Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Problem is......

The discussion on Rodak Riffs is up to 100 comments (right now we are talking about contraception). What makes this post of Rodak's so popular? The post was a single sentence: "Ask yourself how this could be.", with a link to a news article about how 1 in 100 Americans goes to prison.

I think the reason the post gets so much discusion is that it asks what is wrong with our country.

I have one observation and two questions:

OBSERVATION: Everyone seems to agree that something is wrong.

Q1: What is it we are all looking for? What are we seeking? What is the goal we have missed?

Q2: How do we fix it?



Flumenanimus said...

We seek: happiness.

Solution: Don't look for it in this life. People need to be content with life as it is and for what it is. Quit looking for material wealth, success, popularity--whatever you think it is that will make you happy here. Work to make life better, but practice alittle acceptance.

Anonymous said...

So just let life on this earth go to hell, or it's no big deal? Shouldn't we do everything we can to make life better?

Civis said...

I'd like to hear other people's thoughts before I weigh in--maybe I'll be waiting a long time.

Rodak said...

I saw a segment on "60 Minutes" that concerned why the Danes were the happiest people in Western Europe. This was measured, I guess, by depression/suicide rates, etc., as well as attitudes as revealed by interviews with professionals.
For what it's worth, the conclusion was that the Danes are happiest because they are the most content. They are very willing to settle for a nice, comfortable, and secure life, and not constantly wanting more than what they have. They have cradle-to-grave security provided by a 50% tax rate that provides free schooling from daycare through university; free health care; free elder care; and are satisfied by what they can buy with the other 50% of their salaries. Most Danes apparently make roughly the same salary, so there is very little envy. All of this would seem to support what Flumenanimus said in the first comment on this string.

Jared said...

Rodak, thanks for the point on the Danes. That leads me to ask rhetorically: How can the Danes sustain that kind of care from cradle to grave? How does a 50% tax rate even pay for all that given they are not even at a replacement rate (i.e., they are in depopulation mode---unless they have immigration that ups their numbers). It seems that eventually the bill will come due. If the bill comes due and more limited resources make it such that their "content" is diminished will the Danes be happy?

I think what Flum is talking about is an objective "blessedness," "joy", not subjective contentment, as described in statements such as "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the land."

Rodak said...

I can't answer your questions. All I know is what was presented on "60 Mintutes" and that was not about the Danish economy, but rather about the Danish psyche.
I can propose that a nation's economy can grow even though (or even because) its population is shrinking. If the Danish economy isn't based on labor-intensive industry, then the smaller the population, the needs to be paid for. Perhaps it evens out? The Danes aren't stupid. If they were facing the collapse of their economy, I don't guess that they'd be so happy. (We are, and we're not!)