I know what is good for me, my mother, my extended family, my friends, and my neighbors. But this is only a small community. Is this also good for America, that large, populous mass between Europe and Asia?
What is good or me, my family, my neighbors? Medicare for one, social security for another, maybe tax reduction (unless we continue to spend, and pass on the debt to our descendents).
What is bad for me, my family, and my neighbors? The loss of our jobs or businesses is bad for us. Also, the accumulation of debt from just living our lives is not a good thing (except for those who hold our debt in return for future payment).
But what is good for America? Is Medicare good for America? Is the support of the aged with our common tax dollars good for America? Should my mother be required to begin to spend her life savings (maybe $60,000) to pay for her health care, and medicines? One individual isn’t much, but we are talking about millions of participants. Should I be funding her health care out of my retirement? I am looking forward only long enough to bury her, and then it will be my turn. I look at my nieces and nephews, and hope for the best, but expect the worst. By the time they are ready for a “higher” education will it be ready for them?
The way things are supposed to work in an ideal “libertarian” world is that there is no taxation. You pay fees for services. Someone owns the roads, and you pay them to use them. Someone owns the schools, and you pay to use them. Some group owns the army, and you pay to use it to defend the country. If those who accumulate wealth wish then they provide charity to causes or groups or individuals they feel have a need for it.
Is this what really happens? Do the wealthy in this day and age give to charity? Do they invest in the public good, or only take from it? Are the children of the poor better off having the wealthy “trickling down” on them? Is this what is happening in Northwest Ohio?
This from Wikipedia about Bill Gates: “According to a 2004 Forbes magazine article, Gates gave away over $29 billion to charities from 2000 onwards.” His current wealth stands at $56 billion dollars. Certainly a substantial percentage of his wealth has gone to charity. He has also conserved a substantial portion for his future lineage (which he might also dispense to charity). So Bill Gates seems to be doing his part to “distribute” his wealth. Maybe it is the rest of us who are being “too tight” with our money. I certainly don’t tithe to charity. I am sure there are those with less wealth than me who give to others. When I have “given” to those less well off than myself it is usually because I have been swindled. A renter who “needed help” and later I found out to be a drug user. A fellow stood at a local gas station asking for money for gas (the first of six occasions).
Bill Gates has "given" money to a trust under his control. The Ikea guy did the same thing in Switzerland, but he retains control and avoids taxes. A lot of the companies under and BM Gates foundation violate the mission statement of it.
A lot of the "problems" in the world are systemic. Some people blame the fool's golden straight jacket approach which seems to have an efficacy rate approaching zero and a causal rate approaching 100.
Buffet attempts somewhat to address it. Gates only ever wanted to be IBM sans the wingtips. Google has the potential and a Feyerabend approach to R&D to some great things.
The standard of living has been in decline since the early 70's (according to standard economic variables)when wages matched productivity (not around half of what they are now).
I think standards need to be raised for everything. Science requires practitioners to be curious and militant. Watching the evening news or obeying conventional wisdom won't cut it. There's a ton of info at everyone's fingertips, but people will stick to the same old tried and untrue bullshit. The results speak for themselves.