America’s Deficit Attention Disorder

Money is the least of our problems. It’s time to pay attention to the deficits that are killing us:

1. We humans are in a pickle because we manage the economy and society based on the values and logic of finance rather than the values and logic of life. We must create a new frame for public policy dialogue grounded in the values and logic of healthy living systems.

2. We are focused on the wrong deficit. Financial debt involves only accounting credits we owe to each other. From a purely technical perspective, it can be resolved with relative ease by what amounts to simple accounting adjustments. Social and bio-system debt is real, potentially fatal, and can only be resolved over decades, even millennia.

3. Economic growth only accelerates environmental collapse and exacerbates the wealth gap because the Wall Street 1% have rigged the system to capture the benefits of growth for themselves. Economic growth is the right priority only if the goal is to increase the financial assets of the 1%.

4. The most compelling argument for policy action to increase equality is that inequality is a serious health issue with serious detrimental consequences for the health and well-being of all—including the very rich.

5. We have our priorities regarding rights exactly backwards. A proper rights hierarchy recognizes that as the source of life Earth is sacred and all other rights are derivative of the rights of nature.


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