Dangerous Tipping Point


Dear Editor: I just finished reading the latest issue of Western Friend [Nov/Dec 2015]. The subject of Quakers and economics is something I have thought about a great deal. I often think, “Well, you don’t get bonus points for good intentions and bad outcomes.” The Quakers, at least in the past, were better than others at linking good intentions to good outcomes.

The only point I would add to Tom Head’s article, “The Economy of Unknowing,” is that some of the benefits that “exchange economies” have over “threat economies” can only be achieved if there is a high degree of public integrity throughout the economy. If you are trying to maintain integrity while others are taking advantage, you feel like a stooge.

There is a dangerous tipping point between integrity and deception, where things fall apart. I write about this now because I think the U.S. is close to that tipping point, and outcomes that look like Mexico or Southern Italy are becoming real possibilities for us here in the U.S.

– Carin Pacifico, Palo Alto Friends Meeting (PYM)

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