08 July 2011

Evidence of the Coming Anarchy

Why shouldn't you write with a broken pencil?  Because it's pointless.

Evidence of a continuing rise in global factionalism abounds.  Robert Kaplan predicted as much in The Coming Anarchy.

In Foreign Policy Elizabeth Dickinson has put together a poignant photo essay of some of the most "failed states" entitled Postcards from Hell, 2011.  There are 61 slides all worth looking at and reading.  There are so many observations that can be made such as the ubiquitous Kalashnikov and the amount of African states on the list.  But it is hard not to wonder how much arms dealers are making and how much each state is spending on munitions when money could be spent on so many other things like developing a sewerage system.

Find the photo essay here.

As the election of 2012 rolls around, there will be so much propaganda tossed around about how Obama has failed, about Obama's socialism, about Obamacare, and on and on ad nauseum.  The truth is that Pres. Obama hasn't changed much if any of G.W. Bush's policies.
The alternative - a neo-con-republican in office could be much worse.  Wisconsin's governor is a shining example of the new republican movement.  In general, the new republican extremists are frighteningly callous toward the impoverished, rigidly bent on balanced budgets while sacrificing social programs, and have determined without any evidence for doing so that government ought to be run like a business.

Of course, the argument that government is a business is a fallacy.  The government was created for the people, by the people.  It's primary function is to provide for the welfare of the people.  The primary function of a business is to make profits.  

When the republicans come knocking on your door asking for money, do what you would for a Jehovah's Witness touting on your doorstep - tell him/her that you've already given, you're a real believer, and that they should bother the liberals next door.
If I didn't know better, I'd have thought that the US was going to hell in a hand basket.  After all, we are experiencing the largest economic/educational gap in our short history.  Germany and Norway seem to be recovering from the global economic downturn but not the US.
Some might argue that one reason the US has not recovered as quickly is our lack of manufacturing jobs and our lack of health coverage.  While these two may seem completely unrelated, upon analysis you'll find that they are entirely related. 

Unemployment figures and concern for illness weigh heavily on people's minds.  Whereas in most industrialized nations unemployment rates are still high, many of those unemployed don't have to worry about proper preventive care.  Wisconsin has weathered the storm fairly well despite high unemployment numbers.  One powerful reason for this is the Badger Care and Medicaid system that was established by Tommy Thompson. 

Economies are fickle much like people simply because economies are created by people.  However, when concern over health care is abated, people seem to be less volatile and less hasty.  Although Wisconsin has not seen the abundance of jobs the republicans had promised despite their initiation of race to the bottom tactics, the turmoil that other states are going through has skipped the Dairy state thus far.

The future may be grim however as the budget cuts to social programs and public transit start to kick in.  The effects will be far reaching.  But the books are balanced and that's a great sign for a business.

And so the US is not going to hell in a hand basket, it's more like a freight car filled with the aging baby boomers, pension debt, CDOs, derivatives, and lousy dogmatic ideas from free-marketers, shortsighted tea baggers, inept democrats, narrow-minded religionists, and drivel laden media dogs.

On top of that add the pending food and water crisis - and you've got yourself a full blown speed rail to Hades.  Unless the good folks at Wal-Mart can spread the good news faster.

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