Tag Archives: economy

Our Distorted Moral Reasoning About Debt

by Lewis Marshall, PhD Candidate in Chemical Engineering

“The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt […] That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.” — Barack Obama

“[T]his debt is a mortal threat to our country. […] It is immoral to bind our children to as leeching and destructive a force as debt. It is immoral to rob our children’s future and make them beholden to China.” — John Boehner

I have bad news. America does not understand debt.

We understand personal debt well enough, and we are super judgmental about it. The iconic howl of rage at debtors [1] came from Rick Santelli in 2009, right after the financial collapse:

“The government is promoting bad behavior [with mortgage modifications and the stimulus.] How about this, President and new administration? Why don’t you put up a website to have people vote on the Internet as a referendum to see if we really want to subsidize the losers’ mortgages; or would we like to […] reward people that could carry the water instead of drink the water?” Continue reading

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The Earth is Not a Commodity: How Capitalism Perpetuates Global Warming

by Jovel Queirolo, ’14

Capitalism is designed to promote competition and social inequality (Parjis, 1995) which cannot accommodate a climate change movement meant to benefit the entire earth and its inhabitants with an even distribution. As an international leader, the United States government along with its citizens must shift from a mindset of social and economic capitalism toward a political framework that encourages collective equality. In the U.S., capitalism privileges wealthy, upper-class, white individuals who hold positions of power (Keister and Moller, 2000) over the rest of the country’s diverse constituency. This constituency must be invited into the climate change movement, and granted equal access to technology and research geared towards addressing dangerous levels of human-induced climate change.

Capitalism as an economic and social theory, as popularized by the United Sates, will not work as a tool for organizing the climate change movement because the environment is not a commodity, nor is the environment a human construct. Continue reading

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In God We Trust

by Rachel Kelley, ’12

What’s the secret to this country?
We’ve got God on our money.
And we worship God alone
Are you forgetting here is the home
Of the brave and the free and
To live well all you need
Are as many
In God We Trust funds
As you can put your hands on.

Good lord, we trust our SUVs, court fees, golf tees,
house keys, corn seeds, poison weeds…
In the land of milk and honey,
We’ve got God on our money,
All for me, all for one,
Shooting guns, just for fun,
It’s manifest destiny never done. Continue reading

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