Thursday, May 15, 2008


I've been disappointed in both of the Democratic candidates in the past couple days for not taking more of an opportunity to discuss the disasters in Myanmar and China. What bothers me tremendously is that all of our politicians, Democratic and Republican, waste no time reminding us every chance they get that a "global society" is inevitable, and I agree. But when they say "global society" they seem to be employing easily decipherable code for the statement, "Look, there's nothing I can do to keep your jobs from being outsourced to countries where workers are worst exploited. The market is a fact of life that no one can change."

Yet, a global society is much more than a market. Living in one means understanding the scientific evidence that global warming/climate change, wrought disproportionately by the United States, does cause earthquakes and volcanoes, as well as cyclones, hurricanes, tsunami, flooding etc. And the difference between Myanmar now and New Orleans then is the far greater number of victims who are suffering unimaginably at the hands of a brutal regime that seems to want them dead. The difference between Chengdu now and New Orleans then is the far greater number of victims suffering unimaginably under a brutal regime that also refuses to acknowledge its own hand in the global climate crisis. (See here, here, and here for evidence that earthquakes are included in the symptoms of abusing the planet.)

And back to markets: if there are not fair labor protections in a global society, then labor protections in the U.S. are worth nothing except for those in the very few fields that cannot (yet) outsource jobs. And that number of fields and jobs is ever-dwindling with technological advance, as are labor protections. I'm wearied of politicians repeating the phrase "competition in a global market" when what they mean is "wage slavery."

I want to hear our politicians admit in bolder terms that we have blood on our hands.

(photo: earthworm)

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