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gary e. davis
February 7, 2019
 
 
Whatever one means by ‘good society,’ every society that has ever existed has sought its own regional sense of this, particularly the notion of America as promised land—awaiting from the future, like heavenly award for perseverence. We are the good society at heart: It emerges from us, not ensured by law (rather: served by law).

If goodG community of a municipality is to prevail over chaotic, transient, metro society, that will be made so as endless engagement to be kept so by citizen engagement. Institutions that enable and sustain goodG are only as generative (“Positive Institutions,” Part 9 of Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology) as the lives that keep its values alive. Idealizing access to higher education can be an effective hallmark of progressive public policy only if that is ensured and beneficiaries can work well toward sustainable lives.

There is goodG power possible in politics (fair authority and fair markets without unconstrained sovereignty and free-market propaganda). There is noble money amid the too-wealthy who support political action. Noblesse oblige amid global wealth deserves celebration.

But high mindedness easily loses sight of the vast lowland denial of right to fair opportunity which can be afforded by wealth that benefits from non-productive organization of benefits, i.e., pyramidal flow of capital favoring a tiny proportion of actors who have minimal real roles in the ecology of wealth creation.
(Some years ago, Stephen Schneck, Director of the Insitute for Political Research at Catholic University, noted about the Pope and President Obama: “...both gentlemen, I think, take the measure of civilization to be the quality of life for the poorest and most vulnerable in the world” [Mar. 2014].)
Of course, sophisticated producers deserve to benefit more than unsophisticated producers, but the aggregate wealth of lowland production belongs to the aggregate, though midland management is necessary to make lowland productivity possible (and deserves fair “total compensation,” as it’s called), and high scale organization requires leadership, which deserves fair total compensation.

However, equal opportunity (equity) will result in variable results. Important anger about “inequality” tends to confuse the difference between equal opportunity and sense of distributive injustice which is not well defined. Progressive public policy cannot be formed from ill-defined senses of “inequality” (which can be well defined). Taxing very wealthy persons is vital, but acceptability of that to the wealthy who contribute vastly to electoral campaigns depends partly on articulation of public policy which targets enabling of citizenry (“hand up”), not to support ill-funded management of badly led social service regimes. I say that as a progressive Democrat. (Republicans are to blame for not funding education and social services at a level that annuls Republican complaint about low quality of public education and social supports that, then, “justifies” Republican refusal to support better, reliable funding. There is surely no excess of creative leadership in Conservative electoral politics.)

Teaching is a noble profession, thus deserving the total compensation that draws high talent into professional education.

Moreover, the economy is filled with jobs that are necessarily drudgery, but are vital to the ecology. Throughout society (education, media, politics), we should appreciate (in terms of total compensation) the integrity of all careers, all sets of jobs within those careers, all functionalities, in order to draw talent into allowing the little-less-wealthy (i.e., more-highly taxed high wealth) to enjoy less social congestion, less crime, less turnover in business, more productivity, nicer strangers (better customer service!), better-educated children, less costly health care, and so on.

 

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  Be fair. © 2019, gary e. davis