7 inherently illogical (and often dishonest) things about life in the United States.

1. Capitalism creates permanent ethical dilemmas for all parties, as it encourages and relies on selfishness, corruption, and irrationality. Who can “cheat” who the most wins under capitalism. And the entire system is imaginary. Money always complicates. 

2. Being “young and dumb” and going to public school has often been criminalized. Police officers (who are only required to have one semester of college; although, many have much, much more) are now constantly present every day in public schools (and colleges) around the nation. Being tardy or getting into a fight no longer means detention and a talking to but often real criminal charges. For instance these three middle school students are facing felony charges for putting red pepper in their teacher’s drink.

3. We argue about what the governments “can” and “can’t” afford when the government prints and controls said money and can (to large degrees) set corresponding prices. Money is, after all, a social construction. What governments want to do, governments do.

4. Laws prohibit restaurants and grocery stores from donating leftover food in all but very selective cases. Laws in various places criminalize being homeless. Other laws criminalize helping the homeless. None of this helps solve the problem of food deserts

5. Society has allowed a Military-to-Prison Pipeline to develop. Jails and prisons are filled with those who answered the “highest” patriotic calling by serving our nation. Many of those formally or not formally incarcerated face various psychological incarcerations, including depression and homelessness. We seldom recognize what veterans actually look like. To save money, the military has been kicking those out who display psychological symptoms.  

6. People ignore global warning/climate change and forget that the Earth does not need to be saved (except from us!). The issue is keeping an Earth that can support life, as we think of it. The Earth, like all planets, has transformed many, many times and will continue to do so, long after the Earth will not be able to support what we call life no matter what we do. The latest studies show that our planet was originally two planets! We also seldom question efforts to recycle. We don’t consider or even have conversations about the economic and environmental expense of recycling. It takes gas, oil, and pollution to recycle. Some products, like paper, are arguably better off being thrown away, given how quickly they biodegrade. 

7. Some politicians (including judges) argue that the Constitution must be interpreted as “originally written”. This would void all of the amendments and reinstate enslavement to just get started. An original interpretation would mean virtually no one gets to vote except the very richest. And of course, an “original” interpretation is simply not possible for all kinds of reasons I don’t need to rehash. But, ultimately, an “original” interpretation is code language for saying only the very richest White men should have a voice. 

Andrew Joseph Pegoda