Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Two Worlds

I don't usually link to the Puffington Host because it is infested with bunkum, but if you haven't already, do check out the first chapter of the latest book from The Shrill One, which happens to be available there.

Krugman describes the massive suffering and tragedy of the past few years, but as disturbing as the catastrophe itself is that he actually has to point it out. He is some sort of radical or alarmist because he bothers to notice the pain of so many people and the irrevocable losses we have suffered; and insists that we actually do something about it. The millions of young people who are graduating from college into a bleak future as far as the eye can see; the people in mid-life whose career accomplishments and savings are destroyed, along with their self-esteem; the countless people we don't even notice any more who are destitute; to the corporate media and much of political discourse, they are irrelevant. This is not the problem we need to worry about.

I have some thoughts about why this is. Do you?


Anonymous said...

Here is what I really, truly have believed and still do believe: If, as Mitt Romney believes, a corporation is a person--not that I agree with him--well, then, treat people as corporations! No death penalty, for starters . . . and more importantly, let people move WHEREVER they want to. Let Americans who want to move to Canada and open shop there DO IT. Let Parisians who want to move to Brazil do it. Open the borders!

After reading Krugman's chapter, my view is just reinforced that a large part of the current problems in the world are due to myopia on the part of American politicians and citizens who just don't seem to know the rest of the world really exists. A film like Michael Moore's "Sicko" comes out and even when people go to see it, some of them seem to recite the same old false talking points about people in Canada waiting in line for treatment or not being able to get MRIs. What a crock of shit--just talk to any Canadian! In truth--and I have lived and worked in Canada and Spain--health care is terrific abroad. The article in yesterday's NY Times about HIV treatment in Cuba is a perfect example.

Let's increase awareness of the world around us: open the borders, encourage travel and immigration. We are, more than ever (with the Web) ONE world, one species. To paraphrase Ben Franklin, we must learn how to hang together or we will certainly hang separately. The culture of "them or us," so prevalent in the U.S. (just try crossing back through U.S. Customs and you'll see how thuggish youths are being trained by suspicious supervisors who think "the world is out to attack us"--hey, let's bring in Dick Cheney and ask him how he pulled off 9/11), needs to END. And while we're at it, let's learn OUR history--who built this country, what we did to slaved and natives, and start OWNING OUR SHIT instead of projecting onto the rest of the world.

Free/fair elections in the U.S. with paper and pens! Open immigration! Comprehensive, single-payer, universal health care! Teach our children our true history, then we won't bomb colored people overseas anymore! Get a truth commission going and haul Cheney's ass in!

roger said...

i do. we haven't reached critical pain yet in the economic area. nor critical pain from the new weather.....yet.

Cervantes said...

I believe it was Noam Chomsky who wrote something to the effect that workers are trapped within international borders but capital traverses the earth as freely as the breeze. That's a bit off topic from Krugman's latest, but it's an interesting observation.

International migration aside, Americans have a very parochial, self-centered perspective to be sure.

Anonymous said...

It's not really off topic; open the borders, free the workers, and the world's economy becomes everyone's interest. End of problem.

kathy a. said...

how much pain does it take to be critical? there is a lot of pain, but it is primarily borne by people without much money and power, who are too busy making ends meet to worry about much else.

big money buys a lot of sound-bites. we are dealing with a LOT of big complicated issues at the moment. i can't be an expert in everything, and don't expect most people can -- which is my theory about why misleading sound-bites (especially those tapping fears of "others") are so effective, especially when administered often.

people who've got nothing at least do not want to be considered bottom of the heap -- if they can be made to believe that it's those uppity gay colored athiest union-affiliated criminal-protecting islamic feminist nazis (and their lawyers) who are taking things from them (instead of the rich and powerful) -- well, that works.