Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Look on the Bright Side

In the overall scheme of things, the Wall Street crunch will in the long run pale in comparison to all the other disasters Congress, the President and elite American glitterati are ignoring.

News organizations, Congress, "experts" everywhere are fretting about the stock and financial markets, screaming blue murder over how we will all be affected (conveniently omitting the fact that fully half of all Americans still own no stock of any kind in any way, even once we take into account 401k plans).

But let's not forget the bigger picture:
  • Credit card debt: nothing in the "bailout" to help Americans with crushing credit card debts and outrageous interest rates. (See PBS/Frontline interview with Elizabeth Warren.)
  • Healthcare: nothing in the "bailout" to address soaring medical costs and the crushing inability of Americans to pay them. (PBS | Washington Post | HHS)
  • Pensions: Corporations are doing their best to escape existing pension obligations. Major plans have been suffering financially. (Wikipedia | About.com | The Nation)
  • Peak oil: the media love to mock concerns over the finite oil supplies of the Earth, but it seems likely that Saudi Arabia has passed its peaked and thus, in all probability, the world. (Energy Bulletin | The Nation)
  • Dying oceans: Coral reefs are dying in many parts of the world. In other areas, severe oxygen depletion is making sea life unsustainable. Most commercial fish populations are in danger of collapse. (Reuters 1 | Reuters 2 | Science | New York Times)
  • Mass extinction: Rainforests are the focal points of the mass annihilation of land life on the Earth, but it's happening everywhere, including the US. (E.O. Wilson | American Museum of Natural History)
  • Global warming: The one thing most people are now aware of. The nasty little tidbit — to date, each estimate of global temperature rises has proved to be too conservative. (Wikipedia | New York Times)
  • Geopolitical instability (War): Thanks largely to the United States (meaning, the Bush regime, its pet Congress and passive news organizations), war runs rampant from Israel through to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Russia is flexing its muscles. Venezuela is building up. The Sudan and other regions of Africa are a mess.
The list goes on.

(See also the This American Life/NPR collaboration: "The Giant Pool of Money".)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Always look on the bright side of death.