15. DEBACLES: COSTLY AND UBIQUITOUS

8 Oct

So much of what I see in our world is ridiculous and disturbing. Here is my list of debacles in several areas that affect us all:

1. Conflict of interest. A judge is very careful to recuse him/herself if there is any possibility of bias. Yet our most important professions are filled with conflict of interest. We rely on the decisions of professional people, when the decisions profoundly affect their income:

A rich congressman decides on how much, and in what way, to tax rich people.

A congressman must decide on issues affecting his campaign contributors.

A surgeon decides on who is appropriate for surgery.

Psychoanalysts provide therapy that lasts for years of profitable services.

Psychiatrists and even GP’s readily prescribe unnecessary drugs without considering safer and non-addicting methods.

When I was changing dentists, one of them counted two cavities, another dentist zero, and another six cavities, within a few days.

Generally, all health care providers have biases that affect their income — but, of course, some are better than others, and some I have known are very ethical.

Lawyers often tell their clients, in civil areas, to do things that create more conflict and hence more income.

I am sure that if you think about it, there are countless other examples (like auto repairs).

2. Many people simply “believe” what certain authority figures say. For example, a person says that he is conservative, meaning he does not like change. Certain authority figures are “known” to be conservative. He therefore believes and likes whatever they say. The problem is that there is no research or other verification for what the “expert” is saying. It is a fact that politicians tell many lies. We know this for certain because two of them will often make contradictory assertions . One of them must be wrong. Yet many people simply believe whatever is said and that just encourages more lies.  All citizens and especially voters must develop sound methods of lie detection. This has been and will be the subject of further blogs. But briefly, it is important to study history, learn about financial supporters, become familiar with all relevant issues, look at written material (such as budget proposals), see what others say about statements, and try to understand the motivation behind a statement. Unfortunately, many persons do not have the ability and/or the time to do this, and as a result will vote destructive politicians into office.

3. In my previous blog I discuss one of the worst debacles. It a failure to appropriately tax and otherwise control very rich people that are draining our country of resources and funds (please read). These rich people are like “corporate raiders” (or actually are the raiders) that could lead our country into financial ruin.

4. There are enough resources in the world to comfortably feed, clothe, and house all of its population. The debacle is that we allow leaders of nations to distort this process and prevent the resources from reaching those who need them.

5. Many people in the world are killed because of violent revenge. There is often a “tit for tat” mentality so that every abuse must be met with revenge, thereby stimulating more abuse. Countries have feuds with other countries. There ultimately must be an end to such things. However, I do recognize the complexity of many situations and recognize that measured, brief retaliations may in some cases, be appropriate.

6. Wars are fought over “holy” lands. Millions die because of questionable “beliefs.”

7. Young people are encouraged to compete in many areas, often by parents that feel inadequate. Obviously some competition can be enjoyable and safe, whereas other types lead to crime, greed, and the squandering of resources.

8. I watch many TV shows devoted to news and opinion. I am amazed by the fact that so much time is devoted to speeches and quotes of the most bizarre and ignorant persons.

9. Similarly all media devotes massive amounts of time to killers of several people. It must thrill the masses to hear all the details of such events. Besides the fact that there is too much of this, and other important news items are neglected, it tends to encourage deranged people seeking this type of “fame.” Severely disturbed people feel that by murdering several children, they can finally get attention that they have longed for. I submit that by limiting this type of extensive coverage, we could reduce the number of these horrible events. Further note: there is no law or procedure that can completely eliminate these murders because large populations will always include a few extreme individuals of every type. (But, some laws may reduce the number of victims.)

10. Briefly, a few more debacles regarding the management of our planet: ignoring climate change, deforestation of large areas, poor management of drinking water resources, over-fishing areas of the oceans, etc.

11. In our USA national government, there are so many safeguards and checks-and-balances that even the best legislation may be prevented. The current party in power often continues these rules for fear of what might happen if the other party takes over. The answer is to gradually ease-up on the safeguards, until a proper balance is achieved. For example, in the U.S. Senate there is a 60% rule. Why not use 55% or 53% as the rule. Why not limit Senate speeches to 30 minutes.

In the movie: “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, Keanu Reeves as the alien, determines that Earth humans are barbarians and not worthy of existence. As I listened to his reasoning, I had the horrible feeling that much of what he said is true, at least for a good percentage of the population. The sad part of all this, is that most of our serious problems are caused by people who, for whatever reason, are poorly educated and make bad decisions for the planet and themselves. (In future blogs I hope to propose some solutions.)

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