The 2008 Election
Topic: The 2008 Election
Stephen Carter: I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect that candidates for public office are going to have good solutions to the crisis of integrity in our life – in our public life. And it’s not because politicians can’t have integrity. Of course they can. I don’t dump on politicians the way some people do. It’s because it’s not a problem the government can fix. It’s a problem that we have to decide to fix in our private lives. I would like to see candidates talk more about poverty; but I worry a lot that Democrat and Republican candidates alike use it mainly as a club to hit us over the head. It’s not so much whether they’re committed to in their campaigns in a serious way. It’s more a tool for making other people look bad. It’s really unfortunate. If you look at the trends, for example, in the black community, the trend toward income stratification – that is the well-to-do black people getting better off, and the worse-off people getting worse off – that’s gotten worse under the Bush administration. It got worse under the Clinton administration. It’s just been getting worse for years. It’s not a left-right thing. It’s just been getting worse, and getting worse, and getting worse. Most of the trends . . . there are some that are on an uptick. Most of the trends in the black community that are troubling, and that are going in the wrong direction have been going in the wrong direction for a long time. So it’s not a matter of which party is in power; it’s that it takes more to fix them. There’s a need for public solutions. There’s a need for some policies. There’s also a need for private solutions; a need for people to try to fix some things from within as well. I’m not terribly sanguine about our willingness to do either one of those things. I’m not terribly sanguine about our willingness to do the things that will cost money in the public sector. I’m not terribly sanguine about our ability to encourage marriage, which might cost people ideological points. And if we can’t do those things then I don’t know what the future is for these problems. I honestly don’t know what it is we’re going to do. And understand, when I say poverty, I mean it’s an absolute sense. I don’t mean . . . I don’t care in America if rich people get really rich. I don’t care about who’s got the most money. I’m interested in people at the other end. It’s not that, oh goodness, the rich people have money; the poor people don’t. I’m interested in why is the reason people don’t have money is because rich people have money; or is there some other reason? It’s important to know why poor people are suffering – to be able to fix their suffering. And I think too often we guess at why they’re suffering. And sometimes we guess wrong. Sometimes we guess wrong. And yes, sometimes there are some problems that could be not repaired, but it’s __________ we’d spend more money and I wish we would. But not every problem can be helped along that way.
Recorded on: 7/25/07
It isn't up to the presidential candidates to fix the integrity crisis in this country.
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.
- When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
- Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
- Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
Carl Sagan liked to smoke weed. His essay on why is fascinating.
- Carl Sagan was a life long marijuana user and closeted advocate of legalization.
- He once wrote an anonymous essay on the effects it had on his life and why he felt it should be legalized.
- His insights will be vital as many societies begin to legalize marijuana.
A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.
- The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
- Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
- Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.