As school children we are taught that we live in a democracy and that we can vote. We are told that our elected officials go to Washington and pass laws that are good for our country and that our elected officials must “answer” to the people. It’s instilled in our brain at an early age and we continue to believe it, even when evidence continues to mount to the contrary.
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Over the past 40 or so years, our nation has spent trillions of dollars fighting the “War on Poverty,” and poverty has won. We have the same problems we had 50 years ago, only now they have become intractable and institutionalized. We still have children going to sleep hungry, only now we have more of them. We still have a dilapidated housing stock, only now they are run by the government in lieu of the slumlords who ran the tenements of yore. The children of the poor are herded into public schools – which are objectively worse than they were 50 years ago – where the primary purpose appears to be to prepare them to operate within another government run institution – prison.
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On the scale of natural disasters, few events can match the sheer scale and destructive capacity of a hurricane. Big, lumbering, and unimaginably powerful; and on average, over 400 miles wide! Hurricanes have leveled entire cities, changed the direction of rivers and permanently altered the things we, as humans, believe to be permanent. Read more »
The ruins of ancient Pompeii and the modern day Detroit are obvious to the naked eye. Ornate and grand structures surrounded by decay, silently call attention to themselves. Ravaged by time, they sit, eerily beckoning the curious to appreciate the splendor of a bygone era.
The ruins of Las Vegas do not enjoy such a status. They are not grand structures capable of drawing the eye of a curious onlooker. The ruins of Las Vegas hide in their anonymity. Read more »
This week’s headlines include a rising unemployment rate, a slowdown in factory orders, and the slow disintegration of the Euro.
As the recession enters its sixth year every trick has been tried as the economy skitters off a cliff.
We have tried stimulus and austerity; we have tinkered with tax incentives and quantitative easing 1, 2 and soon-to-be-announced QE3. We have reduced payroll taxes and lowered mortgage rates to historic lows – and yet the economy refuses to soar, lying there like the soft deflated balloon it has become. Read more »
American taxpayers have spent trillions building bridges in Iraq and Afghanistan while our own are dilapidated. We are building sewer treatment facilities in cities all over the world, but our own can’t withstand a major flood. Our trains are rolling pieces of junk, a government monopoly called Amtrak, whose main goal appears to be a pension delivery system for unionized government workers instead of the efficient transport of passengers and cargo. Our public education system, once the envy of the world, has degenerated into a feeder system for our courts and prisons. (We rank 32nd in math proficiency and 29th in science – not the results one would expect from the billions we squander on public education.) Read more »
Obama new deal Time Magazine
When the jagged fingers of an iceberg first penetrated the ship’s hull, few on board the Titanic could anticipate the extent of the disaster that lay before them.
Ice cubes still tinkled in glasses. People were sleeping under warm comfy blankets. Couples danced or fought their petty battles. The cooks and waiters went about their work.
People were wrapped up in the usual things that people think about: business affairs, the health of loved ones, petty squabbles with friends or spouses, perceived slights, the well-being of their children, lost loves and hopes for new opportunities.
Few felt the ship buckle and those that did feel the massive vessel shudder probably just ignored it. Surely, the powers that be knew what they were doing and would quickly correct any problems that might interfere with their journey. Only a few people were aware of the extent of the damage, and of course, those people were ignored. Read more »