Epicureans believe that there are aspects of a good life other than economic growth, money and productivity, but they are under-valued or barely noticed by politicians in Washington. The system, once much admired (especially by the author!) has been distorted and rendered decadent in a system of revolving doors, involving corrupt politicians and lobbyists and vastly overpaid, greedy corporate bosses.
Can I suggest some Epicurean objectives, far distant from the world of raw statistics and sleazy political deals, that would help make the United States to be, once again, a more decent place to live in?
– A safety net, where poor people can be protected from the worst aspects of old age.
– A health system that does not exclude forty million poor people.
– An education system that actually attempts to educate, broadly, and encourage thinking for oneself.
– An ability to join a union in the face of over-powerful bosses.
– the possibility of unemployment benefit in the event of disaster.
Add to the above a rate of tax for millionaires and billionaires that is way higher than that of the poor and the middle classes.
Some people believe it is right to pay taxes to repay society for the benefits it has offered us all. Not so among all too many people in the US, where everything that marks civilised government is under attack, along with tolerance and the environment.
Some would castigate the above as straying into politics. On the contrary, they are (or would be) the marks of a civilised society. And isn’t a civilised society what we should be striving for?