Re: [The-Burnsville-Socrates-Cafe] 6/5/12 questions and discussion

From: Andrusela
Sent on: Thursday, June 14, 2012 4:17 AM
Thank you, Luda. And, Jim, I think we do, as a society, force people
to work. Though "force" is not perhaps the best word to describe it. I
would say there is plenty of pressure for most of us to work if we are
at all sane and at least partially sober.

On 6/12/12, Luda Lindahl <[address removed]> wrote:
> Andrusela, you have such a good argument! ... as per usual.
> Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Andrusela <[address removed]>
> Sender: [address removed]
> Date: Tue, 12 Jun[masked]:28:03
> To: <[address removed]>
> Reply-To: [address removed]
> Subject: Re: [The-Burnsville-Socr­ates-Cafe] 6/5/12 questions and discussion
>
> Thanks for continuing the discussion, and allowing me to be there by
> proxy (smiley face). Are we only valuable if we are productive? My
> uncle suffered a stroke and spent the last years of his life in a
> wheelchair, unable to speak. Yet my aunt treasured his presence and
> called him her "silent friend." Are we human "beings" or human
> "doings?"
>
> On 6/10/12, Jon Anderson <[address removed]> wrote:
>> 6/5/12 questions and discussion
>>
>> 1-how might each of us become more productive?3
>> 2-will left and right continue to move apart?4
>> 3-is gender identity important, if yes, howso?6
>> 4-exactly what is it we're teaching in our education system?6
>> 5-what are the ramifications of the disintrgration of the family?6
>> 6-have we created technology in our own image?2
>> 7-why technology?2
>>
>> =========
>>
>> what gives people value [in any given society]?
>>
>> Phillip: I've been thinking about our conversations over the last weeks.
>> This leads me to wonder about our social security and the elderly -- are
>> old
>> folks worth the worth the investment to keep them productive or even
>> alive?
>> I felt blue about it. I am elderly.
>>
>> Jon: are you of value?
>>
>> Phillip: I lead a photo group, I'm helping a child prodigy study. I hope
>> these things make me valuable.
>>
>> Jim: break it down. Go by societies. If we're on the edge of survival
>> it's
>> different. What makes the individuals in any culture valuable are the
>> assumptions of that society. If we decide to invest more into the young
>> than
>> the old then youth is more valuable. Religion can do this too. I may not
>> agree with how religions get to their valuations [the various stories
>> used
>> to back up their morality] but the end result is admirable. Constitutions
>> and God are important; beyond being only "up to us."
>>
>> Steve: in a capitalist society productivity's measured by money.
>> Money=value. differs from Jim's human/intrinsic value. All men are
>> created
>> equal = equal value? They may conflict. Fairness and productivity are
>> needed. As money and power accumulate the balance of fairness can tip.
>>
>> Dick: it was "value" that produced the economic mess beginning in 2008.
>> The
>> older people among us -- those who were around during FDR times -- were
>> largely responsible for the economic success via their social security
>> savings. Native Americans learned from their elders. Old age was
>> considered
>> inherently valuable in those cultures. Those elders were the maintainers
>> of
>> traditions as well.
>>
>> John: the economist Keynes was more accurate in his assessment of
>> economic
>> values than is the Wall Street Journal.
>>
>> Sarah: We've talked a lot so fare about money until Dick mentioned oral
>> traditions and ancient cultures. My friend at college is from Indonesia
>> where children are expected to care for their elders, potentially
>> sacrificing opportunities to achieve economic or career goals made
>> possible
>> only by moving away from their elders or even working hard outside their
>> homes. Here it's about money more than family. We want to care for our
>> families, of course, yet at what point are people not family? At what
>> point(s) do we no longer have to care for them?
>>
>> Jim: I wanted to talk family. Andrea (her online name is Andrusela)
>> recently
>> told us of her life raising her kids as a single mom. How her efforts to
>> be
>> economically successful led to her kids being bounced around/not always
>> well
>> cared for. The work of motherhood is productive but unpaid. Sarah's
>> Indonesian example is how it should be, even though productivity demands
>> contradict it. Imperfect solutions lead to bigger problems.
>>
>> Sarah: social security benefits iare not on my horizon at this point. I
>> am
>> valued after I graduate college. Too often it's my test scores that
>> matter.
>> Specialization in work and in education is increasing and one's value to
>> American society now depends on it.
>>
>> Jim: what makes a person valuable doesn't necessarily make one
>> productive.
>>
>> Larry: special needs kids have value; we get a joy from giving to these
>> people. It builds character to give to them. We satisfy our need for
>> feeling
>> needed by others. Then there are the elderly couples trying to care for
>> each
>> other and hurting themselves in the process by doing work they're just
>> too
>> old to do. So we do need help from the outside of our lives; help from
>> our
>> government, our neighbors.
>>
>> David: does life itself have value? Is existence valuable? Do we value
>> the
>> life in each other? Then there's the tribe/culture perspective. Warfare
>> means lesser regard for life of strangers.
>>
>> Jim: is life a beating heart?
>>
>> David: it's a whole different question. During America's Revolutionary
>> war
>> period, most families here then were farm families. Only the eldest sons
>> inherited those farms. The remaining family members were to work on the
>> farm. We now are doing doing the Ronald Reagan idea: splinter the family,
>> go
>> off on one's own. Nursing homes developed, putting our elders out of
>> sight
>> out of mind.
>>
>> Jon: Andrea's kids, according to her, did not benefit psychologically
>> from
>> her strenuous efforts to work as they grew up. So while she was being
>> economically productive she was unable to productive as a mother, perhaps
>> leaving children who grew up less capable of themselves being as
>> productive
>> as they might have been if they'd had a better mothering experience. This
>> is
>> quite the rub!
>>
>> Larry: president Johnson signed the welfare bill and unintentionally
>> increased the prevalence of unwed mothers in America.
>>
>> Steve: backing up; I've had difficulty digesting the conflict Larry
>> describes with educating special education students. it takes a lit of
>> resources to tailor an education to special kids needs. This is very
>> valuable, very productive work I think. But maybe we can't afford it. I
>> can't resolve these conflicting realities.
>>
>> John: Andrea's example shows the value of the intact family.  Mother's
>> work
>> is undervalued in our culture. As with Larry's example, we have a lot of
>> moral hazard with AFDC.
>>
>> Jim: raising kids is more than a one person job. Making sure families
>> have
>> enough resources creates problems if it's our government we look to for
>> the
>> help. The only real answer is somehow to get the young to think long
>> term.
>> [?]
>>
>> Larry:  care of the infirm improves and increases our virtues. It makes
>> us
>> more humane. Without this priority we end up with a "dog eat dog"
>> culture.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
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