Throw Away Society

What do you throw away? I ran out to Starbucks for a morning treat this AM. I was craving a chai. I didn’t have any milk so couldn’t make it at home. I now have a paper cup to throw away.

I also cleaned the cat box and I have to throw that away–the kitty litter not the cat box, although you can get throw away cat boxes. They’re really convenient. I always keep one in case of a sick cat that needs to be kept separate. But you know, really it’s not good for the environment. Although cat feces are good for the environment, mostly, the litter often isn’t. Isn’t it strange that we take something so naturally biodegradable and turn it into something that just sits in a land fill, of no use.

Other bloggers have written eloquently how we do this to older people. We put them in homes and hospitals and care centers and never visit them, thus loosing their wisdom. We do that to the poor now too. We don’t listen to them. They no longer have a voice in our country though the numbers of poor are growing. Still, we do our best to not see them, to move them, to keep them from our neighborhoods, much like the garbage in home owners communities. You can only have your garbage can out the night before garbage day and that only after 7 PM and then it must be taken in by 9 PM the following evening. Makes it tough if you happen to have odd work hours. Still, who wants to admit to garbage even as our landfills grow?

To a certain extent we do that with disease. If an organ doesn’t work, you can often cut it out. If it has cancer, cut it out. If it’s blocked, cut it out. There are other options–you can stent some arterial blockages rather than do a by pass. You can use less invasive techniques in some cases of cancer and disease (though not always). Still, surgery “to remove” is often our first choice.

I think we are doing that to government too. I just read the story of the man whose house burned to the ground because he hadn’t paid a $75 fee to the fire department. In most communities that’s part of your tax. If you are too poor, you don’t pay taxes, but other people pay them and so your house is still covered. This is the libertarian ideal. Even the fire department, one of our most sacred “socialized” institutions.

You know, I get the libertarians. I don’t agree with what they want to do. I think without government the most powerful hold all the cards and with corporations in the mix, really we don’t have equal rights with everyone. Corporations have more rights. Certainly they do now anyway, but it would only get worse without any government. I understand though, why the libertarians want to get rid of government. Our government has a lot of problems. It seems like it should be easier to just get rid of it. That’s what we do in the US. If you don’t like something, throw it away. I think that’s what the libertarian ideal wants to do with our government.

It’s no wonder such an ideal has grown in our country where we throw away so much. But throwing away isn’t always the best way. Look at all the stuff that sits in our landfills and isn’t reused.

I think that sometimes the “surgery to remove” is not always the best choice. Sometimes we need to stop and do the work to make changes. This is in our homes, with our families, with our health, and with our government.

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  1. […] back to the post from Wednesday, I will argue that we should stop throwing away and opting out of what we think doesn’t work. […]

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