Local view: At the polls, realize that money isn’t moralityAs a small-business owner in Duluth, I am constantly aware of my dependence on the economy. When running a business, you can’t get around the reality that money matters. Money is a means to an end, a form of investment and an indispensable tool.
By: Maury Aaseng, for the News Tribune
As a small-business owner in Duluth, I am constantly aware of my dependence on the economy. When running a business, you can’t get around the reality that money matters. Money is a means to an end, a form of investment and an indispensable tool.
You would think money was the only issue confronting our political office-seekers today. The way they vie for votes is predicated on claims they can help us make more money and create more jobs than the other candidate. They often showcase their previous success in wealth accumulation. So talk of the latest unemployment numbers, jobs and taxes is relentlessly drummed at us.
Meanwhile, human rights, responsible foreign policy, environmental degradation, an unbalanced health-care system and severe problems with public education are given only lip service. These problems often are reserved for semantic debate and are not dealt with in any serious way. It seems to properly address any topic other than money (and the local and global economies) would take time away from the issue they consider most important to Americans.
Why is this? Would discounting human-rights abuse to focus solely on the dollars and cents be the most patriotic thing to do? Would considering only the perks of short-term economic growth be more worthwhile than also confronting serious problems with our education and health-care systems? Is having the cash to buy every kid an iPhone a more-American decision than taking the lead to tackle climate change?
If you ignore every other issue our country and state face today and cast your vote entirely based on economic considerations, you are not alone. But if gathering personal and national wealth is worth any cost, consider the company you are keeping. Slave owners and violent mobsters operated under the exact same code. As long as money was made, it was worth any moral deviance. Contract killers and kidnappers consider the earning potential to be worth the means of acquiring it. Tyrants who trample on the rights of their citizens consider the suffering to be an acceptable price for the power and wealth they can hoard.
Money is certainly a lot of things: an incentive, a reward, a measurement and a necessity.
But money can never be equated to morality. If the United States of America is to remain a great nation, we will have to pay attention to our moral compass this Nov. 6. That means looking at the rest of the issues as well.
Maury Aaseng owns and has been operating for the past eight years a small illustration business. He creates graphics and illustrations for college textbooks and other publications.