are counted and we have to be prepared to.
 

Ben O (140)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 9:55 am
Thanks Sheryl!

"...We have created a society in which materialism overwhelms moral commitment, in which the rapid growth that we have achieved is not sustainable environmentally or socially, in which we do not act together to address our common needs. Market fundamentalism has eroded any sense of community and has led to rampant exploitation of unwary and unprotected individuals. There has been an erosion of trust..."
-AMEN!
 

Caitlin M (104)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 10:05 am
I do believe that America is ruled by the plutocracy, the wealthy corporate monsters we've all come to know and abhor in recent times, but my greater concern is expressed by Stiglitz in this paragraph:

"How the market has altered the way we think is best illustrated by attitudes toward pay. There used to be a social contract about the reasonable division of the gains that arise from acting together within the economy. Within corporations, the pay of the leader might be 10 or 20 times that of the average worker. But something happened 30 years ago, as the era of Thatcher/Reagan was ushered in. There ceased to be any sense of fairness; it was simply how much the executive could appropriate for himself. It became perfectly respectable to call it incentive pay, even when there was little relationship between pay and performance."

THERE CEASED TO BE ANY SENSE OF FAIRNESS. This phrase is it in a nutshell for me; this phrase represents to me the moral bankruptcy that has envelope this nation. It is not only in the greedy corporate scene. It is in every aspect of life, it seems. Certainly politics shows us the moral degradation of politicians who don't seem to care whom they hurt as long as they are first in the news columns and get more 'babes' to cheat on their wives with. School children don't learn to share and to respect their peers, not do they learn to respect their teachers. The prevalence of gangs who find killing another human being as simply an "initiation" into the gang family is sign enough that the American family in many spheres is not working. The American family has lost its moral fiber and the heads of corporations come from those families.

It'll take a few generations to heal this loss if we ever get people interested and able to care enough about passing on moral values. A college girl recently was asked, "Would you rather have a B you earned or an A you cheated to get?" She answered immediately, "The A." That's what we've in good part for politicians and for parents: The "A" team.


 

Trish K (93)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 10:21 am

The democracy will cease to exist
when you take away from those
who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
Thomas Jefferson
 

Terry King (113)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 10:37 am
I am growing so weary of doomsayers! This is still a great country full of good people! There will be no crash, there will be no end to our democracy. The " moral compass" points the way in a straight line, unfortunately humanity moves in tangents with fits and starts along the way. This doesn't mean we are lost or that we are being inexorably drawn to the dark side, only that we occasionally lose our focus. I sincerely believe in the innate power of people of good will and our ability to do the right thing!
 

Sheryl G (360)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 11:09 am
You cannot currently send a star to Monique because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Ben because you have done so within the last week.
A green star went to Caitlin.....excellent wish I could give you a dozen.

Thank you Caitlin for reading article and for your wonderful insight after the reading with comment left on here. The section you pulled out really got hold of me as well, as I had read that part in his book, and so I've used that on various threads. Mr. Stiglitz also went on to say, is not only are they making so much more but what they do for that money hasn't increased.
They are not working harder or doing anything more, better, or greater than those who held the same positions did in the past. They have just taken it upon themselves to take a greater share of monies in the system that is in operation, and the more they take the less there is for all sorts of things, like paying the employees below them a decent wage or provide benefits or even to keep operating costs running. The old "we must move our productions overseas" is also in direct result for them to get more more more. Not to be smarter business people, not to look at their business from other angles, but to make it easier on them to get personally more.
All the while the other workers have been asked to work more hours for less, work faster for less, take pay cuts, watch benefits go out the window, and yet those at the top are still not satisfied. They become totally morally bankrupt and others in their same positions instead of standing up to them and point out this moral situation, instead jumped on the bandwagon and did the same too.

I recall back when I lived in Massachusetts, a man who stood up and did what more business owners use to do. He was applauded as that action was so rare even then, that for someone to finally do the right thing for his workers, it was news worthy. Isn't that a shame, doing the right thing became so rare that when a man did so, others really took notice. It should be the other way around, everyone should be doing the "right" thing and the one who doesn't should stand out like a sore thumb and be shamed for their actions. This was the brief in Wikipedia.....but I remember it so well, for I knew fully back then that this Country was on a terrible slid into moral bankruptcy and I'm afraid to say, in the 15 years since it has only gotten worse. I'm still not seeing any major change, unfortunately, to turn this around.

The Malden Mills factory burned down on December 11, 1995, CEO Aaron Feuerstein decided to not only use his insurance money to rebuild the factory, but also to continue paying the salaries of all the now-unemployed workers while the factory was being rebuilt. By going against common CEO business practices, especially at a time when most companies were downsizing and moving overseas, he achieved a small degree of fame.

This man or morals was "going against CEO COMMON business practice"........very very sad that our Leaders have also joined in the fray in how they run this Country and how they have NOT reigned in the beasts.
 

Carrie B (306)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 11:13 am
Noted with many thanks!
 

Sheryl G (360)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 11:27 am
Terry this isn't a doomsayer article in particular, but it does point out the moral bankruptcy of the economic system that has been out of control due to the human element. Systems that are not in some sort of moral control all go crazy as the few who are in control loose their moral compass and then the masses suffer from it.

One can not fix the problem if the masses continue to hide their heads in the sand, fail to see the "root" of the problem, and are unwilling to hold those who are in control accountable for their Lack of Morality. Why is it that some who go to work each day can barely put food on the table and pay the rent when others who expend less in effort and energy have more than the greatest of Kings from the past? No one is stating that people get something for doing nothing, Trish, but the resources that are drained from this earth so that only a few gain while others lack and the earth is being ravaged is not a good model.

This Noble Prize Winning Economist is trying to tell you something Terry, he happens to be a very bright man, and is trying to help Humanity overall. This isn't something some flunky made up and wrote for this article or someone straight out of High School, he has proven himself in the world to gain such a stature. I put this one for a general sharing to elevate the thinking here Terry, so that we do not end up in a doomsday situation. We need the masses to understand about moral bankruptcy and how it plays into creating the society we live within in either joy or sorrow, and frankly for too many the system is creating a lot of sorrow.

I'm sorry that you do not see enlightenment for the better of all a good story to bring forth. Unfortunately I don't think you fully read the article and the moral compass I'm afraid is not on track nor has it been for a long time with those who are in control of the economic systems.
Now if your life has been unaffected and you are doing well then consider yourself one of the lucky ones. And if you think that the rape of our land, seas, air, and the suffering of others around this Nation and the world is a good system that is working for the few but not the many doesn't need to be looked at and made some adjustments then I really don't know what to say to that.

 

Caitlin M (104)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 11:32 am
You could be right Terry K., I hope you are but also remember that "straight line" included the demise of some very successful (for a while) societies. Rome did fall and its demise was preceded by moral disintegration of its people. I'm just sayin'!
 

Caitlin M (104)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 11:37 am
I'm not sure what your point is, Trish. But, don't forget he was one of those wealthy white dudes who, in spite of his democratic posture, wanted the control in the uppers' hands. There's also a difference between those who WON'T work and those who CAN'T work. Right?
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 11:56 am
Noted, thanks for posting Dandelion...and thanks to all those who left such excellent comments. I agree with Caitlin...Thomas Jefferson's quote should read "COULD" not work. I heard on the news the other night about a Somalian pirate who has quite a bankroll now from his pirating...the only job available in is country. He said he plans to go to Mexico and then enter the US illegally to enjoy a better life.
 

Sheryl G (360)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 12:16 pm
So true Caitlin, there is a difference between those who won't and those who can't.

Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.~Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973), My Several Worlds [1954].

"...the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped. " ~ Last Speech of Hubert H. Humphrey Vice President of the United States

A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization.
~Samuel Johnson poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer

The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities.~John E. E. Dalberg, Lord Acton, The History of Freedom in Antiquity, [1877].

"Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members -- the last, the least, the littlest."
~Cardinal Roger Mahony, In a 1998 letter, Creating a Culture of Life

The greatness of America is in how it treats its weakest members: the elderly, the infirm, the handicapped, the underprivileged, the unborn. ~Bill Federer American Historian and Writer

"The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children".
~Dietrich Bonhoeffer (German Pastor and Nazi opponent who died in a concentration camp)

Aristotle has often been quoted as saying you can judge a nation by the way it treats its most vulnerable citizens.

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man" Mahatma Gandhi
With the moral decay of the civilization we certainly have seen a rise in mistreatment of animals from neglect due to inability of the people being less able to afford to care for them, to frustration being taken out upon the animals, to the having to shut down no kill shelters and other programs for animals due to lack of funds as the economy worsens, to the factory farms both on land and sea, would fail us as making a moral progress to being a great society that we could be.
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 12:19 pm
Dandelion, an excellent post. And to all who commented, great food for thought. It is this kind of debate and exchange that I admire so much in the Care2 community. I somehow want to believe that we're not doomed yet, as long as there are people as caring as those who have spoken here. "Be the change..." Gandhi
 

Sheryl G (360)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 12:20 pm
Guess the Somalian pirate knows where to join the others Olivia, the ole' birds of a feather adage. Maybe when he gets here, they can offer him a job on Wall St. or better still in the Federal Reserve. Now if that isn't a piracy of the 9th degree then I don't know what is.
 

Animae C (507)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 12:30 pm
Than.q Sheryl
 

Terry King (113)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 12:39 pm
Those who look for darkness are doomed to find it.
Dandelion
Your arrogance amazes me! Just because I don't agree with you doesn't mean that I didn't read the article or that I don't understand what is being said. Things have been much worse than they are now and we're all still here, Things will get a little better and a little worse from time to time but I will remain steadfast and don't believe in our moral or financial collapse!
 

SuS NoMail Plez P (244)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 12:42 pm
TY Dearest Dandelion. I finally found the link. As you all are so much more educated upon this topic than I, excuse me for "copying" what is very clear to me.

"Exaggerating the virtues of one's wares or claiming greater competency than the evidence warrants is something that one might have expected from many businesses. Far harder to forgive is the moral depravity—the financial sector's exploitation of poor and middle-class Americans. Our financial system discovered that there was money at the bottom of the pyramid and did everything possible to move it toward the top. We are still debating why the regulators didn't stop this. But shouldn't the question also have been: Didn't those engaging in these practices have any moral compunction?"

"But the politics of this will not be easy. The financial sector is reluctant to own up to its failings. Part of moral behavior and individual responsibility is to accept blame when it is due. Yet bankers have repeatedly worked hard to shift blame to others, including to those they victimized. In today's financial markets, almost everyone claims innocence. They were all just doing their jobs. There was individualism, but no individual responsibility."

Thank you for this article~ that I will read until I UNDERSTAND each and every comment and view.


"

 

Barbara W (342)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 12:59 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Dandelion because you have done so within the last week.
 

Krasimira B (175)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 1:50 pm
Excellente article, interesting comments. Noted, thank you Sheryl for posting.

You cannot currently send a star to Dandelion because you have done so within the last week.
 

Sheryl G (360)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 1:53 pm
Well Terry I'm not sure where I spoke the statement of those who look for darkness are doomed to find it. On the contrary I've been very much trying to bring light to many situations. However if I walk in a dark room that does not mean I embrace it, it means I merely see it, then I can turn on the light to look around and see what is truly there.

Forgive me if you read fully and completely the article, I didn't say you did not read it, my words were, "Unfortunately I don't think you fully read the article" the word fully said a lot in that line. If you came to another conclusion from the article, after your having read it fully and completely, that I was promoting gloom and doom then I'm sorry you took it to be that way. Is no different if I point out a pothole in the road, am I promoting more potholes? Or merely warning you not to step into it?

I am one American Terry trying to give an article on Care2 to have people look at the moral aspects of the economy. By looking at the economy from another perspective I do not see where I'm a doomsayer but rather again trying to present and educational article. If after reading it you have come to a differing point of view, then so be it.

I too try to remain an optimist and do not seek out the ruination of our society or any other society. But as I see things from another part of the Circle does not mean I'm arrogant. I have not referred to you in such a way. This happens too much on Care2 people calling each other idiots, arrogant, this or that. Are we all not residing in the same boat here within the boundaries of the USA? Perhaps you need to grab the oar at the right side of the boat and I need to pull with the left oar, but doesn't the boat move better if we are all rowing? If one side only rows the boat goes around and around getting no where.

By my presenting an article you immediately attacked it as bringing a darkness to the thread, "I'm so weary of doomsayers", immediately dismissing my contribution instead of looking at it that I was trying to bring a light to a darkened room. That does not make me arrogant, Terry.
 

Barbara W (342)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 2:02 pm
Money cannot fix the moral corruption which has been taken hold of this nation for some time. The shooting in Arizona is a perfect example. The Reagan administration made cut backs in serious areas where checks and balances should have been of concern as well as cutting back, as did the Governor of AZ, on mental health funding! What America's been going through, Home foreclosures, savings and needless loss of lives due to health and insurance fraud issues, rhetoric of deceit spewing out of the mouths of certain legislators, Oil spills, Mine disasters, and deaths of workers treated as if it's a walk in the park, is all blow back from what insatiable gr$$d can, has. and will continue to do if "We" the people do not find a remedy which works. When you spit in the wind you get back only what you have spent! That is what many American's feel when they try to be heard! The tax break for the top 2% was a perfect example.. The majority of Americans said no to the tax break. We said no to "IMMUNITY, in the FISA Bill. We have said no to so many abuse of power actions that one cannot but feel as if they're spitting in the wind!

WE screamed at the top of our lungs "YES TO THE PUBLIC OPTION" YES TO A SINGLE PAYER HEATH CARE PROGRAM!
Yet what we had spit back at us was certain legislators insulting us by saying "The American People Want this or that" when we clearly, loudly and emphatically and in great numbers declared, quite the opposite. The key to healing this nation is finding a way to reach our representatives. The only way this will happen is to cut off the funding many legislators receive from big corporations. There was a time this was called graft, conflicts of interest.
Even nepotism was, rightfully so, a no, no!

Truth in who and what is responsible is the key to taking back this nation so that the rest of AMERICA'S represented! The tea Party got it wrong because they are into prejudice and self-serving so they refuse to see the bigger picture!

Violence will never fix what's been broken in this nation because no matter whether you're sane and or at your wits end, or mentally challenged, you will be called a crazy never-the-less!

Insurance companies should not have a hold on America's health Care! PERIOD! The voice of the average American is being drowned out by these faceless, gr$$dy businesses. They do not practice, remotely, with fair and unbiased agendas!. I've had so many run ins with the mentality that comes from those who work for these mind benders, insurance companies, it's become exhausting and it's like spitting in the wind

! Attempting to see justice from the other side of this hot debate, mainly our illustrious leaders, many of whom hold themselves above the rest of us. It has been a dismal failure as well. DTDN, over the years, has spent many a hard to come by dollar to send out a message to America's legislators. You cannot reach the deaf! The corporate owned and run media turns a deaf ear as well.

So my dear friends here at Care2, what is the answer? I've been at this for over 20 years and saw the handwriting on the wall as it was about to break the back of this nation via the God awful influence of the mindless, rigid mindset, coming from Corporations. We have allowed lawlessness to take over this nation via the Corporate gr$$d soaked agenda's and our the leaders who serve them. And what about the latest assault on us which came from our so called "SUPREME COURT"? Supreme my butt! The only thing that's become supreme, thus far, is the take over of a once free and growing nation with heard working folks reaching for that American dream. America's Shame is that she hates what she does not understand and that is what has surely weakened this nation making room for the real monsters to finish their take-over!
 

Jae A (316)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 2:10 pm
Arriving late so I can only say...great read...a lot of thought provoking comments have been posted. Together they've said all that I would have to say at this time. Thank you Dandelion for all your great comments and for the posting/sharing of this one.
 

jay way (11)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 2:12 pm
Thankyou Dandelion. - -
 

Barbara W (342)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 2:16 pm
"DIVIDE & CONQUER" is the game the big boys play. As old as the histoiry of this planet..
 

Barbara W (342)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 3:06 pm
Germany was a nation that had great pride and a hard working, work force but, not recognizing the signs, brought Germany down. I too have faith in the American spirit but when the media, elected officials and the Supreme Court have lost their moral compass, what's next?

A nation is only as good as those who represent her! Dooms day may or may not be before us but it's painfully clear, We, as a nation, have, in many ways, lost our moral compass! Terry you may not be one who has felt the sting of the scorpion's tail but that does not mean it doesn't exist and we're not in serious trouble in America!

Complacency, and the me, me attitude, has been our enemy for some time now. The enemy uses our weaknesses to "Divide and Conquer"..If some are unable to see that then what can one say!

I come from a family that fought for this nation in war, and, when it came to the working class being abused. I am proud of what my father accomplished. The lack of approriate treatment for our veterans is yet another example of how far "We" have yet to come.. All these years later, since the 2nd war, the treatment has yet to get better other then mild to mediocre. Not for lack of funding either. Under Nancy Pelosi the veterans administration saw the largest funding ever! Yet we are seeing the most suicides among veterans, ever! Something's wrong! And last but not least, in the wings are the worse of all abusers, the private sector chomping at the bit to take over our veterans PTSD issue. The Pharmaceuticals have always made out, big time, where it concerned out veterans.

We've reached a point where turning the other cheek is a dangerous idea..
 

SuS NoMail Plez P (244)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 3:09 pm
Sending a green star is not possible right now to Barbara, for her post
Barbara W. Wednesday January 12, 2011, 2:02 pm Thank you.
 

Sheryl G (360)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 3:10 pm
I appreciate all those who have thanked me for bringing forth this article. Education is the key.

I have seen many an article on various statistics and results of what has happened over the last years. I've seen articles on the varying view points of the various Administrations. Articles how the Wars play into the economy but this was an article written giving a moral slant to things as stated by an Economist who also won a Noble Prize. I thought his work was most enlightening, as I had not seen this perspective given in article form on the Care2 news. Forgive me if I missed someone's article that had presented such a slant onto the overall situation.

I have read comments from others I've read on Care2 who have certainly brought up such thinking and I thought that this article would reinforce for some that Economist do exist that see a better way, and I'm glad that the majority of you saw it that way.

As I said, education is the key to our future and regaining a higher morality to the very fabric of our society is very important. For as Barbara explained in her comment, when a society is not working from a higher moral ground then there is needless suffering.
 

John E (15)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 3:12 pm
Terry K ... I hope you're right ... I doubt it though ... I'm more inclined to take guidance from Joseph Stiglitz ..,.
You said ...
"I am growing so weary of doomsayers! " ... and ... "I sincerely believe in the innate power of people of good will and our ability to do the right thing! "
This hardly constitutes evidence to the contrary of the article!
As was said earlier
"One can not fix the problem if the masses continue to hide their heads in the sand, fail to see the "root" of the problem, and are unwilling to hold those who are in control accountable for their Lack of Morality. "
I suspect you missed the point.
Thank you Dandelion,
 

Mac R (289)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 3:15 pm
Thanks for posting this, Dandelion. I'm afraid I'm too cynical right now to express any hope that we can prevail against the government, the corporates and the corporate media, not to mention the security state. Some days I'm a little more optimistic and some days I'm not.
 

Mary Donnelly (47)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 3:20 pm
Thanks for post--a picture tells alot eh!
 

Mandi T (367)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 4:49 pm
This is a great post with a lot to think about.
Tks S heryl and Caitlin for the forward.
 

Blast Dorrough (43)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 5:08 pm
Let me propose a novel proposition: The people in America who have gone bad are not those in the underclass but those in the upperclass. It is the Harvard graduate, not the street gang member, who has lost his morality, betrayed America's ideals and corrupted the country. In nature, equality is not to be found. Each man and each woman are born different in terms of circumstances, intelligence, health, appearance, energy, and talents. Left free, these differences will produce unequal results in possessions and position. That is axiomatic. That's the iron law of nature which any system must recognize. But in the long struggle between decency and savagery, it also became axiomatic among the decent that to whom much was given, much was expected. In other words, blessings and gifts impose on the recipient an obligation to use them for reasons other than selfish consumption alone.

If you have a bad school system, it is not the fault of a poor child, politically voiceless, living in a poor neighborhood with no father and a mother not educated enough to speak up for her children. It is the fault of the well-off, the well-educated, the politically connected, who, instead of speaking on behalf of that poor child, have turned their backs on him and use their talents only for their own benefits.

The working men and women in America did not wreck Ameican industry by creating monopolies of [evil Corporatecraft], mortgaging them to banks, loading them down with debts, gouging the customers, and engaging in Wall Street schemes that yielded paper profits to the few at the expense of the jobs of the many. No, it was your intelligent, well-educated, well-situated Americans who did. The ones the media fawns over.

It was not the poor people of America who corrupted politics beyond recgnition by making it the private plaything of big money and turned our government from an institution for the benefit of all into an unjust engine for increassing the wealth of the few. It takes money to bribe politicians, and poor people or working people don't have that kind of cash. They don't have the cash for that army of lobbyists [hirlings of the Corporatecraters] permanently camped on the banks of tghe Potomac and around every state house in the land. That army defends the privileges of the privileged, the cash flow of the cash-rich, the advantages of the advantaged.

It is not your neighborhood crack dealer who finances international commodity transactions, bribes public officials, sets up intricate supply and distribution systems and aranges elaborate transnational money laundering schemes. No, those people are intelligent, well-educated, well-positioned, and cops never get close enough to them to smell their expensive cologne. Who is he more morally resprehensible, the school dropout who robs a store for $50, or the Ivy Leaguer who swindles people out of millions with insider deals or by looting the pensions of workers? What is more reprehensible than a public subsidy for the arts enjoyed by the elite in places where school children do not have the benefit of an art or music teacher and sometimes not even crayons? No, the people who are turning this country into a place Charles Dickens would recognize instantly are not the pickpockets, the street people, the small-time crooks. It is the American elite [of Corporatecraft] in business, in politics, in government, in the press. They have turned their backs on the American people, on American ideals, on decency itself. They have perverted our political system into a government by the elite for the elite at the expense of the people [our real economic backbone of constitutional Republic].

The American elite [of Corporatecraft always in alliance with Christiancrafters of "charlatanerie"] is un-Christian. I use that term in a philosophical sense, not a theological sense. If there is a God in Heaven, don't bury them in their overcoats. They won't need them [while roasting in hell]. In the meantime, decent people [the outraged American New Guards rising] should rally and make it hot for them here as well. --- Charley Reese, Syndicated Columinist, St. Augustine (Florida) Record, October 25, 1993.

That column obviously was written some 16 years ago during the Clinton presidency of about three years but after Bush1 had just plundered the US Treasury of some three trillion including the bailout of his brother Neil's Savings and Loan among others. When the Democratic and Republican parties incorporated in about 1850 the looting of our Treasury has been on-going at the expense of the working class, small business owners and the small investors. As soon as the economy is booming the Corporatecrafters start manipulating and exploiting the workplace and the marketplace with a big climax of emptying the Treasury. The looting will never end until we as masters of Congress give a firm order to our legislators to creat laws, in Jefferson's words in 1816 that "crush....the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare. . .to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country."
 

Barbara W (342)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 5:19 pm
Blast you have blasted this hot issue out of the ball park.. Well said my friend.
 

. (0)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 6:17 pm
Thank you Dandelion anyone with common sense knows how our country got in this mess. And your right is about people who will work and won't. Then you have people who want to but can't, Your a very very very long way from being igorant, You bring wisdom and knowledge. The big markets make the big bucks as the saying goes the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. If I had my way about it which I don't I would empeach all of there butts all the way back to big daddy Bush. This was a good news you brought here. Thanks
 

Blast Dorrough (43)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 6:32 pm
On the contrary, it has been a bow blast from the Ship of State, Care2er, lead by Captains Dandelion, Caitlin, and you, Barbara W., three of the best writers among all Care2. Your three are among the many writers of Care2 always making concise and perceptive comments always a joy to read. I'm in that momentarily powerless state to reward the deserved Green Stars in validation of such great comments.
 

Sheryl G (360)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 7:04 pm
Blast stated:
The working men and women in America did not wreck Ameican industry by creating monopolies of [evil Corporatecraft], mortgaging them to banks, loading them down with debts, gouging the customers, and engaging in Wall Street schemes that yielded paper profits to the few at the expense of the jobs of the many. No, it was your intelligent, well-educated, well-situated Americans who did.

And yet now, when things unravel from their dastardly deeds they want to pin the blame on those who did not create it. On those that they brainwashed with propaganda to buy, consume beyond their means, as that is the way to do it. That is what being a good American is all about, work, shop, until you drop.

Blast stated:
That army defends the privileges of the privileged, the cash flow of the cash-rich, the advantages of the advantaged.

I know you spoke of lobbyist here and the leaders that have been bought and paid for. But the Elites also use the poor and middle class sons and daughters, seldom their own children, to sign onto the military while they are still in High School. These youth who have yet to formulate their ideas of the world, fill them with promises while at the same time destroying these poor and middle class sons and daughters prospects of a way to live without joining the military. These noble youth who were raised by parents to give back to their communities get signed into another army to defend the Elites special interests, not the noble goals they are lead to believe.

You have said much more Blast than I have pulled out in this space and your words ring with great truth. Although I appreciate the pat on the back I am but one voice and I appreciate the others such as yourself who join us on Care2 or where-ever you may speak. The voices of Caitlin, Barbara W., Gregory, and others that I know on here must keep singing out what we feel in our Hearts, the drum must continue to beat, and in unison we will make a loud symphony that many I hope will hear.
 

Norm C (74)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 8:34 pm
Joseph Stiglitz gets better each time he writes.

While nothing he said is particularly new and groundbreaking, it was extremely well thought out and well said. What was new is that it was said by a nobel laureate of the first order who does not have a political stake in the game, only one as a writer.

The "smart money" bets on the oligarchs who own and run the place. They do hold all the cards. Yet Mr. Stiglitz has come down clearly on the side of honesty and rationality instead of patronage and corruption.

Terry, America's greatness does not arise from the unerring march of time. It comes from the willingness of Americans to honestly face up to the challenges when we find that the dealer has stacked the deck and is trying to duck out the back door. It comes from recognizing cheats and banishing them from the game. So far this time, we have not done that. This time we have blinked and looked the other way, just as we did all the time the cheats were stealing from us all. The longer we pretend that everything is just fine, the harder it is to correctly determine the best way forward.

You cannot find a cure for a disease you do not recognize.

Joseph Stiglitz recognizes the disease as do many of us. The question is, "Is anyone in DC listening?" And if not, what are we going to do to make them?
 

Sheryl G (360)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 8:42 pm
Very well stated Norm, thank you for your contribution.
 

Barbara W (342)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 8:45 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Norm because you have done so within the last week.
 

Linda G (187)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 10:51 pm
Dandelion, Thank you for the link to this article. I haven't completed reading it but hope to do so soon. As you say, education is key.
 

Teresa K (33)
Wednesday January 12, 2011, 11:47 pm
Thank you Dandelion for this. As with all your posts we see your perception and your heart, and Im pretty damn sure you dont have an arrogant bone in your body!
 

Arild Gone for now (174)
Thursday January 13, 2011, 1:41 am
Coming in very late I would only like to quote from the article:
"But the politics of this will not be easy. The financial sector is reluctant to own up to its failings. Part of moral behavior and individual responsibility is to accept blame when it is due. Yet bankers have repeatedly worked hard to shift blame to others, including to those they victimized. In today's financial markets, almost everyone claims innocence. They were all just doing their jobs. There was individualism, but no individual responsibility."
So the question remains,who will take the responsibility and is that enough??
Thanks for the post Sheryl.

 

. (0)
Thursday January 13, 2011, 3:21 am
Thanks for the article!
 

Sheryl G (360)
Thursday January 13, 2011, 9:57 am
I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.
Thomas Jefferson, (Attributed)
3rd president of US (1743 - 1826)

 

Deb E (63)
Thursday January 13, 2011, 11:01 am
Dandelion you are right on with that last comment (well, actually all of them) but the banks are a huge problem with what is going on. We have legalized gambling in Wall Street - and face it, that's all stock trading is and if you haven't gone deep into the way it works, then you need to because the market is 100% corrupt and the little guy can't win. Sounds a lot like going to the slot machine? That's what it is. It's rigged for the rich to get richer and the little guy miught get a carrot every now and then, but that's it. Banks are right in there with it and we all need to quit using them. Pull our money out of them and use local credit unions only. It is not hard to do but it means you have to make a change and change can be hard. But, remember people, every single movement for change for the better starts with ONE. If we all sit back and think we can't make a difference, we won't. Thanks Dandelion, and I'd have gotten here sooner but I was without internet for a couple days and have been playing catch up, not to mention fighting for the healthcare of my husband against a system that would rather see him die and off their roles than treat him quickly.
 

Sheryl G (360)
Thursday January 13, 2011, 11:19 am
Thank you Kitty for your insightful comment and all the advocating you do for the children who are also crushed under the Morally Bankrupt system. I'm sorry to learn this on your husband and I hope that all will fall into place with his medical, which does not surprise me. Again in a morally bankrupt society all areas suffer, there should be no reason that anyone in this Country should go without medical care and attention.
 

Natalie Away J (125)
Friday January 14, 2011, 6:06 am
Noted, thanks Sheryl for this article. I'm sure this isn't only happening in the US.
 

Sheryl G (360)
Friday January 14, 2011, 7:24 am
I believe you are very correct on that one Natalie. However the major economies, of which ours is one, has an affect felt around the world, so it is important for this to be fixed for many people. Before the ability for one nation to have a major affect on another nation it was they had to move armies to the others door, or great length went into trading routes, however now with a push of a button the decisions are felt almost immediate. Thanks for stopping by the thread.
 

MmAway M (514)
Saturday January 15, 2011, 12:03 pm
Thank you Sheryl!
 

Gwendolyn Krupa (49)
Wednesday January 19, 2011, 7:33 pm
Thank-you, Dandelion, for this well written post. It is informative and educational, but more so causes us to think deeper and perhaps come up with some solutions. I feel optimistic that American Values are still alive and well on Main St. Our president and many of our representatives are on the right trail, but need a little help and prayer. Both parties need to respect each other enough to listen to the other and not demonize them or call them liars, etc. In this way compromise may take place, instead of the constant politics as usual. Let us not lose hope, for when we "the little people" are willing to band together and make our voices heard change may become possible. I pray God will again and constantly bless the USA. I am a proud American, sometimes feel dissalutioned.
 
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