Tuesday, May 04, 2004


The omens are gathering. The Carrier Corporation in Connecticut closed its factory this week and moved some jobs to Georgia and some offshore where labor is cheaper. In recent weeks I've heard layoff numbers of 4500 and 6000 in two other major companies. No—I can't recall the names of those companies; I'm 66 for Pete's sake! My wife, who works for a government agency reports layoffs coming her way too.

Locally, in Spokane Washington, both our major hospital groups report major leaps in their costs for charity care—"major" leaps.

The world had a huge jump in carbon dioxide levels in the upper atmosphere this year. Many point to increased industrialization in China and India as the culprit, and those two nations have only just begun. And many other nations are preparing to move forward with industrialization. Everybody wants to be an America.

Some scientists point out that our bodies are programmed to eat during times of plenty to prepare for the famines that their evolutionary ancestors used to experience. Obesity is increasing worldwide in all the industrialized nations. Maybe our bodies aren't being tricked during a time of plenty; maybe are bodies anticipate something that we aren't consciously aware of. Perhaps America's dropping sperm count is another sign our bodies know something we don't know.

Here, in the American west, drought conditions are shrinking our water supplies everywhere we look as snow packs diminish and glaciers melt.

Americans continue to purchase and drive tanks that consume and pollute world resources.

[The American Christian lunatic fringe is hoping and praying for the end of the world soon. They could be right for the wrong reason. OK, ignore this lunatic fringe.]

Prediction: Americans are in for a catastrophic drop in their standard of living as other nations take over the world's manufacturing chores and their standards of living increase. We could be facing double digit unemployment figures within the next 25 years. America's life expectancy rates will begin to drop for the first time in history. Infant mortality rates are already increasing. As more nations industrialize, our globe will not be able to withstand the onslaught on its resources. Within the next 100 years, the whole globe will feel the environmental pinch. Standards of living will change for everyone and not in a nice way.

Now to this idiot Bush who was appointed to America's presidency: he's not looking the wrong way—he's got his head so far up his ass that he's not seeing anything. America faces huge health care issues and issues of pollution and issues with jobs and declining standards of living, and that idiot is wasting America's dollars and the world's natural resources on a war in a foreign land that we do not need to be fighting. That stupid male bimbo is so short sighted that he has no vision for America nor any idea of what's going on in the world and no idea of what's really important to America's interests.

We need to be directing all America's mental resources and wealth to building America's capacity to meet the future without a dismembering social upheaval. We need to be dropping Medicare and Medicaid and establishing a national health care system for all. It won't be perfect, but it's better than the nothing zillions of us already have. We need to prop up the job market with government jobs, not to be cutting government jobs. We need to aim those increased government jobs to rebuilding the social safety net because we're going to need it and soon.

Yes, we need to increase taxes to do this. Poverty is undermining jobs and pay everywhere we look. The better off worker is going to pay one way or another. He's going to lose his job to poorer workers here and abroad, or he's going to pay a little higher taxes to maintain his job. The only segment of society that benefits from poverty is the capitalist class which can wring ever higher profits from the work force by decreasing pay and benefits. And, yes, the wealthy should pay a higher tax rate than the rest of us because they benefit from the pain of the rest of us.

Finally, Americans need to look toward one another as brothers and sisters in common cause rather than down or up at one another as we all struggle to keep our lives together in a world which is not friendly toward the loner.

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