Capitalism has made America great, people exclaim. America is where everyone can make it big. They claim. Some of my friends speak of economic competition like it's one of Jesus's apostles. But Jesus didn't only have one apostle. He had twelve.
Legend tells of 9th-century goat shepherds experiencing a burst of energy after eating the cherries of the Rubiaceae coffee plant. Don't know if the goats consumed the plant, but goats love eating invasive plants and will chew on Thistle when goodies are scarce, so it's likely. Then, the story goes, an abbot from a nearby monastery concocted a drink from the cherries and it worked like a sort of a spiritual no-doze for monks during long meditations.
Catastrophic events can be a turning point for societies. The Black Death (peaked in Europe between 1347-1351) is said to have taken the life of 60% of Europe's population. The plague didn't discriminate, young or old, wealthy or poor. Realizing that religion could do nothing to stop the spread must have been a bitter pill to swallow. The life people knew and trusted ended.
Some of us feel that our voices and opinions don't matter. When I feel negative, I see it the same way. But this is changing. Democracy has always been about all voices, but in actuality this worthwhile aspiration was impossible to put into practice. Today, the internet is the tool making this a reality. But there is a catch.
At the onset of my research, the depth of my Social Security understanding was shallow enough a three-year-old could keep his head out of the water. Diving into economists' different views is a deep pool and easy to drown in acronyms and regulations. So it began with something I understand well, my check shows up in my checking account each month, and I always find a way to spend it.