We went from long term commitments to free love.
We went from long range investment to the three month business cycle.
We went from valuing the next generation, to valuing our own "quality of life".
We went from honoring the previous generation, to killing them off to save health care costs.
We went from marriage being about preservation of human life and continuation of the family, to marriage being about the merging of two economic households between people who "love" each other (and sometimes, not even people).
What links this all together? The seven mortal sins, of course. Somebody in the 1950s finally noticed that freedom includes the freedom to sin. Actually, the Founding Fathers knew this danger well- they in fact designed a government specifically to encourage it! That is why they were afraid of the "tyranny of the majority", because they knew that the majority of people were moral and prospered by avoiding such sins as greed, lust, pride, sloth, gluttony, wrath, and envy.
We've put material goods above human life. Do you doubt me? On Black Friday, this year, a relatively middle class neighborhood in New York trampled a man to death at Wal*Mart, all for a discount on material wealth.
The same thing is done with abortions of teen pregnancies- a human life is snuffed out so that the parents can escape the consequences of their actions and go on with schooling or avoid "sabotaging their career" by having children "too early".
The same thing is done in Oregon when a terminally ill patient, given less than six months to live, chooses to avoid the pain and expense to his family of continuing to live at all, and asks the doctor for poison.
The same thing is done in many states now when a "criminal" is sentenced to death, sometimes on the most circumstantial evidence, and quite often based on race, to "save" the money of keeping him in jail for life (nevermind that the current process of law requires MORE of an expenditure to kill a prisoner than to keep him in jail for life) where he *might* one day be proven innocent and go free.
The same thing is done when a leader of a country in the Middle East threatens to change to dealing in Euros for his oil (Iraq in 2001, Iran now) and we go to war over it costing many human lives.
The same thing is done when sales go down and a family man gets laid off, and his house is foreclosed on by the bank, throwing his family out into the streets to starve or die of exposure to the elements.
Edit: New example here- is a man worth saving when keeping him alive will cost $108,000/year? And would he really get that drug in America when he has NO chance of ever paying off his medical bills?
Are you getting the point yet? A economy that serves only the short term, and does not make extraordinary exceptions for human life, is one based on the seven deadly sins. And once a minority bases their behavior on those sins, capitalism and the free market begins to get screwed up. Capital itself becomes centralized- in our case, most of the country lives to serve Wall Street, and has the majority of their true economic worth sucked off into usurious interest or "stockholder dividends". Eventually, the con artists on Wall Street start coning each other- and the pyramid begins to fall.
Everything that happened leading up to it- the deregulation, the lobbyists passing laws favoring specific industries, the corruption of Washington, and the outright worship at the Altar of Mammon- can all be traced back to the seven deadly sins.
So what's the fix? How about the Seven Holy Virtues? Chastity, Abstinence, Generosity, Diligence, Patience, Kindness, and Humility. Start with your local neighborhood, and practice these- be thrifty (patient) and buy only when you have the money to do so, give to those who are hungry (Charity/Generosity), Abstain from sex instead of giving into lust, Do your Diligence both in where you invest and how as well as the job if you have one, be Kind to the homeless, and be humble when faced with the poor. Reject materialism, and live in the Dignity of the Human Person.
Only that will build a Culture of Love instead of a Culture of Death.