On January 17, 1924 President Calvin Coolidge addressed the American Society of Newspaper editors and in that speech was the sentence: “The business of the American people is business” not the often misquote of “The business of America is business.” Coolidge went on to stress that making money should not be an end in itself but should be used to help others. Have our values changed during the last century? Has greed replaced compassion? Have lies replaced the truth?
What if making money for its own sake has become a dominant value in America? What if truth has become a casualty of the process of making money? “The threat to a free press and the political dangers posed by a culture of lying at the highest circles of government have already been widely circulated.” (1)
Ironically, the mistrust occasioned by so much lying by our current president (2019) has damaged the trust that is the cornerstone of making money. “American businesses can’t plan effectively when they don’t know who or what to trust.” (1) Many of us seeking both material wealth and the power we think goes with having a lot of money become trapped in a web of poverty and powerlessness. Why?
Click on the link below to understand why the business of the American people is “bad business.”
Insight # 172: We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves. Francois de la Rochefoucauld
- Pinocchio, Pinocchio, Your Nose Seems To Be Growing in this blog and also in print version, Who Am I? (2013) by Roy Charles Henry, pages 26-28.
- Shiller, Robert J. “How Lying and Mistrust Could Take a Lasting Toll.” The New York Times Sunday. November 10, 2019, page 5.