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Is there an economic root to ever more extreme weather events like Sandy?

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First, by way of introduction to this discussion, a key political economic question:

 

Is there any reason that virtually everyone in our country should not be provided with enough quality education and employment opportunities to allow them to:

 

a)   purchase, rent or otherwise acquire what is today a median-priced home,   

 

b)   pay what is today median family expenditures for food, dentistry, child care, transportation and utilities

 

c)   pay for basic medical/health care such as is now provided, by way of Medicare, to those over age 62.

 

And why is it that in some countries of northern Europe, a much larger percentage of the population has the ability to acquire these things than we do here in the USA?    What sacrifices must they make to provide these benefits in their society, and wouldn't we be better off, as a society, and as individuals, if we had national policies, laws, and programs, that allowed us to do something very similar?   And if not, why not?

 

In today's American economy, the only way we can even begin to provide enough employment for all the people who need jobs is to spend hundreds of billions of dollars every decade in the promotion/creation of wants for products and services most of which the vast majority of people would not buy unless they were surrounded by a 24/7 barrage of advertising, marketing efforts, as well as a culture that emphasizes the personal gratification and status that can be gained through consumption of these products and services.

 

What's so wrong with this existing system of work, want and consumption?

 

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Several years after receiving my M.A. in social science (interdisciplinary studies) I was an instructor at S.F. State University for a year, but then went back to designing automated machinery, and then tech writing, in Silicon Valley. I've (more...)
 

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