There was a fascinating oped piece in the NYTimes by David Brooks on the Colorado marijuana experiment. It was not so much his comments on how he and his friends had outgrown the weed, but his comments on what constituted the good life – of which the weed was not a part in his opinion. As he sees it our goal is to become “more integrated, coherent and responsible people. This process” he says, “usually involves using the powers of reason, temperance and self-control — not qualities one associates with being high.” He then goes further and links these admirable virtues to happiness. As he then says, “The deeper sources of happiness usually involve a state of going somewhere, becoming better at something, learning more about something, overcoming difficulty and experiencing a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.” In found the connection between his comments that focused on the work dimension and those of AEI that covered faith, family, friends as well as work interesting and worth exploring further.
When all the debate about arcane securities has died down, it will then become even more apparent that this financial crisis is at heart a moral issue from start to finish. As Gillian Tett noted on Thursday in the //Financial Times//when “the banking crisis hit Japan a decade ago, bankers bowed to show their public remorse; this time, however, barely a single western banker has even said ‘sorry'”. John Gapper in the same issue commented that bankers “did many foolish – and in some case, unethical – things during the boom. But they did not force people to buy houses or take out mortgages; they mostly provided rope for borrowers to hang themselves.” In short, it is time that all of us bowed and said sorry. Sorry to our young people, sorry to our children, sorry to future generations because in our greed we all created this mess and in so doing we have left them a world worse than the one that we inherited.