We are the most selfish country ever to have existed.
This conclusion is inescapable if you compare our potential to our
In the past, before the advent of modern technology and medicine, there
was a limit to humanity's ability to reduce suffering on this planet.
But given our present advanced technology and unparalleled wealth, the
United States could, had it the will, go a long way towards literally
creating Heaven on Earth. Then we truly would be the nation on the hill.
We could, if we chose to, wipe out all childhood diseases by a worldwide
inoculation program. But we choose not to.
We could, if we chose to, ensure that no human on earth goes hungry. But
we choose not to.
We could, if we chose to, provide potable drinking water, sanitation, and
shelter to all the world's people. But we choose not to.
We could, if we chose to, do a host of other specific good works that
each reader can imagine. But we choose not to.
What do we choose to do instead?
We choose to spend our money on, and use our technology for, a myriad of
frivolous, often environmentally destructive consumer goods and services:
massive SUV's, giant screen TV's, countless changes of clothes with every
passing fashion, cosmetic surgery, and so on ad infinitum: an endless
mélange of gadgets, widgets, and other doodads that no one ever thought
they needed until advertising convinced them that they did.
Americans even complain of feeling put upon. Their taxes are too high.
They can't buy a new car often enough. They don't have enough leisure time.
The average American has a wider choice of safer food, more material
comfort, more personal safety, and an overall easier life than 99.999% of
all the humans who have ever lived on this planet.
And we could still have it and at the same time also embark
on the Heaven on Earth effort discussed above.
So each one of us needs to look in the mirror, and for whatever setting
each of us believes our Final Reckoning will take place in, practice our
speech about why we and our society made the choices we did.