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ManfromMiddletown:
It doesn't have to be, but the key is to reduce the competition for status.  This competition is more intense where there is greater economic inequality,

Well, the key is to reduce the effects of the competition for status. And - as you say - a good way to do that is to narrow the available limits. People will still be happier if the prize is a bigger car and not a private jet. Positional display is relative, not absolute. There's no chance to buy a Moon Yacht today, so no one misses one.

But there's something else happening here.

Competition in the US has always had a sociopathic edge to it. It's not just that people want more even if it means harm to others, or they don't care if it means harm to others.

A minority want more because it means harm to others. They actively promote and enjoy the creation  of poverty and lower living conditions for everyone except their cronies. How else can you explain Bush's contempt for Katrina or his decision to try to close teaching hospitals?

You could make a good case for suggesting that the common thread linking Iraq with Bush's domestic policy isn't some grand imperial scheme, but simply a need to pour contempt on as many humans as possible.

You'll find less severe, but still very toxic, versions of the same mindset throughout the financial markets.

Stability is impossible while this is rewarded instead of being minimised.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Dec 4th, 2007 at 06:52:13 AM EST
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