Are selfishness and egotism American values?

The United States was founded on several assumptions. A key assumption, which led to several others, was that “the sum of individual interests” was equivalent to “the common interest.” In practical terms, this meant: 1. Individuals know best how to solve their own problems. 2. Government should promote economic... show more The United States was founded on several assumptions. A key assumption, which led to several others, was that “the sum of individual interests” was equivalent to “the common interest.” In practical terms, this meant:

1. Individuals know best how to solve their own problems.
2. Government should promote economic growth to create jobs so that individuals can solve their own problems.
3. The best way for government to promote economic growth is to ask business leaders what can be done to help them make more money.

Today, we know that our founders were fundamentally wrong on this point. The lesson of “The Tragedy of the Commons” is that “the sum of individual interests” is NOT “ the common interest.” In his 1968 classic, “The Tragedy of the Commons”, Garrett Hardin illustrated why freedom in the commons brings ruin to all


1. Business-as-usual depends upon jobs and markets to distribute goods and services.
2. Economic growth and increasing job availability require increasing net energy.
3. Net energy correlates with peak oil and both are expected to decrease for decades. See the “Net Hubbert Curve”
4. Decades of decreasing net energy will cause job opportunities to decrease for decades because less and less energy will be available for economic development.
5. Globally, millions of new workers enter the job market each year, but job availability is expected to decline by millions of positions each year. Eventually, the projected high unemployment among young men will cause catastrophic political failures similar to those that led to Hitler’s takeover of German democracy. Therefore, business-as-usual is no longer a viable method of distributing goods and services and a new method must be found
Update: I see no one is familiar with "the commons" so here it is: The tragedy of the commons refers to a dilemma described in an influential article by that name written by Garrett Hardin and first published in the journal Science in 1968.[1] The article describes a situation in which multiple individuals,... show more I see no one is familiar with "the commons" so here it is:

The tragedy of the commons refers to a dilemma described in an influential article by that name written by Garrett Hardin and first published in the journal Science in 1968.[1] The article describes a situation in which multiple individuals, acting independently, and solely and rationally consulting their own self-interest, will ultimately deplete a shared limited resource even when it is clear that it is not in anyone's long-term interest for this to happen
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