Friday, December 26, 2014


Hope everyone had a great holiday, whatever holiday it was. Unfortunately my brain wouldn't stop working.

When the “too many” of the country arrive in the city they are not called “too many.” They are called “unemployed” or “permanently unemployed. But what will happen when the economists ever perceive there are too many people in the cities? There appear to be two possibilities: either they will recognize their earlier diagnosis was a tragic error, or they will conclude that there are too many people in country and city both—and what future inhumanities will be justified by that  diagnosis?” Wendell Berry in What are People For?

Economists aren't the only ones who make these “decisions.” What kind of headlines came out of Brazil in the run up to the World Games? The slums being cleared out because the poor were in the way.

The eighties in Central America when poor farmers displaced when their landlords pushed them out to make room for cash crops protested and asked for land reform, wanted access to education and the right to organize they were called subversives. And out came the death squads. They weren't subversives, they were in the way.

Gang violence in Mexico and Central America. Is there more to it than America's appetite for drugs? Or is it our eyes closed, fingers in our ears, in the corner humming real loud as the poor and displaced from our trade policies find themselves between the gang's hammer and the border patrol anvil? Makes me wonder these days. 

Many women in third world countries are don’t appreciate being told that the only way for their countries to beat poverty is for them to limit THEIR families or be sterilized. They look at the lives they lead and they look at the lives WE lead. First world families use far more resources than third world families. And that ladies and gentlemen is the problem.

The world’s consumer dependent economies need those first world kids growing up, starting families and consuming their little hearts out. The third world kids? They are in the way. Most of them will never be able to consume at first world levels. If they’re farmers, fishermen; families that depend on subsistence farming or resource use they’re going to want to maintain that life. They’ll be in the way as pressures mount to move their countries to export crop economies.

As resources dwindle we’ll see more civil wars not less. As the citizens in the resource poor parts of countries like Nigeria and Iraq demand their share of the pie we’ll see more groups like ISIL or Boko Haram. They’ll claim it’s in the name of religion. They may even believe it but they aren’t telling the whole truth.

Well, so far we aren’t seeing death squads in this country. YET.

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