Sunday, January 18, 2009

Our Culture ~ words from a wise man

The following was written by a very wise man, my father.

Cultures take time to evolve. Our present culture came to be after world war two due to a number of favorable conditions. One of the factors was cheap domestic oil. We went into a period of growth that lasted till the 1970's when our domestic oil production peaked, and we no longer produced enough to supply our domestic needs.

Successful cultures like to take personal credit for the success they enjoy, and to some extent it is deserved, but often people go beyond what they can actually take credit for. In general the US attributed it’s success to the fact we are smarter, and work harder then any other society. Now, we had opportunity, and we were able to take advantage of the opportunity, but basically we are no different then people any where else.

Interestingly, though some other factors come to play, from the time oil peaked we have been going deeper into debt, and real incomes for the working and middle class have been declining. We have tired to maintain the culture of cheap oil when it was no longer the case. The growth we experienced after the war is no longer sustainable, and the idea that anyone who wants to work hard can be successful is no longer the case. The opportunities of growth are no longer a reality.

A new culture needs to be developed based on sharing the resources. People who prosper in the culture like to take credit for their success, and the rich and powerful will be the last to recognize the need for change. Just like the successful will take credit for their success, they will belittle others who are struggling in a culture that no longer offers the opportunity it once did. They will accuse them of being lazy or stupid, when in fact they may be smarter and harder working then the people with the symbols of success.

Take heart down trodden, together we can create a kinder fairer America.

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