It Comes Undone
It Comes Undone
The Costs of Making Money 11/3/2012
The Balance That Needs to be Struck for Survival and Happiness
From what I've gathered from economics, there is mainly a long series of making choices; each one coming with their own costs and benefits. The objective of life, then it seems, is to make the best possible choices for your own self with the circumstances and mental capacities that you individually have at your disposal, maximizing the benefits while minimizing the real costs. This is a highly simplistic view of economics, as everyone seems to work imperfectly to really maximize their perceived benefits and minimize their perceived losses (which may differ from their actual benefits and actual losses). However, there are several different strategies for doing this, each one coming with their own costs and benefits. But our current view in Western society is to define costs and benefits strictly in monetary terms, and to ignore all of the other potential costs and benefits that we experience as a result of our actions. This then begs the questions, what are the costs of this more narrowly defined view of the world, and what are the benefits that are realized as a result of possessing this overall myopic view?
To my mind, there are social, environmental and personal concerns that need to be considered in order to come up with the best possible solution for one's own sake at the very least, and everyone elses' sakes at the very most. This is in addition to the financial concerns which, as we will see, comes in fourth place relative to these other concerns if you're actually working to maximize your benefit as the living organism that you actually are. There may be more things out there which need to be considered; the list should be considered incomplete at best as we discover more things that may or may not be relevant. But I personally mark these three things as being universally necessary for all living beings living in this cosmos for the following reasons.
The first thing of concern, is the social arena. The idiom that "no one is an island" is as true today as it was when it was first uttered. Therefore, the social connections that we keep within our own small circles and throughout the whole that is the society of sentient beings (human and non-human) matter for everyone's individual sake. The person on the street who receives assistance from charitable organizations and social institutions to survive depends on the well being and ability of others to assist them. The person in the highest paying corporate offices, likewise depend, on the web of people below them in order to produce and support their vast empires of financial wealth. There is no real disconnection between the individual and the collective, contrary to what Ayn Rand and Randian philosophers and followers might think. The individual always depends on the web of society for its well being, and the well being of the web depends on the well being of each of the individuals within its unbreakable bonds. This applies to everyone and everything, including those species of sentient life whom we have not yet discovered as well as the non-sentient life that provides critical environmental functions that we depend on for our well being and survival. They too are part of the fabric that is our universe, and there is no way for us to disentangle ourselves from them, in spite of the substantial distance that may exist between us. Therefore, social concerns and social costs and benefits are universal for each of individually, as well as for all of us collectively, united together as life in the universe.
The second concern that is universal for us, is environmental. As we cannot disentangle ourselves from each other, so too can't we disentangle ourselves from the environment and the space that we're living in. This includes, not only the immediate surface of the world on which we're living, but also the space bey