Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, February 21, 2011

How the hell . . .

did this country go so far off the rails, so fast? Here's the state of Michigan ordering Detroit to close half its public schools, which means high school class sizes will go to 60. Unemployment is expected to stay above 9% all year and maybe be at 8.5% by election day in 2012 -- and of course it's much worse than that because a lot of people have either left the labor force or are scraping by on part-time jobs, freelancing, or whatever they can get. (If you worked 1 hour in the past week, you are counted as employed in the official statistics.) We have the greatest inequality of wealth and income since the Gilded Age, and middle class incomes have been stagnating for decades, and more and more people are living in poverty.

Roads, bridges, sewers and water systems are falling apart. Our dependence on imported petroleum is just growing deeper and deeper, while climate change threatens our food supply and the very existence of coastal communities and petroleum dependence forces our foreign and military policy into grotesque distortions.

I could go on and on but you get the idea. And what is the great political crisis the corporate media and political classes are screaming about? The need to slash public spending on social services, education, research and development (of the non-military variety only, of course), public health, food safety, environmental protection, and every other useful thing government does and can do to get us out of this mess, so that wealthy people can continue to enjoy the lowest taxes since Eisenhower was president.

Nobody even questions this, not even Barack Obama, who wants to cut low-income heating assistance in half, essentially eliminate community service block grants that support anti-poverty agencies all over the country, and who has completely given up on renewable energy development. The man simply refuses to lead. And he knows better.


C. Corax said...

FECHHH!!!! I disagree that Obama refuses to lead. He's leading his cronies to greater wealth at the expense of the middle class and the poor.

Yeah, he's leading his corporate friends and pushing the rest of us into hell.

roger said...


(how out of date am i?)