Our Lowest Priority: People

By Arlen Grossman

There is one important reason this country has so many mass shootings, as well as so much suicide, opioid addiction, depression, anxiety, child abuse and a litany of other indicators of a dysfunctional, troubled society.

It comes down to this: the culture of the United States doesn’t care about people. This society mostly cares about money, profits, greed, power, consumerism, wars, and similar non-humanitarian values.

Here’s an example: we know our schools are inadequate. We clearly need smaller classes, art and music programs, counseling services, maintenance, etc. yet our political leaders (and sometimes, taxpayers) aren’t willing to make improving schools a priority. In contrast, there always seems to be substantial amounts of money available for an already bloated military, or tax cuts for the wealthy.

It’s the same for health care, retirement benefits, infrastructure, mental health services and many other people-benefiting expenditures. We’re not willing to spend the money needed to fix these human needs, but over a trillion dollars for modernization of our nuclear weapons program–not a problem.

It comes down to this. Our society reflects our values. Our priorities appear to be profits over people. No wonder we are in so much trouble.



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