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THIS MEETING'S CHARGE : How do we attach value to the things of this world?
One of the underlying tenets of American culture is that our well-being is defined in terms of dollars and cents. We equate economic well-being with social well-being.
As our American culture evolves, some are becoming discontent with this method of valuation. From WTO protests to grassroots "Not in My Backyard" organizers around the country, it is obvious that at least some portion of society is not happy with the current ways of attaching value to things.
However, throughout history, economics has been (mostly) the driving force that has made us develop new technologies, discover new lands, and improve standards of living. Who can argue that these are not good things? And they came primarily from the pursuit of wealth.
The question: Do we need a new method of valuation- a new indicator of progress? Or is it true that, in the long run, what is best for the economy is truly best for society in general?
Here is the reading material we used for the meeting: