Riding my bike for a couple of hours yesterday took me on many roads in and around town. Primary elections are near, thus I saw plenty of yard signs for plenty of hopeful candidates as I rode along. Lots of them boasted campaign slogans that got my mind to thinking, but one in particular stuck with me longer. The candidate it belongs to is running on a platform of securing individuals’ prosperity.
I am left assuming, in today’s political climate, that this means slashing taxes and thereby insuring that you get to somehow keep more of your “hard earned” cash. In other words, prosperity means money. Not much else. Oh, I’m sure if pressed the candidate would claim it’s more than that. He’d say something about freedom and democracy and such, but in my case, such assertions fall on deaf ears. My ears have heard enough.
As I rode along, I asked myself how I define prosperity. I wondered what kind of society our’s might be if it gave more than lip service to the ideals of education and hard work and health care and family. Each of these, for me, represents prosperity much more than a tax-free world.
The Beatles sang “Can’t buy me love” and they were right. Can’t buy me friendship, a working mind, good health, time to enjoy music or a good book, either. Study after study has shown that beyond a decent income that allows for our basic needs, plus a few extras, met, an abundant accumulation of money and things adds no value to a person’s perception of his or her life. Personally, I’d rather give my vote to one running on that platform, i.e. the one committed to protecting each person’s true value, and a society that fosters such.