Letter: Should we demand democracy for our long-term solutions?

Social capital is the basic unit of social quality: it depends on those being listened to, seen, heard, and valued. It is not just the welfare of individuals, but of the people in whose…

Letter: Should we demand democracy for our long-term solutions?

Social capital is the basic unit of social quality: it depends on those being listened to, seen, heard, and valued. It is not just the welfare of individuals, but of the people in whose name taxes are levied and regulations are put in place. Yes, I understand that this dimension also carries economic and public policy implications, and my concern is not with these aspects.

It is with the fact that social capital can be affected significantly, even to the point of breakdown, by those policies that we are being asked to vote for. Another factor is that specific social services and services should be allocated to an applicant on the basis of what they know of those services, and what they think they may need, rather than on the basis of who they are or what their friends think they should be able to have.

All citizens, including adult men and women, should be able to freely pursue happiness to the extent that is legal and feasible. After all, it is not supposed to be forbidden. But the freedom of living, working, and voting must not be sacrificed in the name of convenience.

We have gone through countless discussion of this subject in public and private debates of the kind that have become common in our society. Undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges in the life of our country is to give the right decision to society – to the rest of the population – about where and how they should spend their money and efforts. I realize that this topic has been poorly studied so far. What I would like to emphasize here, in the hope that this will contribute to better understanding of the subject, is the fact that – for me – the right question for decisions should be the question for which one lives.

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