The Gorilla in the Room: People

So---- you are a Native American, Lutheran, Rural ,Liberal, middle-aged woman. So what? Can anyone say anything about you from those labels?

The Gorilla in the Room: People

Before I can write about what we can do about Climate Change, I need to set the stage for what I want to say.  Catholic, White, Chicano, Black, Rural, Urban, Old, Young, Republican, Tea Party, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Etc. Etc. Etc.   So---- you are a Native American, Lutheran, Rural ,Liberal, middle-aged woman. So what?  Can anyone say anything about you from those labels?  They can try, but they probably would be wrong.  Even the standard labels of Republican and Democrat really do not tell how someone might feel about a specific issue.  People always surprise me that way.

I know labels divide us into groups, but those groups really don’t describe who we really are.  I’ve thought a lot about this as I have struggled to understand people, and why they think and do the things they do.  After much thought I’ve come to the conclusion that people really can be put into categories that are very accurate in describing them, but there are only two such categories.  Those categories are selfish and unselfish and everyone fits into one or the other.

By selfish I mean people that only think about what would be good for them, their family and friends.  By unselfish I mean people that think about what would be good for people they don’t know; what is often called the “common good.”  After all, most people care enough about the people they know (friends and family) to want to help them.   Not everyone cares about people they don’t know and will never meet.

People in the selfish category always think about “what’s in it for me” while the people in the unselfish category think about “what’s in it for everyone.”  Think about this for awhile and I think that you will eventually agree with me.  Think about the people you know and try putting them into one or the other of the categories.  It’s not all that hard.  Try it with well-known politicians and you will find that the self-serving ones are not so hard to find.  Chances are, if they (politicians) are telling you just what you want to hear they fit into the selfish category.

The stage is set for next week’s blog on what can we do about Climate Change.

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Bob MacDonald April 21, 2012 at 01:55 AM
You're asking me for a scientific basis to show that something will NOT happen? That's not how science works, John. I have no scientific basis for my certainty that pink dragons will not lay siege to Shoreline...it's just a hunch. Science isn't in the business of proving negatives, and someone who relies on science should know that. The burden of proof lies with those who wish to prove a positive.
Tony Dondero April 21, 2012 at 05:58 AM
It seems that Mitt Romney's private business self has done things that have primarily benefitted himself and those close to him without a lot of regard to those aren't in his inner circle. When it come to his public self it seems he's branched out a bit more to do "public service" but in my opinion a broader range of people, maybe not as many as some would hope, but still more will benefit with the Obama administration. I bet there's mathematical formula doing that kind of cost/benefits analysis. Going back to the environmental issues raised in this discussion, cost benefits analysis, usually used in economics, can be used in environmental economics to include things such as air quality, water quality, park use, pollution levels, etc. You can assign a numerical value to those types of things and find out what is > or < for the majority of us.
Bob MacDonald April 21, 2012 at 01:29 PM
I think that would be hard to quantify, Tony. However, I think Romney has significantly better business chops than Obama and he may do a much better job of improving the economy. No one is going to do well under Obama, regardless of what he does, if he cannot improve the economy. And apparently, he cannot improve the economy. I'm not much of a Romney fan, but I'll vote for him because Obama has utterly failed to improve the economy. That is the number one issue that is holding everyone...rich and poor alike...back.
Tony Dondero April 22, 2012 at 08:43 AM
I disagree, Bob. Not everyone has benefitted yet but the economy sure seems better to me than it was back in 2008-2009 at the end of the Bush regime. I can't speak for everyone, but I see definite improvement personally and based on what's in the news.
Bob MacDonald April 22, 2012 at 04:38 PM
The economy would have...and will continue...to improve, even if nothing happens. This economy has improved very slightly despite the things that Obama has done...namely Obamacare. Mort Zuckerman laid it all out recently in US News: http://www.usnews.com/opinion/mzuckerman/articles/2012/04/20/mort-zuckerman-president-obamas-economic-programs-have-failed At this rate, we won't return to full employment for 35 or 40 years. Technically, the economy is improving. But that is despite anything Obama...and Washington in general...has done.


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