Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bob Herbert Signs Off Saying We Have Lost Our Way

Bob Herbert writes his last column for the NYTimes today and gives voice to my thoughts about our plunge into another war while millions in the US are unemployed:
So here we are pouring shiploads of cash into yet another war, this time in Libya, while simultaneously demolishing school budgets, closing libraries, laying off teachers and police officers, and generally letting the bottom fall out of the quality of life here at home.

Welcome to America in the second decade of the 21st century. An army of long-term unemployed workers is spread across the land, the human fallout from the Great Recession and long years of misguided economic policies. Optimism is in short supply. The few jobs now being created too often pay a pittance, not nearly enough to pry open the doors to a middle-class standard of living.

Arthur Miller, echoing the poet Archibald MacLeish, liked to say that the essence of America was its promises. That was a long time ago. Limitless greed, unrestrained corporate power and a ferocious addiction to foreign oil have led us to an era of perpetual war and economic decline. Young people today are staring at a future in which they will be less well off than their elders, a reversal of fortune that should send a shudder through everyone.

The U.S. has not just misplaced its priorities. When the most powerful country ever to inhabit the earth finds it so easy to plunge into the horror of warfare but almost impossible to find adequate work for its people or to properly educate its young, it has lost its way entirely.
There is no political will - even from Democrats - to spend money at home to bring down the unemployment rate and tackle the countless number of problems we have here. "We are broke" is the constant refrain. And yet there is barely a murmur of dissent as we commit ourselves to spending billions on another war of choice. It is hard not to agree with Bob Herbert: we have lost our way.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The problem is not the lack of jobs but rather the increase in expectations, desires, wants, etc. If we were all fine with a house big enough to keep us warm, a vehicle that took us from point A to point B and so forth we would have a pretty good life. But we need the big house, the most comfortable cars, more food than we could even come close to eating (many try though) and a deep desire for more. If we went back to simple life where community was #1 (this includes God, family, friends) rather than money #1 I think we would be OK.

Turnip Ghost said...

And we need to do this while serving as Plan B for Latin America's surplus population.