Does The Economy Matter If We’re All Dead?

I’m watching the Vice-Presidential Debate and something came up that has always bothered me. It’s not about either of the candidates said, nor is it about a particular party. It’s about logic and priorities.

People talk about the economy like it means more than human life. In the beginning of the pandemic, some people — captains of industry, mostly — wanted to have people go back to work while it wasn’t safe. The governor of Florida continues to want to open that state because tourism is affected, again, when it’s apparently not safe. My father lives in that state and I am well aware of how important tourism is to him and to people’s livelihoods. Still, I don’t think he’ll be going to Walt Disney World if he’s dead.

More important than that, and on a much larger scale, there’s the question of climate change. We all have lives and traditions that we want to keep going. The oil industry, the gas industry, factories, and so on, belong to an old prosperity. It was prosperity. I remember it. But even then, rivers with pollution killed fish and we couldn’t swim in them. Air pollution in California was so thick, a mountain could hide. Yes, I loved paying $.57 per gallon for gas, but I also like to breathe.

When I lived in Southern California, friends and I would go into the San Gabriel mountains, above the smog line. We would cough while we were up there as our lungs cleaned out, then they would fill back up with pollution as we came back to sea level.

Now, 9 out of 10 scientists believe that ozone change in the atmosphere has led to climate change that will destroy all human life on earth. Again, whether people have jobs or not won’t matter if they are dead.

From a moral standpoint, Jesus said it thousands of years ago: “What does it profit a person if the gain the whole world and lose their soul?” What good will Jeff Besos’ billions do him when it’s all said and done? Or the Koch Brothers? Or oil barons, bankers, or, in literature, Ebenezer Scrooge?

People like Greta Sunburg — young people with no filters like politeness — see what is important and what is not. Money and what it buys are okay, but none of it matters if we’re dead. How can people not get that ?

Resisting with Peace,

John

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s