There is a particular mindset within the cultural framework of the United States that equates success with the accumulation of wealth. This perspective is entirely congruent with the central role that profit plays within the economic system – the driving force of capitalism is, after all, capital accumulation.
The behavioral implication of this worldview is a mindless preoccupation with amassing wealth with devastating consequences for the larger human community; for, it is essentially a rigged game – capital generally flows to those who are already affluent from those with the greatest need.
The proof of this contention can readily be found in the national statistics. These statistics clearly point to a social order in which
- An inordinate amount of the total wealth in the county is held by individuals and families that represent a minuscule subset of the entire population
- Twenty to twenty-five percent of the nation’s children live in poverty
- Tens of millions remain at serious risk of having either inadequate or a complete absence of access to reasonable and appropriate health care
- A growing population of homeless throughout America’s major cities and rural areas
- An ever-growing problem relating to nutrition with many families including women, children and the elderly facing hunger on a daily basis.
The reality as described above that exists for so many is a necessary consequence of the mindless pursuit of wealth and is completely unnecessary. – this nation has more than adequate resources that can be effectively directed at these systemic issues. It is human compassion that is lacking and the will to effectively correct the corrupt imbalances that foster the extent of this suffering.
Ironically, the mindless pursuit of wealth rarely leads to a successful life; for, the personal price that is paid for this “achievement” is far too costly. As sentient life forms on this wondrous planet, our lives are transient and when we finally depart from the living we take nothing with us. Hopefully, the legacy we leave behind adds something of substance and intrinsic value to those who will follow.