Saturday, March 26, 2011

Losing Our Way

With the approaching 'paywall' for the NYT, another columnist is taking the opportunity to bail out.  Bob Herbert has been a fearless advocate for the average person in this country, speaking the truth when many others look away.  And he does it one last time in this final column.
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.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the link. Mr. Herbert says what the rest of us are thinking, at least those of us who prefer to think about our future and the futures of our children and grandchildren rather than blindly follow the rest of the lemmings over the cliff. My son and his family are seriously thinking of moving out of the US to a third world country where there are more opportunities.